PreSet® Wheel End Technology: The Evolution of Excellence
At ConMet, we take pride in our ability to help our customers solve problems. We put ourselves in their shoes and embrace their challenges as our own. This allows us to dedicate the necessary resources to deliver practical, cost-effective solutions.
Thanks to our visionary engineering and manufacturing teams, our innovations have a lasting, positive impact on the industry. One example is PreSet wheel end technology, a demonstration of our commitment to transform and improve commercial vehicle systems.
PreSet Wheel End Development
The wheel end is a critical system for commercial trucks and trailers. It is responsible for supporting heavy loads while maintaining stability and control of the vehicle. Proper bearing adjustment is a key element in ensuring the safe and efficient functionality of the wheel end.
The bearings can overheat and fail rapidly if they are set too tight. But if they are set too loose, excess vibration can cause bearing damage, seal leakage, and reduced tire life. When either of these conditions are allowed to progress, they can result in damage to the hub, spindle, and brake, and – in extreme cases – a wheel-off.
Manual bearing adjustment can be effective when performed by skilled technicians, but it has its shortcomings. Namely, the process is time-consuming and inconsistent. We wanted to find a better way to complete this task that is so important for the vehicle’s longevity and safety.
In the 1990s, ConMet set out to transform the wheel end assembly process. The goal was clear: Develop a solution that would eliminate guesswork, increase safety, and streamline assembly procedures.
In 1995, this ambitious vision culminated in the PreSet Hub Assembly. This new product not only met, but actually exceeded customer expectations.
The development of PreSet technology was an organization-wide effort. It required a combination of wheel end expertise, innovative manufacturing practices, rigorous quality control, and best-in-class product validation. The result was a full wheel end system that reduced complexity for customers. It did this by taking over the specification, sourcing, manufacturing, and testing of all components, delivering a pre-assembled wheel end.
The PreSet Advantage
PreSet hubs come fully assembled with wheel end components designed to work seamlessly within the system.
- Hub castings
- Wheel studs
- Bearing spacer
- Anti-lock brake sensor (ABS) rings
Every part is manufactured to tight tolerances to help eliminate premature wheel end component failure on trucks and trailers.
The precision-machined bearing spacer used in PreSet hubs is a game-changer. It sets the distance between the inner and outer bearings, which allows precise bearing adjustment simply by tightening the spindle to a specified torque. Customers no longer need to rely on operator expertise or risk human error to achieve optimal bearing settings.
ConMet’s ability to simulate real-world, heavy-duty conditions in testing further solidifies our position as an industry leader. Our world-class technical center is packed with test equipment designed in-house running proprietary duty cycles to ensure the performance and reliability of PreSet wheel ends in a wide range of commercial vehicle operating conditions.
PreSet Plus® Wheel End: Building on Success
The industry responded well to the PreSet hub assembly, and it became the top choice of heavy-duty commercial vehicle OEMs. As ConMet’s dedication to redefining wheel end expectations helped propel the industry forward, we continued to push the envelope.
In 2011, we introduced the PreSet Plus® hub assembly. We took the service-proven PreSet components and added the ConMet PreSet Plus integrated spindle nut and induction-hardened spacers.
The new wheel ends addressed later-life issues and simplified installation and removal. It also further solidified ConMet’s reputation as the wheel end experts in the commercial vehicle industry.
PreSet Plus set a new industry standard for ease of installation, high performance, and low maintenance. The industry adopted the new version even more quickly than the original PreSet hub.
Today, ConMet’s PreSet Plus technology is first-fit on all North American heavy-duty trucks. A growing number of trailer OEMs are also adopting the hub. In fact, more than 37 million PreSet and PreSet Plus hubs have travelled about 22 trillion miles on the road – and counting.
PreSet and PreSet Plus technologies simplify heavy duty wheel ends. They are a symbol of our commitment to help shape the future of the commercial vehicle industry. Our vision of delivering forward-thinking solutions and our customer-centric approach remain at the heart of everything we do.
Leading OEMs trust ConMet’s PreSet technology and trillions of miles driven prove its reliability. These products are not just a milestone – they are our legacy, paving the way for innovations of the future. We continue to look toward the exciting horizons of innovation as we help make commercial vehicles safer and more efficient.
VANCOUVER, WA | by Jeff Larson, Chief Engineer Metals