For many truck drivers, truck tire explosions are a major concern on the road due to how dangerous they can be to the driver and other motorists. But have you ever wondered why semi truck tires explode in the first place? When you understand the cause, you can better protect yourself while on the road and perhaps even save someone else’s life in the process. Here’s what you need to know about semi truck tire explosions and how to prevent them from happening.
Comparing Semi Truck Tires
Steer tires are the front two tires of a semi truck that do the most work when it comes to driving. They steer, brake, and accelerate. When a semi truck stops, the full weight of the cargo that is being transported will go into these tires, which results in them experiencing the most wear and tear. For this reason, they require the most maintenance and attention. It is important for the driver to check them often and inflate them properly to prevent explosions or other problems.
The function of the drive tires on a semi truck is to help keep the vehicle moving forward. The drive tires also allow the driver to steer and maneuver along the road. These tires can be made of steel, polyester, nylon, or polyurethane. Steel-belted radials are by far the most common type of tire used on semi trucks, providing better traction than many other types of tire. Drive tire blowouts can happen when all four drive tires get worn out at about the same time and all their treads have been worn down.
There are two different types of drive tires that can be found on a semi truck: radial and bias ply tires. The type of tire depends on how much stress it needs to endure and how heavy it is; bias-ply tyres are made for light loads, while radial-ply tyres are made for heavy loads and high speeds. Radial-plys provide better traction because they can withstand large vertical forces whereas bias-plys slip on hard surfaces.
Drive tire manufacturers recommend checking drive tire pressure every 30 days; however, this can vary depending on how frequently the driver uses the truck’s brakes.
Trailer tires are designed for stability and load distribution when driving on-road or off-road in a trailer configuration. The rear trailer tires have the most traction our of all tires in a semi truck. They are typically equipped with higher ply ratings to prevent excessive tire wear, but also to distribute weight across more of the tire tread. Trailer tires can be heavier than drive tires due to their size, therefore they require more robust materials. More durable compounds may include: nylon, steel cord, polyester cords, aramid cords and canvas fabric reinforcing belts.
What Causes Semi Truck Tires to Explode?
There are several causes of truck tire explosions. Causes include tread separation and sudden loss of pressure. More than 75% of semi-truck tire explosions happen during the drive. The most common reason for this is low tire pressure caused by a flat, puncture, or under-inflation. The lower the air pressure in the tires, the more likely they are to fail because there is less rubber contact with the ground and less resiliency in the sidewalls. This type of failure may be initiated by conditions on the surface such as pot holes or a surface irregularity such as rocks that catch on a tread groove when traveling at high speeds over them.
Tire Tread Seperation
The steel belts that make up the tread of the drive tires have metal fasteners with hooks on them. These hooks are for connecting two steel belts together. They are important to prevent the belts from popping apart when traveling over a speed bump, especially at higher speeds. But sometimes, these hooks get worn out and cannot keep the metal plates secured together. This results in when you go over a high-impact event (such as driving off road or hitting a pothole), the tension from the belt loosens up and pops back into place, making it even looser. When this happens on both front tires, it’s called traction loss and can result in reduced control of your vehicle when turning or braking because there is less contact with the road surface.
Loss of Tire Pressure
There are many reasons that a semi truck tire could lose pressure. One potential cause of low air in a semi truck tire is faulty valve stem, which could be caused by debris or rust. Likewise, tires can also lose air due to punctures, if the tube has already ruptured and split. Flat spots on the surface of the tire can also lead to improper inflation; all of these situations should be addressed with immediate repair from a professional. To maintain proper balance between tire pressures and to ensure reliability, heavy trucks must stop periodically for air checks and rotations (e.g., every 400 miles).
What To Do If Your Semi Truck Tire Explodes While You Are Driving
Need Semi Truck Tire Service? Call (443) 790-8887 Today!
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