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31 Tons...

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posted on Nov, 6 2016 @ 09:18 PM
So, today I responded to a moderator whom I have the utmost respect for. I was sitting in a fast food joint at the time, my truck parked taking up 15-20 places in a grocery store parking lot. I suspect he thought I was "whining". Perhaps I was. He said I was "tougher than that". Maybe, I dunno. Anyway, then this happened...

I left the parking lot after my "lunch" and headed north. I was hauling hay today. Fifty miles north I was loaded with 31 tons of hay (I have three more loads to haul this year...and this is my third load). I was heavy. Sixty two thousand pounds, (62) bales at 1,000 pounds/ea on a 53' trailer.

[There was some question about whether or not the world would end as a result of my complaint. I hope not. (grin)]

62,000 on the back, on a single lane road with no shoulder will keep your attention (anyone's attention). Our Pete 379 will "TUG". Big (black) smoke with the Cat 3208 twin turbos. Wife didn't want to ride today, so I drove alone. (well, me and the dog).

Checked all the tires before I got loaded (all good). Road was a little rough pulling out around the feed lot. No matter.

So what's the point????

Headead south (back to the ranch), running about 70mph. Single lane, no (zero) shoulder. Looked back in the mirrors and saw a wildfire rig coming up behind me (FAST), lights blazing. Started braking and downshifting. In front of me...flashing yellows...wide load!!! HOLY CRAP!! I'm on the jake and this fire truck is passing. The rig coming the other way is a lowboy with a CAT 637 Scraper on it. There's NO way we can pass!! He's braking, I'm braking...and the fire truck is up beside me on the left.

The lowboy was over 100,000 and I'm about 62,000 (both trucks well over 120,000 lbs GVW). I'm trying to keep my rears on the road. White smoke on both sides. I'm hitting the trailer brakes (they're locking up). The fire truck (an old Hummer) is still passing. I'm just trying to keep it on the is my opponent coming at me with a Scraper. Pilot truck goes by me and off the shoulder into the ditch. Fire truck goes around me, hauling ass. (Still have to brake and avoid a collision). I got my mains off the shoulder (trailer too) on the right side...hard braking now.

Figured for sure I was gonna' put it in the ditch!! (especially once I got off in the gravel). There was NO shoulder! ((In fact, I was already mentally having the conversation with my wife about wrecking the Pete)). I could see the whites of that KW driver hauling that scraper as he went by!! I honestly could. He was off on the other (non) shoulder too. I figured for sure I was going to dump it; the trailer leaned WAY over sideways as the rears went down into the ditch. (praying on my strap job). Honestly, I wasn't even watching my trailer at that point. (I figured it was a wreck for sure). I saw that lowboy (with the scraper) go down into the ditch, and the huge dust cloud behind it. I figured he was going to come up and go around sideways and bad wreck, but he held on.


I came back up out of the ditch with the trailer and took my foot out of the throttle (I'd had my foot in it the whole time...only way to survive). He'd done the same thing. There was a monster cloud of dust behind me and we were both braking hard to a stop (traffic in tow). HO-LY S###!!! My heart about jumped out of my chest!!!! His pilot got stuck in the soft stuff off the shoulder, and he'd passed him by about 1/4 mile.

I drove about 15mph for the next few miles...scared the crap out of me!! (unhappy campers behind me, but oh well!!).

edit on 11/6/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2016 @ 09:29 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

So? What? We're supposed to guess 31 tons of what?

How about: 31 tons of camel-snot, expulsed in contempt of American intervention in the Middle-East.

posted on Nov, 6 2016 @ 10:22 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
That was interesting and thought provoking, as usual.

Don't you hate it when you hit "enter" too soon? LOL

ETA: I'm glad that you came out of it okay with no damage to you or your load. Did you crap yourself?
edit on 6-11-2016 by Skid Mark because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2016 @ 10:29 PM
a reply to: Skid Mark

Yeah, that's what I did too!

Anyway, I edited it. Hopefully it's better now.


posted on Nov, 6 2016 @ 10:38 PM
a reply to: Skid Mark

Damn near!!!

posted on Nov, 6 2016 @ 11:01 PM
Got back to the house and sat there for a few moments idling, while I unstrapped the load. The wife let the (other) dogs out, and then came out and asked what I was doing. Just told her I was letting the turbos cool down (it's a steep 22% uphill to the house...good excuse).

I didn't tell her the story until later.

She said she could smell the brakes when we pulled up. Flat spotted a couple trailer tires too.

edit on 11/6/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2016 @ 11:18 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Hate to be off topic FCD but when I saw the title I immediately thought of Tennessee Ernie Ford's song 16 Tons...another day older and what do you get...etc. First time I heard it I was in a receiving (waiting home) to go into an orphanage. It came on the radio dedicated to me.

Many are too young to remember. However, think you get a lot out of those tons of hay and a lot out of life.

Best to you


posted on Nov, 6 2016 @ 11:59 PM
a reply to: liveandlearn

Indeed, I remember that song...and I DO!!

ETA...I just wish I'd have been that light today, with that KW and a scraper coming my way...and a fire truck trying to pass.

ETA II...I still just can't believe that guy came back up out of the ditch with that 637 on the back and didn't wipe out!!! It was EVERYTHING I could do to keep upright!!! I saw my load lean almost 30% over the side of my trailer...figgered' I was a goner for SURE!! Upside trailer tires were in the air. I just got lucky!

Holy smokes!!

edit on 11/7/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 7 2016 @ 12:17 AM
If there's any wisdom here, it would be, NEVER hit the brakes with a trailer problem, unless you hit the trailer brakes only. Keep the power on, or at worst just "let up". Honestly, the only thing I thought about today was "Stay in front of your load!!!"

It's hard sometimes to think about that, but it'll save your bacon every time! Always stay "in front" of your load!!

(It's hard to understand, and it's not intuitive, but it's real...and it's kept me out of the ditch all my life...and I've hauled some heavy gear (oilfield and dirt work)) in the Rocky Mountains.)

posted on Nov, 7 2016 @ 12:20 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

From what i have read of your travels and trials and your love of your wife, your are a blessed man FCD as is your wife. Keep telling us your stories of everyday life in your world.

posted on Nov, 7 2016 @ 12:35 AM
a reply to: liveandlearn

I try. Sometimes it seems almost too much. I've done a lot. I guess I should consider myself blessed for that. I just wonder sometimes.

The worst (or maybe, best) part is, I haven't even begun to tell some of the stories of my life. I have this affliction, this malady...I remember everything, every detail....I remember all of it.

I even remember every single phone number I've ever known since I was a kid. It's this weird "identic" memory thing, or so they say. (addresses, names, people, places, experiences, moments...everything).

Sometimes it's a curse. All these useless memories, in intricate detail, just the finest of points.

I will endeavor to share. (Drives my wife crazy when I can remember every single detail, including the color of the tile, or every single place and thing we've ever done).

posted on Nov, 7 2016 @ 12:44 AM
Oh, I need to say this...

It's funny, my lovely bride gets so frustrated at me with my memory of things (every single detail of everything), but she watches TV, and I don't. I never watch TV. So sometimes I try to guess who the actor / actress is and I am notoriously WRONG! She gives me a lot of crap over that because I can only get about 1/30 right.

The wife could nail it for 100/100 on actors and actresses...when I'd be lucky to get one!

BUT...ask me what her phone number was when I first met her 25 years ago (and she can't EVEN remember it)...and I'll recite it like I called it yesterday. Address too.

Just crazy!!

posted on Nov, 7 2016 @ 12:51 AM
Oh, but sorry...I won't remember your birthday!

LOL!!! (smackin' leg)

I'm the worst at that!


(can't even remember mine!!!)

edit on 11/7/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 7 2016 @ 02:18 AM
Sounds like many years of experience honed your reflexes well for a situation like that. Thanks for sharing bud. Even though I didn't understand half of the words used (scrapper? Low boy? Tires? Road? Jk about the last two...) i was able to get the gist of what was going on. I'm glad you and "the pete" made it out of there alright in one piece!

People need to realize where we would be without truck drivers. Civilization as we know it would come to a halt after about 3 days without you guys out there, hauling those big loads, over long and dangerous routes in all weather conditions. Thank you sir

posted on Nov, 7 2016 @ 11:39 AM
Console yourself with this. Just think that you and your wife were trapped in a burning building and the fire truck is coming to rescue you with only seconds to save you. I know what you would be screaming "run every truck off the road, get to us first, save us".
None of us like to be pushed about by blue lights flashing but think of it this way it might be you they're coming to help next time.

posted on Nov, 7 2016 @ 12:49 PM
a reply to: crayzeed

Oh, I wasn't really too mad at the guys in the Fire truck really. It was a volunteer crew. I think they took a risk and got in over their heads before they realized the full reality of what was about to happen. By then it was too late. If they would have tried to stop they probably would have hit the KW with the scraper head-on (with me braking hard next to them). Their only choice really was to try to complete their pass and get around me. I'm pretty sure the driver probably had to clean out his shorts after that though.

I'm not 100% sure, but when I topped the hill coming into town I thought I caught a glimpse of the hummer with it's lights off. They were probably on a mutual-aid run and got waved off. When I got into town I passed another, full sized, Fire rig coming the other way and he was just driving normally with his lights off, so whatever the emergency was it must have been over.

posted on Nov, 7 2016 @ 12:56 PM
a reply to: 3n19m470

Thanks for that, but truth be known I'm not actually a 'trucker' by trade. I drove one when I was younger, hauling heavy equipment like the Kenworth which was coming the other way. We just have a truck for hauling hay and ag equipment, and that is what I was driving.

A "lowboy" is a low trailer (only a couple feet high) usually used to haul heavy equipment and loads. You drive the equipment up onto these trailers. A 'scraper' is a very large piece of earthmoving equipment with twin diesel engines (one in the front and one in the rear). They're articulated just behind the cab. Just picture the great big yellow things you see on large earthwork projects. You'll sometimes see 2-3 of them all hooked together and being pushed by a giant bulldozer. They're big!

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