The recent KZN floods have been declared a National Disaster. The impact on logistical supply chains and infrastructure runs into losses amounting to billions. The damage to vehicle fleets is far more than detecting and flushing out water in diesel fuel systems – a subject dealt with in these newsletters in 2021. Truck drivelines – notably axles and gearboxes – are equipped with breathers, which when fully submerged for a period will introduce water into these components with consequential damage. This is where Key Hire has a role to play.

Every major driveline unit must breathe. From an engine crankcase to a differential housing, every main component in a vehicle driveline creates operating pressure that needs venting through a breather. If there is nowhere for this pressure to go, oil gets forced past seals with visible leaks and lubricant losses. That’s why – no matter whether engine, gearbox, or diff – lube overfilling causes very detrimental excess pressure. And then there’s the environmental impact. Overfilling and leaks only serve to compound vehicle pollution well beyond exhaust emissions.

Truck-mounted fuel tanks must also breathe. As diesel fuel possesses virtually no high-volatility components, evaporative emissions are not a major concern. Petrol tanks, on the other hand, must be equipped with evaporative-emissions control systems to store evaporated hydrocarbons for subsequent combustion in the engine.

Most truck fuel tank breather pipes are tucked into the chassis to protect them against clogging and without a filter. Again, they just tend to get overlooked.

Take a deep breath and an environmental walk around your truck fleet. Check that the assets are breathing properly without risk of contamination – it could result in a considerable saving on downtime and maintenance bills. Being green does save.

For more technical advice, or if you wish to discuss this for more information, please contact Hennie Botha at 031 713 3145 or at 074 331 1354.