SKF’s TraX Monitor: The wheel deal in preventing road risks

SKF is pushing the boundaries of automotive safety with its latest breakthrough: the TraX Wheel End Monitor.

This cutting-edge device is transforming vehicle maintenance, offering drivers real-time protection against the often unpredictable hazards of the road by tracking wheel bearing vibrations and temperatures with unmatched accuracy. This upgrade is the result of active customer engagement, ensuring that the solution not only meets but exceeds the current market expectations.

Chris Hayes, SKF’s automotive product manager, along with Andy Hicks, business manager vehicle service, combine for an impressive 35 years of industry experience. They have seen firsthand the critical importance of diligent wheel end maintenance.

“There have been high-risk scenarios in the past with petrol tankers in particular, that could have resulted in dangerous circumstances, hadn’t it been for effective wheel end monitoring through SKF solutions,” they shared, highlighting the significance of the TraX Wheel End Monitor in preventing potential hazards.

As part of SKF’s commitment to providing the best solutions to their customers, several trials have been conducted over the last 12 months in some of the harshest conditions in the country, both on and off-road. The TraX has been rigorously tested on a multitude of axle configurations, including various standard taper roller bearing arrangements as well as the unitised bearings.

Originally created to tackle vibration issues in unitised bearings, the TraX Wheel End Monitor has been enhanced with additional features to improve its functionality and user experience.

“For example, we incorporated temperature monitoring into this new version, but also kept it user-friendly,” Hayes elaborated. “The product is bolted between two-wheel studs and set with a magnet, and it starts to monitor the bearings for possible faults that could arise straight away once the vehicle is in motion.”

Hicks emphasises the economic benefits of the TraX system, pointing out the reduced cost of ownership due to the absence of a need for preventative wheel bearing replacements.

“This makes it the most economical retrofittable solution for wheel end monitoring,” Hicks noted. “The TraX Wheel End Monitor is also unique compared with other products on the market because as far as we’re aware, we’re the only ones offering the bearing monitoring.”

He continued, “Others have sensors that will do tyre pressure and temperature. Whereas our solution offers monitoring of the wheel end for vibration and temperature and can be reset once potential issues have been addressed.”

Looking ahead, SKF is not resting on its laurels. They are actively developing further enhancements for the TraX Wheel End Monitor, including Bluetooth connectivity and integrated telematics to align with global technological trends and specific customer requirements. The timing of these releases will align with market demand, underscoring SKF’s customer-centric approach.

Both managers underscore their commitment to progressive development, driven by genuine user engagement.

“Customer feedback is core to our research and development. We’re continually striving to improve,” said Hayes, reaffirming the company’s dedication to innovation.

To discover how the TraX Wheel End Monitor can enhance road safety and streamline vehicle maintenance, visit SKF’s website.

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