Driving next to an 18-wheeled vehicle can be a bit nerve-wracking in general, a feeling that is compounded when you realize that some of its wheels are covered in spikes. Are these ominous adornments just meant to scare you away or are they good for something?
In fact, the two are not mutually exclusive: the tips are somehow meant to scare you. But it’s for your own good (and the good of everyone around you). As Big Rig Pros explains, truck drivers have significant blind spots on the sides and rear of their trucks, and accidents are more likely to happen when an approaching vehicle gets lost in the road. one of these “no-go zones”. Spikes are a quiet way to grab people’s attention and encourage them, in a slightly intimidating way, to keep a safe distance between their vehicle and the large platform.
If you accidentally get too close and brush against the beards, don’t panic. According to The News Wheel, they’re usually made from plastic or weak aluminum, so they can scratch your car’s coating, but they likely won’t tear it. (It’s not that you should take it as a challenge to squeeze the side of a semi-trailer.)
The tips are more than sturdy enough to serve their primary purpose as lug nut covers. Considering the countless miles traveled by the 18 wheels, it’s no surprise that their lug nuts, which help secure the tires to their axles, suffer more wear than those of other automobiles. The tips protect them from dirt and keep them dry from precipitation, preventing rust and keeping them from loosening.
Could flat covers just as well do this job? Probably. But not only does pointy have that security-focused intimidating factor, they look flashy too. And when you spend dozens of hours a week in your truck, you might be inclined to cheat it a bit. As Big Rig Pros notes, it’s reminiscent of an office worker decorating his cubicle.
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