Operators urged to exercise due diligence in inspections as wheel security issues continue to rise
CONTINENTAL placed wheel security at the top of their agenda for last week’s Road Safety Week 2023. With wheel security issues continuing to be reported, Continental say it is vital that commercial vehicle operators and technicians exercise due diligence in their practices, to help ensure the safety of all road users.
In the interests of road safety, strong wheel security practices are a crucial factor for commercial vehicle operators and technicians to consider as part of a regular service routine, yet despite the potential severity of its consequences, the procedure may be overlooked.
According to Continental, wheel security issues can arise for several reasons, such as excessive wheel torqueing, insufficient or incorrect lubrication of nuts and studs, or vehicles operating with wheels beyond their service life.
The company says that as part of their pre-use checks, drivers must carry out a visual inspection of the vehicle wheels for security, adding that some of the tell-tale signs that wheels are vulnerable to detachment include damaged nuts, studs or wheels; excessive corrosion to the wheel faces; or incorrect lubrication and retorque procedures.
It is also important that wheels are retorqued to the correct requirements. To minimize the likelihood of wheel security issues occurring, operators and technicians should adhere primarily to vehicle manufacturer-specific recommendations, or, in the absence of such instructions, to the British Standard for wheel security, AU 50-2.7b.
Steve Howat, general manager of technical services at Continental Tyres, explained: ‘Wheel detachment from vehicles, particularly heavy commercial vehicles, has long been a cause for concern for operators – and it isn’t going away. We continue to see cases reported, so it’s important that operators and technicians know how to prevent it.’
To help them better understand the topic, Continental, through their ContiAcademy training programme, offer bespoke courses on wheel security. A comprehensive truck wheel security explainer video can also be found on the Continental website.