56548-(1).jpgLast week I was traveling along, in the last 10 minutes of my day I heard the disconcerting sound of a tire failing. This sound was followed by my tire pressure monitoring system letting me know the tire that failed was on my trailer. I was able to get to the side of the road safely, put out my orange warning triangles and call for road service. 

While waiting for road service I pondered as to what caused this sudden and violent tire failure. Over the years I have not had failures like this by utilizing premium Michelin tires and practicing good maintenance procedures. 

The one thing that puzzled me was why my tire pressure monitoring system had not warned me there was a tire low on air. Typically a tire fails due to a slow air leak, which leads to a tire running hotter due to the increased flexing of the tread and the sidewalk. I have my tire monitor system set to alarm me if a tire is only five PSI, along with temperature well below a damaging threshold. 

Well... when the roadside repair person got there and dismounted the failed tire, it was soon evident why the tire had failed. 

The rubber which makes up the bead seating area, had been torn by the last person who had mounted it on the rim.

By having a tear in the bead seating area of the tire, it left a pathway for moisture to wick into the belt package of the tire. Finally, it left the belts in a weakened state which made the tire into a balloon instead of a tire without the strength of the steel belts. 

The process of the belts rusting away to the point of failing took a little over a year to show up as a tire failure. 

This led me to wanting to share with you a manual from my tire supplier, Michelin. Make sure the people mounting your tires are following the practices described in the link listed below to ensure you will not have the experience I just endured. 


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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/T™, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.