Freightliner ambulance conversion project.

rlrenz

Explorer
It sounds to me like freeway speed + military-design tires + 100 degree weather caused the tire to overheat.
 

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
Short version: Heading off to California to drop the grand daughter at camp. Somewhere in the 7th realm of hell between Wickenburg and Wikieup in the cell phone black hole we copped something that went through the tread and out through the sidewall. Tire was stuffed so I drove it about 4 miles on the shoulder to get to a safe place to do the change over.

The bummer was that I only carry a spare tire without a rim. So I had a choice of either changing that dirty mess beside the road in over 110 F, or getting someone to bring some other tires out to me. I choose to swap the tires out which meant swapping one of the 43" tires off the front to the back and putting 2 29" tires on the front to get us back to Phoenix. Then after manhandling the 2 extra (including that mess of a tire) 43" tires onto the trailer with the sidecar take them home. (arriving 12 hours after leaving). Up early the next morning and swap the tires off the spare truck onto Old Yella and head off again (24 hours after originally leaving).

Now Old Yella only has the transmission calibrated for 5 speeds. So the speedo shows 78 mph when I am doing 58 (2200 rpm). Cruise control will only hold the truck at 2000 rpm which is around 50 mph. This coupled with having to do 800 miles between 2PM Saturday and 2 PM Sunday to make the drop off time made for a sore arse and a cramped calf muscle. But we made it and have got to spend a few nights camping in northern CA while we wait for her to finish camp.

I will do a tool list up later with all the items I needed and forgot as well as what I use to make swaps like this easier.
 

rlrenz

Explorer
OUCH!

You have my deepest sympathies. The last tires I mounted by hand were 11.00 x 20 military tires, and I quickly remembered why they built tire machines for truck tires.
 

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
It sounds to me like freeway speed + military-design tires + 100 degree weather caused the tire to overheat.
That was my initial suspicion but there was about 1/2" hole in the tread and a 2" tear in the sidewall when I first pulled up. Tire was warmer than the other 3 but going flat with 19,000 # truck rubbing you into the road will do that.

But we have been having some discussions around what tires to eventually run on our trucks. We may go with the bigger military tires with a higher speed rating (I was sitting on the speed rating for these tires when this happened) or run 2 different sets with something like super singles for mostly road type trips and keep the military tires for Baja etc. Given the cost in $ and risk of making a mistake means a lot more thought will have to go into it.

One great thing to come out of this is the way those truck handled when the blowout occurred. With any other type of single tire and an immediate deflation like we suffered it would of been a lot harder to control. It wasn't a really puckering experience considering the road had steep drop offs on either side with minimum shoulder and a lot of traffic (only 1 lane each way). Then I was able to limp along for miles on the tire to get to a much safer place. (still didn't make it to a cell service area).
 

java

Expedition Leader
Yeah I can see a big stiff sidewall being of a great benefit like you saw. Im following along to hear what your doing for tires. Mine are great for highway, and did well in snow, but I could use more sidewall.
 

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
Ladder or a plank and a boat winch plus a willing ( or not so willing) helper. But that blown one went on the trailer for the trip home.

FL and the duece.jpg
 
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Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
2009 but only out in the sun since 2014. No sign of any sidewall cracking etc on the other side of the one that failed or any of the others. ?????
 
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