While sudden wheel loss from a moving truck is a fairly uncommon occurrence, it does happen more often than people realize. Often times wheel loss is related to the amount of torque applied during wheel assembly.
Wheel loss, or wheel runoff, can lead to a host of serious dangers as the driver loses control of the truck and as other drivers lose vehicle control when they maneuver their vehicles to avoid the flying wheel. Any time a truck wheel separates, there is potential for grave injury to anyone in the path of that wheel. In the event of wheel loss at highway speeds, the separated wheel is launched into the air because the weight of the vehicle pushing down on it is suddenly removed. The wheel becomes an airborne projectile moving at a speed that can easily exceed 100 mph, with the ability to penetrate an oncoming vehicle and directly strike occupants.
Wheel loss is often caused by a fastening failure, which can be due to the failure to put wheels on properly. According to MEA Forensic, wheel separations generally occur 175 to 3000 miles, and one to fifteen weeks, after a wheel was taken off and put back on during some service, such as a tire installation. When truck wheels are serviced, it is critical that proper torque is used. Proper torque must be applied to values specified for that particular truck.
Both too much torque and not enough torque can lead to wheel system failure. The application of too much torque is often due to using the wrong type of wrench for wheel installation. Not enough torque is commonly due to corroded and damaged wheel system components, or poor quality tools.
When it comes to truck and fleet safety, there is no reason to take chances. Rely on truck service experts at Raben Tire.