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Be Sure Your Mechanics Are Validating Torque Wrenches Regularly

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Be Sure Your Mechanics Are Validating Torque Wrenches Regularly

Looking for tire repair services that you can count on? It is common to take your vehicle to a mechanic and assume they will do the work needed without question and to the best practices in the industry. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

Here’s one simple, but important, thing to check: Be sure your mechanics are validating their torque wrenches on a regular basis before working on your rig. Here’s why this matters.

Why Is Torque Wrench Validation Important?

Tire shops do not just sell tires. They are providing tools to their mechanics that are necessary to keep drivers and others on the road safe. All work they do must be done to meet best practice expectations while also ensuring the quick service and competitive price customers expect. Even simple tasks, such as putting the wheels back on their hubs, must be done with precision to ensure safety.

A core part of that process is ensuring that torque wrenches are in their best possible condition. Since nearly every tire job involves removing the lug nuts and replacing them, it is not uncommon for the wrong tension to be applied, creating the risk of damage. If the technician uses too many foot pounds of torque, that can lead to shearing, deforming, warping, or other damage to the hub. If there’s not enough torque, it’s too loose. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to ensure the torque wrench is properly calibrated.

When you think about it, almost every repair or maintenance activity performed on a big rig that involves removing nuts or bolts also involves a torque wrench – so it’s not just about wheels.

Calibration Goals for Torque Wrenches

Tire shops should pay close attention to torque wrench calibration on a consistent basis. If there’s a noticeable problem, calibrating right away is essential. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Frequency: Generally, calibrating torque should be done after every 2,500 repetitions. The wrench’s performance is impacted between 2,500 and 3,000 repetitions; hence, doing so at the early point helps reduce costly mistakes.
  • Scheduling: One of the best ways for shops to ensure calibration happens is to schedule it at least twice a year. There’s no downside to calibrating it more frequently.
  • Errors: Another factor that plays a role is noticeable changes. If the torque wrench meets or exceeds 25% of its overload limit, calibrate it. If you are seeing notable errors beyond the accepted limits, calibrate it as well.

As a fleet owner or manager, when you’re taking your vehicle to a mechanic for tire-related repair, ask questions about their torque wrench calibrations. Do they include it in their regular maintenance and service checklist? When was the last time they did so?

While you may want to assume they are doing what’s necessary to keep you and your driver safe, there’s good reason to do this. That’s especially true, thanks to the high demand on mechanics right now coupled with a staffing shortage. You cannot be too careful!

Get Trusted Tire Repair In Your Area

When you need tire repair near you, get to know your local team of mechanics carefully. Are they following the rules to do their best? At STTC, we work with many drivers each day, providing exceptional solutions for many tire needs. Ask us any questions, and we’ll answer them confidently. If you need repairs or new tires, call 610-954-8473 or contact us online. We’re happy to help!

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