Submerged Tractor and Trailer Wheel Ends: Guidelines for Inspecting and Restoring

From hail storms and high winds to fog and heavy rain, each season brings its’ own unique challenges to the transportation industry. Though fleets and professional drivers are trained and well-prepared for all sorts of extreme weather, an unprecedented weather pattern or an unusually strong storm can test even the most experienced and prepared professional.

Hurricane season 2018 was exceptionally challenging for many fleets as two record-breaking storms hit back-to-back. Relentless rain and wide-spread flooding in the southeast left many of the area’s major roads and highways underwater. Stretches of 1-40, I-95 and US Route 70 were impassable for days and flood waters left many vehicles stranded either partially or fully submerged in water.

Lumberton, NC: Many roads leading to town flooded including I-95 pictured here.(Bradley Logan/NGB-SRSC)
Rain, storm surges and overflowing rivers left many vehicles along the southeastern coast with water damage. (photo courtesy http://www.weather.gov)

Hurricane Florence, making landfall Sept 2018, was the wettest tropical cyclone ever reported in North Carolina and the eighth-wettest overall in the contiguous United States. From September 13th to the 15th, heavy rain continued drenching the Carolinas as the storm refused to leave the area.

Just a few weeks later, Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle as the strongest storm to make landfall in the continental US since 1992. It was also the first Category 4 storm to ever hit the area.

The storms challenged many fleets by leaving a wake of damaged vehicles behind, seemingly overnight. Water damage was prevalent, and even after the rain moved out, storm surges and overflowing rivers continued to compound the issue. Once a tractor trailer has been submerged in water, certain components, such as the wheel-ends, can begin to corrode. Exposure to salt water, because of its’ corrosive nature, is even worse.


Water can cause wheel ends to corrode – degrading lubricants and metal components. Salt water, because of its’ corrosive nature, is even worse.

Faced with a number of units now out of service, fleets had to react quickly to begin the process of accessing and repairing the damage. Even if damage is not immediately evident, inspecting and restoring a water-damaged unit before placing it back into service is critically important and can help avoid a possible catastrophic failure in the future.

Learn more about the proper procedures and guidelines for restoring submerged tractor and trailer wheel ends in this free downloadable guide from Timken.

Download this free 4-page pdf, “Restoration Guidelines for Submerged Tractor and Trailer Wheel Ends” to learn more about inspecting and safely restoring a water-damaged unit.

ABOUT RYDER FLEET PRODUCTS:
Ryder Fleet Products is the aftermarket parts online business of Ryder Systems, Inc. – a Fortune 500 commercial transportation, logistics and supply chain management solutions company. With over 80 years of experience maintaining the most reliable fleet in America, Ryder understands the unique challenges inherent in the transportation industry. Learn more at www.RyderFleetProducts.com and explore our selection of over 60,000 medium and heavy-duty aftermarket truck parts from the industry’s most respected and reliable brands.

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