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Resources for Drivers and Operators

Wheels, fixings, valves and wheel balancing

Fitting and maintaining tyres to ensure safety and long tyre life is a skilled job that must be carried out correctly. Checks and maintenance are just as important.

Wheels, fixings, torquing

Wheels and wheel fixings should be maintained in first class condition at all times, and torqued in the correct sequence to the correct torque settings. The wheel nuts should be rechecked for tightness, after the vehicle has stood for a period of 30 minutes, whether the vehicle has moved or not, or after 40-80 kilometres, using a calibrated torque wrench set to the manufacturer’s specified torque. Many fleet operators also re-check the torque again after 24 hrs. Note: Some vehicle manufacturers do not recognise the 30 minute re-torque procedure. Always refer to specific manufacturer instructions. At every scheduled maintenance check or tyre replacement / repair, Tructyre technicians will ensure that all wheel and fixing components are in good order, and installed and torqued correctly.

All refitted wheels should be rechecked for tightness using a calibrated torque wrench after the vehicle has covered 40-80 kilometres or after 24 hours. Your Tructyre Technician will give each driver advice and information on which wheels require re-torquing, as well as the torque settings required.

Preventing wheel loss

Wheel loss is rare but can have catastrophic results. Investigation has shown that the majority of cases are caused by one of the following errors:

  • Over tightening of fixings
    This causes excess stress in the studs, nuts and other components - often causing complete and sudden failure.
  • Under tightening of fixings
    Runs the risk of nuts working loose and subsequent wheel loss.
  • Foreign matter
    Dirt, dust, rust or paint can be trapped between components when tightened. If this matter compresses or collapses the fixing can work loose.
  • Reused, worn or damaged components
    Damaged wheel nuts, studs, and other components can result in a wheel not being clamped properly even when a correct torque setting is achieved, leading to potential wheel loss.

Types of tyre valve

There are almost as many types of tyre valve as there are types of commercial vehicle. For instance, there are rim valves for tubeless tyres, rim valves for super-single tyres, single bend valves, double bend valves, triple bend valves, universal spud valves and valve extensions.

The valve's main purpose is to keep the air in the tyre. A vital and often overlooked part of the valve is the dust cap which should preferably be made of metal. This keeps dirt and dust out of the valve so minimising failures, and if made of metal also acts as a secondary air seal.

Valves should always be replaced when a new tyre is fitted. All Tructyre technicians use the correct tyre valve for each tyre and only use good quality metal dust caps.

Wheel balancing saves money and helps maximise vehicle uptime

Unbalanced tyres and wheels cause uneven, excessive tyre wear and needless wheel bearing damage. Unbalanced wheels can also aggravate problems caused by incorrectly tightened wheel bolts. Incorrect balancing also reduces brake and steering performance, and cause vibration through the vehicle steering and suspension.

See also...
Re-torquing (for useful information on re-torquing wheel fixings).

t: +44 (0)330 100 7707

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