(By Greg Rourke)-You think you’re having a bad day at work? This cat wishes he was having your bad day.
Hauling superloads is a nerve wracking job. You are driving a truck that’s longer, higher, wider and heavier than what roads were designed for. It’s a job that’s not for everyone. I did it for a short time. A very short time. Other drivers won’t give you any room, they race around you so they don’t have to be behind you, and just generally behave as thougn they are the only ones on the road. I many cases, such as the one here, escorts or pilot cars are required. They will act as blockers to help around corners and through traffic, and the lead vehicle will have a height pole set a few inches higher than the load so the pole will hit any obstructions before the truuck does. Ideally the state will issue you permits that allow you a safe route, but it doesn’t always happen.
In the case of this unfortunate driver, the load doesn’t fit on a trailer, so it becomes the trailer. A kingpin connects the front of the beam to the tractor, and a three axle dolly holds up the back. Air and electric lines are run for the brakes and lights. In this case, note the taper in the beam. It looks like there is cribbing on the dolly to support the beam, and a few chains and binders secure everything. However, the taper would seem to try to squirt the dolly out from under the beam. It appears the marginal looking support is where the drivers bad day begins.
We see the pilot vehicle drive up next to the truck as he negotiates a left turn. So far so good…note the alighnent of the dolly tires and the lines on the road. They are lined up with the tractor. A three axle trailer has a large amount of scrub during a turn, as none of the axles steer. As he straightens out, we can see the dolly is no longer aligned with the tractor, it’s dog tracking. The driver must notice this in his mirrors about the same time he notices the jersey wall barrier and hits the binders, but it’s too late. The beam is dragged off the dolly, hits the ground, and then a slow motion levering of the tractor as it turns turtle. Wham.
Next time the coffee shop messes up your double shot venti mocha latte and think your day is ruined, just remember it could be worse.
PRESS PLAY BELOW TO SEE A HEAVY HAULING JOB GO VERY, VERY WRONG WHEN A SLIGHT MISCALCULATION RESULTS IN DISASTER –