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Old 10-03-2009, 09:20 AM   #1
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Good thing I had both hands on the wheel !

Anyone still running the D rated tires I highly recommend you get rid of them. These tires were four years old with 24,000 miles on them. I planned on replacing them at the end of five years but going through this convinced me to get four new E rated BFG of the same size. The blow out happened on the I 5 in Gorman while going 70 in the next to the fast lane of four lanes and lite early morning traffic. We were headed to the Sequoias for the weekend. I ended up going to Bakersfield Big O tires and they had one set of E rated 285 that they special ordered for a customer and they gladly sold them to me when he saw our situation. They were really great at that shop.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:34 AM   #2
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Re: Good thing I had both hands on the wheel !

Yipes.

Glad you're OK. I came thru that area yesterday too at about 545am heading north.

Just curious, how did the van behave when the tire let go? Were u able to more or less keep it straight and under control?

I got some E rated tires after reading too many tire threads here. Hope I never have to deal with a blowout at speed.
R
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:48 AM   #3
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Re: Good thing I had both hands on the wheel !

Scary, scary, scary.

Glad the two of you (and the dogs?) are OK.


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Old 10-03-2009, 09:52 AM   #4
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Re: Good thing I had both hands on the wheel !

I started to feel the van pulling to the left so I put both hands on the wheel. All of a sudden it felt like the biggest gust of wind the 395 or the 5 had ever dealt me. If I didn't have both hands on the wheel I think we would have flipped. I was able to cautiously make my way to the center median that was thankfully big.
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:38 AM   #5
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Re: Good thing I had both hands on the wheel !

Thank goodness you were paying attention and everything is OK.

I should have gone to E at the first sign of trouble, but I tried to milk those BFG Ds for as long as possible, and it nearly bit me when I had a second belt separation. That's when I got scared and went ahead and put the money into Es. I switched brands too, but I think the more important thing to anyone with Ds is the rating.

Wow, and what luck that the tire shop could outfit you. Nothing like service these days!
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:07 AM   #6
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Re: Good thing I had both hands on the wheel !

Wholly cow!!!! Great job on the controlled recovery.

I have D's as well. SMB specs them. I've been 4-bying most of my life, and always use BFG, but I do not claim to be an expert on tires. That said, how can we tell that this event was a result of an underrated load value? Your tires were four years old. They do fatigue after that long. My wife drives her car only about 2500 miles a year. She's never worn out a tire, but I must replace them because the rubber ages and cracks. My SMB tires are D as well, I have a bulge in one, and many edge treads are tore up from occasional severe use. They are two years and two months old. I'm replacing them this month. Still, I don't think I need to go to E load ratings.
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:16 AM   #7
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Re: Good thing I had both hands on the wheel !

Oh man Craig. Glad you guys are OK.
I have been putting off the purchase all year. You convinced me to do it now.

Jeffrey-any reason you wouldn't get the E over the D?

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Old 10-03-2009, 11:16 AM   #8
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Re: Good thing I had both hands on the wheel !

Newbie question: This is my first van and since I got it used I had to replace two tires right off the bat. I just used the Consumer Reports top recommendations and got E-rated General tires. I'm not 4x4 so I don't know if that makes a difference but what is the advantage of D-rated?
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:59 PM   #9
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Re: Good thing I had both hands on the wheel !

My understanding is D and E are consumer intelligible indications of weight rating. BFGs are a great example because they have D and E in the same size, and the E has a higher load capacity than the D in the same tire.

Toyos, Nittos, Coopers, anything else will be similar to load capacity in E, but it does vary from tire to tire. It also varies by size, as rim size affects sidewall size affects load rating.

When you buy used it is difficult to determine the history of the tires. I ran a set of siped BFG Mud TAs for NINE YEARS and the first day I took them out and tore the hell out of them. There were quarter sized chunks missing from the sidewalls, scratches as long as my... uh.. hand and one had to get replaced under warranty 4 days after I bought them. Yet they lasted NINE YEARS on two different Jeeps, which included four years as Daily Driver tires, one of which was in Arizona.

Compare that to the 4 tread separations I've personally experienced with BFG AT tires in the last 10 or 11 years. All of these tires looked great, and all had realtively low mileage (30K, 40 something, 50 and 52-53? on vehicles). I even paid a tire shop to remove and fully inspect all the tires between the 3rd and 4th occurance. Yet, one after the other it's happened. I won't act like this hasn't also given me a huge anti-BFG bias, but better Es in BFG than D in anything.

When someone comes along with an unexplained E-rated separation or failure on any of these vans that will weigh heavily against the number of D failures we have had as a group (someone should really count... NOT IT!)
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:12 PM   #10
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Re: Good thing I had both hands on the wheel !

If for no other reason than better on-road stability, I would only recommend going with E load rated tires. If I get a chance when I'm up at SMBw on the 12th, I'll try to catch Alan and get his take on D vs. E load rated tires.


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