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To Torque and Serve

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As a commercial tire dealer, you have just finished a long hard week at work. You are at home with your family and receive a call that a trailer your shop had changed the tires on recently was involved in a wheel-off incident resulting in personal injury.

You think it is unlikely that your shop is culpable in this incident, but then you start picturing the devastation that can be caused by a 200 lb. tire and wheel assembly freewheeling uncontrolled and unrestricted down a street or highway at 60 mph. You start to worry.

A wheel off with injury or death can have devastating personal and financial consequences for you and your business; it is something you might not be able to overcome.

Wheels are the connection to the truck chassis and the road surface. Keeping them firmly attached is the objective. The alternative is filled with liability, culpability, remorse and expense.

According to Patrick Gunn, Director of Sales and Marketing of Commercial Tires for Giti Tire (USA) Ltd., you will sleep much better at night if you have instituted a formal wheel torque program at your dealership. This includes following specified guidelines outlined in TMC (RP) 237, as well as making sure your service techs are trained annually via TIA 300 Level Certification.

Put wheel and hardware damage and wear/ stretch / damage inspection and replacement into your shop’s daily routine. In addition to your own technicians, make sure you communicate torqueing instructions to your customers. Require sign off and acknowledgment from our customers on your service work orders. The extra time and effort you put into a formal wheel torque program should be passed on to your customers as an additional cost because they want peace of mind just as much as you do.

Proper attachment depends on inspection and applying specifications. Elongated or stretched wheel studs and bolt holes, cracked or broken disc wheels, and loose and missing wheel fastening hardware are all inspectable items and violations within the 2010 Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. Inspection requires the notation of deficiencies and quick resolution through corrective action.

It’s an investment that you can charge and an area of mounting concern for many fleets.

“A little diligence here will go a long way in assuring the safety and compliance of your shop,” Gunn said. “It’s the law for our neighbors to the north and may well be in this country in the future. Get ahead of the game today. It’s an investment you can take to the bank in terms of peace of mind and risk avoidance.”


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