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Spotlight on Wheel End Safety

Spotlight on Wheel End Safety

May 24, 2022 | ConMet

International Roadcheck, an annual three-day event sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) in cooperation with North American regulatory agencies, kicked off on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. During the 72-hour event, CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement, and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle and driver safety across Canada, the United States, and Mexico. CVSA’s main goal is to be sure the commercial vehicles are kept up and are safe to be on the road.

This year’s event is focused on wheel ends. The wheel end is one of the most essential systems on a commercial vehicle, with several components critical to the safe and efficient operation of the asset. The failure of any element within the system can lead to a catastrophic roadside event, risking the safety of the driver and others on the road, in addition to costly downtime.

The first step to maintaining the safe operation of these complex systems is to start with the highest quality equipment. ConMet has a legacy of wheel end expertise that spans almost 60 years. In 1995, the release of the PreSet® hub assembly set a new industry standard for ease of installation, high performance, and low maintenance. ConMet did it again in 2012 with PreSet Plus® — the most advanced wheel end system on the market. With expert engineering and thorough validation testing, PreSet Plus hubs are standard on most North American truck OEMs and many trailer OEMs and continue to exceed industry expectations for performance, durability, and safety.

Once the best equipment is in place, it is up to fleets to maintain the safe and effective operation of the wheel end. Preventative maintenance is of the most important things fleets can do to ensure this - or in other words, regularly servicing the wheel end before a repair is necessary. Though pre- and post-trip inspections are always conducted, proactive servicing includes more in-depth safety checks and the regular replacing of components, mitigating the risk of dangerous failure.

The ConMet service team is known in the industry for their extensive wheel end and maintenance expertise. The team has trained technicians to perform preventive maintenance, allowing shops to schedule and stagger work, averting bottlenecks and overworked service personnel. Maintenance procedures are often less complicated than repairs and are preferred by technicians and shop management.

Throughout the years, ConMet’s goal has been to lighten the load for technicians, allowing them to better focus on other more complex tasks at hand, making their work more efficient and effective.

When the time comes for the wheel end to be replaced, maintenance shops have two choices: They can rebuild the hub, or they can replace the entire system. A hub rebuild consists of several risk factors, including inadvertently using damaged components or those that have not been approved by the OEM, as well as the potential for assembly errors. Any of these can result in premature component or wheel end failure.

The second option, replacing the hub, can save time, cost, and complexity. ConMet Aftermarket PreSet hub assemblies ensure optimum safety and reliability, eliminating the risks of a rebuild. Operators simply slide the self-piloting, pre-assembled hub onto the spindle, torque the retaining nut, and add lubricant. The bearings are installed and pre-adjusted at the factory, ensuring less opportunity for error in the replacement process.

As commercial vehicles hit the road - not just during the International Roadcheck, but on every single trip - it is critical that the wheel hub is in top condition. Though it is a complex system, ConMet works hard to reduce the complexity of maintaining the safe and efficient operation of the wheel end. The safety of drivers, the integrity of the load, and the efficiency of the trip depend on it.

Learn more about Aftermarket PreSet® Hub Assemblies

VANCOUVER, WA | by Keith Rhodes, Director of Trailer, Fleet, and Service Sales