April 18, 2016

Do You Know What Isn't Fun??


THIS. 

THIS ISN'T FUN
Actually, all of Sunday would solidly fall into the THIS ISN'T FUN category. Lets start at the beginning though.

The morning actually went well. I got off to the barn, Gem came right over to me and she loaded up with only minimal convincing. I left the barn in record time and hit the road for the 90 minute drive to Clemson where I planned to do 20 miles, break for lunch, and finish with 10 more. I had even remembered to pack myself a lunch.

The 13 miles on I-26 went uneventfully, but only 7 miles into I-85 and my day went seriously downhill. I-85 is 70 mph and three lanes. It typically travels well and they have been working hard at repaving it so it isn't just one large pot hole anymore. They close down two miles sections at a time for repaving bringing the highway to only one lane overnight and then in the morning they open it back up.

Sunday morning they must have been running late or something, because at 9:30 am they still had it down to only one lane. Traffic slowed to about 50 mph and was pretty jammed packed. As I was driving along I saw a semi truck pulled onto the shoulder. Obviously, this isn't too abnormal on the highway, but it made me pay extra attention since it made the already narrow lane even worse and I slowed a bit more to make sure I would fit without any issues.

Just as I passed the semi, I felt an odd crunching and looked into my driver's side mirror to see if I had hit some debris from the truck or potentially the construction.

You know what you never want to see? Smoke. Specifically smoke coming from where a tire should be on your trailer. Crap. Of course, right then I was going under an overpass and there was no way I was going to pull off there, so I eeked it along a bit and pulled off.

Crawling through the passenger door to avoid getting creamed by the cars flying by inches from my door, I held my breath until I checked the tire out. It was demolished. I peeked in on Gem and she looked like she was handling it all pretty well and I grabbed my trailer helper so that I could go about trying to replace the destroyed rubber with my spare.

I adore my trailer helper. Seriously, if you own a trailer you have to own a trailer helper. I placed it in front of the good front tire and drove the trailer on up the small ramp which elevated the back, destroyed, tire off the ground for replacing. All with Gem safely still inside the trailer.

Unfortunately, with the tire blown to pieces I was unable to get anywhere with the lug nuts and I called Dusty for help. Thankfully I was close to a northbound exit that he could get off at and turn right back going south to find me hugging the road. Wyatt was with him and I immediately became stressed that he would get hit by a car, but thankfully he was happy to eat all of my lunch in the truck while Dusty toiled away to replace the tire. I don't know how he kept his cool with semis blowing past inches from his head.

Another piece of equipment that I adore is my portable tire inflater. It plugs into the lighter (anyone remember when cars actually had cigarette lighters in those holes?? I do.) and has a long enough cord to reach all the tires on the truck. It doesn't reach back to the trailer tires with the trailer hooked up. The spare needed some air, so we just hooked that up to the truck and filled the spare before putting it on the trailer.

This got us back on the road and I debated about just calling it a day and turning around. Dusty convinced me to go on ahead and ride. Gem had been munching on her hay the entire time, hadn't broken a sweat and seemed to be ok with the entire ordeal which ended up taking about 2 hours total.

Now for the preaching part of my post. This deserves all caps too so pay attention:

IF YOUR TRAILER TIRES ARE 5 YEARS OLD, I DON'T CARE IF YOU HAVE TO SELL A KIDNEY TO AFFORD IT, REPLACE THE TIRES IMMEDIATELY!!!

I knew this. I also knew that our tires were made in the first week of 2011 placing them firmly in the 5 years old category. They had also been used a lot. We just didn't have the money and were hoping to make it to the fall when we would buy 5 new tires (4 for the trailer and a spare). I had been keeping a close eye on them, but you can't see the interior.

We were lucky. The trailer is heading to the shop tonight to get 5 tires.

Let me repeat this in case anyone wasn't listening:

IF YOUR TRAILER TIRES ARE 5 YEARS OLD, I DON'T CARE IF YOU HAVE TO SELL A KIDNEY TO AFFORD IT, REPLACE THE TIRES IMMEDIATELY!!!




9 comments:

  1. Wow...so glad everyone was okay and you were drivng slow enough that nothing worse happened. Having a blowout is one of my biggest fear with trailers ):

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    1. Yeah. It could have been a lot worse.

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  2. I'm glad you're okay. That's really scary.

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    1. The shoulder was so narrow too. Ugh. Not a good start.

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  3. scary, glad it turned out OK. My tax return is going to new tires, thank you for the reminder...

    I have a tire inflator that can also jump the truck and has other plugs too. It is awesome, worth the $100 for a little peace of mind. It's a stand alone thing that you just have to charge in a regular outlet and it holds the charge sitting in the truck for a long time. And love my trailer buddy ramp thing too!

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    1. That sounds like a great gadget. If mine dies, I will be on the lookout. Please, change those tires!!

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  4. Trailer Helpers are the best things ever!!!! And how cool is the tire inflator that plugs in your cigarette lighter??? Glad everything turned out ok and you are set and ready to go with new tires before your adventure to Biltmore!!!

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    1. I love my trailer helper. It is the best invention.

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  5. Boy does that suck! My trailer got new tires yesterday!

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