Tafcan Devices Reduces Wheel-Offs
By Taffy Davies
The significant costs of potentially catastrophic runaway wheels and wheel-end damage resulting from lug nuts loosening continue to be concerns for the trucking industry. Best practices include strict procedures and calibrated tools for wheel changes and ensuring re-torques are completed on an ongoing basis. Relatively new products are now available to reduce the risk further, by employing a secondary safety locking device on the nuts once the wheels and nuts are properly installed and torqued. Wheel separations can cause disastrous events with damage caused to vehicles and property that is very expensive to repair and have, in many cases, been responsible for fatalities. In Ontario wheel separations are treated as an offense and fines can go up to as high as $50,000. Other provinces have similar legislation or are considering it. Insurance premiums, company and driver safety records are also likely to be negatively impacted.
The National Safety Code Inspection for commercial vehicles (PMVI); requires that all wheel assemblies must be removed as part of the vehicle inspection for commercial trucks and trailers. The continuing concern is that wheel assemblies must be pulled off for inspection increasing the number of times wheels are removed and reinstalled. Data is dependent on reporting, but it is hard to discount the fact that some Canadian reports show that approximately 65% to 83% of wheel-off incident reports noted that repairs or maintenance had been performed on the suspect wheels just a short time prior to the separation. By adding a simple wheel nut secondary safety locking device, the nuts are secured together minimizing the risk that vibrations will cause the nuts to undo avoiding the possibility of wheel end damage or a wheel off situation.
Canadian designed and manufactured, Zafety Lug Lock® is a secondary safety wheel locking device that has been recognized and utilized as the product of choice for many companies/organizations. The Zafety Lug Lock® device fits tightly over adjacent lug nuts, locking them together. Whether it is a high-profile public transit client (Washington, D.C., London, UK) or a major commercial transportation company, Zafety Lug Lock® is a locking solution that helps to prevent lug nuts from coming loose and is applied after the nuts have been properly torqued, creating resistance and stopping the nuts from vibrating loose. The device also allows that all important torque check to occur without having to remove the Zafety Lug Lock® unit. Many companies are now looking at changing safety standards from indicating devices to locking devices to reduce the need for constant human monitoring (allowing human error) and in the case of Zafety Lug Lock, cost savings (through man-hour reductions) by allowing wheel nuts to be torque checked without the need to remove and reinstall the secondary safety device.
Taffy Davies of Tafcan Consulting Limited, the inventor and manufacturer of Zafety Lug Lock® has reached many milestones over the years. In 2013, with over a million units sold, Taffy Davies won the Canadian 2013 Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award. This year, as the 4 million milestone approaches, the newest size in the product lineup was developed to fit low loader/low profile wheels on tractor trailers and flat beds for a total of sixteen (16) different sizes. Zafety Lug Lock® has been tested in both the laboratory and field along with eight years of customer installations around the world including Canada, the USA, Mexico, Brazil, the UK and parts of Europe, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. Customers continue to encourage new sizes to be developed so they can fit all the types of vehicles in their fleets. With this kind of feedback, the product line will likely continue to grow to meet the needs of customers worldwide.
If you would like more information on Zafety Lug Lock® or how it works, please visit www.zafetyluglock.com.☚