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Headed down the road...

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posted on Jul, 31 2017 @ 07:59 PM
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Looking in the mirrors, spray coming of my rears, serious spray. It's raining, well not really, it's sleeting. The wind is blowing and the sleet is turning to snow, it's January...it's getting cold. It's after midnight and a hundred and fifty miles are in front of me...just another day.

We're headed up to a Parker Brothers rig to take it down. There are several of us, all running "winch trucks" (Autocar and Kenworth, heavy haul trucks with big winches and winch-up trailers in two. Time to break a rig down. Any time, anywhere.

Most of our jobs were like that. Get the call in the middle of the night and you rolled. The cranes were on-site, breaking down the rig, and out job was to go haul it. The oil and gas fields wait for no man.

It was zero this particular night, roads slick and we were dangerous. Running light rears through the night, some towing trailers. There was a rig to break down!

When Texaco, Conoco, or Exon called...we went. Our trucks idled (for the most part) from January until April.

We'd show up on a rig site and some 'ground hand" (not a rough-neck) would tell us to pull down a tank and haul it. "You really want me to do that????....we can haul anything you know!!"

We'd pull the big 18' diameter tanks over with three trucks, and haul them on one. The young guys would be amazed at how we could get anything up on a truck or trailer. 100,000 lb winches, headache racks (true "headache" racks)...this was big gear. Sub-floors, tanks, derricks...we hauled anything! I was just a pup then.

I met this old guy one morning before daylight, and he told me..."these are the most powerful trucks known to man, but they're dangerous!". I lost my best friend on one of these rigs, and like him, I lost a couple friends too.

We did what needed to be done. We went places no one else would ever go.

When I saw those big rigs set up, it seemed like they would be there forever, but they don't stay long. They drill...and move on.

We hauled that iron. It was our job.

Under the lights, pulling up a sub-floor, over the tail-roll...and then hauling it, 18' wide, down the road. The big KW's and AutoCar's worked so hard.

It's the cloth from which I am cut.

Sorry.




posted on Jul, 31 2017 @ 08:19 PM
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We'd pull up to the big water tanks, and they'd ask how we were going to get them on the truck. "Easy!" we'd say...

We'd "trip" the tank, at the bottom with chains and anchors, then pull the tank over from the front, with two trucks holding it from the back...then let it down slowly. The tanks had skids on the sides; we'd set them down on the skids.

Then we'd drop our trailer, turn around and back up to the rear of our trailer (using the tractor as a counter-weight), and winch the tank up onto the trailer, up over the rear axles. Then we'd drive back around and winch the nose of the trailer back up over the saddle, back under it...and be down the road.

Those winch trucks were incredible. They could do anything!

I learned how to drive a truck once. I got my Class A license (equivalent of a CDL back then) on my 16th birthday.

I miss those days. "Swift" didn't exist then, ....and there weren't so many trucks dirty side up in the ditch then. People actually knew how to drive.

I know I did.



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