Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Tires (Finally) - BIG Truck

(Raleigh, NC) Hi 68 Lo 43 -- Perfect blue sky day, and it started out with a phone call.  Our new tires were scheduled to be delivered between 9am and noon, and of course the guy called at 8:30 to say he's just about here. We got up and quickly dressed before he arrived.  I grabbed my cup of coffee and started taking pictures. If you recall, the tires we almost got a week or so ago were over 2 1/2 years old based on the DOT code. Here's the code on our new tires... all four of them made the 7th week of 2011. That's more like it!

We pulled in the slides and used our Big Foot system to raise the tires off the ground, then Antonio the tire guy got to work taking the old tires off.

Here's the new wheel/tire next to the old one. As you can see, the overall diameter is pretty much the same. It's like two donuts the same size but with different size holes in the middle.

The new tire (bottom) has a more "trailer-like" tread than the old one.

The new tires are 16-ply, and are really heavy with a lot of steel in them. They were all mounted and balanced before they were shipped by Trailer Tire & Wheel Supermarket. They used "bead balancing" rather than the usual little weights attached to the rim. A plastic bag full of tiny silicon beads are put inside the tire before it's mounted on the wheel. When you tow the first time, after a few miles the bag disintegrates and the beads spread throughout the inside of the tire due to centrifugal force. Jim did quite a bit of research and all the reviews and reports he read and heard were very positive. Apparently the trucking industry has been using bead balancing for years.

One side just about done.

It was a relief to find out the new wheels fit perfectly onto our hubs. We want to thank Howard Payne of RV-Dreams and Mark Bruss for their valuable advice. They did the same upgrade.

After that was done, we relaxed with our coffee and laptops for the rest of the morning. After lunch we drove a few miles north of us to Budd and Merrily's to see their RV and their BIG truck. They are the couple we met when they visited us a few days ago. Check our their blog RV Buddys.

This is their Volvo heavy duty truck (HDT).. 

He built a platform on the back to carry their Smart Car. There's ramps that can go on both sides to drive up then forward to take it off. 

He offered to take us for a ride. We couldn't turn that down! So off we went.  Merrily recently got her CDL so she can drive it too.

Budd going through his "pre-flight."

And we're off!

Budd drove us a few miles around Raleigh. What a ride; talk about being up in the air above all the rest of the cars! When  we got back to their place they invited us in their King of the Road fifth wheel where we sat and talked a bit more about the fulltime RV lifestyle. I had to go to mom's, so after hugs and handshakes we said goodbye "for now." I'm sure we'll meet up again down the road. Thanks Budd for the introduction to the world of heavy duty trucks. I hope Jim doesn't get any ideas... we can't afford a new truck. :)  

I picked up mom to go to the bank and get a few items for our trip tomorrow. We're both flying to St. Louis for the weekend for Mother's Day to visit my sister. Jim is staying here so he'll be a bachelor for a few days. I'm sure I'll get the blog done each day, but it may be later then usual. We're going to have a blast! I hope you follow along. 


Gail Houle said...

Have a safe and fun trip.
Happy Mother's Day!

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

The new tires and wheels look great and great build date. I'm sure you'll have great peace of mind now.

I've used the Equal balance beads and they worked great, but ensure that the special valve stems were installed. A standard valve stem can get pushed open by the beads as the tire rotates and cause an air leak, the special one are configured to prevent that from happening.

BTW, did you get nose bleeds riding so high in that truck? ;c)

squawmama said...

Looks like a fun ride... glad your tire ordeal is behind you!
Have fun & Travel safe

John and Carol said...

The new tires look terrific. Thanks for sharing all the information. Glad everything worked out so well. Enjoy your visit to St. Louis and Happy Mothers Day!