Truck Fire on the Nullarbor Plain: Reduce Incidences with Bearing Maintenance

Truck Fire on the Nullarbor Plain: Reduce Incidences with Bearing Maintenance

Nullarbor truck fire in March 2022

On 7th February, several vehicles caught fire while waiting to cross the South Australia border into Western Australia.

It is reported that the fire started due to one of the trucks having either faulty wheel brakes or bearings, matched with high weather temperatures. The flames travelled to and destroyed surrounding vehicles, as well as their cargo.

Luckily, no one was injured in this unfortunate event. However, it is likely the situation could have been avoided with proper vehicle maintenance.

Nullarbor truck fire in March 2022

Reduce Incidences with Bearing Maintenance

Maintenance is the key to avoiding bearing failure. Bearing housings, rolling elements, and mountings should be regularly serviced to avoid premature failure. However, it’s also important to ensure you’re not buying counterfeit bearings.

For help with wheel bearing maintenance and linear bearing maintenance, follow our bearing maintenance checklist to ensure your machinery continues running at optimal performance.

1. Use the Correct Tooling

The best way to avoid damaging a bearing and the bearing housing is by using specialised equipment. This includes pieces of equipment such as bearing pullers and bearing fitting tool kits.

Using specialised tools reduces the risk of damage, leading to expensive repairs down the line.

2. Handle Bearings with Care

Bearings are essential parts of mechanical equipment and vehicles. Contaminants such as dirt or a superficial defect can hinder the performance of bearings and cause bearing failures.

Only handle bearings in a clean and dry environment where the possibility of damaging the bearing is limited.

3. Cleaning Bearings

Bearings should be carefully rinsed with light oil or kerosene. No tools should be used to clean bearings to avoid scratching their components. Instead, bearings should be bathed in the oil and gently swayed to dislodge any debris and old lubrication.

It is essential to know that light oil and kerosene are flammable. After you have cleaned the bearings, gently dry them with a soft cloth to remove the oil.

4. Apply Proper Lubrication

It is essential to use the correct lubricant for your bearing. The type of lubrication your bearing requires should be specified by the manufacturer in the bearing specification manual. If the incorrect lubricant is used, it can cause bearing failure.

5. Use the Correct Mounting Method

The mounting and dismounting process is different for each bearing and the machinery it is mounted directly onto.

There are three general bearing mounting processes:

  1. Press-fit method: The bearing is mounted by pressing the bearing onto the shafts
  2. Shrink-fit: The mounting is achieved by heating the bearing steel to expand its diameter
  3. Tapered bores: The bearing is mounted directly on tapered or cylindrical shafts with the use of tapered sleeves

Update Your Bearings with Statewide Bearings

Statewide Bearings supplies Australian businesses with the highest quality bearings.

Contact us today if you have any further questions about wheel bearing maintenance, roller bearing maintenance, or linear bearing maintenance.