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Management and Maintenance of Earthmover Wheels and Rims

Here is some helpful information about taking care of OTR tire wheels and rims.

Earthmover wheels and rims are unique in the fact that they are essentially part of a pressure vessel which is being continuously assembled and disassembled. In addition they are subjected to various conditions, extreme loads, chemical reactions, stress and shock through movement.

The failure of rims, wheels and their components has occurred in a variety of areas, for a variety of reasons in a variety of ways. It would be fair to say that most if not all failures may have been prevented if a diligent management system with the relevant procedures were put into place.

Historically the personnel given the responsibility to inspect, assemble and maintain all rims on site has been the resident tyre fitter. Until recently this was a general visual inspection only and was accepted as adequate practice in the industry.

Reasons for damage and failure in an OTR Tire Rim or Wheel Components

  • Fatigue – The time the earthmover wheel or rim component has been in service is the main factor of fatigue but this can be accelerated by overloading and poor fitting practices. Rims fatigue faster than wheels due to their mounting design
  • Corrosion and Erosion The strength of wheel and rim components are compromised by rust and wearing of contact surfaces.
  • Incompatible components The variety of designs make possible the occurrence of non compatible parts being fitted together. A visual inspection cannot be relied upon to ensure compatibility and with the recent introduction of newly developed designs into the market place the need for component identification is essential.
  • Poor Maintenance Practices Incorrect storage of parts, handling damage, not cleaning parts, use of non genuine parts and the reuse of damaged components can contribute to wheel and rim deterioration.
  • Incorrect Application Continuous improvement of design due to changing demands on the equipment and industry demands has given a wider choice to the end user. Standard components may be installed where a reinforced or improved design item should have been applied.
  • Poor Management Practices Insufficient procedures and systems to ensure best practice for fitment, inspection, repair and tracking of rims, wheels and components.

All of the above points can be effectively managed to reduce the occurrence of damage and increase the life of otr tyre wheels, rims and components. Each application requires an evaluation to implement a management system to return best cost per hour return.

Gus Lily – Enemies of a Tire Series

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