Using the trailer brakes in case of a steer tire blowout?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by EurekaSevven, Jun 13, 2024.

  1. EurekaSevven

    EurekaSevven Bobtail Member

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    So, I've been driving for a year and a half at this point. Learned a lot, thankfully never had a steer blowout in my short time in my career so far (and will never, hopefully, but who knows what the future holds).

    I'm making this thread because at my first job, my trainer gave me a bit of advice, and I have no idea if it's BS or not: If you ever have a steer blowout, use the trailer brakes to make the trailer drag, and therefore take some of the weight off of the steer axle, so it's easier to steer and you can put it on the shoulder without much incident. Now, to me, the logic does make sense (at least if you were loaded and not empty), but I have no idea if this is actually a good idea or not. Truckers with more experience, please enlighten me, I'd love the knowledge to keep in my wheelhouse.
     
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  3. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

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    Absolutely Not. Take your foot off the throttle, and let the truck slow down on its own. Do not use your brakes in anyway, it can cause all kinds of things to go wrong. ease it on to the shoulder , gentle movements. Nothing quick.
     
  4. EurekaSevven

    EurekaSevven Bobtail Member

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    I appreciate the advice greatly. Yeah, this is something I've wondered about ever since I heard it. Figured it was better to ask here rather than try it out in the field and have it NOT be the right option...good to know, for sure.
     
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  5. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

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    I have been a commerical driver since 1979, 2 million mile at least, I can tell you when things go wrong (and they will) the brakes are not your friend.
     
  6. Concorde

    Concorde Road Train Member

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    That was ridiculous advice.. You’re going to definitely need both hands on the steering wheel to keep it under control.

    Most, and I’ve seen a ton of steer tires blowouts that are pretty much uneventful and ending with the truck on the shoulder safely..okay, maybe a new set of undies is in order.
     
  7. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

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    If a steer blows out you want to hit the accelerator pedal a bit to get the front to lift to lighten the steering and gain control. Then let off and let the rig slow itself down to a safe stop. This is why driving on the governor is dangerous. The trailer brake can be used if you need to stop in a hurry because if you hit the foot brake that steer is coming down hard and you are just gonna ride along. Most rollovers due to steer blowouts are from hitting that foot peddle.
    One of the biggest issues with operating a truck is folks are afraid of that johnson bar and don’t know how to use it for more then a tug test. It is a great 85 year old tool put there for more reasons then just that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2024
  8. Big Road Skateboard

    Big Road Skateboard Road Train Member

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    I think there's too many possible scenarios for just one correct answer. I could definitely see one where a guy needs to slow down faster than rolling resistance will.

    Gonna take hand/eye coordination and confident driving, but I could see a benefit to using the trailer brakes during a steer blowout. Not every time, but certain scenarios.

    That said, I've never blown a steer. I have watched the videos online about what to do. But real life don't happen on a closed course.

    And everything I said could be completely wrong. I don't have the experience you guys do.
     
  9. cuzzin it

    cuzzin it Road Train Member

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    Yes using trailer brake is good idea for slowing. However taking hand off wheel at that time, isn't
    Just try to glide it over to side.
    Oh yeah call shop and say "I just blew a Steer" they love that
     
  10. Zoltan1a

    Zoltan1a Road Train Member

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    I just leap from the truck, forget the rest of the steps
     
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  11. 77fib77

    77fib77 Road Train Member

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    I had it happen. Thankfully it was a straight piece of road going down hill. I gently applied the foot brake held it strait nothing happened.

    But if it happened in a curve in Kentucky, idk how it would turn out... I would prefer a manual. The tractor I have now, no Johnson bar and automatic.
     
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