Road Ready
Road Ready

SKF, Road Ready help Maverick Transportation avoid wheel-end incidents

Feb. 21, 2024
The SKF TraX WEM and Road Ready telematics system combine to provide early detection of truck and trailer wheel bearing damage to the driver or fleet manager. Early warning of wheel-end issues increases safety for the driver and reduces downtime and repair and replacement costs.

SKF TraX wheel end monitoring system and Road Ready’s advanced trailer telematics system are helping Maverick Transportation avoid wheel-bearing incidents while on the road.

Maverick Transportation, based in North Little Rock, Arkansas, with approximately 2,400 flatbed trailers and other specialty units, is leveraging TraX and Road Ready advanced trailer telematics and fleet management solutions on 900 trailers currently and aims to equip its entire fleet by the end of 2024.

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

Spalling—pitting or flaking away of bearing material—is an early sign of future failure, and knowing about it early allowed Maverick to address the issue well before there was any danger on the road.

“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,” Dane Hollar, VP of Road Ready sales, said. “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.”

See also: Increase fuel efficiency by employing wheel seals with lower friction generation

Maverick was able to harness the power SKF’s TraX WEM sensor through the Road Ready platform. Because Road Ready is designed to integrate multiple data feeds from a single trailer, the TraX WEM, installed at the outboard side of the truck wheel rim, alerted the system to unusual vibrations from the bearing so Maverick could service the trailer before catastrophic failure.

“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,” Cengiz Shevket, president of vehicle aftermarket sales, North America at SKF, said. “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.”

An estimated 750-1,050 wheel separations occur yearly, and 7,000 truck fires occur on the nation’s roadways yearly. 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 are preventable if monitored and maintained.

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