From the Archives: Trailer Wheel Separation

A trailer truck on its way to pick up a load lost its rear wheel assembly. The debris then impacted another vehicle in the on-coming traffic side of the road, injuring its driver.

An ACS engineer was assigned to investigate. By the time the trailer was available for inspection, the only remaining portions of the original wheel assembly were the hub/drum and inner bearing. Subsequent testimony revealed that the trailer truck driver did not maintain the wheel assembly. The inspection showed that the bearing journals of both spindles of the rear axle were discolored; the discoloration was consistent with inadequate lubrication. Furthermore, the employer of the trailer truck driver did not review receipts for whether he was properly maintaining the vehicle per US DoT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

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