What the inside of a trailer tire looks like

October 2, 2006

Rose moved from Seattle down here to the Bay Area last weekend and I flew up to drive down with her. We rented a 16′ Penske truck and a tow dolly to move her stuff and her car. (A tow dolly is a half trailer type thing that hangs off the back of the truck which you put a car’s front wheels onto and it allows you to tow the car behind the truck.)

So we loaded up Rose’s stuff and attached her car to the back of the truck and started off to California last, last Friday (9/22). We were a bit weary of the tow dolly at first (we kept wondering if the car was still back there), but it seemed to be OK after the first few stops so we stopped worrying about it…

10 hours into the drive, Rose is driving the truck through Northern California and I’m asleep in the passenger seat when all of a sudden she wakes me up. “Mark! People keep driving by, flashing their lights, honking their horns, and pointing at the truck!”

We look back there and there’s flames and sparks shooting out the back of the truck. Uh oh. We pull over and find this:


Niiice. What you’re looking at is what was left of the tow dolly tire. It must’ve blown on the freeway, at which point with the weight of Rose’s car pushing down on it, it burst into flames and was literally shredded. Fortunately, Rose’s car was still attached to the tow dolly (although barely) and there was no noticeable damage to her car.

Worst part of the ordeal was that it took over 2 hours for Penske to send a repair guy to replace the tire. Argh >:O

Anyways, I didn’t really know that’s what a tire looked like on the inside. Here’s a closeup of the insides:


Best part: I ask the tire repair guy how this could’ve happened. He shrugs and says “you never know with these trailer tires. They just blow like this all the time.”


4 Responses to “What the inside of a trailer tire looks like”

  1. Jorg Says:

    Heh, I had something similar happen.

    A long time back, when I was living in Portland Oregon, I made the worst financial decision in my entire life, and bought a boat. (A boat is a hole in the water, into which you throw money) Anyway, after spending $5K on a used boat, and then $5K for a new engine, I put it on a hitch and headed south (I had moved to California).

    And then, at 1AM, same situation as you: people started honking and waving. Finally I decided to pull over and see what they were complaining about.

    I saw the worst thing you can possible imagine, when you’re towing a boat for 900 miles, and the right sie of the road ramps off sharply into a river: no boat. no trailer. no connecting chain.

    After getting off the freeway, making a U-turn, and driving north, I saw it: parked in the fast lane, a boat and its hitch. Thank God it went left and not right!

    I was so happy it was OK! I hitched it back up, drove slowly until I could go to a gas station, replaced the chain, and drive even slower all the way home. Then I paid to prep the engine for saltwater, paid to park it on the bay, and then got so involved in work that I didn’t use it much. After a while it wouldn’t start; I parked it temporarily at a friend’s house where rainwater filled it and it grew mosquitoes. (You have to take the drain plug out when you park a boat on land!!!) Eventually, after pumping close to $14K into it, I was able to give it away.

    And I will always remember: the look of “no boat”!

  2. markjen Says:

    Hey Jorg, that’s totally what we were afraid of too: the look of “no car” šŸ˜€

    Fortunately, that didn’t happen, but my high school biology teacher had the exact same experience when towing his boat too! Somewhere along the freeway, it had popped off of the tow hitch and was left behind :O

  3. Hasan's Blog Says:

    Misery Loves Company, even if it’s Belated…

    Seems I’m not the only one with tyre problems. Mark posted something even worse-looking. It almost looks like they are hair on the trailer tyre…….

  4. The worst is yet to come? Says:

    Sounds bad enough, but it can get worse – much worse: I went to a car wash with a towable car trailer to be washed, I used the car wash machine jet lance, when driving away the hose pipes which “dangle down all over the place” got caught on the trailer tie-down rope hooks and you can guess what happened. Take it from me those car wash machines don’t half make a lot of noise when being dragged across a petrol station forecourt. Bump, bump, bang, bang, clatter-clatter, and as a bonus you get water squiring all over the place and the staff running around like the Keystone cops. Was it my fault – No, in any event the assitant had asked me “Did I want a car wash?” Maybe I misunderstood her !!!!

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