FORT COBB, Okla. (KFOR) — What Billy Turner is doing to this semi-trailer should render it undriveable.
“This truck is at a complete, failed state,” he tells us.
He’s taking the safety hub, the bearing nut, and the outer bearing completely off the trailer hub itself.
“There’s also not any lug nuts holding the wheels and tires on,” he continues.
If he did this on a normal truck the wheel would fall off right away.
Turner cautions, “The truck wouldn’t go 10 feet.”
But this is what Turner calls a ‘run to fail’ test.
Instead of all those things holding the wheel to the axle, Turner replaced them with an invention he first showed us in February, 2020.
He calls it the TetherTech System which is, basically, an extra cable attaching wheels to both sides of the trailer axle.
“I’m tying moving part to moving part,” he told us.
When Turner and his partners first brought their idea to the Caddo Kiowa Technology Center in Fort Cobb Business Incubator Shawn Freie knew they were on to something.
All she had to do was get on the phone and, a year later, collect a big economic development award from the state.
“My tag line with almost everybody I work with,” Freie tells us, “is, ‘I don’t know a lot. I just know a lot of people’.”
Billy has travelled a lot of miles since owning his own trucking company and seeing for himself what a tire coming loose from a trailer on the highway can do to a vehicle it strikes.
“Doing 80 miles an hour down the road,” he adds.
He knows his system will keep those wheels attached because he’s driven those miles, just like this, ‘run to fail’ without fail.
His TetherTech Safety System is proven to work and, now, ready to prove up.
“The goal,” Billy insists, “is to get this thing on to keep the public safe.”
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Turner tells us his safety system is part of next year’s U.S. Defense Department budget plan.
The Oklahoma legislature is also considering a bill that would give tax breaks to trucking companies that install his system.