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The Turley Law Firm P.C.

Split Rim Explosions & Multi-piece Rim Explosions

Forklift with Split Rims

Tire / Rim Explosions

Inflated tires contain a large amount of stored energy. For example, the sidewall of a typical commercial vehicle (CV) tire has over 34 tons of force acting on it. Tires are designed to withstand this but if they are damaged or used while flat, or significantly under inflated, they may fail.

The force can then be released explosively at an angle of up to 45 degrees from the rupture (which is often, but not always, the face of the sidewall), resulting in a destructive air blast and the ejection of high-speed particles. If the wheel is not restrained, it can fly yards through the air.

Failure of multi-piece (‘split rim') wheels can result in explosive ejection of component parts. These types of tire explosion have led to numerous fatalities.


Split-rim Wheels

These are found on military trucks, forklifts, cranes, scooters, caravans and wheelbarrows. They are also used for some off-road vehicles (because they allow the tire to be removed without special equipment).

There are two basic types of split-rim wheel assemblies:

■ multi-piece wheels
■ divided wheels

Split Rims can be extremely hazardous. Workers are commonly injured by split rims during mounting or placing the slip rims on a vehicle.  Although OSHA mandates cages be used, explosions still occur.   Efforts to ban split rims have met with opposition from industry.


Multi-piece wheels

Multi-piece wheels have a split-spring flange that is levered into a groove in the side of the wheel rim (known as the gutter groove). Some have additional flanges held in place by the split locking ring. If these parts are not seated correctly, there can be a violent separation of the wheel parts as the tire is inflated. We were able to settle his case for a substantial amount.

A special type of multi-piece wheel has a three-piece, demountable rim in which the disc is created by short spokes forming part of the hub.


Divided wheels

These consist of two parts bolted together with an outer ring of rim fasteners, the whole assembly then being bolted to the vehicle hub by an inner ring of hub studs. Loosening the rim fasteners with the tire under pressure has resulted in violent separation of rim halves, causing fatal injuries. Loosening the hub studs can have the same result if there has been damage or unauthorized repair to the wheel.


Discuss your case with a Split Rim - Products Liability Attorney

The Turley Law Firm, PC understands that you have questions about your rights and safety, and are probably concerned what might happen to you if you were involved in a serious or deadly split -rim or Multi-piece rim explosion accident. We are committed to fighting to get you the justice you deserve, and maybe help you regain your peace of mind in the process. Contact the Turley Law Firm PC today to discuss your case with a product liability lawyer in San Diego.

If you want more information on how to deal with your injury case, check out our book, Win Your Injury Case. 

William Turley
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