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HOLY BLOWOUTs, Batman!!

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posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 06:46 AM
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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...

KA-BOOOOOM!!!

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 happened,

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' (I was 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.

Unbelievable!!

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)




posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 06:52 AM
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Outstanding job!



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 06:58 AM
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You should be teaching people how to drive!!

Glad to hear you both are ok!



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:01 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Any moment where you can stare the Reaper in the face and say "Not today, you son-of-a-bitch!" is a good day!

Bloody well done bringing that event to a safe conclusion! A blowout is something which takes even light loaded vehicles with experienced drivers by surprise, so you did a fantastic job there, and when the shock is fully worn off, I hope you have a well deserved residue of pride to work off. Now... I hope you had yourself a little drink by now? You earned one, that is for damned sure.



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:03 AM
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Damn good driving bro! Stuff like that can't be learned, it's keen instincts.

Wouldn't want to flip that repair bill, but whatever the cost, it's still a hell of lot cheaper than any injuries or worse. I'd definitely buy that lottery ticket.



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:05 AM
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originally posted by: wheresthebody
You should be teaching people how to drive!!

Glad to hear you both are ok!


Thanks!

Me too! More than I can probably even put into words at the moment.



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:06 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Wow, I feel like I need valium after reading your post-- felt like I was along for the ride. So glad you had the skill and presence of mind to keep control in a horrible situation. Also, I know what you mean about that time dilation feeling. So very strange.



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:08 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Any moment where you can stare the Reaper in the face and say "Not today, you son-of-a-bitch!" is a good day!


You got that right!!!


Bloody well done bringing that event to a safe conclusion! A blowout is something which takes even light loaded vehicles with experienced drivers by surprise, so you did a fantastic job there, and when the shock is fully worn off, I hope you have a well deserved residue of pride to work off. Now... I hope you had yourself a little drink by now? You earned one, that is for damned sure.


Thanks. I think I'll wait until later today, but definitely later!



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:20 AM
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a reply to: new_here

It's weird the stuff you think of in the heat of the moment during incidents like these. I can clearly remember thinking...

1. "Okay, I know we're going to wreck, but my job is just to minimize the wreck." - I just KNEW we were going in the ditch, but fortunately we didn't. My mind was focused on keeping the truck and trailer on the right side of the road and going in the ditch on that side. I knew if we went into the median off the left side of the road it would be disaster, so my success would be defined by if I could guide the truck into the right hand ditch. This 'tiny' detail actually took me quite a while to get over after we got stopped, I just couldn't believe it.

2. "DON'T HIT THE BRAKES!" - Your muscle memory automatically moves your foot from the gas to the brake in an emergency situation, but with a heavy trailer hitting the brakes is suicide. My mind was screaming not to do it, and it was almost like I had to consciously hold my foot up in the air just to keep from putting it down on the brakes.

3. (and this one is kind of funny) Dang it!! That one's gonna' leave a mark!" - when hitting the reflector pole. Here all this chaos is going on, just complete mayhem, and when I whacked that reflector post it was like in slow motion. The steel post bent over the hood like a whiplashed piece of spaghetti, and I was mad because I knew it was going to leave a mark on my paint job. The whole front end of my truck had just disintegrated, but I was mad about a post marring my paint!


edit on 6/30/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:22 AM
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a reply to: rexsblues

Thanks, maybe I'll do just that!

After some contemplation, what do I have to lose? ...except a couple bucks.



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:26 AM
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Man,that was a hell of a experience,great driving,not panicing and doing the wrong thing and the hand of God had to come togather that day.Glad you made it through in one piece.



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:26 AM
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edit on 30-6-2018 by ridgerunner because: double post



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:29 AM
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That damage should be covered by your auto insurance if you have full coverage on the vehicle.

It could have been a lot worse, I have seen trucks pulling trailers in the ditch because of blowouts on the truck.

You seem to have a good way with words, you could write an action novel some day.



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:34 AM
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One of the other weird things was, once we got stopped I was like paralyzed. I was sitting there with my right foot suspended off the floor and my hands on the steering wheel, just paralyzed. I had to consciously tell myself we were stopped and now it was okay to mash the brake and shift the truck into Park. I think it took fully 30 seconds for me to perform this action, after we stopped.



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:35 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

The thing that really freaked me out about your experience is when you said you were going down a steep incline... with a heavy-ass trailer strapped to your rudderless truck. I can't even.




when I whacked that reflector post it was like in slow motion


Time dilation during an emergency like this really interests me. It's as if the 'Speed of Thought' speeds up, making the environment seem to slow down. What IS the normal speed of thought, anyway? Is there any way for science to even determine?

I had a car speed past me once, move into my lane, and then proceed to spin out right in front of me, bounce off the guard rail so that I almost hit it TWICE. During the seconds that this occurred, I felt like I had several minutes to manage my response. So.Very.Strange and fascinating is the mind.
edit on 6/30/2018 by new_here because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:43 AM
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a reply to: new_here

Yeah, ol' man Gravity was not in my favor at all in this one! And that was what was so spooky, as soon as I lifted (off the gas) I felt the trailer start pushing us from behind. And when the back of the truck slid out, starting to jackknife, I somehow knew if I didn't get in front of it right at that moment I'd lose it.



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 07:55 AM
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And you know what also? The tires on this truck were practically brand new, and I'm always a nut about checking tires before pulling a trailer too (drives my wife crazy sometimes because I'll stop to do it if I haven't already).

I've never had anything like that happen before (though I've heard about it). I've had blowouts on the rears lots of times in my life, but never on the front...and NEVER while hauling a heavy trailer at high speed! And let me tell ya, that was no fun at all!!! Scared the living sheet right out of me! When I was outside looking at the damage afterwards, my knees about buckled a couple different times. That's when it hits ya...afterwards (well, me anyway).

So, if I had any words of advice...go check those front tires!! I had checked mine, but maybe checking yours will save you from a similar terrifying experience.



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 10:10 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Wow, not sure what else to say.

Not only a great bit of driving, but a really good bit of writing, too!

I've had a truck tire blow out explosively in front of me before and, although debris rained down, both the truck and I kept it together - but we were only moving at 50 km/h (about 31 mph).



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Glad you and your wife are OK !!



posted on Jun, 30 2018 @ 10:39 AM
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Good job driving.

Good job writing about it,too.
My heart was thumpin just reading it.I can't imagine how you felt.

Glad ya'll are safe.



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