Equipment Type

Heat Causes Tire Explosions

July 20, 2011

Rod Sutton is editorial director of Construction Equipment magazine. He is in charge of editorial strategy and writes a monthly column for the magazine, The Sutton Report. He has more than 30 years in construction journalism, and has been with Construction Equipment since 2001.

I did something yesterday that we all have thought about and rarely had opportunity to do: I stopped to aid a woman alongside an Interstate. What struck me about this situation, and caused me to stop, were three things: It was HOT; she had a baby carriage alongside the car; and traffic had slowed enough so I could actually pull over in a reasonable amount of time and distance.

After confirming that there was no child in the car, I looked at her tire. What I saw scared me. The tire had ballooned unevenly around one side. I had intended to change her tire, now I backed away.

Those of you who manage heavy-equipment fleets know why I was worried. An overheated tire assembly can explode with such force that bystanders can be seriously injured or even killed. Editor Walt Moore has just completed work on an article on tire safety, much of which focuses on the effects of heat. This video shows how devastating heat applied to an assembly can be.

 

After the driver of the car had called her husband, who was now on his way, I told her in no uncertain terms that she needed to stay away from that tire. I warned her of the danger if it exploded and advised her to tell her husband not the change it.

As I left, I prayed she’d follow my advice. Maybe, I thought, the tire would have cooled down enough for the pressure to decrease. Even in the ambient air (my car thermometer registered 100), the pressure surely would diminish.

I don’t know if she followed my advice. I do know that anyone working on or near heavy-duty tires better. Yesterday’s incident and Walt’s timely article calls to attention the need for tire safety.

And in the current heat wave, it’s a timely reminder.

Add comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Evaluations

Doosan DX190W-5 wheeled excavator works on a project
Wheeled excavators have a long way to go to match their popularity in...
Western Star 6900XD truck-tractor has a Smithco tri-axle side-dump trailer
Western Star fields an off-road straight truck that’s also a tractor...
Kenworth T880S mixer and dumper pose in front of Kenworth’s plant
Kenworth’s latest vocational model meets weight-distribution...
Overlay Init