We push our trucks to the limit. We pray our trucks don't get tired too quickly. But surely, our tires do. It can't be avoided. We often find ourselves grinding/churning up a steep mountain road completely covered with sharp rock. Many would call these roads donkey paths. Sometimes that rock is loose, sometimes it is immovable. Sometimes we find ourselves crossing hours of rough "dirt" roads. That "dirt" is often rock, stone, hard or soft. Sometimes, we find ourselves deep in mud, where only low 4x4 driving allows progress. Every now and then, we even find ourselves on pavement, which is no friend to a mud tire.
Here are the 2 causes of 2 flats just this past week.
No matter where we find ourselves, our tires wear quickly. They are punctured, cut, and worn. RMI currently has 10 trucks in constant use (not counting motorcycles). Some of the larger trucks have more than 4 tires. This is approximately 46 tires (not including spares). To say we need to buy tires all. the. time. is an understatement. They simply get tired. Quickly. We travel with spare tires to be sure, but that often isn't enough due to multiple tire issues. Therefore, we travel with plug kits so when we get flat tires, we can plug the hole in a remote location and keep going. Do you know how long it takes to pump up a truck tire with an old inefficient bicycle pump? I do.
This is only one small part of the constant financial burdens we carry. Constant multi-vehicle-travel over rough 3rd world context roads requires a LOT of resources. Example: 46 tires, changed every 6 months, at about $150 per tire equals $13,800 per year in just tire money.