We had to replace a bad tire on our travels to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan last month. That tire, located on the front driver’s side, now checks in at 101 PSI cold. The tire on the other side of the steer axle checks in at 110 PSI cold.
My sense of balance requires both tires to be at the same pressure: 110 PSI cold.
No problem. On our way to the Flying J a few nights back, we planned to check the pressures running hot and level the driver’s side to match the passenger’s side.
Only I did not have enough air from the air pump.
I took the air hose, connected it to the tire valve, and waited. Not long, probably 10 – 20 seconds. I had no idea how quickly the tire pressure would change but when I checked, it had not changed at all.
I spent a bit longer, perhaps a minute or so. Checked the tire pressure. And still no change.
I tried 5 minutes. No change in tire pressure.
I then went to the Flying J counter to settle the fuel and dumping charges and to ask them about the air pump. It was working except that 115 PSI was the max. And, as the heat had increased the tire pressure on the driver’s side from 101 PSI to 111 PSI, I was trying to get the tire up to 120 PSI to match the level on the passenger’s side.
With a 115 PSI air pump, that was not going to happen in my lifetime.
They told us to go into the trucker area and use those air pumps.
We made our way over to the trucker area. We are basically the same size as a big diesel bus so we were not entirely out of place. Just mostly out of place. There were at least a dozen lanes and every lane was full. We queued behind one tractor trailer. He pulled out of the lane and stopped about 50 feet or so in front of the pumps.
We pulled in and got to work on the front tire.
Same exact experience as before. Could not move the tire pressure north of 115 PSI.
Time to leave. Except for one little problem, the tractor trailer still stopped about 50 feet or so in front of us. No way out.
I had to do something that I did not really want to do, namely, back the coach out of the pump lane. Lorraine stepped out to spot and we figured out a way to retreat without impacting a truck.
I had no idea as to how to exit the trucker area. It took us another 5-10 minutes of roaming around to finally break free of the Flying J trucker area. I am very sure that I entertained a few truckers as we drove in random patterns around the parking area looking for a way out.
Getting our own air compressor has suddenly jumped to the top of the must have list for our motorcoach.