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UPDATED - Ran over Gator

Bill_Diana
Explorer
Explorer
Last week we enjoyed a peaceful 5 night stay at Country Acre Campground, Lancaster, PA.

On our way home we were travelling the Pennsylvania Turnpike and about 4 miles from our exit, something terrible happened. A tractor trailer about 70 feet ahead lost the tread from a tire. Directly in front of me laying across my lane was a piece of tire tread about 4 feet in length. I was travelling about 56 mph at the time and in the far right lane. In the lane to my left was solid line of cars and the berm to my right was very narrow.

I no no choice but to run over the tread. I spaced it so the front tire did not touch the tread. As the tread went beneath our motorhome it badly damage the exhaust system. The engine was now running very loud.

I decided to travel the additional 4 miles and exit the turnpike. I was concerned the brake lines, transmission fluid tank, engine water hoses, etc would have been ruptured. Once off the turnpike I pulled off to the side and glanced under the motorhome. It was apparent the exhaust system was mangled and I did not see an signs of fluids leaking. We traveled another 3 miles to home.

Contacted the insurance copy and the adjuster said take it to a shop of my choice and have them take pictures. Due to Covid the insurance adjusters are not coming to view the damage.

Tomorrow the motorhome goes to the repair shop for thorough inspection underneath. I'm still amazed that now damage has been done to our care that was in tow.

Other than being upset, no one was injured.

UPDATE....well here it is 21 days after the accident and the insurance adjuster was finally able to visit the motorhome. I was able to be at the repair shop yesterday while the motorhome was up on the lift. I was surprised they allowed me to walk under the motorhome to snap some photos. Looks like the only damage is the exhaust system. The system is a Gibson and is no longer available so the repair shop is going to salvage what they can and the rest will be fabricated. The total estimate for repair is $2,000. I think I lucky that only the exhaust was damaged by such a large piece of rubber.
40 REPLIES 40

philh
Explorer II
Explorer II
my wife caught a gator flying through the air. It spun off and went airborne. Dealer said another couple if inches closer to the center of the car, air bags would have likely deployed and the car would have been totaled.

noteven
Explorer III
Explorer III
Tires have been flying to pieces since way waaay back.

Truck cruising speeds are higher due to everything having to happen in a Big Hurry,

Roads are clogged with vehicles so when the tread (aka "thread" on rv.net) flies off due to heat failure, no place for the following traffic to swerve and avoid even if nose is not in phone screen...

down_home
Explorer
Explorer
Rough On Truckers? Unless Independents they belong to Companies who are multi billion dollar firms and some smaller companies.
No body is being rough on anybody. If the truth lands on whoever well it is their fault. Trailer Owners are mostly responsible.
Truckers are supposed to inspect the ties and before pulling out no matter whose though.

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
JRscooby wrote:

This is true. But it is the driver that must keep the tires aired up. I did not enjoy the time with gauge and hose, but if a tire failed the cost of tire, damage, and downtime came out of my pocket. Most drivers are only paid for the miles they drive. Time/effort taking care of the rig is unpaid labor.
And I don't know how to prove it, but if you compared total miles truck/RV and total blowouts truck/RV, you likely would not be so tough on the truckers


I didn't think I was being that tough on truckers. I was pointing out that it's not new vs retread but maintenance that can typically be pointed to when there is a tire failure.

Of course, truckers as "professionals" should be held to a higher standard. They drive bigger and heavier vehicles that can do more damage. A gator coming off a super single will do a lot more damage than one coming off your average RV tire (not that anyone should be careless with maintenance).
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

down_home
Explorer
Explorer
I've seen the results of three deadly encounter with gators . A big Cruiser Harley hit one that exploded a bit in front of him. Tow cars hit on and in the center wall killing everyone in one car and some others.
Tore the radiator and exhaust out from under my Sons Plymouth in 2004. Tore some of the undersides from my 86 Mustang from a piece hit by another semi and slung right in front of me. Hit apiece form a tire exploding just hundreds of feet.
I have paid either five or six deductibles to get our vehicles repaired from gators.
Ran over two or three in the Motorhome with some noise but no damage to it or towed so far.
Lot of people killed each year and millions in damages to other vehicles.
American Trucking Association is powerful and has stopped all efforts, dead in their tracks for safer tire standards. usually rethreads but not always and it against the law to put rethreads on semi steer axle.
But those of trailer the most common to blow may be Mh takeoffs over five years old, but they aren't supposed to, or the rethreads with casings years old with patched holes through the metal cords in the casings and new rubber threads.
Tires cost a lot and one Company Owner a client said he spend more on tires fro the tractors than on fuel. The Trailer Owners put the cheapest rethreads they can get most often. I understand profits but Cost cutting shouldn't include others lives lost and millions in vehicles damaged as as part of the equation.

SuperBus
Nomad
Nomad
JRscooby wrote:
you likely would not be so tough on the truckers


I realize I am taking your quote a bit out of context, but it is something I have really come to appreciate the more miles I log driving my coach. A day's driving when dealing with all of the people who think the gap between me and the vehicle ahead of me is for them to cross three lanes with (and not for safely slowling 50k pounds down), or all of the folks who pass me because I MUST be going slow (then make me come off my cruise when they slow back down), etc., etc.; I am amazed how full time truck drivers keep their cool. I guess that is why they're professionals.

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
valhalla360 wrote:
A1ARealtorRick wrote:
So, what is seemingly being said is that the new truck tires are just as bad as the retreads......and if they disintegrate and leave pieces all over the road, those pieces are just as dangerous as retread gators, right? My conclusion, based on what I'm reading in this post, is that the DOT standards (for both new and retread truck tires) are apparently garbage.


Vast majority of the time, it can be traced to maintenance. Under inflated tires tend to fail even if they are new and high quality.


This is true. But it is the driver that must keep the tires aired up. I did not enjoy the time with gauge and hose, but if a tire failed the cost of tire, damage, and downtime came out of my pocket. Most drivers are only paid for the miles they drive. Time/effort taking care of the rig is unpaid labor.
And I don't know how to prove it, but if you compared total miles truck/RV and total blowouts truck/RV, you likely would not be so tough on the truckers

DarkSkySeeker
Explorer
Explorer
TXiceman wrote:
In October of 2014, a truck dropped two 5 gallon buckets of a liquid off in front of us.

I am sorry that happened to you.

If you watch Youtube videos of events as you describe, they often seem to happen in just a few seconds with almost no time to react.
There is something special about camping in an RV.
.

Bill_Diana
Explorer
Explorer

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
A1ARealtorRick wrote:
So, what is seemingly being said is that the new truck tires are just as bad as the retreads......and if they disintegrate and leave pieces all over the road, those pieces are just as dangerous as retread gators, right? My conclusion, based on what I'm reading in this post, is that the DOT standards (for both new and retread truck tires) are apparently garbage.


Vast majority of the time, it can be traced to maintenance. Under inflated tires tend to fail even if they are new and high quality.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

TXiceman
Explorer
Explorer
In October of 2014, a truck dropped two 5 gallon buckets of a liquid off in front of us. They were next lane over but one bozo dodging them clipped one and it rolled in front of our truck and trailer. I could not avoid it and was running 60 mph. It went under the truck and managed to take out the oil filter, lost oil pressure and blew hot oil all over the engine. We could not shut down in the middle of the interstate and had to get over 3 lanes to the shoulder.

Buy the time we got over, the engine was history. The truck pulled over right in front of us and we called the police. He got a ticket for failing to properly secure his load and his insurance got to put a new crate motor in the 2 year old truck. We were off the road 3 weeks total and they paid for a rental car, our campsite and the repair. The engine repair bill from Ford was $23,800.

You never know what will happen when traveling. no matter how carefull you are.

Ken
Amateur Radio Operator.
2023 Cougar 22MLS, toted with a 2022, F150, 3.5L EcoBoost, Crewcab, Max Tow, FORMER Full Time RVer. Travel with a standard schnauzer and a Timneh African Gray parrot

RetiredRealtorR
Explorer
Explorer
So, what is seemingly being said is that the new truck tires are just as bad as the retreads......and if they disintegrate and leave pieces all over the road, those pieces are just as dangerous as retread gators, right? My conclusion, based on what I'm reading in this post, is that the DOT standards (for both new and retread truck tires) are apparently garbage.
. . . never confuse education with intelligence, nor motion with progress

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
Back in the '70s I was buying used tires to stay away from caps. Had a real good week on a illegal poker table. Converted Dayton wheels, 10.00 20 to brand new 11.00 22.5 on Budd on the drivers. Less than 120 miles one of my new tires came apart removed a fuel tank, beat up the sleeper and left door of truck.
I never was one to buy recapped tires but when I bought new unless they where a size only for front I plan to cap them twice, unless one goes flat. And over the years, on the trucks I drive myself, I have thrown virgin tread as often as caps.
As for why caps? Driver looks at a ruined tire with 1/4 inch of tread left, "It was about wore out anyway" Owner looks at same tire, "well it was about to make me money"

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
ford truck guy wrote:

They ( Gators ) would be Re Caps....


Or original tire treads.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV