TYRES: Loose wheel indicators

By: Amie Hickland


An Australian manufacturer is encouraging the use of loose wheel nut indicators

TYRES: Loose wheel indicators
The loose nut indicator

An Australian manufacturer is encouraging bus companies to take up the use of loose nut indicators for wheels — which provide pre-emptive safety checks after releasing the latest version of the product this year.

Redcat Industries Director Ron Mason is encouraging bus operators to start using the product which provides a highly effective, efficient and inexpensive visual method of identifying and pre-empting loose wheels.

Loose wheel nuts are generally due to the three main causes - human error, stud fatigue stretch and hub and wheel settling - all issues which cannot be resolved by simply preventing the nut from turning.

Mason says the latest version of the indicator was released earlier this year and is encouraging bus operators to undertake the use of the product which other transport industries are already doing.

"After listening to customer’s wishes, we’ve designed a new indicator which provides the same advantages as our standard indicator but also provides an additional level of safety by preventing the nut from further loosening and also indicating the nut is loose," he says.

"Bus companies have been extremely slow in the uptake of this indicator."

The indicators are already widely used in the transport and mining industries in Australia and around the world and retail for about $2 each.

"We can provide this really high quality indicator at a fraction of the price of other products," Mason says.

"The indicator system is by far a superior one."

CONTINENTAL TYRES

International tyre manufacturer and supplier Continental recently opened a new plant in Germany, which boasts a world-first technology for re-treading bus and truck tyres.

The plant integrates a cutting-edge facility with a proprietary industry-scale rubber recycling unit — a technology developed by Continental.

By producing re-treaded tyres with product characteristics that are on par with new tyres, the company has taken a strategic step and heralds a new era for its LifeCycle business.

"When we started this project, our aim was to bring our LifeCycle solution closer to new tyre production," Board of Continental Executive Member and Head of Tyre Division Nikolai Setzer says.

"Within a timeframe of less than 18 months, we planned and built a plant that not only catered to necessities, but pushed the boundaries of what is possible.

"We have put all of our knowledge from tyre engineering and manufacturing into the ContiLifeCycle Plant and thus reached a new level in terms of product performance and characteristics."

These characteristics were achieved by implementing production techniques from the company’s new tyre production as well as refining existing re-treading technology.

Based in Hannover-Stocken, the new re-treading factory will have a projected annual capacity of 180,000 re-treaded tyres once full capacity is reached.

As part of the ContiLifeCycle Plant, the company has also developed a recycling process for the tread powder that arises during re-treading.

"We put our already-cured tread powder through a series of different processing steps, so that we can reverse the curing process," Vice President Product Development & Industrialisation Commercial Vehicle Tyres Boris Mergell says.

"The recycled material is of such high and controlled quality that it can be used for tyre compounding without hesitation."

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