We are well-aware that around 40 per cent of truck drivers are using dangerous wheels to commute at any given moment. Wheel replacement delays has started to become an ever-increasing problem and it is something that many do not keep up to date with, including fleet engineers and transport specialists.
Below is a simple guide for truck owners. It gives you four essential reasons why you need to replace your truck wheels.
Regardless of what model or vehicle you are driving, it is the wheels that keep it on the road. Even if you have installed the best brakes in you truck, they will ultimately perform better when your tyres are maintained at the safest levels possible.
Despite the emphasised concern on truck safety, only 5 per cent of driver’s spot check their vehicles and wheels for damage before they drive off. At the speed of 40mph, a car would need a total of 36 m to stop, but when it comes to stopping commercial vehicles, it is almost double that!
However, the stopping distance for light and commercial vehicles varies depending on certain factors. Some of them include:
- The wheels
- Compound and tread pattern
- Weight of the load carried
- The speed of the vehicle
Technology here is used to transform the fleet management industry. With the help of telematics, fleet management teams are able to identify peaks and lows in the fuel efficiency of the vehicle and can highlight improvements for the driver’s behaviour. All of this ultimately improves the vehicle and the wheels’ efficiency.
We know that wheels are costly and it is even more costly when you have to make sure they are intact to the vehicle and don’t come off while driving. There have been various instances where fleet managers had to cough up thousands of pounds to replace wheels time and again for this very reason.
One way you can keep the wheels from coming off is by installing wheel nuts security, also known as wheel nut safety devices. There are several such devices specifically made for commercial vehicles to help them against this problem.
We believe that instead of constantly putting in money every time the wheels come off, by implementing these wheel nut safety devices, you can not only save your vehicle, but also your money.
There comes a time when every vehicle has to be taken off the road for wheel replacement during its entire lifetime. There are several ways fleet drivers can assure the time taken to do this is managed efficiently. It includes:
- Making use of mobile wheel fitters
- Booking fittings outside of the company’s peak work times
- Phoning ahead to make sure the suppliers have the correct wheel available
The last point mentioned is particularly important for all season or winter tyres.
We encourage all commercial vehicles to have their wheels checked and replaced (if necessary) before hitting the road. However, if you are still unsure, here are 3 signs your wheels need replacement.
Too much vibration
A certain amount of vibration is very much acceptable for any heavy vehicle, especially when it is driven on poorly paved roads. But having too much vibration can be an alarming signal.
Being used to the vehicle, most divers know how much vibration feels normal and so it should be evident when something isn’t right. However, there are few reasons for vibration, such as:
- The wheels are unbalanced or mis-aligned
- The shock absorbers are started to wear-off
- There is an internal problem in the wheels
If you feel that there is more vibration than normal, get your fleets checked as soon as possible as it can cause serious damage to the wheels.
Bulges and Blisters
Over a period of time, the outer surface of the wheels begin to weaken and can even start to bulge or blister. This will not only indicate that your wheels are damaged, but it can also become a safety hazard.
Without having any proper check-up, the affected wheel areas can cause a sudden blow out in your wheel. This puts you and your passengers or goods at risk. Thus, when you come across any bulges or blisters, we recommend you to get your wheels changed straight away.
Cracks on the sidewall
It is always recommended that you to keep an eye on your wheels’ condition, especially when you are driving the vehicle regularly. Unlike most other warning signs, spotting a crack on sidewalls is fairly straight forward.
So, if you come across any cuts on your wheels, this may be the sign that it is developing a leak (bulges or blisters) and could possibly cause a blow out.
In the end, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Even if your fleet is not due for servicing any time soon, you can still get it to the maintenance staff for an expert opinion.