SKF helps Maverick Transportation keep wheels attached

SKF helps Maverick Transportation keep wheels attached

Having a wheel fly off while driving can be catastrophic, and SKF says TraX and Road Ready help catch issues early.

Swedish company SKF is partnering with Maverick Transportation, LLC. to supply the company with its TraX wheel end monitoring (WEM) system and Road Ready’s advanced trailer telematics system, which it says will help avoid costly wheel bearing incidents on the road. Maverick Transportation, based in North Little Rock, Arkansas, is currently using the technologies on 900 trailers, and plans to outfit the rest of its approximately 2,400 units by the end of 2024, according to SKF.

“Wheel separation is a catastrophic failure that sends a wheel assembly rolling down a highway, and it’s incredibly dangerous,” said Mike Jeffress, vice president of maintenance at Maverick Transportation. “With Road Ready and TraX, we caught this failing wheel bearing way ahead of true failure — and that’s a significant cost savings.”

SKF tells us that an estimated 750 to 1,050 wheel separations occur per year and 7,000 truck fires happen on the nation’s roadways every year. The Technology & Maintenance Council of the American Truckers Association cites the top four causes of truck fires are failures of brakes, wheel bearings, air leaks, and tires, all of which SKF says are preventable if monitored and maintained.

The company says TraX, installed at the outboard side of the truck rim, can detect spalling (pitting or flaking away of bearing material), an early sign of failure. According to SKF, Maverick was able to use the WEM sensor through the Road Ready platform, which alerted the system to unusual vibrations from the bearing so Maverick could service the trailer before catastrophe.

“Maverick is a prime example of how fleets can lead the industry by using technology to prevent critical failures rather than reacting after they occur,” said Dane Hollar, vice president of Road Ready Sales. “A proactive response, like this one, sends a clear message that Maverick is willing to go the extra mile to ensure their customers’ cargo is delivered safely and on time.”

“Trax WEM is a small but extremely effective way to monitor the truck and trailer bearings as well as abnormal wheel end temperatures and detect potential problems before they occur,” said Cengiz Shevket, president of vehicle aftermarket sales for North America at SKF. “Detecting wheel-end problems early helps reduce unscheduled downtime, saves money from more costly repairs and makes the truck safer for the driver and the vehicles around it.”

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