While traveling through Arkansas recently, I felt the light tug and pop of a trailer tire exploding under pressure. I immediately pulled over on the shoulder to survey the damage. There was only one tire damaged and I had a light load on. I knew where I was on I-40 because I keep up with the exit numbers I just passed in case something like this happens. I checked my trusty truck stop locater handbook and luckily found a small fuel stop with truck parking was at the next exit. I drove there to get off of the interstate because that's a dangerous place and you always need to get off the shoulder if possible.
Once at the safe haven of a fuel stop with adequate parking, I opened my iPad and searched NTTSBreakdown.com. I entered the city and state I was in (Clarksville, AR) and entered the type of vendor I was looking for (tire repairs). One of the results came back as only 3 miles away. I called them to confirm their address and get information on truck parking. They told me and I entered the address on my map app on my iPad. I was able to see a birds eye satellite view of the layout of the parking lot and knew exactly where to park my truck when I got there.
I limped there on my 17 other good tires and had 2 spare tires with me so I was in good shape. They took the damaged tire off and put on my spare and I was off to I-40 to continue my journey with only about $15 spent and an hour lost. By going to their shop, I saved $150 by avoiding a road side service call!
Break-downs and flat tires will happen from time to time; that's trucking. You need to be prepared for when (not if) it happens. The resources and other similar ones talked about in this blog are there to help you in your time of need, so use them! This will save you time and money.