The South African Tyre Manufacturing Conference has offered the following tips when changing the tyre on a commercial vehicle.
Firstly, one must ensure that the vehicle is parked on a level surface with the ignition off and key removed. The hand brake should also be applied. By having the vehicle on a level surface, one minimizes the risk of the vehicle moving while you are changing the tyre.
Stop blocks should be placed on either the front or rear wheels of the vehicle, preferably both. These should be placed on the side of the vehicle that is not being worked on. This is to add a second level of protection above the handbrake to prevent any movement of your vehicle while is it being worked on.
Once you have safely parked your vehicle one should place cones around the vehicle for visibility to other motorists. At the rear, a cone should be placed at least 10m behind your vehicle and if you are going to be working on the side that is facing the road cones should additionally be placed 2m away from the vehicle. This is all to enhance the visibility of you and your vehicle to ensure that all other motorists on the road are aware you have stopped. This will also assist the authorities or support crew to find you should you require further assistance.
Ideally one should place the bottle jack on a flat surface and on top of a sleeper block. This will give it a more stable base to rest on and avoid being pushed into a loose surface. Placing your jack on an uneven surface or jacking a weak position of the vehicle could cause it to shift potentially damaging the vehicle or even hurting yourself.
Finally, use SANS approved trestles under the vehicle close to the wheel you are working on to provide additional support. Using equipment that has not been regularly serviced and load tested can result in damage to the underbody of the vehicle.
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