Do you want extra miles of consistent and reliable service? The key is interval checks and one of the most important is checking that wheel ends are properly greased. Checking your heavy truck’s wheel ends is one of the best ways to ensure that your wheels are going to be working to the best of their abilities.
Greased Wheel Ends
The following is a list of what to look for to determine if your wheel ends require service:
Hot or Discolored Hubcap. If a hubcap is too hot to touch or there are signs of discoloration on the hubcap, this is one of the top signs that the wheel end may be in need of service.
Lubrication Level. If there’s not enough lubrication for the gasket or wheel seal, or it looks like there’s leaking in these areas, service may be required.
Extreme Vibrations. Too much shaking can lead to a severe problem, requiring immediate service for the wheel end.
Strange Noises. Any type of grinding noise should immediately be looked into.
Strange Smells. If something smells like it’s burning or any smoke can be seen when the brakes are being pressed, wheel end service may be needed.
Storage. Anytime heavy work trucks are put into storage for any length of time, the wheel end assembly needs to be checked for cracks and/or contamination.
Floods. If a wheel end happens to end up under water for any period of time, it needs to be checked out to make sure the water didn’t cause any permanent damage.
How to Inspect Wheel Ends
The following is a general guideline for how to properly inspect a wheel end:
1. Lift each axle, making sure to fully support each one. Spin the wheel to check for vibration. If vibrations are felt, the bearings need to be inspected.
2. Use a dial indicator to check the bearings for overall wear and tear.
3. Make sure the amount of lubricant is perfect. Too little or too much can cause damage.
4. Carefully examine the grease for contamination. If the grease is white or gritty, it will need to be cleaned and/or replaced.
Best Maintenance Procedures
Anytime a repair is being performed on a truck, it is essential to always keep safety in mind. For example, when supporting a truck so the wheels can be worked on it’s necessary to use the correct supports. The wheels also need to be blocked so that the truck doesn’t move once the brakes are released. Wearing the proper eye and body protection is also necessary when it comes to properly following all safety rules and guidelines. Remember if you are safe, nothing else will matter if you get hurt. Saving all the time and money in the world isn’t worth an expensive hospital stay.