SKF, a Swedish manufacturer of bearings and seals founded in 1907, introduced its new TraX wheel-end monitor to TTMA members during a presentation at the association’s annual meeting in Bonita Springs, Florida.
“We believe trouble-free operation is key for uptime and cost of ownership, and we bring innovation to support that,” said Cengiz Shevket, vice president of innovation and customer value for the Americas.
“Last year, in the spring, we brought the X-Treme seal to the market, and received a (PACE) innovation award for being the best-performing seal in the market, and today we introduce a new product to support trouble-free operation (TFO).
“Its name is TraX, and it’s part of the overall trouble-free operation family of products.”
Unscheduled downtime due to vehicle breakdowns can cost fleets “thousands” of dollars in repairs per event and damage their reputation, SKF said. And when wheel-end problems occur, they can range from costly and inconvenient, to catastrophic.
“To help prevent potentially serious losses associated with wheel-end failures and wheel-end thermal events, SKF developed the TraX wheel-end monitoring solution,” the company claimed in its video.
TraX is the latest addition to SKF’s product portfolio, which includes Scotseal TF Hubcaps, Spindle nut system, tapered bearing sets and Scotseal X-Treme, providing all the components necessary to rebuild and maintain wheel ends.
“Now, with the addition of the SKF TraX, you can rely on SKF knowledge and expertise to contribute to the monitoring of your wheel ends, ultimately helping fleets control operating costs, cut downtime risks and improve safety,” SKF maintained.
Suitable for trucks, trailers and buses, TraX includes a sensor unit that bolts onto each wheel to monitor bearing vibration and wheel-end temperature. The unit wirelessly transmits health updates to an on-board gateway that sends the data to an SKF or third-party cloud, and an app on the driver’s smart phone, then to a fleet maintenance location.
“If wheel-end health starts to deteriorate, the app alerts the fleet maintenance center and the driver long before failure occurs, so timely repairs can be scheduled,” SKF said.
If a thermal event is detected, the fleet is alerted immediately, so the driver can pull over and avoid catastrophic failure. If vibration is detected, the notification is delivered up to 10,000 miles before failure typically would occur, allowing fleet managers to schedule service well in advance.
SKF estimates a 5,000-trailer fleet can save up to $3.6 million annually on maintenance and downtime expenses with TraX, which also predicts and helps avoid thermal events, potentially saving up to $1.5 million per event.
Combined with SKF’s TFO warranties, available for up to seven years, TraX offers fleets an “unmatched level” of wheel-end reliability, the company said.
SKF, in association with General Bearing and PSI, offers TFO wheel-end warranty packages for trailer manufacturers that include:
- Proven high-quality components
- Simplified sourcing and reduced transaction costs
- Free training for fleets
- Flexibility, with no requirement to purchase pre-assembled kits or other components; and
- Industry-leading coverage of three, five or seven years.
Visit vsm.skf.com for more information.