Highway Safety During The Holiday


Barb during our driving days.

I’m certain most drivers have heard the road trucks with their “square” tires. Those tires should be in the recycle bin, not on the road traveling seventy miles per hour or whatever the driver thinks he can get away with.

Case in point: While driving for a company with a fleet of flatbed trucks I once hauled a load of flat steel from Los Angeles to a construction site near Spokane, Washington. For the last 500-miles I’d been listening to a tire on the trailer. The pounding had grown worse, and after unloading I found a payphone and called my dispatcher who was in another state.

Go to such and such a place in Sandpoint, Idaho and pick up a load of power poles going to Chicago.

I have a trailer tire on its last legs. Where do I go to get it taken care of?” I asked.

Is it still holding air?


Get all you can out of that tire.

Following his instructions, I proceeded to Sandpoint, loaded my 90-foot poles on a 43-foot trailer and started east on Interstate 90 with 36-feet hanging over the back of the trailer. The highway was rough and the poles wiggled.

I was near Big Timber, Montana when the tire in question gave it up at about 60 miles per hour, issuing a shotgun type report. An unfortunate young man in a Chevrolet pickup was passing at that moment. A four-foot strip of tread peeled off the blown tire, snaked its way from under the trailer deck and landed on his hood. He did everything except wreck his vehicle. We stopped. There was no damage to his rig other than some bruised paint that buffing would remove.

He continued on his way and I limped into a tire shop in Big Timber and bought a new tire.

HOWEVER, had this individual in the pickup been on a motorcycle, or the tread had whip through an open window of an automobile, the story might have had a more tragic ending.

When you’re headed to Grandma’s house over the Christmas Holiday beware of the 18-wheelers rolling down the highway with pounding tires.