Headed down the interstate, fully loaded enclosed tandem axle trailer full of ceramic roof tiles (probably about 13k lbs. worth). Cruising along at
about 80mph when all of a sudden...
Instantly I thought a BOMB went off!! My wife screamed. It was so loud I almost passed out, my vision narrowed and I really thought it was lights
out. The concussion from the blast was unbelievable. In what seemed like an hour (but in reality was probably less than 1/2 second) I regained my
composure (sort of). The back of my truck started to fishtail, and the trailer started wildly swaying. My mind still hadn't absorbed what had
There was a deafening roar coming from the front of my truck, and I noticed the front right of the truck was down about a foot. Then I
realized....BLOWOUT!! Front right steering tire!! Checked my rear view mirror and had a semi barreling up on me in the left lane to pass. S#!! My
trailer was trying to come around me and I needed some real estate on the road to correct or else I was going to lose it!
I swerved out into the center (hoping the semi would brake and not hit me) to get in front of my trailer and straightened out, and lifted off the gas.
My mind was screaming NO BRAKES..DON'T DO IT! So I resisted the almost overwhelming temptation to hit the brakes. I had slowed down to about 65mph
by this point.
Stayed squarely in front of the trailer and headed for the right shoulder. I just KNEW I was going off the pavement into the ditch so I was looking
for a good spot. I remember thinking to myself,...'If I can just get it slowed down to 40mph or so I might be able to keep it upright'
on a steep downhill grade).
I got over onto the rumble strips on the shoulder, still going 60mph or so, and just tried to hold it on the pavement as long as I could. I wasn't
"steering" as much as just "pointing" the truck and trailer in a general direction. My mind was just spinning. The whole front end of the truck felt
like it was disintegrating, crazy crashing noises coming from everywhere. I could hear chunks of metal coming up and hitting the underside of the
truck, and could feel the trailer bouncing over them. Right about then the semi which was behind me roared by. Then...BANG!...I hit the first (of
three) reflector poles on the edge of the pavement, then BANG! and one more BANG! I was trying to hold left to stay on the shoulder, but now the
right side was just off the pavement in the dirt. There was a huge cloud of dust and flying debris behind me.
I looked down at the speedo and it said ZERO...all my gauges said zero. The engine was out. Great!...that means my power steering is out too. But I
kept holding left as best I could, now judging my speed by the rumble strip intervals. I was back on the pavement now (barely), and the rumble strips
were getting slower and slower.
Believe it or not, I actually got it all the way stopped on the pavement!!! I had to sit there for a couple minutes, just in shock, to digest what
had just happened. My heart must have been topping about 200bpm. I had to tell myself...
1. We're alive
2. We didn't wreck too badly
3. We didn't hit the Semi
4. No other vehicles appear to be involved
5. WE'RE ALIVE!!!
I honestly had to say those things to myself, just to convince myself it was real. I looked up and the semi who passed me had pulled over onto the
shoulder. He was probably cleaning out his undershorts too! After a couple minutes it was time to get out and assess the damage...
The front right tire was completely blown out (explosive blowout), the right front fender well was completely torn out, the transmission cooler lines
were severed and transmission fluid was all over everything. The tire explosion had severed the main battery cable down to the starter (which is why
the engine quit). Both of the right side trailer tires were flattened, and one of the steel reflector poles was wadded up between my rear axle and
the spring on the right side. The hood on the truck had a dandy dent in it, a perfect imprint of the steel 'T' post reflector pole, and a nice green
paint stripe ran all the way down past my front bumper. The right headlight and turn signal was broken and my right side mirror was shattered, and
the mirror folded in to the side of the truck.
I turned around and was startled by the truck driver who had walked back to us. He stuck out his hand, and said..."MAN, I don't know how in the
hell you kept that thing straight!! Someone is watchin' out for you today!!!! That was some kinda' drivin' there!! Never saw that before! Hey,
sorry for passing you there, but I couldn't get slowed down fast enough and you were throwin' up so much debris I didn't want to wreck into you."
I told him I completely understood and thanked him for giving me as much room as he could. We joked about going and buying some Lottery tickets.
Didn't get home until the morning. After the towing bill (which was huge) and all the truck repairs (fortunately it CAN be repaired) I'm sure this
will be the most expensive tire I've ever bought! The damage is incredible.
But hey...WE'RE ALL ALIVE!!
edit on 6/30/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)