I have driven large equipment over the road since 1968 and finally had my first steer axle blow out last month at Mc pherson, Ka. and it was a bad one. The tire was 6 years old, had never been run low, had run at max pressure and max load for apox. 80K miles , at an ave speed of 70+ mph. It had a perfect side wall (no cracking) and I had checked the pressures that morning.
There was no warning of any kind. Just one huge explosion and the rim was on the ground.There was only a few 6"- 8"strips of tire to pick up off the road. The tire appeared to just varorize. The effects of the concusion blew the fender off. blew the utillity tunnel off where all the plumbing and electrical run over the front axle,blew a hole in the floor behind the co pilot seat, shattered the little desk and broke it's top, destroyed the flooring in the area , and broke the right front windshield. There was no damage to the air bags or air lines in the area. It was A little over 9K damage. I was running 75 at the time.
There was some of the tire inside but most of it was very small and none was over 1" sq.
All the years and many miles I drove, I would constantly try to prepare myself for the blow out that never happened. Then, when it happens, it was 7-10 sec. of pure panic with a very hard pull to the right. I somehow knew the rim was on the ground and slowly started braking. I always had control but for the most part, I let the coach pull itself to the shoulder.If there had been a tight curve to the left at that time, it probably would have been much worse. By the way, now that we have new rubber all around, dad still wants to drive (a little) if we go traveling again. He ain't scared .
To my knowledge, that tire never hit any thing that morning or ever . I just think that it had been run maxed out for too long. (weight & speed).
Listen to to the manufactures. My steer tires WILL be changed at 4 years or sooner from now on . Gary O 2000 U320 4210