Roadside Assistance

Roadside Assistance

When time is of the essence, it’s crucial to have the right tools to hand. Chicago Pneumatic may have the solution.

It goes without saying that working on roadside assistance jobs can be a challenging task. Chicago Pneumatic recognises this, and posts many regular tips and advice online in its ‘Expert Corner’ section. When a commercial vehicle has broken down, the engineer who is called out to fix it knows only too well the necessity to carry out the repair and get the vehicle back on the road as fast and safely as possible. If not, it can have a real impact on the customer’s business and could create a safety hazard to other vehicles on the road. So, let’s look at some of CP’s useful advice.

First and foremost, it’s down to tool selection and ensuring that the repair truck has the appropriate tooling and equipment to get the customer up and running again in the most cost- effective way. When it comes to tightening, for example, it is vital to apply the correct torque without compromising on quality or safety.

With tightening tasks, even at roadside the same high standards of repair must be met as if in a workshop environment. Therefore, it makes sense to use a quality and reliable selection of tools, such as a combination of impact wrenches and torque wrenches that provide consistent accuracy.

As an example, mobile tyre-change technicians, called out to the roadside to change damaged tyres, need to have with them the correct tools for the job. For medium to heavy commercial vehicles, the CP7782-6TL 1” Torque ‘Limited’ Pneumatic Impact Wrench will ensure that there are no overtightened wheel nuts. With a smooth forward/reverse switch, it has one torque limited setting in forward, and three reverse positions to a maximum of 2,600Nm to remove the most stubborn of nuts.

Once the wheel has been removed and a new tyre fitted, the technician just uses the limited torque forward setting and runs the wheel nuts down to approx. 500Nm without fear of overtightening. By using the CP8925 1” Calibrated Torque Wrench, the correct torque can be applied to the nuts and the task is completed safely and effectively.

Then for smaller light vehicles and SUV’s, the CP8849 1⁄2” Impact Wrench with its ‘brushless motor’ is ideal. The wrench delivers a powerful +1,150Nm in reverse with four forward settings (two of which are shut-off options), and has a display at the back of the tool to illuminate the selected mode. One such mode is the tool’s fast mode, which allows the operator to tighten bolts at speed, shutting off just before the maximum torque is reached. The operator can then simply finish off the tightening with the CP8915 1⁄2” Calibrated Torque Wrench. Imagine working in diverse weather conditions on a tyre change or other tightening applications. In this situation, this cordless tool quickly enables the engineer to see at a glance the setting options, and the lights on the front housing provide illumination on the bolt itself.

Advice to consider

1. Environment: Jobs can take place in awkward locations, under diverse weather conditions. However, tools should perform to the highest standards regardless of the situation.

Advice: It is important to choose tools that can be relied upon in even the most challenging of circumstances. Tools with integrated LED will be really helpful when working with insufficient lighting.

2. Space: Roadside assistance professionals often arrive at a breakdown with little idea of what issues they may be facing. It is important to be prepared for every eventuality by carrying the appropriate tools.

Advice: Choose compact designs. A technician needs to be able to fit everything into the truck and benefit from improved manoeuvrability in hard-to-reach areas, such as under the hood.

3. Ergonomics: Lightweight tools are essential for the operator’s comfort. They improve manoeuvrability and are easier to use, increasing productivity levels on the roadside.

Advice: Use tools manufactured from lightweight materials, such as composites or aluminium. For example, the lightweight CP7762 3⁄4” Stubby Impact Wrench measures just 158.7mm in length and weighs only 3kg. Small but powerful, it is equipped with a rugged steel motor that delivers a 1,420Nm in reverse for high productivity.

Operator comfort is an integral part of this stubby impact wrench’s design. This is evident in the fact that it’s well-balanced, and features a P-handle with full teasing trigger. The controls are designed and positioned for ease of use and include a one hand forward and reverse speed regulator button, as well as a side-to-side forward and reverse system.

4. Power: When using pneumatic tools, remember that compressors in service trucks are smaller than those in workshops.

Advice: Choose a tool that consumes less air. This also helps to reduce operating costs, while achieving the required performance.

The final piece of advice is that lifting equipment is a must. Air hydraulic jacks and trolley jacks are helpful to quickly and securely raise vehicles. It is vital to use jack stands and have safety equipment to protect the operator while working, including signs to highlight the working area on the road. To conclude, Chicago Pneumatic believes it has the necessary experience to provide advice on the best equipment for technicians dealing with roadside emergencies. If technicians keep those specialised tools close at hand, they will quickly be able to get those waylaid vehicles back up and running.

For more information on Chicago Pneumatic, click here. 

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