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-   -   Ran over our first Alligator yesterday! (https://www.winnieowners.com/forums/f59/ran-over-our-first-alligator-yesterday-26293.html)

John_Canfield 10-16-2007 05:19 PM

Sorry about the provocative subject - for those who don't know all of the trucker lingo, an "Alligator" is the carcass of a retread tire that had a catastrophic failure and exited the truck wheel. Usually you see these sitting serenely and non-threateningly occupying the shoulder of the road.

We left Las Cruces, NM headed for Tucson, AZ yesterday and were about 30 miles East of our destination. I was driving as is customary in the afternoon and following the tractor-trailer in front a safe six seconds or so when I saw this huge black "thing" erupt from underneath his rearmost trailer axle. It took me a couple of seconds to recognize the threat and my first instinct was to brake. I applied the brakes and then realized the futility of braking so I just gritted my teeth while this black Alligator (turned on its side, no less!) rumbled under the 40 feet of the coach and then the car.

Wow! - that was exciting. Coach seems okay. Car looks okay in the rear monitor. Got to our destination and nothing seemed amiss.

This morning while we were getting the coach and car ready for the road, I looked over the tow bar setup like usual and glanced at the left front fender of the Jeep. The fender was about half-detached from its mating surface. The front left marker light was toast. Moving on to the right rear tire, I noticed a huge black scuff mark on the aluminum wheel from the Alligator passing by.

We were lucky the retread didn't break the Jeep's aluminum tire valve stem with the Doran pressure monitor thingy hanging out on the end of it https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/scared.gif

There is not much you can do when you are in traffic and something suddenly presents itself in front of your rig. There is absolutely no point in trying an evasive maneuver - you will probably get yourself in far more trouble. Just not a good situation to find you and your rig confronted with.

John_Canfield 10-16-2007 05:19 PM

Sorry about the provocative subject - for those who don't know all of the trucker lingo, an "Alligator" is the carcass of a retread tire that had a catastrophic failure and exited the truck wheel. Usually you see these sitting serenely and non-threateningly occupying the shoulder of the road.

We left Las Cruces, NM headed for Tucson, AZ yesterday and were about 30 miles East of our destination. I was driving as is customary in the afternoon and following the tractor-trailer in front a safe six seconds or so when I saw this huge black "thing" erupt from underneath his rearmost trailer axle. It took me a couple of seconds to recognize the threat and my first instinct was to brake. I applied the brakes and then realized the futility of braking so I just gritted my teeth while this black Alligator (turned on its side, no less!) rumbled under the 40 feet of the coach and then the car.

Wow! - that was exciting. Coach seems okay. Car looks okay in the rear monitor. Got to our destination and nothing seemed amiss.

This morning while we were getting the coach and car ready for the road, I looked over the tow bar setup like usual and glanced at the left front fender of the Jeep. The fender was about half-detached from its mating surface. The front left marker light was toast. Moving on to the right rear tire, I noticed a huge black scuff mark on the aluminum wheel from the Alligator passing by.

We were lucky the retread didn't break the Jeep's aluminum tire valve stem with the Doran pressure monitor thingy hanging out on the end of it https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/scared.gif

There is not much you can do when you are in traffic and something suddenly presents itself in front of your rig. There is absolutely no point in trying an evasive maneuver - you will probably get yourself in far more trouble. Just not a good situation to find you and your rig confronted with.

Pusherman 10-16-2007 05:33 PM

John, good advice.

Did I ever tell you about the time 4 deer ran in front of my coach heading home from T-giving in NY? Clobbered one on the left front. A second hit right behind the passenger front wheel and tumbled into every compartment door. The other 2 (luckily) missed.

My golden retriever was standing up front like she always does watching the world go by. DW was in the kitchen pouring me an ice tea. Not a drop was spilled.

When I saw the deer, I choose to 'grin and bare it' holding steady and tried no evasive maneuvers. Heard some thumping sounds, but no other impacts to the forward motion of the coach.

$4K later (with the help of the insurance company) all was well.

You should have heard my call to 911 when I finally stopped to report the incident. The dispatcher on the phone made it more colorful than it was (thank goodness)!

There's more to this story, but I'll stop here. All's well that ends well.

Tom N 10-16-2007 06:08 PM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I applied the brakes and then realized the futility of braking so I just gritted my teeth while this black Alligator (turned on its side, no less!) rumbled under the 40 feet of the coach and then the car. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">When I saw the deer, I choose to 'grin and bare it' holding steady and tried no evasive maneuvers. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Both signs of excellent drivers. Many are killed or kill others swerving to avoid animals or road debris.

https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/sign0098.gif

-Tom

AFChap 10-16-2007 06:09 PM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">trucker lingo, an "Alligator" is the carcass of a retread tire that had a catastrophic failure and exited the truck wheel. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
From what I've heard, maybe 50% of the "'gators" along the road are from re-treads with the remainder being the result of tread separations on "normal" tires.

John ... Our paths have crossed! We left Tucson a week ago tomorrow and went through Las Cruces on our way to overnight at Ft Bliss in El Paso, then on to Carlsbad where we are this week.

TXiceman 10-16-2007 06:20 PM

Yep, you have to keep and eye out for those road critters. The drivers mirror on the dinghy (when we were towing) had the scrape marks of one that was thrown into our lane by a speeding 18 wheeler. Scraped the left rear tires on the coach, but took the paint off the mirror.

I did use a alligator to stop a fellow from tailgating me. I was running 5 over the speed limit in the center lane in my dually. A smartA was tailgating and would not back off or switch lanes. It was a small alligator and I took the truck over the top and the last thing I saw of him was he was standing on his brakes and head fro the shoulder with thing trapped under his front end of his poor little BMW. https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/salook.gif So they can be useful as well.


Just don't try to run over a real alligator...it is pretty big bump.

Ken

wagonmaster2 10-16-2007 07:09 PM

Wow - Hope all I see will be on the shoulders. But I guess its like they say about motorcyclists, "There are those who have fallen down, or dumped, and those who will". The only thing I've had trouble with is a big highway sign between Limon and Colorado Springs that had blown down and was laying in the middle of the lane. By the time I realized what it was all I could do was straddle it, and the underchassis turblance lifted it up and wedged it between the drive shaft and one of the springs. If it hadn't been for a gentleman from Arkansas who was transporting a new travel trailer to a dealer stopping to help I would have had lots of fun getting it unwedged. And this was all on a 2-lane highway.
Wagonmaster2

Izzyblueye 10-17-2007 03:26 AM

JOHN: A good and timely post. Been there done that and hope I never have the opportunity again. The velocity of that tire carcass actually increases underneath your chassis and is really a missile when it exits. It can rupture gas lines, break fuel lines, tear off dump valves, on & on.

ichn2go 10-17-2007 04:02 AM

John and Jane all's well that ends well.
Glad you had plenty of toilet paper on boardhttps://irv2.infopop.cc/groupee_commo...icon_smile.gif
I don't want to experience that. Jim

John_Canfield 10-17-2007 05:09 AM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">--snip--
John ... Our paths have crossed! We left Tucson a week ago tomorrow and went through Las Cruces on our way to overnight at Ft Bliss in El Paso, then on to Carlsbad where we are this week. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Darn - sorry I missed you Paul!

Ken - maybe the Beemer clown learned a valuable lesson https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/clown.gif

SargeW 10-17-2007 05:22 AM

John,

You got my attention with that one. Last I knew you were in Texas. I was wondering how the heck you managed to hit a gator in Texas... https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/jestera.gif

The rule for encountering most road debris is stay straight, and grip the wheel firmly. That is what we pay insurance premiums for. It's a little different on a motorcycle, evasive manuvers are sometimes a necissity but your skills had better be up to snuff.

Good advice from Homer though. When you get the chance, scoot under the rig on a creeper and wiggle and poke as much of the exposed wires, fluid lines, and fittings as you can. Better to find a partially damaged part now than later while you are rolling down the road.

Sarge

John_Canfield 10-17-2007 06:26 AM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SargeW:
--snip--
Good advice from Homer though. When you get the chance, scoot under the rig on a creeper and wiggle and poke as much of the exposed wires, fluid lines, and fittings as you can. Better to find a partially damaged part now than later while you are rolling down the road.

Sarge </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Fortunately we have our M3 chassis service scheduled for tomorrow here in Phoenix. I plan on telling the chassis tech about our 'encounter' the other day. Good timing I suppose.

rvten 10-17-2007 06:33 AM

They were always called Rubber Gators for my last 60 years. https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/jestera.gif

Moder2 10-17-2007 07:08 AM

John! You did good! Nice post.

I have seen way too many minor accidents turn into major's by a bad judgment call. Take the damage and move on, things can be fixed, people can't.

Sorry to hear about the damage though.

John

Okie 10-17-2007 10:09 AM

Hit a very small rubber gator just east of Bossier City, La....the left rear duals picked it up,,,,and it hit the side radiator,,,punching two small holes in the top and breaking off one blade of the fan....that was Thursday and radiator was repaired on Friday,,,but had to wait till Monday for the replacement fan....but Spartan also sent a rock guard to be installed and now I dont think any road debris can get to the fan and radiator area...Oh yes,,,the check engine light came on first ,,,then seconds later the stop engine and then it shut itself down...showed low coolant...

RustyJC 10-17-2007 10:32 AM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by John_Canfield:
Ken - maybe the Beemer clown learned a valuable lesson https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/clown.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
John,

Knowing you're a collector of such things, here's my nit-picky trivia contribution for today. https://irv2.infopop.cc/groupee_commo.../icon_wink.gif

Beemers are BMW motorcycles.

Bimmers are BMW cars.

Rusty
2007 BMW K1200GT (motorcycle)
BMWMOA #120519

ISLAPP 10-17-2007 10:51 AM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RustyJC:


Beemers are BMW motorcycles.

Bimmers are BMW cars.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have always called the car Beemer, never heard of Bimmer. Some trivia from Ohio!! https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/laugh.gif https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/sign0013.gif https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/sign0018.gif
Mike

rebelsbeach 10-17-2007 10:56 AM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I did use a alligator to stop a fellow from tailgating me. I was running 5 over the speed limit in the center lane in my dually. A smartA was tailgating and would not back off or switch lanes. It was a small alligator and I took the truck over the top and the last thing I saw of him was he was standing on his brakes and head fro the shoulder with thing trapped under his front end of his poor little BMW. So they can be useful as well. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Most States have signs on the road that say "slower traffic keep right" but I'm thinking you already knew that....As the slower vehicle at whatever speed and being in the center lane, might have been more appropriate to pull to the right rather than commit your "own" act of road rage....Just my two cents.

RustyJC 10-17-2007 11:05 AM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ISLAPP:
I have always called the car Beemer, never heard of Bimmer. Some trivia from Ohio!! https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/laugh.gif https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/sign0013.gif https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/sign0018.gif
Mike </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Mike,

See, today has provided you with an educational opportunity. https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/thumb.gif https://irv2.infopop.cc/images/laugh.gif

Rusty

TXiceman 10-17-2007 12:46 PM

Bob, I was pacing and holding my distance from the vehicle in front of me. I was in the second lane from the right on a 4 lane section and I was 5 over the posted with the rest of the traffic. 70 MPH and this fellow was choosing to run 1 car length off the rear of a 1 ton dually when he had 3 other lanes to choose from.

For this type driver, I guess we are to get completely off the road.

Road Gators are pretty much a year around thing here in the south of Texas. Luckily, most wind up on the shoulder where they do no real harm.

It is real scary when you are behind a rig that starts to shred a tire. Chunks of rubber start to fly off and you know the next thing may be a large chunk of radial tire thread. The only thing to do is to start backing a way and give the driver some room. And watch the dummies blast past you and get hit by the flying chunks.

When I ran with a CB in the truck, I called quiet a few truckers and let them know they had a tire that was on the way out or were gone.

Ken


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