Safety Saturday...

Topic 27259 | Page 1

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Susan D. 's Comment
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This is for the rookies and soon to be rookies ;-)

How would you handle a steering tire blowout?

You're hauling heavy unstable freight and coming down a fairly steep hill and in a curve. You're on a 4 lane divided roadway (2 lanes each direction). Oh yeah and there's a bridge at the bottom (with no shoulder.. just the 2 lanes and a rail) before another ascent uphill.

Experienced driver's please hold back responding to let the newer drivers try to figure it out first. Thanks.

Delco Dave's Comment
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I dont have a CDL yet but I’ll take a shot. Put on your flashers/hazards. Slow down to a crawl, stay in right lane, coast slowly to bottom of hill to get on flat ground before bridge. Put your triangles out and call police since your blocking a lane. Qualcomm message and call your dispatch, call for service?


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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I had a guy blow a passenger side steer while I was passing him a couple weeks ago, I was basically side by side with him when it went. He went all the way on to the shoulder, then back toward me I moved as far left as I could and luckily he got it under control.

Bird-One's Comment
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Man how loud was that? I always try to wait till a driver is completely done passing and back in the right lane before I attempt to pass. Gotta leave an out.

I had a guy blow a passenger side steer while I was passing him a couple weeks ago, I was basically side by side with him when it went. He went all the way on to the shoulder, then back toward me I moved as far left as I could and luckily he got it under control.

Susan D. 's Comment
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Only the bridge has no shoulder.. the rest of the highway does. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that, Delco. But yes, if you're ever disabled and obstructing traffic lanes for any reason. certainly call law enforcement.

Anyone else? Remember, you're going on a downhill curve with a VERY heavy load, say 44,000 pounds or so, approaching a bridge that has no shoulder.

PackRat's Comment
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Papa Pig's Comment
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Sounds like a no win

Stay off the breaks at first and tap the accelerator a bit to get control and . Once control is maintained slow down until you can safely come to a stop.?🤷🏻‍♂️

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Hi Susan... havent seen you in awhile.. i hope all is well!!! Merry Christmas!

Chief Brody's Comment
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First thing I would do is grip the wheel tight to control the veering that the blown steer tire would most likely cause. I would focus on very little lateral movement, as if I were on snow or ice, because the disintegrating tire is prone to catch a side edge and push me left or right. And before long I may have a rim only on the blown tire side.

Next, I straddle both lanes (assuming I have space) to give me as much left and right movement as possible and to keep cars behind me. Sorry folks, but you can hold back until I get this under control.

I would NOT apply the brakes. Rather I would use my drive wheels, downshifting, to slow me down. But very carefully so that it doesn't add left and right torque.

Once I slow down and make it past the bridge, I'll use the ascent to slow me down enough to where I can move to the right lane and then onto the shoulder to stop.

This was just my instinctual reaction. I didn't look up to see how your are supposed to handle a blown steer tire.

How did I do?

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Excellent, Rob. You nailed it.

Actually this scenario happened to me on I-69 in Indiana around the 96 mm out in the middle of nowhere on Friday afternoon. I was hauling 43,580 pounds of the tall paper rolls out of the Henderson, KY paper mill headed to IP at Eaton, OH.. they're standing upright and sitting on thin rubber skid mats.

I managed to slow the truck enough by downshifting and very sparingly using the brakes to be at about 30 mph by the time I reached the bridge and got stopped on the right shoulder just past the rail of the bridge.

I miraculously managed to keep the nose of the tractor up and my truck on the pavement. There was no damage to the truck or the rim. What was left of the belts protected the rim when it dropped to the pavement upon stopping. It was my left or driver's side steer tire. The entire tread had separated from the tire and remained intact but stuck under the truck around the steering components. Had an angel looking out for me.


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