Question: Why do trucks have flappy rubber straps?

Have you ever noticed that trucks in Taiwan have flappy rubber straps in front of the front wheels? This has puzzled me for a long time. What are they for?

One friend told me that “it’s illegal for the air conditioner drain to drip on the road, so it flaps it into the air.” I don’t believe this. Tong Lian and He Xin buses don’t have that, and they definitely have air conditioning. In fact, those kind of buses seem to have water-cooled brakes, because you can always see streams of water on the road before turns as you approach the back of a tour bus on mountain roads. In addition, truck loads of wet dirt or gravel drip like crazy, so who cares about the air conditioner drain?

I live near the ocean and often see trucks full of fish (with melting ice) with drain pipes leaving a continuous trail of water on the road, which doesn’t hurt anything.

Anybody know?

I am sure glad you asked. I was thinking about posting this Q myself.

I think it looks like some spiritual thing i.e. “keeps the ghosts away”

The rubber flaps keep the tires clean so you don’t get dirty getting in and out of the cab. See them on rear wheels too sometimes. Also see flaps of cloth tied to mirrors to clean the mirrors.

^^^ Yep. You can imagine that after a couple of years, the accumulated beteljuice spittage would weigh several kilos and the resulting increase in rotational inertia would make it difficult for the driver to maintain 100kph+ speeds through small towns and villages.