TMC Press Conference Demonstration
Four Companies Unite to Revolutionize Fleet Wheel Changing Process
Wheel Torque Solutions Shows Torque Retention Process Reduces Dangerous Wheel-Offs

February 9, 2010
Tampa, Fla. – Four leading fleet truck product suppliers have joined forces to revolutionize the wheel changing process. Under the banner of “Wheel Torque Solutions,” Alcoa Wheels, B&D Cold Heading, Chicago Pneumatic and ITW CIP have created an innovative, highly researched and developed wheel installation process that significantly reduces costly and dangerous wheel-off incidents.
“Wheel Torque Solutions identifies and addresses all points of failure in the traditional wheel installation process,” said David Walters, manager-warranty & field service for Alcoa Wheel & Transportation Products and a Silver Spark Plug member of TMC. “A clearly defined procedure combined with the careful selection of tools and components significantly reduce the potential for human error that can result in costly and dangerous wheel-off incidents.”
“This group of companies, through the research and development conducted with one of the largest waste removal fleets in the nation, have accomplished what others in the industry said couldn’t be done.”
Wheel Torque Solutions brings together the optimum nut, bolt, wheels, tools and processes for increasing torque retention. The components and wheel installation processes were researched and developed over a two-year period with one of the largest environmental services and waste removal fleets in North America. The research proved that increasing torque retention not only improves safety, but also provides maintenance cost savings over the life of a wheel. This innovative process relies on the unique product attributes of the companies involved, combined with detailed wheel end maintenance and fastening processes.
“The key to strengthening the clamp force is maximizing the preload and grip length without comprising the structural integrity of the components,” added Ross Hill, business development manager at ITW CIP and chairman of the ISO wheel committee. “Wheel Torque Solutions accomplishes this through the use of industry-leading components that have been tested to achieve maximum clamp force at torques greater than 600 ft-lbs.”
Alcoa’s forged aluminum wheels allow for increased grip length in the joint over steel wheels, providing additional stretch or preload that helps keep the wheels tight. Grip length is also increased through the combination of ITW CIP PAC-SLEEVE™ laminated lock nuts, which are designed to internally deflect as torque is applied below and through the bolt stretch or elastic range, adding to the bolt's capability to maintain preload. The increased bolt stretch at 600+ ft-lbs. of torque is made possible through the use of B&D wheel bolts that are made with high quality steel through a proprietary manufacturing process for added strength and feature rolled threads with serrated press.
To solve the issue of proper drum and wheel seating and to eliminate damage to bolts during the installation process, Alcoa designed state-of-the art sleeves that seat the brake drum against the hub during installation and align the wheels for easy installation of the PAC-SLEEVE™ nuts.
Consistent, accurate torque is critical to the wheel fastening process as well. Chicago Pneumatic’s BlueTork electric nut runner provides accurate fastener tightening to specified torque settings. The tool includes reporting functionality that provides confirmation of the consistent torque application.
“While the components and tools are key, proper wheel end maintenance remains a critical factor in reducing wheel-off incidents,” said Chip Todd, national sales manager for BlueTork, Chicago Pneumatic. “The components must be cleaned and installed, all the equipment must be maintained, and training of technicians and any external road service personnel is extremely important.”
Fleets which utilize the Wheel Torque Solutions components, equipment and processes will have a safer fleet of vehicles and experience prolonged wheel component use, with bolt, nut and wheel seeing extended life.
“Only through a true feat of innovation and persistence were these companies able to come together for the benefit of the entire heavy duty fleet market and the safety of the general public,” said Ted Schiebold, sales engineer, B&D Cold Heading. “Our goal from the beginning was to provide fleets with the tools they need to put a safe and efficient fleet on the street, while saving on maintenance costs over the life of the wheel.”
The full wheel changing and tightening process debuted at booth #826 at the TMC Show in Tampa, Fla., from Feb. 9-12.