Each year throughout Australia there are hundreds of incidents involving wheel loss on heavy vehicles. In some cases the driver is not even aware that the wheels are missing from the vehicle until it is pointed out by another road user or discovered whilst doing a walk around during their next stop. These incidents are not only costly for operators due to loss of wheels and tyres and damage to equipment and property but can also result in death. There have been several fatalities recorded in Australia in the past few years as a result of innocent victims having been struck by runaway truck wheels.
Wheel nuts losing torque and vibrating off are one of the major causes of these dangerous incidents. There are several factors which may play a part in the nuts vibrating off including incorrect initial tension or lack of re-checking, shock loading on studs through clipping objects such as gutters etc, dirt or paint between a set of dual wheels and several other factors.
The Squirrel wheel safety device by is designed to reduce the incidence of wheel loss by applying a direct force against the side of the wheel nut, preventing it from vibrating off should there be any loss of clamping force. As opposed to nut indicator type devices which can only provide an indication of nut movement whilst the vehicle is stationary, the Squirrel is constantly providing protection whilst the vehicle is in motion.
Manufactured in Australia from an engineered U.V stabilised nylon material the Squirrel is designed to withstand temperatures generated by start stop operations or heavy braking. The Squirrel is available in 10 stud 285mm and 335mm sizes for 22.5" rims and also 8 stud 275mm to fit 19.5" rims. It is easily fitted without the use of special tools and can be used over and over again.
The Squirrel is now in use by some of the country's largest transport operators. Industry sectors currently fitting the Squirrel include auto logistics, concrete cartage, waste collection, road tankers, mining operations, bus operators and general freight. The Squirrel has featured at recent truck shows in the USA and Tulip now has distributors throughout the US and Canada.