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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

South Africa’s Youngest Long-Distance Truck Driver Recounts First Experience of Front Tyre Blowout

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Bradley Van Jaarsveld, the youngest long-distance trucker in South Africa at 20 years has survived a front tyre blowout and he has decided to share his experience with young truck drivers out there.

Front tyre blowouts are dangerous and no trucker even the seasoned ones can say they don’t fear them.

For Bradley, experiencing it early in his carrier, will certainly give him the courage to face any situation that trucking can throw at him.

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Bradley told SA Trucker that he knows there are many young truckers out there who are not confident that they can safely operate a 56 000kg truck combination.

Narrating the front tyre blowout, he said;

“I was on my way from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, cruising down the N1 at 82km/h laden with 33 tonnes of cargo. I had left PE at around 1:00 PM, hoping to make it to Cape Town before nightfall”

“As usual, I had been driving for hours, enjoying the scenery and listening to some music, when it happened.

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Read | How to react after a front tyre burst on a truck

“Just after passing the Rawsonville turnoff, I heard a loud bang, and my truck suddenly veered to the left.

Bradley Van Jaarsveld
Bradley managed to safely stop the truck. Picture supplied

“My heart racing, I quickly disengaged the cruise control and firmed my grip on the steering wheel with both hands, trying to regain control of my truck.

“It was a terrifying moment, but I managed to keep my cool and bring the truck to a stop using the trailer brake.

“I knew I had a flat tire, so I waited patiently for someone to bring me a spare wheel.

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“While I waited, I jacked up the truck and took off the damaged rim. Finally, the spare wheel arrived, and we quickly put it on with a workmate who had stopped by me.

“He offered to drive behind me until we arrived at the Engen Winelands in Cape Town.

“It was a long and stressful journey, but I made it. I was grateful for the kindness of the other driver and for my own quick thinking in a scary situation.

“As I pulled into the gas station, I breathed a sigh of relief and smiled to myself. Another adventure on the road, but I had made it through once again.”

Young trucker Bradley Van Jaarsveld
Bradley Van Jaarsveld with his rig, a Volvo FH 480. Picture supplied

Bradley became an instant darling with fellow truckers after SA Trucker published his story of becoming a Code 14 long-distance truck driver at only 19 last year.

He pilots a Volvo FH 480 pulling a tautliner superlink for LVV Transport.

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