Enginner using torque wrench on commercial vehicle

Too often, wheels become detached from commercial vehicles during use, causing damage to property, serious injury or death.

When a wheel becomes detached from a moving bus, coach, lorry or trailer, it can accelerate to speeds of up to 90mph. Academics have likened this to a bouncing bomb, as the wheel soars to a height of up to 50m before dropping and potentially colliding with other road users at an equivalent force of around ten tonnes.

Although many people refer to the loss of wheels from commercial vehicles as a mystery, research by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) found one of the main reasons for wheel loss is a result of careless torque practices.

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Calibrated torque wrench in use

The differences between ISO 6789:2003 (withdrawn) and ISO 6789:2017

ISO defines the standards that torque tool calibrations must follow. In 2017, the 2003 standard (ISO 6789:2003) was withdrawn and replaced with the 2017 standard (ISO 6789:2017).

Although the 2003 standard is now classified as ‘withdrawn’, it is still requested by torque tool users and remains widely used by calibration laboratories.

Read on for an explanation of the difference between the standards and how it will affect the type of torque tool calibration your business will need.

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Torque wrench calibration

Anyone who uses torque tools knows that over time, general usage alongside wear and tear can have a detrimental impact on the tool’s internal workings, leading to the tool delivering more or less torque than intended to. As a result, fasteners may end up too loose, allowing them to back off under stress, or too tight, causing them to deform, shear, or otherwise break.

During the lifespan of a torque wrench, it is bound to fall out of calibration. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the tool and a simple re-calibration will return the tool to delivering an accurate performance.

But businesses are often faced with a Goldilocks and the Three Bears scenario when wondering how often their torque wrenches need to be calibrated. Too often and you’ll be wasting money and causing disruption to processes. Not often enough and you could be producing faulty or defective products without realising, which you may be liable for if that product fails within the field.

So, what’s the ‘just right’ amount of torque wrench calibrations?

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Calibrated torque wrench in use

How the new ISO standards will affect torque tool users

ISO 6789:2017 is the new ISO standard for calibrating torque hand tools and was introduced as a revision to ISO 6789:2003.

Read on for an explanation of the change and how it will affect the type of torque tool calibration your business will need.

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