How often have you seen a semi-truck drive up next to you on the highway, only to be greeted by massive spinning spikes on the side of its tires? Even though not all big trucks have tire spikes like these, a lot of them have these spikes.
These sharp-edged parts are known as “wheel spikes,” and they are very common with trucks, but they could also be used with different vehicles.
Why do truck drivers use wheel spikes? And are they dangerous?
Why are Wheel Spikes Used?
Wheel spikes are used mainly for three reasons:
1- Protection for the Nuts:
When it comes to truck driving safety, you may not have considered the importance of keeping the lug nuts that hold the wheels to the semi-truck in place. Many truck drivers install spikes as a sort of cover to protect the lug nuts from damage caused by road debris and corrosion.
These lug nuts might break free and put the structure of the wheels at risk if they aren’t properly protected.
2- Warning the Drivers:
What’s the point of using spikes? Isn’t it possible to just cover the wheel’s lug nuts with a normal cover? Definitely! However, the spike’s elongated shape has a role. Most of the accidents with trucks happen due to other cars driving near the truck with little space between the two vehicles.
For many truckers, a spike is an effective warning sign that encourages other drivers to keep a safe distance from the truck. The spikes themselves are constructed of plastic or a thin metal that will break as soon as they come into contact with another vehicle.
The resulting sound can serve as a warning signal to other drivers that they are getting too near to the truck. This gives them time to reposition themselves before the crash occurs.
3- Design and Style:
You’ll discover a wide variety of designs for spiked semi-truck wheels if you type “spike semi-truck wheels” into Google Images. If you’re still wondering why spikes are used instead of another design, I have to ask you this: why not? Aside from the obvious functional benefits, isn’t it necessary that these spikes look good?
Truck drivers spend up to 14 hours a day on the road. The vehicle serves as both a personal workstation and a temporary residence for the driver. What’s the difference between a truck driver and an office worker who wishes to decorate their vehicle?
Wheel Spikes Types
There are several types of wheel spikes, just as there are various types of lug nuts. Some are long and sharp, while others are blue and green. Some are glossy, while others are matte, but they’re all made to let you express yourself to the maximum!
There are blue bullet-shaped wheel spikes, castle-shaped wheel spikes, drill-bit-shaped wheel spikes, and gold rod-shaped wheel spikes. Regardless of the shape, they are all used for the same purpose, and all these different shapes are just for decoration.
Are Wheel Spikes Just for Trucks?
No. Spikes may be installed on any vehicle with lug nuts. They’re just lug nut covers to show off how amazing your car looks or to silently warn other drivers to keep away.
They also encourage other drivers to focus on their surroundings rather than gazing at their phones, applying cosmetics, taking medications, or just not focusing on the road.
Are Wheel Spikes Dangerous?
Wheel spikes are not more harmful than being hit by a truck that does not have wheel spikes. It’s the vehicle itself, not the spikes on the wheels, that should bother you if you’re hit by a truck with spikes.
Most people will be surprised by this, but I’ll try to explain. In most cases, wheel spikes are constructed of soft plastic or alloys to avoid shearing the lug nuts off the trucker’s wheels if they hit a car. So they are not powerful spikes that would harm you inside your car, but you most probably wouldn’t want to come near it anyway.
Are Wheel Spikes Illegal?
Wheel spikes are not against the law. Most wheel spikes are just four or five inches long and do not reach over your fender, rock slider, running guard, or bumper. As previously stated, wheel spikes are often composed of a brittle material that would break off in an accident.
However, it is against the law to have anything sticking out of your car that may harm someone walking by.
Have you ever seen these spikes before? Would you use them if you were a truck driver?