Learn about the advantages of this fully loaded hub assembly for commercial trailers.
Episode 96: In this episode, we are going to look at the wheel end of trailers. Ben McIvor is a sales representative for Specialty Sales and Marketing, a sales agency that represents heavy-duty manufacturers. Ben is representing SKF in this episode. Ben is a returning guest and was on the show in episode 26.
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A Fully Loaded Hub Assembly
SKF has entered the fully loaded hub assembly market. They are offering a combination of parts that have unique performance characteristics and provide repair shops and fleets with a total solution for trailer hubs.
“Everyone is trying to save money, and huge amounts are being spent on downtime and labor costs. We’ve always been striving to push the boundaries of the life of these components,” explained Ben McIvor, Sales Agent for SKF.
SKF fully loaded hub assemblies come equipped with:
- Dura-Lite Hub
- Scotseal X-Treme Wheel Seal
- Hyatt OE Bearings
SKF created this fully loaded hub assembly with the objective of cutting out the many steps involved in rebuilding or replacing wheel ends. This directly reduces labor costs and downtime which has a positive impact on fleets bottom line.
The Dura-Lite Hub has a higher tensile strength than iron (160,000 psi compared to 65,000 psi) and weighs far less than iron and even other aluminum hubs on the market. “It’s stronger than an iron hub and lighter than your standard aluminum hubs,” said McIvor.
The Dura-Lite Hub is durable and more affordable than aluminum and eliminates aluminum hub maintenance risks such as: galvanic corrosion, marred wheel and drum pilots, and stripped hub cap threads. Additionally, you don’t have the same issues with heating the hub to remove bearing cups if you need to service the hub in the future as you have with aluminum hubs.
The Scotseal X-Treme wheel seal is designed to withstand much higher heat than other wheel seals, requires no additional tooling to install, and comes with a 5-year warranty on the wheel seal which is extended to the entire loaded hub assembly when purchased as a unit. “This is our longest lasting seal that we’ve put on the market,” exclaimed McIvor.
“Many people don’t know that SKF purchased Hyatt in 2012. Hyatt is the largest OE manufacturer of bearings on the market and has been for decades. This is very beneficial and appealing for fleets of all sizes, because OE first fit components are sought after,” explained McIvor.
People generally want to put the same part back in that they took out, having the OE bearing part of this aftermarket solution provides fleets with a high-quality and trusted part that will perform at the OE specifications because it is the OE part.
When purchased as a fully loaded hub assembly these bearings come with the same 5-year warranty as the wheel seals. This provides fleets with a sense of security knowing that the repair costs related to the wheel end of their trailers are covered.
Aluminum Hubcaps and Vented Plugs
SKF is now manufacturing an aluminum hub cap with a one-way vented plug. “They may seem like small things, but they can be very beneficial to every fleet,” said McIvor.
These are the aluminum hubcap and plug benefits:
- Very popular on the market, people like the look of aluminum hub caps
- New TF vented center-fill plug with an internal oil splash shield to keep oil in and an outside cover to prevent road splash and pressure washer water from entering hub
- Magnetic side-fill plug that traps particles to protect seals and bearings
- Cloud free window – allows easy viewing of oil level
- Included corrosion resistant zinc plated bolts and a gasket
SKF Provides Savings for Fleets
The more steps you have in rebuilding a hub, the higher the labor costs and the longer the downtime. There are an average of 17 steps to rebuild a hub assembly which on average costs fleets $700 for the parts and labor.
“We actually have a return-on-investment calculator on our website that can help show you how much you can save using our fully loaded hub assembly,” explained McIvor. SKF cuts out around 10 steps with their fully loaded hub assembly and this saves on average over $200 per wheel end.
“Take a look at your fleet, count how many wheel ends need to be serviced and multiply by $200 and you will be able to calculate exactly how much you will save using this product. Add in the 5-year warranty and you’ve got a powerful solution that will lower cost-per-mile and the total cost of operation for your fleet,” concluded McIvor.
Complete Transcript of Episode:
You’re listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about the heavy-duty parts you buy and sell and keep you informed about what’s happening in the industry. Everyone is focused on helping fleets maximize uptime and there are many ways for us to help fleets with their uptime. One of those ways is by focusing on the wheel end of commercial trucks and trailers, and that’s the focus of today’s conversation. I’d like to introduce my guest. Ben McIvor is a sales representative for Specialty Sales and Marketing, a sales agency that represents heavy-duty manufacturers. Today Ben is going to be representing SKF. Now, if you recognize his name that’s because Ben is a returning guest, he was on the podcast back in episode 26 and there’ll be a link in the show notes if you’d like to go back and listen to that episode. Ben, welcome back to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. Happy to have you here.
Thank you for having me, Jamie. I appreciate you having me back.
So we’re going to talk about wheel-end today, but specifically, we’re going to talk about a fully loaded hub assembly. So why has SKF decided to manufacture this part?
That’s a great question. And, and you really nailed it on the head when you talked about uptime. As we, as we are seeing in the market, you know, everybody is trying to save a dollar or save, especially in large fleets are trying to save money wherever we can. And, and huge amounts of money is being spent on downtime and on labor costs. SKF is a, one of the world’s largest manufacturers wheel-end components when it comes to bearings, when it comes to seals and we’ve always been striving to push the boundaries of how long you can get life out of these components. The longer you can get life out of the components of your wheel end, the longer your truck or your trailer can stay on the road. And the longer that happens, the less cost there is involved. So really we have all of the components to go. We have the OE bearings, which we fitted. We have the longest lasting seal on the market, which we fitted. We have now the strongest hub which is which is available there. And we’ve created a fully loaded hub assembly for trailers. That is a true from blocks -to-spindle application, cutting out many steps along the way from rebuild to replace and allowing fleets to cut their downtime.
It makes so much sense to me. You’re already making all the parts, why not put them together into this solution? Let’s let’s talk about the individual components. So you kind of gave us a brief overview, but I’d like to go into a little bit more depth. So let’s talk about the hub that’s used in this fully loaded assembly. Now it’s the Dura-Light Hub. What makes it special?
What makes the Dura-Light Hub special is a great question because it’s, it’s quite simple. The Dura-Light Hub in the makeup of it is stronger ductile strength wise than your standard iron hubs. It’s also much lighter than your standard iron hubs and as well, it’s lighter than your aluminum hubs. And one of the things that fleets are looking for throughout is lightness because truly loads are getting heavier because trailers themselves are getting heavier. You need to find that lightness everywhere. You possibly can, whether that’s in the frame or the componentry. And so the Dura-Light Hubs themselves provide that for you now because of the makeup of them. You can actually mold them in such a way that you create more space on the interior. So not only are they lighter, but you can actually fit more lubrication into each of the hubs themselves and more lubrication inside the hubs means more lubrication for the componentry, which means longer life. And again, extending that metric between downtime. The other really nice thing about these hubs is the fact that they do not come with any of the aluminum downsides when it comes to repairing or anything. We all know that aluminum is fantastically strong, and we all know that aluminum is fantastically light. However, it does come with some pretty aggressive risks for maintenance, most shops that I know of, and are out there, don’t have an oven to heat hubs up evenly, aluminum hubs up evenly as, as it’s required. So they’re using torches or we’re using all that other type of equipment to do so which can be very problematic.
Sorry. So I just want to clarify, so when you’re talking about heating, is this like in the removal process you mean?
So aluminum hub manufacturers, they recommend the manufacturer, they recommend heating the hub in an oven, right to remove bearings, right? And you need to heat that hub and aluminum hub to between 175 and 215 Fahrenheit. But since few have the oven capacity in order to be able to do that, we start using torches and we can’t control that temperature so we get uneven heating on our bearing cups. Then you have to go in and remove with tooling and you run the risk of damaging your hubs and scoring your hubs through that process.
Okay. So I just want to make sure I got it right. So once they’ve installed the Dura-Light Hub, the fully loaded assembly with this Dura-Light Hub, if they ever have to take it off and do any kinds of repairs or anything like that, one of the disadvantages of the aluminum is that when you start heating them like that, you can do damage to them. Whereas with the Dura-Light, you’re not going to run into that issue.
Precisely essentially what the Dura-Light, if you think about it, I like to think about it this way. You get all of the low risk maintenance components of the standard iron hubs. You get all of the strength and lightness, plus a little bit more of the aluminum hubs without any of the risks. And because of its general ductile strength and makeup, the Dura-Light Hub can retain more lubrication than both the aluminum and the standard iron combined giving you greater life of your wheel end components.
Which of course, all of these things come together to maximize uptime, lower total cost of operation and lower the total cost per mile.
And that’s exactly what we’re going for with this loaded hub assembly. And it’s important to note with this loaded hub assembly that we’ve made that it is a conventional hub and not a preset hub, meaning it doesn’t have that spacer cone that sets your bearing distance apart. So a conventional hub will give you far greater play and leeway down the road when it does come to repair or maintenance, because you don’t need to have that spacer cone. Everybody is very familiar with a conventional hub system outer bearing, inner bearing set. You set your torque nut at the right, at the proper, specifications and proper play. And off you go; it gives you that greater added benefit down the road. If there is maintenance required, or if there is anything to be switched out, it allows everybody to be able to do that. And not just a specific piece.
Makes a lot of sense. So let’s talk about the seal that this fully loaded assembly comes with. What is it and what performance characteristics do users get to enjoy?
Well, we’ve talked about this before, Jamie, you and I, this fully loaded trailer hub comes with our Scotseal Extreme seal. Now this is our longest lasting seal that we’ve put out on the market. It is designed to take a much higher because of the onset applications of air disc brakes, which do create a higher heat because of the restrictions on stopping distances versus load. We have shorter stopping distances under greater load now, which creates a higher heat as well as higher pressure situations within our wheel ends themselves. And this Scotseal Extreme that we’ve put out on the market is still a hand installed seal. It’s still hand installable, meaning you don’t need any tools. You can push it in by hand. And it provides a five-year warranty to the rest of the entire unit, the loaded trailer hub itself. So because you’re using our Scotseal Extreme, you get five-year warranty on the entire loaded hub assembly itself, which is a very large cost saving measure for each and every fleet out there. You can imagine you have 500 units out on the road, like a very large fleet may have, and each of your wheel ends have a five-year warranty on them. That is a very nice thought to have as a service manager.
Yeah, absolutely. So we’re just going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back. Do you want to make your marketing stand out? Well you can’t sound or look like everyone else. If you sell heavy-duty parts it’s time to create your unique message, a message that truly stands out and we can help. Our team provides consulting and marketing services to heavy-duty companies. Go to heavydutypartsreport.com/standout to learn more, that’s heavydutypartsreport.com/standout. We’re back from our break. And we’ve been talking about SKF’s fully loaded hub assembly with Ben McIvor. Now, Ben, we’ve talked about the hub. We’ve talked about the seal. Let’s talk about the bearings that are with this fully loaded assembly. What bearings are we getting and what performance characteristics can we benefit from using the bearings in this fully loaded hub?
Well, the bearings that are in this fully loaded hub assembly are Hyatt bearings. Now a lot of people do don’t know that SKF purchased Hyatt in around 2012. Hyatt is the largest OE manufacturer of bearings on the market and has been for decades, almost all major manufacturers of truck and trailer use Hyatt bearings as their own first fit bearing. This is very beneficial and very appealing to fleets of any size out there because first fit components are sought after. And that’s what Hyatt brings to this fully loaded trailer hub. So it’s Hyatt bearings that are in there and trusted in the market for decades as the OE.
Yeah, that’s fantastic to get an OE product because we all know that there’s some favorites out there when it comes to aftermarket replacement, but who doesn’t want to put that OE quality product back on your unit and then get that five-year warranty that comes with the hub assembly. When you use this as a fully loaded assembly, is that extended to the bearings as well? Because you mentioned that with the seals.
One hundred percent. If you’re using an SKF seal such as the Scotseal Extreme, which has a five-year warranty, and you’re using any other SKF product, and in this case, we are talking about hub and we are talking about the bearings, those are both SKF products, and they both do get extended warranty of five years to them. So the whole hub assembly itself does benefit from that. You made a great point about, you know, everybody wants that OE first fit. And I run into that all the time when talking with fleets and whatnot, is this idea that, you know, what comes out, I like to put back in because it’s, it works or it’s trusted, but a lot of people don’t know that Hyatt is what comes out the first time because it is it hasn’t been in the aftermarket for very long and now it is available through the SKF in the aftermarket.
That’s fantastic. So you talked about when you start looking at like a five-year warranty and you start looking at your fleet. I always loved when I was selling parts and we worked together before on the road. I always loved to go into a fleet and talk to them about the total savings that they can experience or the amount of cost reduction they can achieve. So when we talk about uptime and savings, let’s talk some real numbers about what this could actually save a fleet.
That’s a fantastic question. And it is definitely something that we do talk about a lot in the field. People are very interested in actually seeing the numbers and we can provide that for them through SKF. We actually have a return on investment calculator built onto our website that you can access and see for yourself with your own costs how much money you can actually save. But to give you a good example of this a full rebuild is about 17 steps worth of worth of labor. Okay, now the more steps you have in any given time, the more downtime you are incurring, the longer it’s going to take, and the more labor that you are incurring, right? Somebody is having do the work for a longer period of time. And in a rebuild, you have to buy all of the individual components separately. And when we plug in all these numbers in SKF, on our average, we see these 17 steps as being about $700 give or take, on average.
Just labor, Or $700 for labor and parts?
That’s $700 in parts and labor and equivocating downtime.
The average cost of the whole thing.
Cost of the whole, correct. Now, if you take into consideration a true, box-to-spindle replacement, now you’ve cut out about 10 of those steps, right? You cut out all the cleaning time. You cut out all of the, all the parts costs, because all the parts are included and ready to go. And you cut a ton of your labor time, and we can save on average around $200 per wheel end. Now that’s around a $1000 per trailer just to give you a better, clearer example. And if you have to times that by how many trailers you’re going to be doing for your fleet in a year that can really add up very, very quickly, you get all brand new components for that. You get a much longer and greater extended warranty in your cost savings as well. And you really do cut down on your on your risk factor when it comes to maintenance. If that maintenance is not done properly or accurately. So all in all, I mean, you can save a lot of money, but you can also save a lot of time. And that’s where this really will show fleets their greatest investment.
Right, and the way I look at it, it’s $200 per wheel end on average, but it’s also then that five-year warranty. So there’s also some hidden costs that are eliminated on the long term. Those savings start to really add up, you multiply wheel ends, and then you multiply units, and all of a sudden we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars to the average fleet. So you’ve got your fully loaded assembly. You’ve just saved at least $200 per wheel end. There’s a couple more parts that you need, let’s talk about the aluminum hubcap and the TF hubcap plug.
Sure. They seem like small things when it comes down to it, but these can be actually very, very beneficial and, and big changes to every fleet out there. So the aluminum hubcap everybody knows SKF as having those Zytel hubcaps. They’re very, very popular hubcap out on the market. And there isn’t a tractor out there that you don’t see with the steer axle, black Zytel SKF hubcap.
Right, and we talked about that in episode 26. So again, that link is in the show notes, and people can go back and watch that or listen to that and learn all about that hubcap. But this aluminum hubcap, that’s a little different for SKF.
It is ascetics are still something that we can’t deny. Aesthetically speaking, people want to have that aluminum look to go with the rest of their trailer and you can’t blame them. However, we can bring something new to that aluminum hubcap game. And we have. The very first thing with our aluminum hubcaps is we put in a new window. Now it’s a cloud free viewing site glass in it. And it’s much more resistant to taking on the discoloration that lubrication does as well as the environment, the outside environment does. The other thing we’ve kept, and we will always keep, is our side fill plug with the magnet in it. That is standard on every single hubcap we’ve ever produced and ever will produce, and it’s not an extra number or anything, but we do have our side fill plug with that magnet built in to collect any metallic shards that may be in that hub and give that technician a quick glance look at what’s happening. And as always, we still provide not only the gasket, but all brand new bolts with every one of our hubcaps, which as a parts manager or service manager, or a fleet manager of any type, providing new equipment with every single unit is only beneficial in the long run and extending that time between services.
So that those are the things that we’ve kept from our Zytel hubcaps and we brought over to our new aluminum hubcap. And as you mentioned, we also have a few new additions to our plug, as well, to our center plug on our hubcaps. Now we’ve always had the one way valve on our hubcaps and the one way valve that at a certain PSI, simply burps, equalizes pressure between the interior and the exterior of that hub in order to maintain proper pressure and proper heat, and then closes down. It does not allow for external contamination to get inside that hub, but we’ve taken that a step further in two different ways. The first one is we’ve put a cap over top of the plug itself. Now that plug is going to vent to the sides. You’ll notice on the cap that it vents outwards to the side.
So it’s still the same one way valve, but there’s a hard cap now over the top of it. Now, this is beneficial when it comes down to washing your units themselves, because now you can pressure wash directly onto your hubcaps and not force moisture inside those hubs themselves, because there is no direct access to that plug and that pinhole or that one way valve. So you don’t have to worry about that. So if you have added contamination on the outside of your hubcap, it greatly reduces even further the possibility of that entering inside that hub. The other thing on the inside of that hub is you’re going to see our splash guard. Now this does two things. The first thing it does is of course, it’s a little cup inside, essentially that is where the one way valve is located.
So oil can’t actually get to where that one way valve is. So when it does equalize that pressure from the internal to the external, oil isn’t going to get out at any rate. And that’s really important because you really want to keep your lubrication inside your hub, right? That’s exactly where it needs to be. But the other thing that, that internal unit does is as it’s rotating down the road, that centrifugal force is actually moving that oil back away from the outside of the hub or the hubcap and back over top of that exterior bearing. So it’s moving it back in towards the middle of that hub, where that lubrication is most needed to keep those components from overheating, keep those components fresh. And of course, extending that period between maintenance.
You’ve been listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And today we’ve been speaking with Ben McIvor who’s from Specialty Sales and Marketing representing SKF. We’ve had a great conversation about their fully loaded hub assemblies and other great products. If you’d like to learn more, go to skf.com. Ben, thank you for returning to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report and being my guest today.
Thanks for having me, Jamie, it’s always a pleasure.
Thank you so much for tuning into this week’s episode of the Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And I’d just like to remind everyone to focus on cost per mile and let’s keep those trucks and trailers rolling.
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