Philip White Tyres, Specialists in Josam Wheel Alignment.
In, today’s competitive market with more fuel costs, it is utmost important to find and implement actions that reduce the cost for a heavy vehicle. Incorrect Wheel Alignment is one important factor, which is also easy to correct.
As a matter of fact, fuel consumption can be reduced by more than 10% if axles are aligned correctly. Tyre wear is another factor, which might be reduced. 100% increase of tyre life can turn into a-dream-come-true.
Impact on the environment.
ISO 14000, or equivalent programs, is starting to be a competive must for a fleet operator. Fuel use, vehicle
emissions and tyre wear are all important factors influencing the environment which can be reduced through correct wheel alignment.
Total wheel alignment with precision.
Traditional methods of wheel and axle alignment have relied on various simple tools like gauges. For a long period it was generally believed that it was only necessary to align the steering front axle and if toe was OK, the alignment was completed. Today we know that there are many factors directly influencing the way the vehicle behaves on the road and that only minor misalignment makes a big difference. Manufacturers of axles and vehicles are continually reducing the tolerances of recommended angles for alignment realizing the importance of accuracy. All axles and wheels in driving position influence each other and therefore all axles must be aligned. When we specify all axles we also mean those of the semi-trailer’s. Experience as well as theory have proved that even if the tractor unit is perfectly aligned, a badly aligned semi-trailer will influence the truck’s behaviour to such an extent that road safety might be at risk.
Centre line as reference.
When a passenger car is aligned, most systems measure the wheel angles in relation to each other without considering the car’s body position. This is acceptable as the vehicle is quite short and narrow. But when you align the axles and wheels of a truck or a trailer using the same method, the body of the vehicle can be off a straight forward driving direction. If this is the case, the total air pressure on the vehicle will increase causing a higher fuel consumption.
The vehicle can also behave unstable on the road (dog track) as there will be increased pressure on one side of the vehicle and the driver must compensate by steering against. This will lead to increased tire wear and uncomfortable driving. Moreover, by using the vehicles total length instead of the wheel diameter, the accuracy is increased. An argurement against using the frame as reference is that the frame might not be straight. Driving with a distorted frame can badly influence the way the vehicle behave on the road. Therefore, if there is any reason to suspect that the frame is distorted, it must be measured and if necessary, straightened before the wheel alignment is performed.
There is a trend on the market to control the wheel alignment not only when you have extreme tire wear or uncomfortable driving but it is also turning into a part of the normal preventive service system. Corrections are made and the values before and after adjustment are stored in a database which facilitates following up the result
of the alignment.
Alignment starts with a vehicle check up.
Finally we would like to emphasize the importance of starting the alignment process by checking the vehicle’s condition. To measure a vehicle with broken or loose suspension parts, worn-out bushings, worn tie-rods or different diameter on the tires, is a waste of time. To measure and adjust without checking the play will certainly cause problems and costs in the long run.
For further information on Josam Wheel Alignment Contact us