November 13, 2023

Common Causes Of Axle Damage In Heavy-Duty Trucks And How To Prevent Them

The truck's axle is critical for weight support and a smooth ride. Damage can harm its performance. Understanding common causes is key. Here they are.

Common Causes Of Axle Damage In Heavy-Duty Trucks

The axle, a central shaft for rotating wheels or gears, is a vital component in heavy-duty trucks. It bears the weight of both the truck and its cargo, distributing it to the tires and ensuring a smooth ride. Without a fully functioning axle, a truck's operational efficiency would drop significantly, affecting its performance on the road. Therefore, understanding the causes of axle damage becomes critical for the long-term health of the vehicle. Here are common causes of axle damage in heavy-duty trucks.

Overloading Your Heavy-Duty Truck

Overloading a truck beyond its recommended weight capacity can cause excessive strain on the axle. This not only jeopardizes the structural integrity of the axle but also increases the risk of accidents. An overloaded truck struggles with balance, making it prone to tipping or rolling over. The continuous strain on an axle due to overloading can speed up the wear, leading to costly replacements. In addition, tracking the weight is not just to protect your axles from wear but to be in compliance with weight regulations

To prevent damage, always adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended weight limits. Regularly inspect the weight of the cargo and evenly distribute it to minimize undue stress from unbaaxle. Having an estimated weight of all your cargo helps to prevent overloading your vehicle. Additionally, training staff on the importance of weight management will minimize the risks.

Poor Maintenance

Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to premature wear of the axle. An axle's health directly influences the overall truck performance, making its upkeep paramount. Failure to address minor issues can lead to more significant, often irreversible damages. Some examples of these catastrophic failures include axle warping and axle snapping due to overheating. 

Establish a routine inspection schedule. Regularly check for signs of wear, cracks, or any abnormalities. Incorporate axle checks in your maintenance routine, ensuring that small issues are caught early. Seek professional assistance if anything appears out of the ordinary. 

Rough Road Conditions

Potholes, rough terrains, and uneven roads can cause abrupt shocks to the axle. Over time, these repetitive impacts can lead to fractures or bending of the axle. Continuous exposure to bad roads not only harms the axle but can also affect other critical truck components. Whenever possible, choose routes with well-maintained roads. When faced with unavoidable rough terrains, drive cautiously and at reduced speeds. Utilize GPS and route-planning tools that factor in road conditions. Stay informed about upcoming routes and prepare the truck accordingly.

Lack of Lubrication

An inadequately lubricated axle experiences increased friction, leading to overheating and, eventually, damage. Proper lubrication extends the lifespan of the axle and ensures smooth rotation, directly impacting the truck's efficiency. Without fluids to prevent overheating leading to axle warpping or snapping. 

Ensure that the axle and its components are well-lubricated at all times. Regularly check and replace the lubricants as per the manufacturer's recommendations. Documentation of lubrication schedules helps regulate maintenance and keeps your vehicle equipped with high-quality lubricants designed for heavy-duty applications. If you’re unsure about the state of your heavy-duty truck at any time, consult with experts to ensure optimal lubrication practices.

Excessive Mileage

Axles, like all components, have a lifespan. Constantly pushing a truck to its limits without giving it adequate breaks or replacement will lead to excessive axle damage. Excessive mileage without proper care can reduce the overall lifespan of the truck, leading to early component wear. The inefficiencies of the axle accelerates component damage. 

Adhere to the recommended mileage intervals for axle check-ups. If your truck is frequently used for long-haul journeys, consider more frequent inspections and maintenance. Keeping a strict log of miles traveled can help in scheduling timely checks. Drivers should report any unusual sounds or behaviors, as they can be early indicators of axle issues. Finally, if your axles have exceeded the recommended milage then it’s best to replace. Axles that have past their expiration date have increased safety risks and accelerate vehicle wear. Safety risks include axle warping and axle snapping. 

Inadequate Suspension Systems

A weak or failing suspension system doesn’t absorb road shocks effectively, transferring more stress to the axle. This not only endangers the axle but also results in a less comfortable ride, affecting driver efficiency. Ensure that the suspension system is in top condition. Replace worn-out parts promptly and consider upgrading to heavy-duty suspension systems if you often carry heavy loads. Regularly inspect the suspension components for wear, and consider periodic shock and strut checks. 

Driver Habits

Aggressive driving, such as sharp turns, sudden stops, and high-speed driving over rough terrains, can jolt the axle and lead to potential damage. Such behaviors not only endanger the axle but also increase the risks associated with road accidents.

Train drivers to adopt smooth driving habits. Emphasize the importance of gradual acceleration and braking, and cautious navigation of turns and rough patches. By highlighting the consequences of aggressive driving, fleet managers will instill a sense of responsibility. 

Contact Us

Safeguarding the axle's integrity is a keystone to the optimal performance of heavy-duty trucks. Contact Merx TT for a holistic approach, encompassing proper maintenance, informed decisions, and attentive care to axle-related issues. Taking these preventive measures seriously not only ensures the truck's durability but also its safety, efficiency, and reliability on the road.