A Present From An 18-Wheeler


Know what happens when you drive over something like this?

This happens…


We were on our way back from Anza Borrego State Park, on I-10, about 20 minutes from home. I was driving behind an 18-wheeler and saw something fall off. I was able to swerve quick enough so that it missed the front truck tire, but the truck hadn’t yet moved enough for it to miss the driver’s side rear tire. It literally exploded as you can see by the big hole in the side of the tire. It was loud as hell, I might add. I’m really glad it didn’t go into one of the trailer tires. If one of those tires explodes or falls apart while driving, lots of damage can be done to aluminum panels. I’ve experienced aluminum panel damage and I don’t won’t to go through that again.

So, I pull over to the side of the freeway, no problem. Call Good Sam Roadside Assistance, no problem. Unhook the trailer and pull the truck forward a little so the spare tire can be lowered from under the bed of the truck, no problem. Go to get the truck jack and special tool that lowers the spare tire from under the truck bed. The jack compartment under the front seat is empty. Someone had stolen the jack and special tool that’s required to lower the spare tire from under the truck bed. This is a problem. Without that special tool, there’s no way to get to the spare tire. I went to the back of the truck so my family wouldn’t hear the very colorful words that spewed out of my mouth. The Roadside Assistance tow truck driver called and I explained the situation. The only solution he could offer was to tow the truck to a dealer that had the special tool, and have the tire changed there. We would have to leave the trailer parked on the side of the freeway. That’s not good.

While waiting for the tow truck, a San Bernardino County Freeway Service tow truck pulled up behind us. He asked if he could help and I explained the situation to him. He said he had the same kind of special tool from another make of truck (a Chevy, ours is a RAM) that may or may not work, so we decided to give it a try. I guess the stars and planets were aligned just right because it worked. He was able to lower the spare tire and he changed the tire for us. I had my wife cancel the Roadside Assistance tow while the tire was being changed. This guy even helped hitch up the trailer to the truck. Thank you, thank you San Bernardino Freeway Patrol.

Just before this trip, I had the truck serviced and took it to the carwash. I know the jack and special tool were there 2 weeks before the trip because I rearranged them in the storage compartment to quiet a rattle. It cost $300.00 to replace the jack and special tool. I didn’t even get kissed first. From this point forward, I will check the jack and special tool before and after having the truck serviced or washed.

Oh yeah, the tire cost $250.00 to replace. That’s about $550.00 total. Thank you Mr. 18-wheeler and a real big, special thanks to the scum-bag that stole our jack and spare tire tool. Karma will catch up to you and make things right.


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