Red-painted wheel nuts

I am aware that on many post-war British vehicles the outer nuts on wheels are painted red. Evidently, this is a warning not to loosen until the tyre is deflated. I am currently building a Humber Pig (circa 1970),
and wonder whether this would have been standard practice at the time.



Photo evidence is always good.

for discussion and reference only.

I would say if one has it, it would standard for the rest to be as well. Not sure if the Pigs had split rims ? I have always thought that the painted nuts were there to identify that as a safety feature to not undo which would really ruin day if the tyre was inflated still … ??

and a Saracen … For reference only

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As Johnny noted the red painted nuts were the fasteners for the split rims - the lug nuts were wheel color . I would assume that this practice is still used today on any vehicle with split rims .


When I was in the tire business we called split or two piece rims “widow makers”. As noted this is a warning for those rims and pretty standard practice for a commercial use rim. If your kit has them present then proceed. Even deflated tires and rims still had tension and took care when swapping tires out.


When I was active duty, we had 5 ton trucks with big huts and big generator trailers. I think they were M923A1 but I’m not sure anymore. Anyway, we spent every morning down in the motor pool pulling PMCS. One of my fellow troopies put a 5 ton wheel into a cage to air it up - and either he wasn’t paying attention or the gauge was broken because very suddenly there was a massive boom from the cage when the overinflated tire exploded. Bent the hell out of that cage but nobody was hurt. Had he done it on the truck he probably would’ve died.


I think split rims in general can be insanely dangerous when handled wrong … almost as dangerous as changing a Chieftain spring pack as Max @Maximus8425 can back me up on … they had the potential to take your head or arm and shoulder off in a heartbeat…


I’ve seen both pop. A Saladin wheel in Cyprus which luckily (or correctly) was secured inside an inflation cage. And a spring pack keep bolt which stripped when a spring pack fell out of the compression stand. That one punched a hole in the hangar door on it’s way across the tank park. Horstmann suspension works but god is it dangerous.


Thank god for HydraGas suspension lol

If I may wander slightly off topic, the Littlefield Tank Collection included a number of fully restored German, World War II era vehicles with many small, red painted bits. It seemed like any bolt, cap, knob, or nut associated with servicing was painted red. I always wondered if that was historically authentic.

Sounds like he was following IDF policy.

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