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Well..., I'm still trying to get the crease out of the driver's seat cushion after I pucker tested it yesterday.

I was on a curving on-ramp exiting from one freeway onto Interstate 30. I'm not sure exactly how fast I was going, but I estimate it was about 55-60 mph. There was an 18 wheeler in front of me and he swerved over and a full size wooden pallet (4' square, 2x4 rails, 1x4 slats, total height ~5"-6") appeared before me in the middle of the lane. I did not have time to avoid it. So, instead of trying to over-control attempting to miss it, I just straightened my line to hit it square with the left wheels. I figured I was at best going to blow the tires, but maybe save the truck. At worse, well... it could get a lot worse. I gritted my teeth and prepared for the impact and the resulting snake dance with blown tires.

What happened next I still can't really believe. I hit the pallet and ran over it with both left tires. The impact was a pretty good shock, but actually felt like hitting no more than a good size speed bump. I was mentally primed for the blown tires so I immediately pull off to the shoulder to assess the damage. I walked around the truck and found... nothing. No tire damage, no body damage, no suspension damage, no nothing! I could not even find a scuff mark on the tires. The suspension had absorbed the the entire impact. I was still coming down off the adrenaline so I thought I might just be seeing what I wanted to see.

I went over the truck again after I had calmed down a bit and still found nothing wrong. After I drove away I checked to make sure I did not have any unseen anomalies like tire shake, or steering pull. I was stunned! I could not believe that I had absolutely "zero" damage after running over a wooden pallet at highway speed.

Unfortunately another driver was not so lucky. From up the highway I watched cars and trucks swerve to miss the pallet that was still in the middle of the on-ramp. Another 18 wheeler came around it blocking the view of the driver behind. A woman in a Cavalier saw it too late, swerved, over controlled and hit the pallet. It blew out the left two tires and CATO'ED the front left suspension and air dam. She lost control but didn't flip, and didn't get hit by another car. She limped off to the right shoulder of the intersate. She got out and was OK, but her car was toast.

I went back and removed the pallet and threw it in the ditch so it didn't claim any more victims. I was going to go help the other driver deal with her car, but someone else had already stopped to help so I elected not to risk the freeway crossing.

Now I just need to get the big fold smoothed out of the driver's seat.
 

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Great reaction time and good decision to just take it head-on. I bet the Cavalier would have fared better if she had done the same.

Thats a DFW freeway for you, full of junk falling off trucks! My brother loves collecting freeway freebies for just that reason.
 

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Wow.. Glad it worked out. Are you still running the BFG RT's? How much pressure? Ron

Well..., I'm still trying to get the crease out of the driver's seat cushion after I pucker tested it yesterday.

I was on a curving on-ramp exiting from one freeway onto Interstate 30. I'm not sure exactly how fast I was going, but I estimate it was about 55-60 mph. There was an 18 wheeler in front of me and he swerved over and a full size wooden pallet (4' square, 2x4 rails, 1x4 slats, total height ~5"-6") appeared before me in the middle of the lane. I did not have time to avoid it. So, instead of trying to over-control attempting to miss it, I just straightened my line to hit it square with the left wheels. I figured I was at best going to blow the tires, but maybe save the truck. At worse, well... it could get a lot worse. I gritted my teeth and prepared for the impact and the resulting snake dance with blown tires.

What happened next I still can't really believe. I hit the pallet and ran over it with both left tires. The impact was a pretty good shock, but actually felt like hitting no more than a good size speed bump. I was mentally primed for the blown tires so I immediately pull off to the shoulder to assess the damage. I walked around the truck and found... nothing. No tire damage, no body damage, no suspension damage, no nothing! I could not even find a scuff mark on the tires. The suspension had absorbed the the entire impact. I was still coming down off the adrenaline so I thought I might just be seeing what I wanted to see.

I went over the truck again after I had calmed down a bit and still found nothing wrong. After I drove away I checked to make sure I did not have any unseen anomalies like tire shake, or steering pull. I was stunned! I could not believe that I had absolutely "zero" damage after running over a wooden pallet at highway speed.

Unfortunately another driver was not so lucky. From up the highway I watched cars and trucks swerve to miss the pallet that was still in the middle of the on-ramp. Another 18 wheeler came around it blocking the view of the driver behind. A woman in a Cavalier saw it too late, swerved, over controlled and hit the pallet. It blew out the left two tires and CATO'ED the front left suspension and air dam. She lost control but didn't flip, and didn't get hit by another car. She limped off to the right shoulder of the intersate. She got out and was OK, but her car was toast.

I went back and removed the pallet and threw it in the ditch so it didn't claim any more victims. I was going to go help the other driver deal with her car, but someone else had already stopped to help so I elected not to risk the freeway crossing.

Now I just need to get the big fold smoothed out of the driver's seat.
 

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Way to go! If I ever encounter a wooden pallet at highway speeds I will take it on, "head on". Glad to hear that you and your FJ are intact. My I recommend a steam gun for removing the pucker fold in your drivers seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow.. Glad it worked out. Are you still running the BFG RT's? How much pressure? Ron
Yes, I am still running on the BFG RT T/A tires. I have them filled to 35 psi at all four corners. So far I have been pleased with them. They have a nice lug but still roll smoothly on the pavement. Plus, they would seem to take a pretty good hit and hold together.
 

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Had a very similar experience with an aluminum folding ladder on LA's 405 N. several years ago, only I was on my motorcycle at the time.

...talk about seat creases!!! lol

Glad everything worked out for you, excellent decision making in the moment! ...and good on ya' for pulling that thing off the ramp!

D
 

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I've been pleasantly surprised with them as well. I had mine at 35PSI too, but now that warmer weather is here, they're a little high. I spot checked two the other day and they were 41PSI HOT. I suspect they're about 38 COLD now, but it really seems to like the higher pressure. 32PSI is the most I had ever used in anything, prior to the FJ. The sidewall seems a little soft (C), but they sure worked for you.. Ron

Yes, I am still running on the BFG RT T/A tires. I have them filled to 35 psi at all four corners. So far I have been pleased with them. They have a nice lug but still roll smoothly on the pavement. Plus, they would seem to take a pretty good hit and hold together.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Had a very similar experience with an aluminum folding ladder on LA's 405 N. several years ago, only I was on my motorcycle at the time.

...talk about seat creases!!! lol

Glad everything worked out for you, excellent decision making in the moment! ...and good on ya' for pulling that thing off the ramp!

D
...Yah, I bet you just about caliper-braked the back wheel with your "cheeks".

:rofl:

I bet it was not funny while it was happening. Did you hit the ladder? If you did, did you go down?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Very lucky. Those situations are the worst. Do i swerve and risk flipping it or hitting the wall or do i brace for a dead on impact... Good call and glad you came out safe.
Yah, sometimes you just gotta take it in the teeth and hope your still standing when it's over.
 

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...however I would like to find the guy that doesn't know how to secure a load (or how to go back and pickup the s&!t he's dumping) and give him his pallet back.

:fight:
 

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Glad to hear everything worked out OK! Traveling on those interstates can be both a thriller and a killer.

Mike
 

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...Yah, I bet you just about caliper-braked the back wheel with your "cheeks".

:rofl:

I bet it was not funny while it was happening. Did you hit the ladder? If you did, did you go down?

lol ...you're almost right!

I did hit the ladder, I didn't go down. The quick version is, I was following about 2 car lengths back in the carpool lane, had an A-hole in a pickup riding my rear tire and there was a box-truck directly next to me in the next lane.

The van in front of me suddenly swerved out of the carpool lane and there was an aluminum extension ladder lying sideways in the lane ...covering the whole thing.

I couldn't swerve because of the truck, and slamming on the brakes was suicide with the guy riding right on my ass, so I aimed between the rungs (figured it's the softest part) stood on the pegs, gave it the throttle and held on. ...I think I ended up about 3' in the air, but despite landing hard (and hearing the ladder smack against the truck that had been tailgating) I was unscathed. I exited the fwy and checked over the bike expecting a folded rim and most likely a pinch-flat ...but nothing. The bike was fine; and this was on a Honda Magna cruiser. I'm sure on my KTM 950 it would have felt more like a speed bump! lol

...just one of the many crazy things that has happened over 25+ years of riding bikes either on the street or off-road!
 

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A "heads up" move on your part, well done.

A year ago I was driving thru Tampa, coming home from Key West. In the middle of the highway was a ladder rack off of a pick up truck. I eased over into another lane. Then I watched in the mirror as the car behind me drove right over it, threw it a few feet up behind him. He wasn't watching the road, too busy yaking on his phone. Hang up and drive!
 

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...however I would like to find the guy that doesn't know how to secure a load (or how to go back and pickup the s&!t he's dumping) and give him his pallet back.

:fight:
You can't believe how much crap I see every day being picked up from the right-aways and roadways I-275 from the Howard Franklin to the Sunshine Skyway! I work close with D.O.T the City and county inmates. I wonder how many people have been seriously injured or have sustained lots of damage running into this crap. I destroyed the front end of a 05 Celica GT-S hitting a shredded semi tire, lost control and plowed the guard rail! With the FJ I was haulin A$$ down a side street that I normally don't take unless traffic is backed up real bad. There was a newly installed speed ramp which I hit at 40mph! OMG The FJ went over it with little notice!! I have confidence when these situations occur!
 

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Wow! Glad everything was OK.
 

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Good last-minute decision, Alpine. :bigthumb:


Those situations are the worst. Do i swerve and risk flipping it or hitting the wall or do i brace for a dead on impact...
Exactly. Odds of survival are on your side if you keep it going straight (even at the risk of severe carnage), rather than put an FJ in a radical lateral weight-shift.

Way too many SUV's trying to perform even the simplest of obstacle avoidance maneuvers at speed, result in a rubber-side-up (or worse) attitude. :scared:
 
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