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Battle to Make Tractor-Trailers Safer: Speed v Tires

Tires rated only to 75 mph, but trucks often exceed that speed.

by on Mar.31, 2015

The tires used by tractor-trailers are only rated for 75 mph. If driven faster than that, they can rupture.

The nation’s big rigs are often exceeding the 75 mph speeds that their tires are designed to handle, often with disastrous results. The problems may expand as many states consider raising speed limits beyond 70 mph.

According to the Associated Press, 14 states, most of them west of the Mississippi River, now have speed limits of 75, 80, even 85 mph in part of Texas. While car tires are rated to handle speeds up 112 mph, truck tires haven’t been raised to the same performance level.

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In large measure, most trucks are limited to 65 or 70 mph by governors put in place by fleet owners. However, the many of the state transportation agencies approved the new highway speeds without consulting the tire makers or industry advocacy groups. (more…)