Canadian company Zafety Lug Lock has been selling millions of its wheel nut management system around the world. Developed by TafCan Consulting Limited, a Toronto area based enterprise owned by inventor Taffy Davis, who has a patent for the product. Made of special engineered plastic, the Zafety Lug Locks were developed to address the conditions in high temperature environments created by frequent stop and go vehicles. These include public transportation vehicles such as city buses; refuse trucks as well as any truck that circulate on roads all over the world.
The engineered plastic if formulated to withstand continuous operating temperature of -40 degrees Centigrade (-40°F) to +100°C (+212°F) with transient temperature spikes up to +120°C (248°F), giving it a total temperature range of 140°C (252°F). With this live saving invention, Taffy Davis was awarded Canada’s most prestigious innovation in 2013, the Ernest C. Manning Innovation Award. Since 1982, the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation has been creating a culture of innovation in Canada by discovering, celebrating and rewarding Canadian innovators of all ages. We tell the stories of Canadian innovators who are improving the lives of Canadians and others around the world through their commercialized innovations.
The Zafety Lug Locks prevent wheel-off accidents by securing adjacent lug nuts to each other. The Safety Lug Locks are easy to install on two lug nuts at a time and they have enough strength and elastic retention to keep the nuts in place under conditions like the centrifugal force that they can resist on heavy duty commercial tires going high speed on the road. The result of three years of development, the main characteristics of the Safety Lug Locks is how they reduce the vibrations that lead nuts to loosen in time.
The only product of its type that has been put through a full range of recognized tests, the Zafety Lug Lock strips have been certified to resist different chemical products to which they are exposed such as de-icers, liquid calcium chloride, windshield washer alcohols, radiator liquids, hydraulic and transmission fluids, gasoline, iron oxide, diesel, ethanol and lock tight. Working with a stereolithography manufacturer and an industrial designer, Taffy Davis spend over six months mixing products to reach the desired retention and flexural strength before fabricating the molds to produce the prototypes.
Some 18 different engineering resins where tested as well as various mixes of these resins to find the ideal plastic for the strips. Resins from three different producers go into the final product because none of them could, on their own, supply the chosen formulation with all inherent properties. Each of the raw materials has a history of special application in the automotive industry. “The final result is two products that should have a life expectancy of about 10 years under normal conditions”, explains Taffy Davis.
Zafety Lug Locks can be installed on any type of truck wheel to improve safety and reduce the risk of nuts loosening or falling off. The possibility of wheel-off accidents, wheel-end damage and loose lug nuts is minimized. The strips provide a clear visual status of the lug nuts at the time of inspection. The strips fit snuggly over two adjacent nuts on the wheel to secure them together. The Zafety Lug Locks are made to be installer after the nuts have been properly torque and the nuts can be re-torqued or checked without removing the strips.
The idea for the product came to Taffy Davis as he was watching a police show on television and saw a cop pout the handcuffs on a suspect. The strips do look like miniature handcuffs… They are ideal for refuse and recycling trucks up to military and utility vehicles as well as snow removal equipment and highway trucks. Zafety Lug Locks can also be installed on buses. The product has already been sold in Canada, the United-States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Israel and elsewhere around the world. The strips are available in various widths depending on the wheel size and multiple sizes for the nuts and various colors. The Zafety Lug Locks cost less than $20 per axle which means about $100 to secure all the wheels on a truck. It is important to remember that a loss wheel can cause important damage and even kill someone, so Zafety Lug Locks also save lives.