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KevinWoods

Dodging exploding tractor trailer tires

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So I had an interesting ride home from work yesterday afternoon.  I had just gotten on the highway and a tractor trailer tire exploded right in front of me.  Luckily there were not any other cars around me so I took some crazy wild evasive action. Me and the bike got hit with some smaller pieces of tire but most of the big stuff missed. I was more worried about running over debris than all the pieces flying at me.

This is the first time, car or bike, that I have seen one of those tires fail.

 

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That's always exciting!  Glad the situation came out OK, and you're safe!  Good reminder to leave ourselves room to maneuver.

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That's one of the reasons I won't ride near one in bike or car.  If I come up behind one, I get around it quick.  The driver's can't see as well as you can and tires explode, etc.  Glad you didn't get hurt, you were fortunate.   

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I live near enough to a freeway that I occasionally hear when these things explode. About once a year. It sounds like a shot. Lots of force.  Those things are inflated to way more pressure than a car tire. Like 80-110psi, depending. Chunks of rubber can fly off like shrapnel.

 

I stay far away, personally.

 

Glad you're OK.

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3 hours ago, thepretender said:

Episode 80: Big Rig Myths

  • An exploding big rig tire can decapitate a person: confirmed

http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2007/06/episode_80_big_rig_myths.html

Well, yes and no. I actually watched one of my box truck rears explode once. I was looking in my right mirror to change lanes at the moment it let go. It didn’t fly out the side at the same angle as the Mythbuster test did. Rotational force and whatnot. Not saying it’s a good time, but... One in a million maybe. Still, don’t hang around big trucks just in general. 

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It's not the rubber that does the decapitation but the 5lbs of rubber that knocks you off your bike and the F150 that runs over your head that does the decapitation. LOL

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Hah -- yeah, falling in 70 mph traffic is worse than just the road rash.

 

I've seen a tread come off truck tires before. It started whipping around, throwing pieces. Every which way -- one of the belts was attached and it was shredding against the underside of the box.  I was in a car, but it was an impressive sight. It's totally unpredictable, and a pound of rubber at 70mph is not something I want to deal with on a bike.

 

And, frankly, I don't want to be anywhere near a trailer, anyway.  Even in best of circumstances anything from a gust of wind to some asshat on a cellphone can cause the truck to have to move or react. Even if I can see his eyes in his rear view mirror, I'm gonna get away from any truck on the freeway. Let that guy deal with his truck, and not have to worry about me. I really don't want to be the jerk who sneaks into the poor guy's blind spot when he needs to move over a lane, either.

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It happens on I-285 here in Atlanta and in that section it is 4 lanes each way. The truck was 4-5 car lengths in front of me and one lane to my right. I was very lucky I was not directly behind him and I was wearing my riding jacket.  

When I lived in Kansas City, I was not always diligent about wearing proper clothing or even a helmet.  

I’m not sure if it was because of the speed but this tire exploded into many many pieces.   

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I keep my distance from other traffic as much as possible. Especially big trucks.

Pass them with wfo.

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Had almost same thing as previous poster, except I got a warning in the form of little chunks of rubber hitting my faceshield. After a couple of seconds I realized that wasn't gravel, saw the smoke start from the tractor trailer in the other lane about 30ft in front of me, changed lanes just in time to avoid a 4 foot chunk of tire take the space I was in seconds before. Sure at 70mph I wouldn't have made it. Then about a month later on the same stretch of highway, I was about 8 car lenghts behind a pickup towing a U-Haul, remembered the tire incident and moved two lanes over. Seconds later the trailer started to wobble, swish back and forth and flip over. Glad I wasn't behind it. Two things I avoid at all cost now.

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Yikes! +1 on the WFO technique.

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It happened to me when driving when I was slowly passing an 18-wheeler in my car.  With the windows down.  That was LOUD!

 

Never had the experience on my bike, and hope I never do.  

 

One little defensive driving/riding "trick" I use is if I see part of a tire carcass on the road, THEN THERE'S PROBABLY ANOTHER ONE further up the road.  Sure enough, there usually is.

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