If you’re in the commercial trucking industry, you know how big of a responsibility you have. Your drivers haul bulky and heavy loads, making each trip risky. As truckers, you should drive as safely as possible and maintain your vehicles to avoid potentially fatal accidents on the road.
Also of equal importance is the maintenance of the trailers your trucks tow. If not properly maintained, the trailer’s tire may suffer a blowout, which can cause all sorts of dangers on the road.
Even the most diligently maintained trucks can encounter situations where a trailer’s tire failure becomes an unexpected challenge. In this article, you will learn how to manage or prevent such incidents.
6 Steps to Deal with a Trailer Tire Blowout While Driving
The instability and challenge of maintaining vehicular control during a tire blowout can cause panic, especially at high speeds. It doesn’t help that the mass of your tow trailer increases the truck’s momentum.
With your safety and that of other road users on the line, staying calm is crucial. Below are practices to keep in mind to minimize harm and get back on track.
1. Accelerate slightly to stabilize your vehicle
It may seem counterintuitive, but the first thing you should do is step on the gas briefly. Doing so won’t accelerate your vehicle. Instead, the increased momentum helps steady the truck while moving it forward in a controlled manner. This vital step lessens the sudden shift in balance that often accompanies a blowout, preventing your vehicle from veering uncontrollably.
2. Release the gas, but don’t press the brakes
Once your vehicle is stable, take your foot off the accelerator to disengage the engine’s power. Avoid applying the brakes abruptly, as this can lead to further instability and potential loss of control. When you let the vehicle coast, you allow it to decelerate gradually.
3. Do not violently jerk the steering wheel
Although it may be tempting to steer immediately to compensate for the blowout, resist this urge. Jerking the wheel can amplify the loss of control and worsen the situation. Instead, keep your hands firmly but calmly on the steering wheel. Let the vehicle settle into a straight line as the momentum decreases.
4. Gently slow down
As the truck’s speed decreases naturally, maintain a gentle grip on the steering wheel. The goal is to bring the vehicle to a manageable speed without abrupt movements. While your speed reduces, take this chance to assess your surroundings.
5. Find a space where you can pull over
Scan the road for a suitable spot to pull over. Look for a wide shoulder or a safe area away from traffic where you can stop without inconveniencing or endangering anyone. Remember to use your turn signals to indicate your intention to other drivers.
6. Change the tire or call for help
After safely stopping, check the damage to the blown tire. If you’re confident in changing the tire, proceed cautiously while following proper safety guidelines. Call for professional roadside assistance if you’re unsure or lack the necessary tools. They can provide the expertise and equipment to replace the tire safely.
How to Avoid Trailer Tires from Blowing Out
Prevention is still the best approach even when you know what to do with a tire blowout. Knowing some of the tire blowout causes helps decrease your chances of encountering this unfortunate incident. Here are several ways to avoid a truck and trailer disaster:
Avoid overloading your trailer
Overloading a trailer places excessive strain on the tires, increasing heat buildup and wear. Following the manufacturer’s weight capacity specifications for your trailer is essential. But remember to distribute the load evenly to prevent undue pressure on specific tires. Regularly inspect your cargo, and ensure it remains within safe limits to avoid premature tire failure.
Inflate tires to the correct level
Maintaining proper tire pressure is imperative for safe and efficient towing. Underinflated tires generate excessive heat, which can lead to blowouts. Conversely, overinflated tires are more prone to damage from road hazards like potholes.
Check your trailer tire pressure frequently. Use a reliable gauge and inflate the tires to the recommended pressure specified in the owner’s manual or with the markings on the tire’s sidewall.
Ensure you have adequately maintained tires
Make it a habit to inspect your trailer and truck tires. Look for wear, cuts, bulges, or any other irregularities. Maintaining a consistent tire rotation schedule is also best to ensure even wear across all tires. Don’t neglect the valve stems, too. Check if they are secure and leak-free.
Replace old and damaged tires
Tires have a finite lifespan, even with proper maintenance. The rubber compound deteriorates and ages, making them more susceptible to blowouts. If your tires show signs of wear, have irregular tread patterns, or exceed their recommended lifespan, replace them immediately.
Equip your trailer with high-quality truck tires
The quality of your trailer tires plays a significant role in performance and durability. Invest in reputable, quality tires to handle your towing demands. Your tires should withstand heavy loads and provide excellent traction and heat resistance. By choosing tires that match your trailer’s load capacity and specifications, you can reduce the risk of blowouts.
Prevent Trailer Tire Blowouts
Encountering a trailer tire blowout while driving can be unnerving. But education and prevention are the keys to safety. Remember to stay calm and take control of your vehicle if you ever experience a tire blowout. But as much as possible, be proactive with maintenance and choose the best tires in the market. If you’re looking for superior quality truck tires, Triangle Tires can help.
Our tire selection caters to passenger cars, light trucks, and heavy equipment vehicles. Experience quality without breaking the bank, as our affordable prices go hand in hand with top-notch performance. Browse our tire catalog, or contact us to discuss how we can help you.