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Undetected salt corrosion and erosion in steering system causes tanker truck rollover

  • What happened?

    A truck/tanker was transporting produced water from a gas processing facility.

    The vehicle rolled over on a road during the journey.

    The driver and passenger suffered only minor injuries  and less than 1 barrel of water was released.

    Emergency response was quickly initiated after the incident. The truck/tanker was recovered after de-bunkering the load.

    The consequences of the incident were minimised through full compliance with road transport controls.

    The turned over tanker positioned between the road and the side of the road.
  • Why did it happen?

    The steering rod separated completely from the ball stud (see diagram).

    The driver felt he was unable to steer and pushed the brakes, which activated the electronic braking system (EBS). The truck made a harsh turn to the right.

    Technical inspection of the steering system revealed that salt corrosion and erosion took place inside the joint over a period of time.

    Corrosion started after salt/dampness contamination occurred in the joint due to damage/small cracks developing on rubber boot.

    The ball passed all monthly visual and mechanical tests and remained in use.

    The steering rod separated from the ball stud.
  • What did they learn?

    Verify that computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) incorporates recommended maintenance and inspection standards for (safety) critical systems.

    Develop assurance programme to provide evidence of compliance with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) - based on CMMS and the local regulatory requirements for vehicle roadworthiness.

    What learn - icon
  • Ask yourself or your crew

    How can something like this happen here?

    How do you know if maintenance and inspections on vehicles is effective and in accordance with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requirements?

    If this happened to you, what mitigations could be taken to minimise the impact?  Think about:

    • Planning the journey
    • Behaviours while driving
    Ask your crew - icon
Published on 18/12/19 79 Views 0 likes

A truck/tanker was transporting a load when it rolled over. The cause was an undetected fault with the steering system.