LOOSE LUG NUTS, CRACKED WHEELS, MISSING NUTS OR LUGS ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND CAN CAUSE WHEEL LOSS OR CRASHES!
Rim, wheel and tire servicing can be dangerous. Serious injury, property damage or death could result from attempting to service or repair tires wheels or rims without adequate training. ALL mounting, de-mounting, inspection, maintenance, procedures, safety requirements, instructions and practices must be followed.
Information in this regard, is available at no cost from the local OSHA office listed in the telephone directory. Ask for Rules and Regulations 1910.177 “ Servicing Multi-Piece and Single Piece Rim Wheels” or contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Publications Distributions Office, Room N1401, Washington, D.C. 20210 (202-523-9667) Another source of this information is the: Wheel and Rim Institute for Safety, 5121 Bowden Road, Suite 303, Jacksonville, FL 32216.
Inspect tires, wheels and rims for damage from wear, cracks, corrosion, distortion and/or defects every time tires are checked for proper inflation or de-mounted. Scrap any cracked, worn or deformed parts. Never weld a wheel or rim. Always follow OSHA and Tire and Wheel Manufacturers recommendations and requirements.
Check and re-torque wheel/rim mounting nuts after a short (50-100 mile) break in period to the manufacturers recommended level. Maintain the torque levels by planned periodic checks.
Check the tires before every trip for wear, cuts breaks, cracks, defects, objects caught or penetrating the tire carcass and for proper inflation. Check tire pressure when the tires are cool and maintain the pressure molded into the sidewall. Do not operate a trailer with tires that have the internal reinforcing wires or belt showing or less than 2/32” tread depth, when measured at a major tread groove.
Check tire sizes to confirm the matching of the tires and check that bias and radial tires are not mixed. (See FMCSR section 393.75)
The wheel end bearings are lubricated in one of two ways. Use either with oil or semi-fluid grease. Oil lubricated bearings can be identified by looking at the hubcap ends which will have a clear face and shows the oil level in the hub. Synthetic grease hubcaps are solid, without a clear end face and do not allow checking the lubrication level by sight.
Check hubcap face, gasket and hub end for oil leakage before every trip. Check inner wheel and seal area for indications of oil leaking into the brakes, drum or wheel. Add oil if the level is low, but do not operate the trailer if oil is present on the wheel end, until repairs have been made.
Check for grease on the hubcap, vent, gasket, wheel or inner brake mechanism, if equipped with synthetic grease before every trip. This is more difficult to check than oil. The grease will mix with road dust and form a paste like coating on the wheel end parts when it leaks. Undetected grease loss can lead to damaged bearings or wheel end failure.
Wheel ends lubricated by synthetic grease require inspections annually, or at no more than 100,000 mile intervals. This inspection must be done with the hubcap and outer bearing removed to determine the grease level inside of the hub. Refer to the lubrication supplier’s recommendations.
5.1.4 Wheel end lubrication, oil or synthetic grease, should be changed once a
year or every 100,000 miles which ever comes first.