Wheel and tyre theft is a reality South African truckers know all too well. However, an advanced new locking system from Grip-Tech – the new Auto-Grip GTX Series truck wheel locknut – aims to save operators from falling victim to this crime.
Designed and manufactured locally, the Auto-Grip GTX was developed over two years and incorporates two salient features that make it unique.
• Up to 10 000 unique “keys” can be created using a computer algorithm, making the removal of the nut virtually impossible without the matching adapter key. Codes can be allocated exclusively to a specific company or customer, so only they have the ability to order additional locks and keys of that type.
• A nut that is hardened and tempered to meet original equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards is the starting point for each GTX. The machined nut is fused under extreme pressure with a high-grade stainless-steel collar in a way that makes them inseparable.
“We have tested the GTX against a multitude of attack methods and are confident that it is virtually impossible to remove,” says Manuel Reis, MD of Grip-Tech. “We’ve created layers of anti-theft measures to counter any form of attack by thieves using chisels, hammers, vice-grips and just about any other manual tool you care to name. It is extremely rugged and robust.”
The typical tightening torque of a truck wheel is 550 to 650 Nm, but Grip-Tech has gone way beyond that and stress tests the locknuts to 1 000 Nm.
Reis adds that overcoming one security feature simply reveals another. “The more it is brutalised, the more difficult the GTX becomes to remove,” he says.
To meet the needs of different truck and trailer operators, Grip-Tech keeps stock of GTX blanks in popular wheel-nut types and sizes. The required key-code pattern as determined by the algorithm is then executed by Computer Numerical Control machinery. Moving the position of just one of the pins creates a new “key”.
“We believe that the GTX is the best product of its kind in the world. The design is unique and we back that up by using materials of superior quality throughout. This contributes to the high level of security and will also translate into a long and trouble-free service life,” Reis says.
Each locknut retails for R259.