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2nd time in 2 weeks...


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...blowed a danged trailer tire. Last time it was the front right inside...and it tore the heck out of the side skirt brackets & cables when it came apart. Limped 'er on up the road about 2 miles to the next get-off and found an old vacant gas station to wait for a service truck to bring me a new tire. While I waited, I removed the side skirt on that side (since it broke the weld on the rear bracket and sheared a cable) and stowed it on my catwalk for the ride to the shop (where they handed me a new bracket and cable and sent me on my way to put it all back together myself....)

Today, it was the front right outside tire that failed in spectacular fashion. I was going to limp on up the road to the next exit, but a section of tread was still hanging on flapping around, so I had to pull off onto the shoulder. I pulled the pair of 30" tire spoons out of my side box and removed the tire. Tossed it up on the catwalk with a chain to secure it and I got the heck off the shoulder. I HATE sitting on the side of a busy highway, and I won't hang out there any longer than absolutely necessary.

When I got up the road to the next exit, I crossed the road and found a wide spot on the shoulder of the get-on ramp to sit and wait (there really wasn't anything else there at that exit....just a seldom traveled state highway....might have had 3 cars drive by during my hour long wait). This time, though, it didn't obliterate anything on the side skirt...just stretched a couple cables and knocked some of the clamps holding the side skirt to the supports....nothing a little bailing wire couldn't fix.


One of the benefits of having a frameless dump trailer....no need for a jack if the blown tire is on that front axle. Heck, I was surprised the tire guy even removed the rim to mount the new tire...I would have just slipped the new tire on, aired it up, and been done with it.


Anyway, that's one of the reasons I refuse to run those ridiculous super single tires....no way to move the truck to a safe location to have the tire replaced....and that creates a safety hazard for everyone on the road and ESPECIALLY for that poor soul who gets called out to change a tire with traffic zipping passed at 70+ mph while the drivers are fumbling around with their phones completely oblivious to what is going on around them on the road.

One of my pet peeves is when I see a truck on the shoulder having a tire changed...when there was still a perfectly good tire that would have allowed the truck to be moved to a safer location....ESPECIALLY if the blowout was on the side of the truck that has the tire guy working on the traffic side of the vehicle. There is no reason for it, but you see it all of the time. Tire guys risking their life because some panty waste steering wheel holder is too scared to drive the truck to a safer location.

§ 396.7(B)Any motor vehicle discovered to be in an unsafe condition while being operated on the highway may be continued in operation only to the nearest place where repairs can safely be effected. Such operation shall be conducted only if it is less hazardous to the public than to permit the vehicle to remain on the highway.

It's right there in the regulations. Move the damn truck to a safe location to have the repairs made before you get somebody killed.

OK....I didn't set out to go off on a tangent like that. I just wanted to post up another Redneck Engineering success story. :blush:

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When approaching a 4-way stop, the vehicle with the biggest tires has the right of way!
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I've never had a blowout on the caps I've run on my truck. I've even had my own cases capped twice and ran them without any catastrophic failures. Quality tires that I bought new as virgins which haven't been abused, sent to a reputable facility for capping, with high standards in quality control. Quality in = quality out.

The "fleet" caps the company uses, on the other hand....different story. I think they send cases to whoever will wrap a new tread around them the cheapest and the only requirement is that they hold air....and even that is negotiable. I've picked up a nail in a trailer tire before and rolled into a reputable tire shop only to be told they weren't going to patch the tire. When I went in to look at WHY they were refusing to patch it, I saw that the tire (a fairly "new" cap) already had about a dozen patches on the inside....some of which were even on the side wall....and the nail had punctured one of the existing patches. Garbage in = garbage out.

When approaching a 4-way stop, the vehicle with the biggest tires has the right of way!
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I had quite a few changes happen around the same time....switched from an older style trailer with the squared off nose and no side skirts that weighed about 1000 pounds more to this one with the rounded nose and side skirts....and I blew my turbo around that same time, and then changed a leaky exhaust manifold gasket a few days later after I acquired the gaskets (I'd been looking for that exhaust leak for several months & couldn't find it...much easier when oil is pouring out of it). Overall, I gained about 3/4 to 1 mpg....but no telling how much can be attributed to the skirts vs. the more aerodynamic nose of the trailer vs. the lighter tare weight vs. the increased boost pressure from a new turbo without a leaky manifold gasket. I will say this much, though, the difference in trailers was astounding. I always knew the old trailer was back there...ESPECIALLY when I was driving into a headwind. I could FEEL the wind buffeting on the front of the trailer (of course it doesn't help that I've got about 12 feet between the back of the cab and the front of the trailer). This trailer? I can't feel it back there. When I'm empty, it doesn't pull much different than when I'm bobtailing....except for the weight. Easily one of the best pulling trailers I've ever had. The side skirts took a little getting used to....having to walk around the trailer instead of simply ducking under it. After these 2 blow-outs, though, I'm not so sure the fairings would be worth it if it were MY trailer....but then again, if it WERE my trailer, those junk tires wouldn't be on it so I wouldn't be having the blowout issues. Every time a tire blows on that front axle, it tears something up on the side skirt. I'd probably keep them on there if they were already there when I bought the trailer...but doubt I'd put out the money to install them if they weren't already on. I'm mostly local anyway, and highway mileage is limited....always preferred the 2-lanes.

I'm a little disappointed, though. I'm going to be dropping this trailer today and going back to tanks....guess they need me again. I was getting used to actually getting a decent nights sleep and not starting until 7 or 8 in the morning and only working 9 or 10 hour days inside the 100 air mile radius, so no need to keep detailed log book entries. On tanks, I always had the 4 AM load appointments...which WILL stop once the new rules go into effect (need 2 consecutive days with 1AM to 5AM off duty in order to reset) because I'd lose the ability to use Saturday as a make-up day if I'm leaving the house at 2:30 in the morning. Not to mention getting up that early absolutely SUCKS!!! It also means 13-14 hour days and actually keeping a log book. Sure, I'll gross more....but once I got the run they had me on figured out on the dumps, I was actually doing $0.10/mile better & running 100 fewer miles than I had been on tanks.

Oh well....guess that's what I get for having a truck set up to do it all. When things pick up on one side and slack off on another, I'm the first to be told to switch.

I do have one persistent issue that needs to be resolved. I think I've got a weak valve somewhere....when the tank pressure gets down to around 105 psi and until the compressor kicks in to recharge the air tanks, whenever the turbo spools up and boost pressure increases above 5-10 psi, I hear air leaking...sort of like a pressure cooker....and because of that leak, boost pressure won't go above 25 psi or so and I really don't have much power to pull a hill. Once the compressor kicks in, that leak stops and boost pressure rises to about 30 until the compressor shuts off...and then I pick up the remaining couple psi to get full boost. I understand that last couple psi because the compressor is sucking air from the intake....but the leak between 105 psi tank pressure down to the kick-in point for the compressor is really bugging me. Would that be the air governor? Possibly the air dryer? Something else? Can't afford to blindly throw money at the problem, and not sure how to spool up the turbo to listen for the leak when the truck is parked and I can walk around listening and looking for where the air is escaping from....so I just deal with it. If I see a hill coming up and my tank air is getting close to 105 psi (and think about it in time), I'll tap the brakes a few times to get the compressor to kick in so I can pull the hill....otherwise, I downshift an extra time or two on my way up.

When approaching a 4-way stop, the vehicle with the biggest tires has the right of way!
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You ain't kiddin about drivers these days...last year a tow truck driver here in Columbus, Ohio was killed when a drunk driver rammed the car he was hooking up to. That's the second tow driver I can remember here in recent years.

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