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Old 03-12-2017, 01:41 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Near Sacramento, CA
Posts: 39
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466 w/MT643
Rated Cap: 71
Flat tire out on the road?

Has anyone ever actually had a flat while on a trip? Did you have a spare? Did you get one of those guys to come to your rig and replace the flat tire with a new/used one on the same rim? How many of you actually have a spare?

The reason I ask is we're thinking of taking out the spare and taking advantage of the storage. My thought were if we get a flat on the road we'd have to have our roadside pay for someone to drive to us but we'd pay the labor to remove the flat and put our spare on. That means we'd have to go somewhere and have a new tire put on the rim with the flat. I know a mobile repair person would probably charge a pretty penny to mount a new tire on a rim in the middle of nowhere, but I don't know how common the blowouts are.

ps. I have these little viewing windows on the front hubs that show an "oil" level. Is that just 90w gear oil, regular oil type of oil?

Thanks
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
Hello Heath, Laura and The Kids

Before you get rid of your spare tire, have you considered hanging the spare under your bus? Many service providers don't like providing services if you're not on a hardtop road. It's not that hard to be beyond cell service while on a trip.

I often get in trouble for suggesting old school solutions, but when I bought this bus it had a flat tire on the right front steer tire on the way home. There was no spare included with this bus. I took off the inside dual tire from the passenger side rear axle and replaced the flat, running the rear axle with only three tires. It was only about 5 more miles to get home and you should never do that in a heavily loaded vehicle. Maybe that's to hillbilly, but it could save a long walk if you get stuck somewhere. We don't have flats very often, but when we do it's always at the worst possible time in the worst possible situation. Ideally I'll carry two spare tires when I'm better organized and taking longer trips.

Whatever you do, be safe. With kids I'd certainly carry at least one spare tire.
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Old 03-12-2017, 05:31 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Beech Grove, IN
Posts: 56
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 35
I just picked up some tires and bought seven with the intention of carrying a spare. I plan to be in areas where cell service may be non existent and don't want to risk it. I am planning to mount it under the rear overhang similar to how many pick ups mount theirs.
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:03 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 814
Year: 1990
Coachwork: integral
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
One of the first things I made after I bought my bus was a spare wheel/tire mount under the front. The wheel is secured to it by four 1" bolts, and is lowered and raised by a worm-drive 2000 lb winch. To ease moving the wheel when it's on the ground, I made a four-wheel folding dolly that attaches to the winch's cable, then it's easy to just push the wheel out from under the bus. And if I'm feeling lazy, I can power the winch with my cordless drill!

I also have several bottle jacks for lifting the bus - two 20-ton, a 12-ton, and a low-profile 12-ton because a regular jack won't fit under the front axle if the tire were flat. There are two 12" squares of 3/8" steel in case the ground is soft, six lengths of 6" x 8" lumber as cribbing, and I bought a 40"-long 1"-drive breaker bar with Budd nut, and a 10" extension for the rear wheels. I've thought about also getting one of those geared wrenches for loosening tight lug nuts, but the 40" breaker bar will easily tighten the nuts back to 500 ft/lbs. Lastly, I have an on-board 120VAC air compressor for inflating tires or running air tools, with three air outlets around the bus; I would have bought a 1"-drive air wrench except they need more air flow than I can provide.

However, the single best thing to have with you for unplanned eventualities is a Good Sam Emergency Roadside Assistance membership (or Coachnet or equivalent). I used my Good Sam in January when my brand-new custom-made hydraulic motor for my radiator fan split apart after 6 miles - any tow by a heavy-duty wrecker is going to be very pricy. Having your own spare tire means you won't have to pay an exorbitant price for a new tire from the service provider, and having tools means that if you're out of cellphone range or nobody can come you can still do it yourself. Always have a Plan B!

It sounds like you have a Stemco or CR/SKF front axle hub cap. You need to check what your axle manufacturer's service manual specifies for its oil type and level - for my Rockwell I use either 90W gear oil or 90/140W hypoid oil (same as for the differential and rear axle), filled to hallway up the window. If you overfill it the excess will come out the vent hole and make a big oily mess all over the wheel.

John
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:09 PM   #5
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Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 2,294
Year: 1997
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Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
Happened to us, but we blew both tires on the right side. Got them both replaced on the shoulder of the highway,decided to replace the other two rears (the rears were all retreads) before continuing my trip.

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Old 03-12-2017, 07:49 PM   #6
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Year: 1976
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Engine: Detroit Diesel 6-71
Rated Cap: 52 pax
[QUOTE=Robin97396;190212]Hello Heath, Laura and The Kids



I often get in trouble for suggesting old school solutions, but when I bought this bus it had a flat tire on the right front steer tire on the way home. There was no spare included with this bus. I took off the inside dual tire from the passenger side rear axle and replaced the flat, running the rear axle with only three tires. It was only about 5 more miles to get home and you should never do that in a heavily loaded vehicle. Maybe that's to hillbilly, but it could save a long walk if you get stuck somewhere. We don't have flats very often, but when we do it's always at the worst possible time in the worst possible situation. Ideally I'll carry two spare tires when I'm better organized and taking longer trips.

Been there man. Not in a bus thank God. I was driving a lifted Chevy 4x4 pulling a 15 foot dual axel dump trailer with a pallet of laminate flooring. I was building some of the cabins in Heber AZ, and was driving materials up the mountain from PHX. About and hour out of town on the Beeline Highway between PHX and Payson, just before and hour of mountain climbing begins, I lost the front driver side tire on the trailer. I had a spare for the truck, but not for the trailer but I didn't matter. I did not have a jack. I was safely of the side of the road and decided the heavy duty trailer was about 40 percent loaded to capacity and could make to Payson on three wheels. I didn't have a jack so I took off the lugnuts and very very slowly drove forward and walked the rim off the studs, not the best for the lugs but they were easy to replace the two that got damaged. After the wheel was off, I used a 20k lb rachet strap, the heavy trucker style, to lift the axel higher off the ground, as is hung about 5 inches off the pavement before I hung the strap off of the heavy metal sidewalls of the trailer just above the axel. With the axel about ten inches off the ground, almost where it should be with the tire on, I drove up the mountain and made it to Payson about an hour away. I know this was not the safest thing to do and DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME but when you don't have the right tools and spares this is what happens. Me and that lifted 97 Chevy sure had some good times and I have LOTS of crazy stories with it.

If you are headed south on the Beeline fro Payson to Phoenix, just after the Bush Highway exit ramp, Look for a large gash is the road that goes from the right lane about where the driver side tires run down the road, crosses over to left lane and goes off the road. I lost my driver side front tire from this same lifted truck doing 65 MPH headed home from one of these delivery trips to Heber. Me and the 97 did this in about 2007 or so.

Be safe out there. Crazy stuff can happen at any moment.
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