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still home
uess what? I'm still at home.

After finally getting better from my sinus infection, I went-out Monday morning to start the truck and... nothing. All the sitting had weakened the batteries so that it wouldn't turn the motor. Welf had already gone to work, so I was stuck. When she got home that night, I jump-started the truck from her car and let it idle for a little while then shut it down again. My intention was to get up early on Tuesday morning and jump it from the car before she went to work. It takes a good 30 minutes of charging over the cables to get enough juice to turn the motor sufficiently.

But I set the alarm incorrectly and didn't get up early enough before Welf had to leave for work. So I wrote Tuesday off, too. Wednesday morning though, I got the truck started and Welf went to work. I got in touch with dispatch and they assigned me a load bound for Colorado. After loading the truck with all my gear I pulled out of the drive-way. The truck shuddered and hopped around. I fiddled with the inter-axle differential lock some, thinking that I was slipping around in leaves in the driveway. The hopping started and I took off down the street. But something wasn't right. I stopped at the end of the street and got out, looking the truck over. Nothing looked awry.

I made my way out of the maze of suburban streets and pulled onto the highway. Once getting it up to a high speed, I saw smoke coming the rear tires. I raised-up in my seat and could see that the rear right drive axle wasn't turning. I stopped the truck again. Both tires on that axle were no flat.

Since the tires were already fucked, and rather than sit on the side of the highway for a couple of hours waiting for the tow truck, I drove it back to the house and parked on the street. I called my local truck shop and had them come get her. The brake on that axle had "cammed over" for some reason. I'm no mechanic, so I can't tell you precisely what this means. The brake linings were getting thin on all of the drive axles and this was likely a contributing factor.

So now the truck is the shop, getting new drive axle brakes all the way around, plus two new drive tires. The mechanic called me this afternoon and sound that there was a crack on in the left steer wheel, so I told him to go ahead and take care of that as well. He said he had a couple of drive tires there that had about the same tread on them as the other 6, so I'm having him put those on. He told me it should be ready around 10AM tomorrow. I'm going to have Welf take me to there in the morning before she goes to work and wait around the garage until it's done. Tomorrow will make three weeks that I've been home. I've got to get back on the road. The lack of income and this unexpected expense will make things financially dire real quick-like if I don't.

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I'm really amazed, even with a thirty minute lead up, that a car can supply enough juice to jump start a truck. I would never have thought that possible.

What's a drive tyre?

Rigs usually have 6 18 volt batteries in them, I'm surprised that it actually gets sufficent power to even turn over in a 30 minute time frame.

A drive tire is simply a tire with the power going to them, not like a steer tire that's just a dead spin, I am however unaware if there's a difference in the tires themselves or just a name for a placement.

Yes, there is a difference in tread, as well. I know by looking at a tire whether it's a steer (which are often used for trailer tires, as well) or a drive, but I couldn't explain the difference.
Also, in theory you should be able to jump a truck just like a car, as long as the jumper cables are hooked to the battery closest in series to the starter.

To over simplify (for the original commenter), steer tires go on the front axle, and drive tires go on the rear axles of the tractor.

This is the down side of being way over tired, I totally forgot the bias ply look of the steers.

Jumping, even if you are on the battery first in line to the rest of the electrical system the other 5 will be drawing current. About the only way to get an instant charge would be to hook directly to the battery cables.

It's kinda like Miracle Max's assessment of Wesley in The Princess Bride. The batteries weren't ALL dead, just MOSTLY dead.

Actually, they weren't dead at all and were still giving me a good 10-11 volts on the guage, but you need about 12.5-13 to crank. I wasn't really cranking off the car's alternator at all, just getting enough juice back into the truck batteries to turn it over.

On trucks, there is a distinction made between drive tires and steer tires. Since bustednut already mentioned the difference in placement, I'll touch on a couple of finer points. There is a difference in them, both physically, and legally.

Drive tires are responsible for shouldering at least 40% of the weight of a load in addition to providing a great deal of the traction power, whether accelerating or decelerating. The tire design typically is rugged looking, with large tread pattern. Recapped tires may be used and a tread depth of 2/32" must be on them, minimum. A new drive tire will have anywhere from 25-30/32" tread depth.

On the other hand, steer tires have a smoother design to them, with more "ribs" in the smaller tread pattern. Recaps may NOT be used and the minimum tread depth allowed is 2/32". The laws are more stringent for steer tires because of the lack of redundancy; on the steering tires, there is only one axle group, with one tire on either side. In the case of the drive tires, not only are there FOUR tires to an axle, but there are two axle groups, for a total of eight tires.

That makes sense.

Are the ones on the trailer different again?

Yes, and somewhere between the two. They're not as "rugged" tread-wise since they're not powered nor are they as intricately tread as steer tires since they don't require traction along a turning radius. They're just kinda all-purpose tires for supporting weight, giving braking power to the trailer, and traction on the road to keep the thing behind following you through a curve. ;-)

Der. Teach me to not read all the comments.

And I believe they do re-tread steers for use as trailer tires. I misspoke (typed) up above there...

I'd wondered why the front tires always have that convex plate-rim thing, and the rest don't. Now I know.

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