Wheels being damaged by non-standard hubs
4th Jun 2012
Research initiated by Motor Wheel Service suggests that commercial vehicle wheels running on spider and star shaped hubs are suffering untested load stresses that are causing cracks – and even halving the wheel life expectancy.
John Ellis, managing director of Motor Wheel Service, below, explains that, at present, all quality wheels are tested to ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) standards on a circumferential hub with a continuous contact diameter.
However, non-circumferential hubs, which give only partial contact between the axle and wheel, are causing localised stresses almost twice as high as the industry-approved full contact hub, he insists.
Ellis advises transport operators to contact hub and wheel manufacturers, as wheels replaced or refunded under warranty may no longer be considered, if the product is shown to have operated on a spider or star shaped hub.
Further, he warns that, due to differing characteristics of hub shapes, interchangeability can be affected, as mounting wheels on hubs with yet another shape can lead to further increased surface pressures and an undefined attachment of wheel to hub.
Vehicle maintenance, service schedules and MOT tests will also need to be more rigorous, he asserts – suggesting that operators contact VOSA for their interpretations.