Feeling the heat?

SPONSORED CONTENT: How often do you carry out a maintenance check on your tyres? Do you pay the same attention to your wheels? When running a time critical business, conducting necessary wheel safety checks maybe neglected. Here are some tips on how to spot heat damage in your wheels

Feeling the heat?
Heat indicator sticker on flange


As tyres age, the heat generated from road friction causes tyres to become brittle. Rubber can crack, split or leak regardless of how much tread is on the tyre. When it comes to the wheel, significant events such as excessive heat from fire, brake malfunction, wheel bearing failure and other sources can weaken the metal, causing the tyre/wheel assembly to explode. Therefore, it is important to schedule wheel maintenance checks regularly.

According to Arconic general manager sales and technical Ross Simmons: "General wheel checks should be carried out at least once a month, with a full detailed check on, for example, tyre age, kilometres travelled, pressure level and tread, four times a year – particularly prior to and after the summer months, as the high temperatures can add stress to the tyres and wheels."

For full instructions on how to check your Alcoa wheels, refer to the service manual.


Telltale warning signs

Here are some professional guidelines to ensure your vehicle is running on a safe and reliable foundation.

Telltale warning signs of heat damage in Alcoa wheels:

  • Charred or burnt in appearance  –  a wheel that has been subjected to excessive heat
  • Discolouration of wheel – appearing dull and greyish in colour and will not polish to a bright finish as a typical wheel would, indicates exposure to excessive heat
  • Blistered, blackened or cracked looking labels or logos– indicates excessive exposure to heat

"Don’t be mistaken by a clean wheel," says Simmons.

A wheel that has been exposed to excessive heat may appear to be in good condition if cleaned.  Even if a wheel does not appear to be obviously burnt, inspect labels, tyre bead, and brake components for evidence of charring, melting, blistering or burning. If one of these components shows signs of overheating, the entire assembly, including the wheel, should be replaced.

Alcoa wheels manufactured from January 2009 will have a 2.5cm clear round heat indicator sticker located at the wheel flange next to the roll stamp, along with a same sticker located on the tyre side drop well close to the valve. This indicator will activate and blister or have a blackened appearance when exposed to excessive heat.

"If any wheel has been exposed to excessive heat,it must be immediately and permanently removed from service," says Simmons.

"Do not attempt to mount and inflate a tyre on a wheel that shows conditions described above, remove it from service immediately."

Conducting regular wheel maintenance checks is not only necessary for your business but extremely important to your safety and the safety of your employees.

To download the full Service Manual for Alcoa Wheels visit the resources page on the website www.semitrailerwheels.com.au or to speak with technical expert on conducting wheel maintenance for maximum safety and efficiency, call us on 1800 955 191– we are always here to help.

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