TT Talk - Wheel maintenance on cargo handling machinery

ICHCA International recently published Information Paper 38a/2009 as an addition to the paper on Split Rim Wheels which was included in TT Talk Edition 115 (item 2) of 27 January 2009. The new Information Paper is as follows:

'Information Paper 38/2008 gave details of a fatal accident arising from work on a split rim wheel on an item of mobile cargo handling machinery and referred to the fact that this arose from a known hazard. The Information Paper said that such assemblies can come apart due to a variety of reasons including:

  • Damaged or mismatched rim parts

  • Corroded or dirty rim parts

  • Failure to deflate tyre before removal

  • Incorrect tyre size

  • Over inflating tyres

  • Fitting tubed tyres on a rim designed for tubeless tyres

  • Removing the nut which holds the wheel rim together (on some designs of split rim).

It has been pointed out to ICHCA International that there is another cause of wheel accidents which, although not directly related to split rims, is concerned with wheel maintenance.

All maintenance provisions regarding wheels involve regularly ensuring that they remain securely attached to the vehicle/machine. Ideally, this should be checked by the use of a torque wrench set to the value established by the manufacturer. However, it has been known for fitters to give the wheel nuts yet another tightening movement on them instead as a substitute. This can have the effect, over a period of time, of overstressing the studs and that has resulted in the studs failing and in at least two instances reported to ICHCA International causing a wheel to come off when in use.

The only way to avoid such an occurrence is to ensure that a torque wrench is used for such checks, ensuring that it is set to the manufacturer’s recommendations and it is recommended that those members concerned review their procedures and arrangements accordingly.’