Why are there so many shards of trailer tires on the interstates? Is recapping to blame?

Because a typical truck tire is $500+. Unless you want something like Goodyears, in which case you’re into $800+.

I “pitched a gator” from my RV a couple of months back when I did a run from Tampa to Key West. That was one fuck of an expensive bit of entertainment, I can tell you — and that’s considering that I have free roadside assistance. It would have been a lot more painful (at least $350 more, for the trip charge) otherwise. As it was, the bill came to over $1600.

I will note that they actually gave me a really good price on those tires (the inside tire took some damage when the outside blew, so I needed two) — it took a lot of shopping and negotiating to get that kind of price after I got back home, at which point I replaced the remaining four. The total bill for the tires was north of $4k.

Now: I don’t make my living by rolling down the road; that’s my fun. But for a regular trucker — you think he can turn a profit doing that? Fat chance.

So, retreads are the name of the game.

As part of this event, I had to spend a bit of time cobbling fiberglass — that gator tore loose a bit of side paneling — resplicing a couple of wires that it took with it, and replacing an air dryer that started leaking when it got smacked by a ~20 pound piece of hard rubber and steel. But for truckers, a blowout is mostly a non-event; it’s a little more than 5% of their cushion, and that just gets distributed among the other tires. They’ll handle it when they handle it.

And you — the beneficiary of their damned hard work, which brings you pretty much everything you own — get to live with some unsightly strips as a result of that. Maybe get to play “dodge” once in a bit. All part of life in today’s society.

(You won’t be seeing mine, though. I dodged traffic on I-75 to get them off the road, and pitched them at the weigh station where I stopped.)

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