Only a couple of days after the fatal incident where a detached set of dual tires killed a tanker driver in Lake Township, Ohio, we have reports of another set of tires breaking away from a truck. This time it was in Kansas City, Kansas at the I-35 and 7th Street intersection.
According to Kansas Highway Patrol’s online crash log and WIBW.com, the incident happened at 6:25 a.m. on Friday, Jan 20. A Kenworth tractor and an unspecified trailer operated by Ira Chandler of Raytown, Missouri lost two of its tires for an unknown reason.
The detached tires rolled across the median, striking five different vehicles and a building before they came to a stop. Three of the people in those vehicles were sent to local hospitals with minor injuries.
Why is this repeating and what can we do to stop it?
During the winter months, road salt, sand, and other foreign material can infiltrate cracks and weak points in trucks and trailers and cause corrosion and accelerated wear. Overloading trailers operating under weight exemptions can cause extra stress on parts and premature failure.
Such materials can cause bearings to heat up and swell, causing oil and grease to leak out. It can also cause threads on lug bolts to wear away, causing wheels to loosen and vibrate.
Having thorough pre and post-trip inspections, including using brushes and hammers to check for hidden damage, will be key to finding these weakened connections before they catastrophically fail. We all need to do our part to be safe, professional drivers this winter.