While mandated by the US DOT, a physical walkaround of a truck prior to operation is quite vague on the specifics. This has led many fleets implementing their own procedures and requirements.
A number of fleets have had lug nut failures in the past and have since implemented a procedure that requires physically touching each lug nut to verify that it is at “minimum hand tight”. This can be a costly endeavor for a fleet that employs hourly drivers; for this example, we will examine a mid sized fleet with 500 power units and 1500 trailers.
80% of the power units are active 5 days a week.
Drivers follow the procedure of touching each nut.
PU’s (power units)= 60 nuts, Trailers = 40 nuts
Each Driver cost the company $35/hr
Cost of Torque-Tight acquisition:
PU’s, 500 x 60 = 30,000 nuts
Trailers, 1500 x 40 = 60,000 nuts
90,000 total nuts/indicators @ $0.34/ea, Total Investment $30,600.00
During the Walkaround, on average each driver will spend 2 additional minutes physically touching each lug nut on a PU, and 1.5 min on a trailer.
400 x 3.5 = 23.33 hrs (1400 min) per day
23.33 x $35 = $816.55 / day
$30,600 / $816.55 = 37.47 days
The initial investment of the Torque-Tight lug nut indicators is recouped in a short 38 days.