Trucker gets all 18 tires punctured parked on Georgia exit ramp

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Updated Nov 11, 2023

During the course of my work this week, scrolling through various trucking-related forums for news prospects, I came across a video posted to TikTok by truck driver David Lucas, who had been traveling southbound on I-75 on a run from Louisville, Kentucky, to Jacksonville, Florida, hauling a brand-new Maintainer service truck for the Ring Power equipment dealer.

In the video, Lucas describes a situation that no truck driver wants to experience -- all 18 of his tires, plus the six on the truck he was hauling, had been punctured while he slept. Not only that, but this week was one of the few in which his wife was riding with him, raising additional safety concerns.

I spoke to Lucas Friday morning, who said as he was running out of hours on Monday, Oct. 2, he pulled off at exit 39 in Adel, Georgia, to park. He couldn’t find a spot there, so he drove another couple miles down the road and parked on the off-ramp at exit 37.

“We stopped at exit 39 because there’s usually plenty of parking, but it was stacked that night,” he said. “We went to the next exit, and I was close on my hours.”

He said there were no signs at the exit that said no truck parking, and he was parked next to a cotton field, so he felt OK about the situation. He let his truck idle overnight while they slept, not because of the weather, but to keep the area around his truck lit up. He said the 2018 Peterbilt 389 he drives for Bomber Girl Trucking out of Busy, Kentucky, has plenty of lights all around, including on the headache rack to light up the load. The trailer, a 2024 Doonan step deck, also had clearance lights all down the side.

Despite the lights, when Lucas woke up and began his pre-trip, he noticed the piece of equipment he was hauling was sitting on the rims -- all six tires were flat. There was also damage to one of the aluminum box doors on the truck he was hauling. The puncture holes in his own equipment were so small, they had yet to leak much air at that point. To get off the exit ramp, he drove to a nearby Citgo station to park and call the police.

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He soon discovered that all 18 of his tires were starting to go down, as well.

An officer with the Adel Police Department told Lucas on the scene that this wasn’t the first time they had heard about this happening in the area. Overdrive has reached out to Adel Police Department for more information about similar incidents they’re aware of on the corridor. 

Lucas said based on comments on his TikTok video, it appears it’s not an uncommon occurrence on the I-75 corridor down into Florida toward I-10.

Lucas called a local tire shop -- 24/7 Diesel and Tire Repair -- who he said were great to work with. The service tech that came out said the holes in the tires appeared to be from an ice pick or something similar. One tire had as many as 11 punctures, he added.

Lucas said it took about 10-12 hours to get all the tires swapped out, and the punctures in the tires were so small that it took almost that entire time for the last tires to get changed to go flat.

All told, after buying the tires, having them installed and having the old tires hauled off, 10-truck small fleet Bomber Girl Trucking is out $10,400. The hope is an insurance claim helps recoup some of that cost.

For Lucas’ part, he said he’ll be vigilant going forward. “If I see it, I’ll do my best to document it and try to stop it,” he said. “What really scares me is my wife was in the truck with me, and they had to be around my truck for a while.”

Hopefully other drivers will do the same -- if they see something that doesn’t look right, report it and have somebody come check it out. It might save somebody’s business.

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