Boom! goes the dynamite!
Wow! Adventure pops up when least expected and slaps a fella up the side of the head!
Okay, the good news…. Thursday evening last as I drove in a torrential, street flooding,
swift water rescue type thunderstorm with visibility down to about 20 feet, the
front passenger side tire popped and COMPLETELY deflated in
3.2 seconds apropos of nothing—thankfully at a speed well under the speed limit.
The bad news… my truck, which had been maneuvering up hill and down dale in ankle
deep rushing water now handled with the grace of movement on the washboardiest of washboard roads.
A tire with at least 30,000 miles and 3 years of life left before retirement had
inexplicably failed at the height of a monsoon with no place to park or pull over.
In decades of road travel I never experienced anything quite like this.
Fortunately, the Handymobile was only a half mile from safe haven -a carport and repair equipment – as
I quickly calculated based on the sequence of events the tire was pretty much kaput–so
with flashers flashing I shredded the offending rubber into powder at an elegant
and stately 5 miles per hour as I drove to safety.
To sacrifice a tire likely to be unrepairable seemed preferable to the alternative
–leave my fully loaded service truck by the side of the road in the middle
of a monsoon.
The next day my judgement was confirmed, though when he surveyed the damaged
tire Mechanic Guy was sanguine in spite of the fact a (former) perfectly good
tire sported a 3/4 inch vertical slash just above the rim on a radial seam of
the street side face.
And while my decision to sacrifice the tire turned out to be justified Mechanic Guy
was also somehow unenthusiastic about a suggestion to send the tire to a lab for forensic
By his judgement my equipment check at every gas stop (oil, water, battery, tire pressure)
is not adequate and I should perform some kind of preflight inspection every time I
crank the engine!
So yes, I know, I was lucky this blowout did not occur at highway speeds with my truck
wrapped around the nearest tree.
Lesson learned and word to the wise: you cannot be too careful when you hit
the road in your shiny automobile.
Kick those tires before you turn the key and crank the engine!