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Flooded out? Follow these tips before putting trucks and trailers back into service

WINNIPEG, Man. -- Remove and completely disassemble assembly. Inspect for water and contaminant damage. Replace seals.


WINNIPEG, Man. — Remove and completely disassemble assembly. Inspect for water and contaminant damage. Replace seals.

These may be just a few of the chores fleet maintenance managers have to check off their lists if their vehicles are caught up in the flooding that’s occurring, or about to occur, in Manitoba and Northern Ontario this Spring.

Because of the heightened risk of flood conditions, we thought it was a good time to resurrect a technical bulletin Meritor posted last year in response to hurricane activity that saw many commercial vehicles partially submerged in contaminated floodwaters. While we hope the situation isn’t nearly that bad this Spring, preparation is never a bad idea.

Here are a few tips from Meritor. To review the entire technical bulletin (which includes guidance on more components than those listed below), download the PDF from the Documents section to the right of this article.

Rear Drive and Front Drive Axles:

* Remove and completely disassemble the carrier assembly. Inspect all components for water and contaminant damage that includes rust and corrosion. Replace damaged components.

* Clean housings to ensure you remove all water and contaminants.

* Replace all seals. (Do not re-use seals).

* Replace breather assembly.

Front Non-Drive Steer Axle:

* Remove and disassemble wheel-end and steering knuckle assembly.

* Inspect all components for water and contaminant damage and replace damaged components.

* Replace all seals.

Tie rods:

* Inspection is not possible; replace all tie rod ends.

Trailer axles:

* Inspect components for water and contaminant damage, including rust and corrosion. Replace damaged components.

* Remove spindle and end plugs. Drain any water that has entered the axle tube cavity.

* Blow air through inside of the tube to clean and dry tube cavity.

* Replace spindle end plugs.

Transfer Cases:

* Remove and disassemble the transfer case assembly.

* Clean housing to ensure you have removed all water and contaminants.

* Inspect all components for water and contaminant damage, including rust and corrosion.

* Replace breather assembly.

* Replace all seals.

Brake Drums and Rotors:

* Remove and inspect brake drums and rotors for water and contaminant damage, including rust and corrosion. If you find rust on the braking surface, remove it with a light emery cloth.

* Thoroughly clean all surfaces, including debris on the rotor cooling vanes.

* Clean and remove all contaminants from the ABS tooth wheel surfaces, as well as air gaps between teeth.

Shock Absorbers:

* Replace all shock absorbers.


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