I recently started learning about bus tires (or trucks for every relevant matter) and was surprised of how similar, if not worse, bus tire dangers is to small car tires.
Some facts about those big boys –
- they cost much more then car tires – ~400$ a piece
- they hold air pressure more then twice then car tires
- we put 2 on each side of the rear axles, partly in order to avoid a single tire failure coussing the bus to dive to the ground on one side
- unlike car tires, they are normally retreaded and the tire carcass can have multiple lives with new treads – this is done largely because of the tire initial price
The thing is that we get a vehicle, carrying a lot of people, very big and heavy, with big (volume) and high pressure tires and it is still susceptible to tire blow outs as much as a small cars. you may say that bus drivers are professional drivers and so they mind the tire pressure, wear and tear better then the average Joe, but after talking to some guys who work in the bus field I can say that this is not always the case. Add to this the common conception that retreading may enlarge the chances of tire failure and you get a good idea why not to stay next to a bus wheel – on foot or even in your car…
When you think about the facts – that the force of a big tire blow out is greater by ten folds from a small car tire, that big vehicles have much more tires on them, that they cover a lot more miles as they are business vehicles and that the driver does not feel obligated most of the times to the vehicle state as he does not own it and is paid to drive it – this all adds up for more road hazards.