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Welding Failure on Truck Ladder

A re-welded ladder rung failed on a tractor trailer and a metallurgical failure analysis was requested. An overall view of the failed truck ladder is shown in Photograph A.

Failed truck ladder weld
Photograph A Ladder failure on grain truck.

The failure was the result of metal fatigue. Visual and microscopic inspection revealed that the ladder and a variety of components had been re-welded numerous times. These facts indicated that the truck had been subjected to significant vibration stresses while driven on "washboard" roads within the company facilities. The truck manufacturer was found to have produced adequate welds when the truck was originally manufactured. Close-up views of welding cracks are shown in Photographs B and C.

Close-up view of welding cracks in truck ladder
Photograph B Weld cracking resulting from metal fatigue
Weld cracking in step to hand rail joint
Photograph C Weld cracking resulting from metal fatigue

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J.E.I. Metallurgical, Inc.

5514 Harbor Town
Dallas, Texas 75287

Phone: (972) 934-0493
Fax: (469) 737-3938
Email: r.c.jerner@metallurgist.com

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