Our trip on Friday started out - literally - with a bang.
We had gone about 30 miles on country roads before we turned onto IN-37, a four lane divided highway with a speed limit of 55. About two minutes after getting it up to 55, I heard a bang, and looked into my side mirror in time to see my driver's side trailer fender flying down the highway, knocked loose by a trailer tire whose tread flew off.
|Still aired up but minus tread - I checked them all before I left.|
Luckily at just that moment, a police officer pulled up behind me. He walked up, saying, "I think I scared your horse when I walked up, I'm sorry," and I laughed and said, "Don't take it personally, everyone scares him."
He struggled with it for a while, and finally got it loosened. At that point, a 20 year old kid pulled up in an F350 with farm plates, and good thing too, because the tread was wrapped around the axle. They tried cutting it, they tried pulling it, and it was not budging. Finally the kid went back to his truck to look for sidecuts and came back with...sticky rubber mechanics gloves. He put two hands on the tread, sat down, pulled and it was out. Thank goodness for corn fed Indiana farm boys.
I inspected it, and realized the tread had severely damaged the electrical components under there, and a wire would be rubbing against the tire if I didn't do something. I asked the cop his opinion, and he asked if I had zip ties. I said no, and he said, "I got something for this." He left and came back with...
Yes, that's a set of handcuff zip ties! He used my knife to cut half of them off, and looped the other half over my electrical box with the wires back where they were supposed to be. With that, we were back on our way to our lesson.
|Handcuffs visible between the tires|
I was annoyed with myself - for a few minutes before then, something about that tire hadn't looked right to me in the side mirror, but I chalked it up to seeing mud go around on it. Also, this is the first time I've remembered to put Connor on the left (better stability on our crowned country roads), and the tire whose tread came off was on the left. Finally, it happened almost immediately after we got up to 55 for the first time. Should've seen that coming.
One last thing: these are tires with good tread depth, no rot, and were properly inflated before the trip, during the incident, and after. Even the shredded tire is still aired up. Stacey of The Jumping Percheron pointed out that they are the same brand (Hi-Run) as hers from her epic tire saga from earlier this year. So, these are going to get replaced. I'm hoping these will get me through two more short hauls to the HHP this year (mostly country roads less than 45mph), we'll see.