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Signs of Torque Rod Wear

Aug 3, 2018 11:17:55 AM

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Posted By Jawny Weimer

Don't Let Bad Air Get To You

Aug 1, 2018 8:51:33 AM

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Posted By Jawny Weimer

Four Steps to Safer Braking

Jul 24, 2018 3:56:03 PM

Brake Slack Adjuster Facts

When it comes to your brakes, most people take them for granted that they will always work and sometimes that is just not the case. In the last twenty years, new vehicles are required to have self-adjusting brakes (S-ABAs). And although they have been around for twenty years, people seem to not understand how they work and are under the misconception that automatic slack adjusters will never go out of adjustment. Unfortunately, this is not the case.  

Over time, slack adjusters do go out of adjustment. This can be due to use or just because of the length of time they have been in service. Because these changes might not be noticed on day-to-day drives, it is critical to check your brakes before every single trip. If your stopping power is reduced too much, you will get cited/fined when you get inspected.  The federal reduced stopping distance regulations are in place to protect you and other drivers.

If you discover that your S-ABAs are out of adjustment, please do not try to adjust them yourself as this is the most ticketed item in DOT inspections. In these inspections, the brake chamber pushrod stroke is measured down to 1/8 of an inch, so the risk is not worth it.

However, it is a simple procedure to measure the pushrod stroke. You will need the following items to complete this small task: Chalk to mark the pushrods, protective eyewear, ruler, flashlight, pencil and paper, someone to assist you and a little time. You then want to follow these 4 steps:

  1. Park your vehicle in a safe spot and make sure you have chocked the wheels.  Release the spring brake and make sure your psi pressure in the air brake reservoir is 90-100. Do this while the vehicle is running.
  2. Manually inspect each brake to verify it is in the normal release position and you cannot visually see any issues. Mark each pushrod with the chalk to confirm the starting location where the pushrod exits the brake chamber.
  3. Push your brake pedal down until it stops. Have your helper measure the distance each pushrod has stroked and record this. Make sure your pressure does not drop below 90 psi. If this happens, stop testing for a moment or two to allow the pressure to build back up.
  4. Compare the regulation stroke limit with the numbers you compiled and if there are any measurements that are near or under the regulation limit, then you know it is time to have your brake components serviced immediately. 

Be sure to remember that if anything feels off with your brakes, you can always contact your local Volvo Truck dealership to conduct a brake system check. Our certified technicians have the latest information regarding stroke limits and will be happy to help.

Need to purchase Slack Adjusters for your truck?  Check out our selection.

Posted By

Volvo Genuine Painted Parts Program

Jul 10, 2018 1:43:04 PM

Nowadays, just one day of downtime for your commercial truck is estimated to cost up to $750 in lost productivity. Volvo's Genuine Painted Parts Program (VGPPP) is designed to get you back on the road sooner, saving you both time and money.

With the VGPPP, Genuine Volvo painted parts are built in the factory, painted and then shipped directly to your body shop to reduce downtime and speed up body repairs. This program, designed for Volvo VNL, VNM and VHD models, guarantees OEM quality parts and is only available from Volvo's network of authorized dealers. The dependability you get from Volvo's Truck dealers means you will get a longer service life and exponentially faster installation times.

The following Genuine Volvo Parts are available in the VGPPP and all include mounting hardware and shipping is included in the price.

• VNL & VNM Hoods and Bumpers - Many options available with these models. Buy Volvo Truck Painted Bumpers
• Fully Dressed Hoods - Mounting hardware included. Ships within 5 days. Contact us for more information.
• Painted and Sealed Cabs - Arrives complete with hood-mounting brackets, grille, splash shields, headlights, hood mirrors, and
more. Ships within 15 days of order approval.  Contact us for more information.
• Semi-Groomed Daycabs - Comes complete with finished doors, factory-grade trim, and many more goodies. Ships within 25
days of order approval.  Contact us for more information.

All items come packaged sturdily to avoid damage in transit and will be delivered directly to you. 

Posted By Jawny Weimer

Most Common CSA Violations

Jun 15, 2018 2:02:04 PM

The 6 Most Common CSA Violations, and how to Avoid Them

Driver InspectionThe safety enforcement program, known as Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) is a data-driven safety compliance and enforcement program of the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). The CSA program holds drivers as well as motor carriers culpable for their role in the safety of the trucks that they own/operate.

The following list points out the six most common violations facing drivers, owner-operators, and carriers.


Driver Violations

  1. Logs - Driver log violations amount to 25% of all violations for drivers. While CSA only remits 1 point for a form/manner violation, they hand out five points for a log that is not up to date. To prevent this from happening, it is critical to emphasize hours of service regulations with all drivers upon hire and periodically through the course of employment.
    With the new ELD requirements, we expect more challenges as the new regulations are enforced.  

  2. Medical Issues - these violations account for approximately 12% of driver violations and often the violation is failing to have a current medical certificate. CSA usually only gives 1 or 2 points for this violation, however, if a driver is operating the vehicle while physically ill, the reprimand can be 10 points. This is a simple fix - it is the driver's responsibility to ensure that their medical cards are valid and kept in a safe location for easy access.

  3. Understanding / Reading / Writing / Speaking English - with the surge in minorities gaining their CDL license, the rise in this violation is climbing at a steady rate, with 9% of all driver violations occurring because drivers simply don't understand the English language enough to comply. More training is needed for these drivers to eliminate this 4 points causing the violation.

Truck Violations

  1. Driver InspectionTruck Lighting - this major 3 or 6 point violation accounted for 28% of all roadside vehicle violations in the last year. Six points are assessed for light violations while 3 points are assessed for reflective tape violations. This is easily remedied by doing inspections of your vehicle before and after trips.

    Class8TruckParts has a huge selection of truck lights and truck reflectors to help you avoid this CSA violation.  Check out these CSA Lighting Kits from Truck-Lite and Grote.  
    We also have a great selection of truck and trailer reflective tape available.  

  2. Brakes - with a 4 point violation, this category makes up for 25% of all vehicle violations, with 1 million braking violations occurring last year. Fixing this problem requires training your drivers to understand their braking systems and know how to fix or get help fixing any braking issue.

    Check out our massive selection of brake parts for your heavy-duty truck.  To help prevent brake violations for your company.  Heavy-Duty Truck Brake Parts and Accessories

  3. Tires - this extreme violation carries a hefty 8 points and has accounted for nearly 11% of all vehicle violations, half of the violations being for tread depth. The depth of your steering tires needs to be 4/32 inch, while the rest of your tires only need to be 2/32 inch. This is also an easy fix by doing proper inspections of your vehicles before, during and after trips to ensure compliance.
Posted By Jawny Weimer

DangerBefore working on a vehicle, set the parking brakes, place the transmission in neutral, and block the wheels. Failure to do so can result in unexpected vehicle movement and can cause serious personal injury or death.



Before beginning any service work on any part of the air system, be certain that the air pressure has been released. Failure to do so may cause a component to violently separate, which can result in serious personal injury.



Cab Air Spring Removal

  1. Bottle jack
  2. Wood block



Do not raise the rear of the cab any more than absolutely necessary (max. 300 mm (12 in.)). Raising the rear of the cab too far could damage the front cab mounting brackets.


  1. Tilt the hood forward and then use a bottle jack to raise the rear of the cab. Support the rear of the cab with wooden blocks.
  2. Completely drain the air from the air system
    Remove Air Line fitting from bottom of cab air spring
  3. Remove the air line and fitting from the bottom of the air spring.

    Remove the retaining clip from the bottom stud of the cabin air spring.
  4. Remove the retaining clip from the bottom stud of the air spring.
  5. Remove the air spring by unscrewing it from the bottom of the cab.



  1. Be sure to install the spring plate on top of the new air spring, then screw the new air spring into the bottom of the cab.
    Note: This step is for the VN780 vehicle, only.
  2. Place the bottom stud through the cab suspension crossmember, then install a new retaining clip over the stud.
  3. Apply pipe sealer to the fitting and install the air fitting in the bottom of the air spring.
  4. Install the air line, start the truck and allow the air system to refill.
  5. Remove the bottle jack and the cab supports.
  6. Check for air leaks.

Check out our selection of Genuine Volvo Cab Air Springs

Posted By

Volvo Truck Grease/Lubrication Chart

Apr 22, 2018 8:32:21 AM

Don't miss a grease fitting on your next grease job. We've published this lubrication chart to show you the grease fittings on your Volvo Truck. Please note, trucks with bodies and specialized equipment may have additional grease and lubrication points.

Make sure that grease fittings are cleaned off before filling grease. Dirt on the fitting that is not cleaned off is pushed into the part with the new grease. Always fill grease to the point where old grease and contaminants are forced out from the part and only new grease comes out. If grease cannot be filled so old grease is forced out or if new grease exits without pushing old grease out, note this on the form for repair. If a fitting does not accept lubrication due to damage or internal stoppage, replace with a new fitting.

Do not heat part for better grease application where rubber or plastic parts are involved.

Remove excess grease from fittings, spring shackles, and other surfaces.

Volvo Truck Lubrication/Grease Chart

The numbers in the lubrication chart correspond with the numbered notes on the next pages. Read these notes before selecting a lubricant.


Grease Grease
Hub Oil Hub Oil
Engine Oil Engine Oil
Hydraulic Oil Hydraulic Oil
Steering Fluid Steering Fluid
Coolant Coolant
Automatic Transmission Fluid Automatic Transmission Fluid
Manual Transmission Fluid Manual Transmission Fluid
Rear Axle Oil Rear Axle Oil
Brake Fluid Brake Fluid
Windshield Washer Fluid Windshield Washer Fluid
Lubricate Lubricate
*Dump Body Oil Reservoir Fluid Dump Body Oil Reservoir Level
*For Dump Trucks only


Lubrication Chart Notes


  • 1. Spring hanger: Use a lithium based grease with specification API NLGI Number 2. When lubricating the left and right sides of the front springs, lift the axle off of the floor, suspend the frame with axle stands and lower the axle. The spring bushings are now in the position where grease can be added to the contact surfaces.

    Note: The rock guard will have to be removed (if equipped).

    Note: Always grease a VOLVO front axle with the wheels on the ground.

    Note: To grease non-VOLVO axles, they are typically greased with the wheels on the ground. Consult with the axle manufacturer for the latest recommendation.

  • 2. Slack adjuster: Do not grease till 1st scheduled maintenance interval.

    Note: See manufacturers specifications for specific grease. Adjust according to the specific slack adjuster manufacturing specifications.

    Brake cam Use a lithium based grease with EP additives to specification API NLGI Number 2.

    Note: If the brake cam seal does not purge, make sure the inner seal does not purge into the brake drum and onto the brake linings.

  • 3. Steering gear: Use a lithium based grease with specification API NLGI Number 2. Only use a hand-operated grease gun. The high pressure from an air operated grease gun will damage the seal.
  • 4. Drag link and steering shaft: Use a lithium based grease with specification API NLGI Number 2.
  • 5. Kingpin, upper and lower: Use a lithium based grease with specification API NLGI Number 2.

    Note: Always grease a VOLVO front axle with the wheels on the ground.

    Note: To grease non-VOLVO axles, they are typically greased with the wheels on the ground. Consult with the axle manufacturer for the latest recommendation.

  • 6. Tie-rod: Use a lithium based grease with specification API NLGI Number 2.

    Note: VOLVO axles may use a greased-for-life tie-rod. No provisions for adding grease are available.

    7. Leaf Springs: Front and rear leaf spring eye pins, should be pressure lubricated with chassis grease. Vehicles equipped with multi-leaf springs should also have, the leaves lubricated with a spray gun or brush using a rust inhibiting oil.


CautionKeep grease and oil, off of rubber bushings. Failure to do so will result in component damage.


  • Note: If the vehicle is operated in sandy or dusty environments, the spring ends should be left dry. Dirt and grease can mix, resulting in a "sandpaper" action that may cause premature wear to the spring ends.

  • 8. Brake fluid and clutch reservoir: (if equipped) Check the fluid level in the reservoir. Add brake fluid if necessary. Use only DOT 4 brake fluid in the clutch release system. Mixing DOT 4 brake fluid with petroleum-based oil will cause seal damage which will cause leakage.
  • 9. Clutch bearing linkage: Use a lithium based grease with EP additives to specification API NLGI Number 2.

    Note: Inspection cover removal is necessary. Lubricate according to Eaton's lubrication document and reinstall the inspection cover. See for the latest heavy-duty clutch service information.

  • 10. U-Joints: Propeller shafts come fully grease and ready for vehicle operation. No grease should be added at assembly plant.

    Note: Propeller shaft that have plastic caps over the grease fittings have maintenance free U-joints and caps should not be removed.

  • 11. PTO/Hydraulic reservoir.
  • 12. Rear suspension (48k-70k suspension): When lubricating the spring pin bushing use a lithium based grease with specification API NLGI Number 2.
    Note: Newer versions may have a rubber bushing that does not need lubrication.
  • 13. Coolant level: Add coolant if necessary. Only use pre-mixed clean water and coolant in a 50/50 mix.
    Add only the same type coolant, that is: extended life or standard.
  • 14. Steering assist cylinder: Use a lithium based grease with EP additives to specification API NLGI Number 2 to grease both ball joints.
  • 15. Front oil lubricated wheel bearings (if applicable): Oil-filled hubs change oil at 160,000 km (1000,000 mi) or 12 months or when the hub is removed for repairs or other routine maintenance.
  • 16. Power steering fluid: Check the fluid in the reservoir with the dipstick. Add oil if necessary. Use ATF Dexron® III or better. Change fluid every 240,000 km (150,000 miles). Change filter every year.
    Use a lithium based grease with specification API NLGI Number 2.
  • 17. Engine oil and filter: For oil change schedule see service information in Function Group 1, Oil and Filters, VOLVO Components.
  • 18. Windshield washer fluid level:
  • 19. Automatic and manual transmission:

    Automatic transmission: Use Dexron® III or better automatic transmission fluid. See the manufacturer's operator manual for intervals and quantity.

    Manual transmission: Use a mineral or synthetic oil. Check oil level periodically. The level should be at the bottom of the inspection hole.

    I-Shift transmission: With the vehicle level, the oil should be between the maximum and minimum levels on the sight glass. Only use VOLVO approved oils. Refer to Function Group 1 for the list of the approved oils.

  • 20. Auxiliary axle(s): If equipped with auxiliary lift axles use a lithium based grease with specification API NLGI Number 2. Also, lubricate the brake, cams, slack adjuster and tie-rod ends.
  • 21. Rear axle: Check the oil level in the differential by removing the fill/level plug in the housing. The oil should be level with the bottom of the fill/level plug hole. Add oil if necessary.


CautionMost rear differentials have a large screw and nut protruding from the housing. The screw and nut hold the thrust plate shoe against the ring gear and are not to be confused with the fill/level plug.



  • Note: Refer to service information in Function Group 1, Oil and Filters, VOLVO Components for Oil Types.

  • 22. Fifth wheel: The fifth wheel and slider assemblies should always be re-lubricated after steam cleaning or at least every oil change.

    Note: A heavy coating of grease is recommended on the fifth wheel plate by using the grease gun or a putty knife by direct application to the top of the plate.

    Due to different manufacturers of 5th wheels and models, some 5th wheels may not have grease fittings. Use a lithium based grease with specification API NLGI Number 2 on tracks and moving components.
Posted By

Support for Air and Electrical Cables

Mar 25, 2018 9:34:19 AM

Air and electrical cables that are chaffed, cracked and rubbing or dragging on the deck plate are DOT violations which also become a CSA issue. Failing to secure brake hose/tubing against mechanical damage is a 4-point CSA violation. To avoid fines and the damage caused by cables and air lines dragging on the deck plate, one can opt for a combination air and electrical assembly with high-quality cable support.

Cable Support
Combination air and electrical assemblies are heavier than their coiled counterparts, requiring a thicker gauge, galvanized spring in the tender spring kit to accommodate for the additional weight, and a cable clamp hose holder to accommodate for the application. The following are tips to consider when choosing and installing a tender spring kit:

  • The tender spring(s) should be galvanized to avoid rust and deterioration of the integrity of the spring.
  • The tender spring(s) should be made of stiff, thick gauged wire. If the gauge is thin, the spring will wear out quickly allowing the hoses to hang lower, causing the potential for dragging along the deck plate.
  • The best way to support a combination assembly is to use two tender spring kits with heavy gauge springs. Using two tender spring kits offers better support and spring retention than one kit alone.
  • Do not over-tighten the cable clamp on the assembly. This helps avoid possible pinching of the lines, which can cause damage such as chaffing.
  • Attach the cable clamp to the assembly so that the nut is facing away from the back of the tractor to help avoid damage to the back of the cab.

Back of Cab Cable SupportCable Protection
Spiral wrap is used to neatly bundle combination assemblies together while protecting them from damage due to abrasion. An alternative to spiral wrap, are nylon wraps. Most, if not all, nylon wraps available on the market today use hook and loop to quickly open and close the wrap, which allows for easier maintenance and inspection than spiral wrap. When selecting nylon wraps, they should be weather-proof to keep the elements out, and UV coated to protect from the sun.

When not in use, the hoses on the back of a tractor need to be secured in a plug holder to avoid damage. When choosing a plug holder, non-metallic angled versions are recommended. Plug holders made from non-metallic materials are resistant to corrosion. Angled versions provide ease of use and help to prevent cable damage. Not only is the plug holder keeping the cables up and off the deck plate, but the angle at which the plug is connected to the plug holder puts less strain and pressure at the point where the plug and cable are connected. Too much strain will eventually cause damage to the cable.

Back of Cab Protection
As the tender spring pivots back and forth during the ride, and especially during abrupt stops, combination assemblies have the potential to bang up against the back of the cab and cause damage. Cable support, such as the X-TEND™ by Phillips, extends the tracker spring kit and cables out and away from the back of the cab. By avoiding contact between the back of the cab and the tracker spring kit(s) and cables, the back of the cab can remain free of scuffs, marring and any other type of damage.


  • To avoid fines and the damage caused by cables and air lines dragging on the deck plate, one can opt for a combination air and electrical assembly with high-quality cable support.
  • Combination air and electrical assemblies are heavier than their coiled counterparts, requiring a thicker gauge, galvanized spring in the tender spring kit to accommodate the additional weight.
  • When choosing a plug holder, non-metallic angled versions are recommended.
  • To help keep the back of the cab free of scuffs, marring and any other type of damage caused by swaying combination assemblies, Phillips recommends the X-TEND™.

Special Thanks to Phillips Industries for this Tech Tips

Posted By

Volvo Truck Tech Engine OverhaulIf you aren’t getting the fuel economy you’re used to or your engine brake performance has dropped, you may be surprised to learn why. That’s because these are two of the eight signs your truck’s engine needs an overhaul. Engine overhauls are usually scheduled every seven to 10 years or 800,000 to 1 million miles, and offer a cost-effective way to breathe new life into an older engine. 

If your truck is running rough, using excessive amounts of fuel or not accelerating like you’d expect, it may be time for an engine overhaul. Here are eight specific signs to watch for:

  1. Blue or black exhaust – One or more cylinders may be burning oil, or your fuel is running too rich or lean
  2. White exhaust – Coolant may be burning in one or more cylinders
  3. Engine knocking – Combustion timing may be off in one or more cylinders, or oil contamination may have occurred
  4. Reduced acceleration/hard start – Possible loss of cylinder compression
  5. Increased oil consumption – The engine may be leaking or burning oil; either situation isn’t good
  6. Low fuel economy – Loss of cylinder compression or over-fueled cycles
  7. Low oil pressure – Oil may not be reaching all the components
  8. Poor engine brake performance – Possible loss of cylinder compression

We have a great selection of Genuine Volvo Engine Overhaul Kits Available to purchase online.  

Posted By Chad Remp

Cold weather can wreak havoc on vehicle equipment causing safety hazards. Winter weather effects on air lines are especially important because this can impair a vehicle’s brake system performance. Not only is this a safety concern, but damaged air lines can also put a driver at risk of a CSA violation.

Effects of Cold Temperatures on Air Lines and Gladhands

For safety, and per SAE regulations, air lines need to be able to stretch and recoil properly. When air lines can stretch to a proper working length, force on the coupled gladhands is avoided. When they recoil properly they remain off the deck plate.

If temperatures are too cold and drop below a coiled air line’s working temperature, the air lines can lose their ability to stretch, as well as recoil. If air lines lose their ability to stretch, force is applied to the gladhands and can separate or even completely pull away, causing a loss in air pressure to the brake system. Inflexibility in air lines can also cause kinking, which can block air to the brake system as well as permanently damage air lines. If air lines are over-extended in extreme cold, they can fail to recoil back to their original state and sag. This creates the potential for damage due to dragging on the deck plate. In very extreme cases, tubing can crack and/or even come apart at the fitting.

Phillips Industries Brake Air LinesAir lines are also susceptible to damage when gladhands freeze together. If an air coil does not have grips, a driver may place too much force on the lead when pushing down or pulling up when trying to uncouple the gladhands. This can create kinking and even possible chaffing on the tubing. Other methods of disconnecting frozen gladhands include hitting the gladhands with something hard, such as a wrench. If the gladhand is missed and the air lines are accidentally struck, this can also cause damage to the air lines as well.  Buy Brake Gladhands here.

Preventing Air Line Damage A solution would be to use air lines that are made specifically for severe weather conditions, which are able to remain flexible in extreme cold. Another protective measure would be to select air lines with grips or easily add gladhand extension grips to your existing assemblies. Extension grips provide better leverage to help prevent applying too much force when coupling and uncoupling.

Air line damage in the winter can be prevented with a couple of easy changes. This winter stay safe and CSA violation free by using air lines made to perform in severe cold and harsh weather conditions.

Buy Brake Air Line Hoses here.


  • Nylon air coils lose their ability to stretch in severe weather conditions that are below their working temperature. This can lead to too much force on the gladhands causing a separation between the gladhand or complete pull-away.
  • Extreme temperatures cause a loss of recoil memory, and if coils are extended too far, the airlines will sag and drag on the deck plate.
  • To prevent damage, use air lines designed specifically for severe weather conditions as well as grips to offer better leverage when coupling and uncoupling.

Tech Tip courtesy of Phillips Industries

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Wheeling Truck Center
23rd & Market St., PO Box 6808
Wheeling, WV 26003 USA

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