View Full Version : What are the chances and what could cause this??

Soleil Shepherd
11-14-2009, 11:36 PM
What a wonderful day it turned out to be! Not.

I received a call from one of our employee's around 4pm today from the water station. Turns out 5 of the 8 lug nuts on our truck were broken right off. What would cause this?
We just had it in for it's annual safety inspection 2 weeks ago and they had the tires off to replace the back breaks, I'm thinking it has to be related.
This tire had been smoking our first day back on the road, but the mechanic assured us that it was just lube burning as he greased it up like crazy due to the fact that the tires had been seized on.

Anyways, before I demand a free repair, what do you guys think? Ever seen this happen before? It's a Ford E350 SuperDuty and we usually haul about 700 gallons of water.

Thanks for your input!

The Cleaning Doctor
11-14-2009, 11:43 PM
I would say they did not torque the lug nuts properly

John Orr
11-15-2009, 05:55 AM
Actually, you should be counting you blessings! Think for a moment if the wheel had come off while your man was driving!? The potential for damage/injury is staggering. I would call this a good day and give your employee a bonus (or at least a gold star) for spotting the trouble before anything really bad happened.

John Orr
11-15-2009, 05:58 AM
Oh yeah, I would also give the garage that did the work an opportunity to make it right. I think that when they see how much worse the situation could have been, they'll be happy to fix it. At a minimum, they need to be aware of what happened so that they can be more careful in the future.

11-15-2009, 06:48 AM
I have had 2 trucks over the years that had a tendency to lose tires. I used to be able to change studs in 20 minutes on the side of the road, it happend so much. No mechanic could tell me what was wrong.

To make a long story short, The base cause was the center bolt on the spring stack. There is a bolt that holds all of your leaf springs together. It goes right through the stack in the middle of your axle. Typically it is a 3/8" bolt. It is not the 2 U bolts that hold the axle to the springs.

A old tire guy told me they will snap sometimes if you have to beat the tire to get them off the studs. Just some thing to check if it happens again.

11-15-2009, 08:16 AM
Coming out of the shop, a tire shouldn't be smoking like that. I used to work in the tire business and we never had any lug nuts break off like that. Two possibilities come to mind. First, the lug nuts may have been cross threaded while the mechanic was tightening the wheel. Thus it could cause some of the lug nuts to appear to be tightened the whole way but in reality some could've been loose. This could cause the tire to wobble slightly causing the smoke out of the hub and then causing the lug nuts to break off. Second possibility is that the mechanic just didn't tighten the lug nuts enough and some of them loosened up enough to cause some of them to get to the point of failure. Either way, the garage should take care of the issues for you. Don't try and remove the other lug nuts because they may be cross threaded and you may break off another one. You will find out how bad it is when the garage tries to take the tire off the truck. The garage should be more than happy to fix it, fixing some lug nuts on a truck is much easier than fixing body work on the truck. It's hard to know exactly but a respectable garage should take care of the issues. One other thing I would get them to do is check the other side lug nuts. You may have just been fortunate that this didn't happen on the other side. Good luck!

Soleil Shepherd
11-15-2009, 10:28 AM
Thank you for the info guys! It's been towed to the garage, and the shop is already talking about how these things just happen. It's okay though, I know the owner very well and it will be fixed for free. :got-hooligan:

John - I love your positive attitude and wish I'd spoken to you last night! The employee did not get a bonus but he did get a pat on the back and a thank you out of the deal :)

Now I've got to go make nice with some clients that aren't going to get serviced today :redface: