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Old 11-16-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
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Another Boring Work Related Story

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be cruising down the freeway minding your own business and suddenly have a flat front tire? After a little over 13 years driving a tractor trailer rig I found out what it was like yesterday. I was southbound on I-5 just north of MP 288, the I-5, I-205 junction when the left front tire on my tractor went limp. I was one lane to the right of the hammer lane on a 4 lane section of freeway doing about 60mph when all of a sudden the tractor started pulling left. It went from pulling left to smoking flat tire in a little less than 10 seconds. I always thought a flat steering tire at freeway speed would put up more of a fight. I was kind of surprised how well mannered the 65' long vehicle remained. Once I decided I couldn't make it across 2 lanes of busy freeway to get to the right shoulder I turned on my left blinker and went for the left side. It's really impressive how much attention you get from the usually brain dead car drivers when you follow up your turn signal with smoke pouring out from under the front of your rig. The cars in the hammer lane made a big hole for me when I made my move left. I guess in this case they really did understand when a truck turns on a turn signal the driver isn't asking for permission to change lanes. It took about 2 hours to get back on the road. My only complaint was those Schwab guys are to darn fast. I only had about 10 pages left in a good book when they showed up with a new tire.

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Old 11-16-2012, 09:54 AM   #2
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Re: Another Boring Work Related Story

Wow! Glad to hear that it wasn't TOO exciting! I too always wondered what it would be like to lose a steer tire and still hope I never have to find out. Nice job getting everything off the road safely.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:03 AM   #3
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Re: Another Boring Work Related Story

Fred told me to tell you:

"If you got time to lean, you got time to clean!"

Glad nothin' got wrinkled-up
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: Another Boring Work Related Story

glad it worked out ok buddy
you must be livin right!!
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:53 PM   #5
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Re: Another Boring Work Related Story

I am finding it amazing, read pretty cool, how many professional drivers are on this forum. Glad that the blown steer had no extra difficulties and you got it to the shoulder safely. I am a driver instructor at Schneider. When working with new drivers, we teach them to initially slam down on the accelerator with a blown steer. This will take a bit of the weight off the blown steer, take some of the pull out of the steering wheel and gives the driver a few extra moments to work the problem. Love this forum and would like to say thank you. Has been a lot of fun looking at the forum and planning my own Sportsmobile. Stay safe and keep the rubber on the road.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:46 PM   #6
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Another Boring Work Related Story

The tire sure picked a nasty stretch of road to say by by. I have driven that section many times and even though it is posted at 55 seems like everyone drives at 70 and the on/off ramps are always very busy. Glad you safely got to the side of the road.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:32 PM   #7
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Re: Another Boring Work Related Story

Larrie

It was actually harder to get back on the road than it was to get off of it. I was trying to merge back into the hammer lane at 1630 on a Thursday afternoon. The cars weren't nearly as nice to me when I made my move back into traffic.


MWilki

My hat is off to anyone who has the courage to ride shotgun with the greenies. I'm not that brave. That passenger window gets way to close to stuff like trees and telephone poles for me. I don't even like riding over there with my fellow drivers who have been on the road for years. I really was surprised how easy it was to control the truck after the flat. I was running empty though. It would probably be a different story if I was loaded with 10,000+ pounds on the front axle.

Marc

I wasn't leanin. I was layin flat on my back reading
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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Re: Another Boring Work Related Story

Glad to hear that was a disaster-free experience, Gnarvan...

I had a front tire blow while I was driving a large class-A RV at speed, and my experience was similar in that it was surprisingly controllable. Less smoke though.

I still fear what would happen if an outside-front tire goes on my Sportsmobile while I'm cornering hard at freeway speeds. Anyone ever experience something like that?

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Old 11-19-2012, 06:05 PM   #9
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Another Boring Work Related Story

I am surprised that you found any kind of hole to squeeze into at that time of day. Glad you did it safely.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:52 AM   #10
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Re: Another Boring Work Related Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie
I am surprised that you found any kind of hole to squeeze into at that time of day. Glad you did it safely.

Larrie

Sometimes you just have to make your own hole in traffic. Merging off of the left shoulder/emergency lane into the hammer lane during rush hour traffic was a tad tricky. I got as much speed as I could running in the ememgency lane then just took the lane to get back on the freeway.

Under normal circumstances there is a lane change move I call the "trailer fake" that works almost every time. If I need to change lanes and there aren't any holes in the traffic I'll put my turn signal on and start to drift in the direction I need to change lanes. I make sure to stay in my lane but between the turn signal and the large white box headed in their direction someone almost always notices and lets me in. It may take a couple of trailer fakes to find someone kind enough to let me in. I always toss a thank you wave to the driver that lets me in.

A favorite trucker saying of mine that originated with one of my fellow drivers is.

"You see my turn signal? I'm not askin!"
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