The local fire department maintenance director reached out to us to inspect a firetruck that showed signs of trailing arm damage. Upon inspection, found that the trailing arm was misaligned due to several repairable issues. The misalignment of the trailing arm caused rub damage between the U-Bolts and the actual frame of the firetruck.
Upon receiving the firetruck at our shop, we removed the wheels and airbags from the trailing arm and did a thorough inspection including dye-penetrate. No cracks were found. We filled in the damage to the firetruck’s frame with 7018 welding rod, installed new U-Bolts and did another thorough inspection of the damaged area after our welding procedure.
No other defects were found. We added strengthing bars to the bottoms of the axles hold down plates to ensure they didn’t flex again, which caused the initial damage. We finished up the project by properly torquing all the U-Bolts and wheels back to their proper specifications.
Firetruck Frame Repairs
The initial inspection showed various issues in relation to the twisting of the trailing arm. After removing the wheels and airbags, further damage was exposed to the underside of the axle. The pins that hold the plate to the axle were sheared off.
Following our protocols, we repaired the various broken elements with an extensive amount of welding and grinding. We used certified welding techniques to repair the rub damage and fill in the frame damage.
After completing the repairs to our high standards, we do another thorough final inspection that consists of further dye-penetration testing and visual inspection. After sign-off by the shop foreman, our crew torqued all the bolts and wheels to the required 450 ft lbs.