A light vehicle travelling at low speed through a mine industrial area struck a pot hole and the wheel rim separated from the hub section of the front offside tyre. Rim failure can cause a driver to lose control, leading to a collision or roll-over, with high potential for impact injury to the occupants. Had the vehicle been travelling at high speed, a different outcome could have resulted.
The rim failure was due to fatigue cracking, starting on the internally facing rim side, around the base of the spokes. A mine investigation found several similar Speedy Avalanche 16 X 7 alloy rims for four-wheel drive vehicles were also cracked.
Harsh mine site conditions might contribute to the failure. Safety Alert 211 Light Vehicle Rim Cracking was issued in 2008 in response to a similar incident with a steel rim: both incidents highlight the role of site conditions that need to be managed.
The varying product quality of mass-produced components, such as wheels, is a factor in their failure.
1. An on-site non-destructive testing (NDT) regime be developed and implemented for all light
vehicle rims, steel and alloy.
2. Original equipment manufacturers be consulted on what type of rim is fit for purpose.
3. All cracked or suspect rims be replaced with types identified as fit for purpose.
4. Roads be maintained to an acceptable standard and vehicle speeds be suitable for the surface.
Chris Skelding | Manager Safety and Health, Central Region
Contact: Bruce McKinnon, Inspector of Mines, +61 7 4967 0866
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The rim failure at the base of the spokes