Get ready for Roadcheck with wheel-end inspections

By: Daren Hansen

Publication: Transportation Regulatory Alert

Date Posted: 05/03/2022

With the Roadcheck inspection event fast approaching, make sure your drivers are prepared for this year’s focus area: wheel ends.

The wheel ends include the tires, wheels, rims, and hubs on a commercial motor vehicle. The failure of any of these components could lead to a crash, and violations are common, so it’s no surprise that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will be paying special attention to wheel ends during this year’s three-day inspection blitz.

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International Roadcheck will be taking place across North America on May 17-19, 2022.

Pre/post inspections are key

Drivers should be checking their wheel ends during every pre- and post-trip inspection. In fact, 49 CFR §§392.7 and 396.11 include the tires, wheels, and rims among the items to be included in every vehicle inspection.

During Roadcheck, officers who conduct a vehicle inspection will be checking a variety of conditions around the wheel ends and placing vehicles out of service when necessary. Make sure your drivers look for the following issues before an inspector does!

  • Leaks in the tire, valve stem, or inner wheel seal
  • Proper tire inflation
  • Cuts or bulges on a tire (don’t forget the inside tire on a dual set!)
  • Regrooved tires on a steering axle
  • Tread wear
  • Improper repair to sidewall (e.g., tire plugs)
  • Exposed fabric or cord
  • Contact between tires or with any part of the vehicle
  • Tires that are marked as being excluded from a steering axle
  • Debris between tires
  • Cracked, bent, or broken rims
  • Loose, broken, damaged, or missing lug nuts
  • Elongated stud holes
  • Cracked or unseated locking rings, studs, or clamps
  • Cracks across spokes or slippage in the area of the clamp
  • Hub lubricant leaks
  • Missing hub caps or plugs

Drivers must also be aware of wheel-end issues out on the road. They must use all their senses to detect any unusual conditions related to the wheel ends (or any other components), such as:

  • Smoke from a wheel end
  • Overly hot hubcaps
  • Wheel noise, vibration, or wobble
  • Decreased braking power/increased stopping distance
  • Abnormal pulling when braking
  • Wheel lock-up or skidding

Key to remember: Roadcheck begins on May 17, with an emphasis on wheel ends. Make sure your drivers are prepared by conducting thorough pre- and post-trip vehicle inspections.

Did you know?

Nearly 90,000 violations were recorded last year for flat or leaking tires, the 7th most common vehicle violation found.

About the author
Daren Hansen - Transportation Safety Editor

Based on his expertise in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Daren is responsible for writing and editing content for safety-related products, publications, and services for the trucking industry.

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