Several recent incidents involving universal joint or drive shaft failures resulting in fires on mobile plant has prompted the NSW Resources Regulator to issue this safety bulletin. Although no-one was injured in these incidents, different circumstances could have resulted in serious injuries or fatalities.
Two of the three incidents below involved catastrophic failure of the universal joints resulting in damage to adjacent hydraulic components from the whipping tail shaft. In both instances, the universal joint failures involved ‘lube for life’ universal joints and occurred within the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specified operating life cycle of the component. The third incident was most likely the result of a manufacturing error in the bearing support bracket. This indicates that none of the reported incidents were caused by poor maintenance practices.
Last Updated: 09/03/2022 05:49:09pm