A reader wrote
"I'm a firm believer in a TPMS, but with that being said, I have a digital gauge. I set my
pressure from that and then read from the TPMS I have installed. That
has given me the plus or minus of the system which they claim can be plus or minus 1 or 2 PSI. Blowouts seem to happen no matter
what precautions you take. I have been to the scales I know that I'm not
overweight, I know that I have even wear. I know what my cold PSI is.
So what then is a person to do more than that? I do not have control
over the manufacture process, so you trust the dealer and data that they
supply. So why are trailer tires so much more susceptible to blowouts
than tow vehicle tires? A TPMS system cannot predict a sidewall blowout. To me
that has to be the cord or construction of the tire itself. It will give
me a pressure loss and then you still have to slow and pull off in a
safe area that's where the damage occurs. So what are we to do or what do you
recommend about that scenario. Thanks for all your help."
By "blowout" I will assume
you are talking about "run low flex failure" of the sidewall and not the
completely different "belt separation". As such if you can avoid driving
at highway speed after the tire has lost significant inflation you can
avoid having a run low flex failure, i.e., blowout. So it follows that if
you stop driving on a tire after it has lost 30 to 50% of inflation or
more, then you will avoid having a sidewall blowout.
I know of no
part of the tire manufacturing process that can somehow manage to place
"defective" material in a consistent circumferential line only in the
upper mid sidewall. Also to my knowledge, no one has been able to
identify exactly what the "defect" is that is located at the site of the
Melting of polyester cord can occur no matter the size or
number of cords if the sidewall is overstressed (bent) at a high rate.
It does, however, take probably about 10 to 20 minutes for the temperature
to rise to this level. This type of failure will and has occurred in
all brands, so again, what is the exact defect.
In steel body tires we
see the same circumferential line with signs of fatigue failure of the
steel cords when they are run when significantly underinflated.
reason trailers have a higher rate of sidewall flex failures than tow vehicles or motorhomes is
twofold. First, a tire losing air on a tow vehicle provides the driver the
opportunity to feel the change in ride and handling but provides no
such tactical feedback if on a trailer. Second is the internal structural
stresses that trailer suspension design place on its tires that are not experienced in as high a level in tow vehicle or motorhome applications. Interply shear is
about 24% higher in trailer application than in a motorized vehicle.
I suggest you check the Label list on the left side of this blog and review the posts that have a label "Blowout" if you want to learn more.
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