Steering shafts: A common fault that’s often overlooked

Universal steering shafts are almost always overlooked when trouble shooting steering systems, yet according to Hydrosteer’s experience, they are one of the most common faults that the company encounters.

Steering shafts incorporate a slip assembly to take care of the relative movement between cabs and the frame mounted steering gear. The relative movement can be considerable particularly on cab over engine (COE) vehicles with soft cab suspensions. If this slip assembly seizes, or if it partially seizes, then a considerable load can be applied to the steering gears input shaft thrust bearing and steering shaft bearings. In many cases, this load will end up causing premature failure of the steering gear. The application of load to the steering gears input shaft can also cause the input shaft seal to leak.

In some of the older steering gear designs, the input shaft must move in and out as the load is applied to the steering wheel so it can move a hydraulic valve which then provides hydraulic assistance. If the steering slip shaft is seized, then that steering gear’s valve may not operate or it may operate unpredictably.

As part of your routine maintenance, it’s important to always check the steering shaft for its ease of movement and slip.

Hydrosteer was established in June 1981, possessing over 40 years of experience in heavy truck steering systems. Over that time, it has developed diagnostic techniques to diagnose all manner of steering issues. Hydrosteer has become a vital link between Australia and New Zealand’s heavy vehicle manufacturing and maintenance industries. By establishing itself as the leader in heavy truck steering technology in Australia, Hydrosteer is now the focal point for information relating to heavy truck steering.

Hydrosteer stocks a large range of universal steering slip shafts, and as it is able to manufacture locally Hydrosteer, has the capacity to design slip shafts for new installations, along with catering for all other requirements, including custom-made one offs.

Hydrosteer carries Australia’s largest range of heavy vehicle power steering products. The company is the authorized service agent for R.H. Sheppard and Z.F. Steering systems. 

Along with steering slip shafts, Hydrosteer also provides new and re-manufactured power steering gears, steering pumps to suit all makes and models, VIP steering wheels, mitre boxes and drag link assemblies that are made to OEM`s stringent quality specifications, and oil reservoir filters and parts.

For all your heavy vehicle steering requirements, please call Hydrosteer on 1300 010 338 or visit the website at hydrosteer.com.au.

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