Steering Tire Blowout

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by tumblin dice, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. tumblin dice

    tumblin dice Light Load Member

    Apr 18, 2014
    Jacksonville, FL
    I saw a dash cam video the other day. A straight truck blew a steering tire. The truck dove for the shoulder and rolled killing the driver. I try to imagine that happening in a tractor trailer. I mean a blow out, no a rapid deflation. I would try to yank that trailer hand valve down immediately. What do you think? Bad idea?
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  3. Lepton1

    Lepton1 Road Train Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Yukon, OK
    Very bad idea. The last thing you want to do is load the steers with greater force by applying ANY kind of brakes.

    What you WANT to do is ACCELERATE first while maintaining steering wheel force against the blowout. THEN gradually decelerate.

    Here's a great video explaining the entire process:


    For those that are in a habit of steering with a couple of fingers with one hand or running hard against the governor, you won't be able to control a steer blowout.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2014
    roshea, JolliRoger, flood and 17 others Thank this.
  4. 201

    201 Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    That's true, although you're first reaction might be to hit the brakes. I'm really lucky, in 2.5 million miles, I've never had a steer tire let go. The problem, I imagine, is the blown tire will be way out of balance, trying to yank the steering wheel out of your hands. Years ago with manual steering, you might not be able to hold the steering wheel straight. Power steering definitely helps. I've seen lots of trucks at the side with flat steer tires, and aside from the hood getting damaged, most have seemed to bring her to a stop.:biggrin_2554:
    flood and CondoCruiser Thank this.
  5. CondoCruiser

    CondoCruiser The Legend

    Apr 18, 2010
    Rule #1, stay off the brakes, accelerate and a slight countersteer to stay straight like lepton said to counter the force. Once the truck is under control then you start the coast deceleration while you slowly make your way to the shoulder. Don't be terrified because it's not as bad as it sounds just as long as you know what to do. Excellent video!! Watch it, absorb it and be prepared to follow it!

    Rule#2, Always keep top notch steer tires. Any signs of wear then get new ones and have them put on the drives or a trailer for their final wear. Don't let anyone make you run junk steer tires. Then take care of them tires with proper air pressure, proper suspension and alignment. Never curb your steers as you can break bands in the sidewalls for a future blowout.

    Follow those guide lines and you'll never have a steer blowout unless you get a lemon.
    Lepton1 and AZS Thank this.
  6. 201

    201 Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    Or unless you hit something in the road. Bearings too, a cupping steer tire usually means a bad bearing. And once a steer tire starts to cup, it will continue to wear like that even after the bearing is replaced.
    CondoCruiser and Lepton1 Thank this.
  7. TomOfTx

    TomOfTx Road Train Member

    Jul 13, 2013
    Friendswood, TX
    Back about 10 years ago I went through an advanced training to better understand a few things drivers fear the most..... a steer tire blowout and a jackknife. For the steer tire blowout, all it took to keep control of the tractor trailer was to stab brake the trolley brake (trailer brakes only) a few times and the backwards force took all the pressure off the front end and I was able to slow the vehicle down and bring it to a safe stop. After undergoing this training, I have never feared a steer tire blowout or a jackknife because it is burned into my brain what I will do the instant either of these situations arise. Fortunately, in over 22 years driving I have never had to experience a steer tire blowout on the road. I am uber anal about pre-trip inspections and keeping my tires in ideal condition. The training I went through was actually really fun once the fear of what was the unknown was taken away. By the time the training was over I was driving down the track at 65 mph and induced a jackknife on an ice covered surface.... and remained in control. Of course, in the real world, keeping the vehicle under control does not guarantee you would never still make contact with another vehicle, but you would at least keep the truck upright. :)
    Lepton1 Thanks this.
  8. PackRatTDI

    PackRatTDI Licensed to Ill

    Jul 15, 2006
    El Chuco, Tejas
    Doesn't sound straight to me if it's blowing tires.
  9. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

    Apr 10, 2009
    Copied in Hell
    The hand brake will work. I went half tilt on the hand brake and the start increasing the pressure. It even saved the wheel from being chewed up.
    flood Thanks this.
  10. Richter

    Richter Road Train Member

    Feb 13, 2012
    Philadelphia Pa
    Id agree, take care fo your tires, and dont buy a junk wont ever have a steer blow out unless you hit something.

    A TPMS is a great tool also. I had a leaking valve on one of my steer (vibrated loose while under way, was fine when I did my PTI) The TPMS told me immediately that it was loosing air. I caught it before it lost more then 10 psi. tightened with a wrench (On the side of highway) and limped safely to nearest truck stop only 10 psi down. Without the TPMS i'm sure i would have had a low pressure blowout.

    In a compny truck, my trainee ran over something. When we stopped the tire was down to 40 psi and super hot. We were lucky it didnt blow at that low psi. A TPMS would have told us much sooner.
    flood Thanks this.
  11. x#1

    x#1 Road Train Member

    Dec 24, 2009
    Cherokee County, Alabama
    what? I had a steer tire blow about 2 months ago.right front. the inside of the tread just came off. name brand tire/freak incident. any tire can go at anytime regardless of the care you take of them although great care will reduce the failure rate.
    Farmerbob1 and Cranky Yankee Thank this.
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