Keltruck Chairman and Managing Director, Chris Kelly was invited recently to address the Annual Conference of the commercial vehicle safety campaigning organisation, BRAKE. In the event, an audience of some 120 people from the industry and other interest groups attended to hear the views of Keltruck and a variety of other experts in the field.
“I set out to explain how vital correct and proper maintenance is if operators are to ensure the safety of their vehicles in operation”, says Chris Kelly. “Trucks, buses and coaches are becoming ever-more complex in terms of the advanced mechanical and electronic systems they contain and thus the task of maintaining them is increasingly becoming a specialist job requiring dedicated equipment.
“Consequently, we have invested heavily in our staff to ensure they have the specialist knowledge they need to be able to keep vehicles in peak condition, something essential for safe running. Furthermore, all our work is carried out to specific and laid down Scania standards. Our procedures are fully documented and we do not deviate from these. This leads to a consistency of service, another safety-critical factor”.
‘Lost wheel’ syndrome? There’s no such thing if vehicles are properly maintained, argues Chris Kelly
Chris Kelly also discussed the so-called ‘lost wheel’ syndrome during his presentation. “It’s something I feel very strongly about”, he explains. “If proper procedures were followed, I maintain there would be no such thing as a ‘lost’ wheel. The problems only arise when people fail to take the precautions they should. For example, anyone painting a wheel hub without masking the spigots and mating surfaces first is taking a risk as it means the wheel will be running on paint, rather than metal, which can flake off leaving a minute gap.
“Also, after a wheel has been removed, it should be re-torqued 100km down the road. That’s something that is easily overlooked – and is the reason why we have set up an arrangement with ATS whereby operators can take their vehicles into any of their depots for re-tightening at this time”.