KCATA safety measures producing efficiency

Date:February 16, 2017
KCATA safety measures producing efficiency

Safety and savings go hand in hand at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.

The KCATA is ensuring bus safety – while saving taxpayer money – with a new maintenance initiative that makes it easier than ever before to detect loose lug nuts on our bus wheels.

If you look very closely at our buses, you will see small bright orange tags affixed to the lug nuts. They’re not decorative. They’re important for safety.

These lug nut indicators give our drivers and maintenance technicians an easy way to know if a lug nut is loose. All of the indicators should point in the same direction toward the next lug nut.

If an indicator is pointed away from the next lug nut, that should sound an alarm. It means the lug nut is loose and its needs retorqued. If an indicator is missing, it means a lug nut needs to be replaced.

The indicators make it easy for either our operators or maintenance crews to detect a problem.

“This should be a fast and easy way for our operators to keep our bus fleet safe,” said Mark Stambaugh, the KCATA’s fleet maintenance manager. “An easy visual check around the bus should tell an operator immediately if there might be a safety issue with the wheel.”

We now check the lug nuts twice, every time we replace wheels and tires and after the first 50 to 100 miles of travel on a new tire. We spend about $100 in time on every shift examining 40 lugs on each bus that comes into the shop. We expect this new technique will vastly cut down the time spent inspecting loose lug nuts. In all, we expect this effort to save the agency $100,000 a year.

“Safety is our top priority,” said KCATA Maintenance Supervisor Brian Jackson. “We make sure every bus that leaves the barn is safe not only for our operators but for the public at large. This new technique not only keeps every one safe but as a bonus safes some money, too.”

This picture shows a wheel with all the lug
nuts tightened to the bus wheel.

Notice in this picture how easy it is to see
that one of the lug nut indicators is out of
position (at the top of the wheel pointed up).
This means a nut needs tightened.