Truck fires may or may not be more prevalent today, but they are surely catastrophic when they occur.
In the old days, when trucks would catch fire, it was usually nothing more than burning up some wires of paint before a fire extinguisher would be used to put out the flames. Nowadays, trucks are made of all sorts of composite materials that truck fires spread more quickly and are more difficult to put out. Today’s truck parts are more flammable – especially cab and sleeper trim – that fires can be extremely dangerous.
Truck repair costs for fire damage have also increased. Truck damages can range in the neighborhood of $100,000 to repair a fire ravaged truck. Extremely hot fires can even melt the truck tires down to the ground!
The perception in the trucking industry is that truck fires are almost always started by electrical problems. Quite simply, shorts overheat locally and then spread to flammable truck materials.
While electrical issues are often the culprit when it comes to truck fires, issues with truck wheel ends are also a major cause. Dragging truck brakes, truck wheel bearing failures and turbo failures can also ignite fires.
Another cause of truck fires are the cargo. Truck cargo that shifts, is not assembled properly or that is incompatible is also a potential cause for fire.
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