Check your nuts (lugnuts)

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by GreenAcresLC, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. GreenAcresLC

    GreenAcresLC LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 84

    All of us have trailers and trucks that see a lot of road travel. Be sure to check the lugs on both, and keep maintenance up on bearings and all mechanical items.

    This happened on saturday the 26th on the interstate (I-71South in KY) as a result of a horse trailer losing a wheel. The story: I was not in the truck seen, my father was. I was traveling directly in front of him in my rig (I'm a full time local trucker looking to get off the road and more into the grass, just not like he did!). On the other side of the Interstate, heading north, a horse trailer lost a wheel and here it came! Across the median, and in between my dad and I. Figure the wheel/tire was traveling at least 55 (70MPH limit in KY), and dad's cruise set at 70, it was at least a 125MPH impact. The tire did so much damage under the hood and to the firewall and dash the truck is totalled! The picture does not to this accident justice. When the tire struck him, it broke the steering rod and locked his wheels as they are now, just a hair off center to the left. With no control (the engine died as a result of electronic malfunction, and the wheels locked in place), he crossed the left lane, into the median, and over onto the Northbound lanes, jackknifing in front of oncoming traffic. Very luckily, everyone saw what was happening, and no other vehicles were involved. All people came out untouched. Not so much for the truck though.

    Now, just imagine the scenario was this: A small car, say one of the tree-huggers' Toyota Prius cars was travelling and the tire hit them. Probably be death for the passengers in the car. Think about this when doing maintenance on your vehicles, and do the very best you (we) can to insure everyone's safety.

    By the way, the driver of the horse trailer didn't know he had lost a wheel until the State Police caught up with him 17 miles up the road.

    Dad's truck2.jpg

    Dad's truck.jpg
  2. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    Wowwww thats nuts! So the truck pictured was your dad's?
  3. GreenAcresLC

    GreenAcresLC LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 84

    yeah, the truck pictured was dad's, that's him in pic 2 with the hat on. I finally got stopped right before the overpass you can see. Can barely see my truck by the sign in the distance on the top right. Bad day, but could've always been worse.
  4. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    Am glad no one was hurt though beyond shocking it must have been!

    Had a similar experience on a divided interstate...just no impact. Was a full sized single semi wheel and tire, fully inflated, come bouncing toward me from oncoming traffic. I originally saw it in the distance and then it disappeared behind the concrete median...yeah, doing at least 50mph. Lo and behold it somehow bounces over the concrete median right in line with my car...right in line with me. Had I braked AT ALL AT ANY TIME LEADING UP TO THIS it would have been curtains - as I saw this thing barely miss my trunk in my rearview mirror...and continue its path off the highway safely missing any other nearby traffic. It all happened so fast...there was no time for my life to even begin flashing before my eyes. :dizzy:

    What does something like that weigh? 100+ lbs?? This was tall like a front tire as opposed to a smaller shorter drive or trailer tire...
  5. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    how can you drive 17 miles and not know you lost a wheel on your trailer :confused:
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Same way I drove my pick up truck and 6x12 trailer doing 45-50mph not even realizing a trailer tire had gone completely flat, first thing I felt is there seemed to be some minor steering issue, like it kept wanting to not drive exactly the way I was pointing it but it really was minor. So I drove a nice little distance while I kept wondering what could be wrong with the steering, finally I saw the trailer swerve a little so I checked my mirrors and noticed.

    So I'm sure sometimes on an 18 wheeler you don't hardly feel it either.
    Might translate to a tiny vibration or some such thing, you're just as well thinking it's an inconsistency in the road.
  7. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    Oh ok but i thought this was just a normal size horse trailer that lost its wheel not an 18 wheeler my bad.....and if the entire wheel came off they would be driving on the brake drum and id think you would feel or hear that alot more then a flat tire dont you agree? "You picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel" wasnt that Kenny
  8. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    If it was an 18 wheeler you could lose multiple wheels before it really became an issue of the brakes dragging. The guy must have been day dreaming and didnt realise.
  9. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,114

    Maybe it was a three axle horse trailer? It would be easy enough for someone to not notice missing one out of six wheels, especially if they are the kind of person to not check their nuts in the first place.
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    if you have 4 tires on your trailer and 1 is flat the other 3 hold the trailer so the flat tire never "Looks" flat. So it is not that hard to over look a flat tire I have a few times. Now if you have 8 tires on a trailer and 1 goes Bye bye the driver could continue driving totally unaware because he has 7 other tires

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