Trailer Fires

Topic 6119 | Page 1

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DeJuan J.'s Comment
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What causes trailer firers? Last night on I-20 a truck zipped past me and then 30 minutes later I passed him and his trailer was engulfed in flames. Completely burned down. He had enough time to disconnect the tractor though. I wonder what caused it.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Several reasons.

The bearings on the trailer need lubrication. Otherwise it will overheat and burn down the entire axle. I've seen this firsthand and even had to repower a load before because the axle was burnt and needed replacing but the L/O refused to wait for it.

You also have the brakes that can fade and become extremely hot.

And on top of all of that you have giant rubber tires right next to both of these.

A proper Pretrip inspection goes a long way and taking downgrades slowly enough so that you don't have to use your brakes more than once or twice.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

member avatar

I saw Swift catch on fire right in front of me, he was screaming down a grade on his brakes the whole time. This was only 7 days ago.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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The problem, especially with brake fires, is that you can't get them out! Once the brakes get hot enough to actually catch fire a fire extinguisher (or several or them) won't do anything. You'll knock the flames out for a moment but the material stays so hot it lights right back up again. The only way to really get a brake fire out is hope to God the fire department shows up quick with a lot of water to cool the brakes down.

So if you see a brake fire, chances are 20 minutes later you're going to see about 1/2 the trailer engulfed. Rarely can the fire department get there in time to save it.

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Equipment Questions Safe Driving Tips Tips For Braking
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