Hello, From Kuna, ID/Couple Questions

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Todd Holmes's Comment
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Here's the few things I've heard about flatbed work that makes some drivers gun shy about the thought of doing it:

1. dealing with those heavy, nasty tarps (I don't think a bulldozer has to be covered up for transport on a lowboy) 2. falling off the rig off due to slippery weather (at least if one slips on a lowboy, one won't fall far to the ground)

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Todd, forgive my bluntness, but some of the things you say are as comical as they are misinformed. You're worried about falling four feet to the ground off a flatbed trailer, but don't seem to realize how oftentimes heavy haul work involves climbing all over extremely large pieces of equipment to get to the anchor points on them. If it's dead of winter that equipment may be covered in a nice slippery layer of ice. That gets interesting.

If a man's heart can't get into good honest hard work like tarping a flat bed load, I don't know how he could gather the gumption or courage to drive a heavy lowboy with a bulldozer on it up a steep muddy incline on a jobsite.

I once was delivering to a site where the muddy road went right up a mountainside and the construction company had to push my truck and trailer up the Mountain with a bulldozer just to keep me from sliding down the side of the Mountain. Now, that's going to hurt a lot more than slipping off a flatbed trailer, yet heavy haul work involves this kind of danger quite often.

It sounds cool to you, but only in a romantic sense. The reality of the type of work that you seem to think you want to get into is far from your grasp. Trucking is considered one of the top ten most dangerous jobs in the United States, and heavy haul work is some of the most dangerous trucking jobs you'll come across. This stuff takes a lot of heart and Commitment. A big rig hauling an excavator down the road may look really cool to ya, but I promise you that driver paid his dues to be in the driver's seat. He knows what he's doing, and more than likely he learned his craft from a good many years as a flatbed driver.

Old School, what I want to do now is watch a number of YouTube videos on flatbed and lowboy work to get a feel for it. I saw a couple of videos on disconnecting and connecting a hydraulic gooseneck for loading the trailer. There is the danger of possible crushed toes and fingers when setting the trailer deck on the ground. I feel good work gloves and steel toe shoes is paramount for trucker safety when dealing with lowboys. Are there good work boots that give the utmost in traction on the sole bottoms? Sailors wear deck shoes on ships and boats for a reason.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

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Here's the few things I've heard about flatbed work that makes some drivers gun shy about the thought of doing it:

1. dealing with those heavy, nasty tarps (I don't think a bulldozer has to be covered up for transport on a lowboy) 2. falling off the rig off due to slippery weather (at least if one slips on a lowboy, one won't fall far to the ground)

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Todd, forgive my bluntness, but some of the things you say are as comical as they are misinformed. You're worried about falling four feet to the ground off a flatbed trailer, but don't seem to realize how oftentimes heavy haul work involves climbing all over extremely large pieces of equipment to get to the anchor points on them. If it's dead of winter that equipment may be covered in a nice slippery layer of ice. That gets interesting.

If a man's heart can't get into good honest hard work like tarping a flat bed load, I don't know how he could gather the gumption or courage to drive a heavy lowboy with a bulldozer on it up a steep muddy incline on a jobsite.

I once was delivering to a site where the muddy road went right up a mountainside and the construction company had to push my truck and trailer up the Mountain with a bulldozer just to keep me from sliding down the side of the Mountain. Now, that's going to hurt a lot more than slipping off a flatbed trailer, yet heavy haul work involves this kind of danger quite often.

It sounds cool to you, but only in a romantic sense. The reality of the type of work that you seem to think you want to get into is far from your grasp. Trucking is considered one of the top ten most dangerous jobs in the United States, and heavy haul work is some of the most dangerous trucking jobs you'll come across. This stuff takes a lot of heart and Commitment. A big rig hauling an excavator down the road may look really cool to ya, but I promise you that driver paid his dues to be in the driver's seat. He knows what he's doing, and more than likely he learned his craft from a good many years as a flatbed driver.

double-quotes-end.png

Old School, what I want to do now is watch a number of YouTube videos on flatbed and lowboy work to get a feel for it. I saw a couple of videos on disconnecting and connecting a hydraulic gooseneck for loading the trailer. There is the danger of possible crushed toes and fingers when setting the trailer deck on the ground. I feel good work gloves and steel toe shoes is paramount for trucker safety when dealing with lowboys. Are there good work boots that give the utmost in traction on the sole bottoms? Sailors wear deck shoes on ships and boats for a reason.

If you eventually want to haul that equipment, you are going to have to start out as a flatbed driver, and get years of experience.

And yes, that equipment is the equipment they build roads with, you will haul them on expressways, but also on construction sites, etc. I saw a TV show where one slid off the side of the mountain, and was stuck on a large stump, otherwise it would have gone over the edge completely. The fast thinking driver cranked up the excavator he was hauling and stuck the bucket in the ground on the downhill side, and the massive tow trucks that pulled it back up barely made it.

If icy decks scare you, how will you feel driving a steel treaded piece of machinery onto the trailer, on the side of a mountain? There is danger in everything, but many many tons of materials are delivered by flat bed every day. Yes, some drivers get hurt, but you can get hurt climbing down from your cab. I broke my tibia and fibula falling/jumping 6 feet or less.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Todd Holmes's Comment
member avatar

I now know there are innovative tarping machines and stations available for the flatbed industry that preclude having to walk on top of high loads by personnel if various companies choose to install them. Some are even small and mobile. Climbing on top of loads high off the ground is now archaic like being a circus acrobat. Even circus acrobats should have safety nets. Perhaps a prospective flatbed driver should choose a safety-conscious flatbed company who will ensure that such fall-safe tarping systems are always available to drivers even maybe as part of a contractual provision. Some of these systems if not most or all can even untarp loads safely as well. Or, stick with dry vans or refers. Or have it in their flatbed job contact: no climbing on top of loads required if they should consider a flatbed company.

Tarping-related fall is the single leading cause of death and injury to flatbed truckers.

Which American flatbed companies ensure that safe tarping systems are always available to drivers?

I say that if the customer wants their loads tarped, then perhaps they should provide a tarping station to the trucks.

Here is a link as an example to show safe tarping equipment is indeed on the market:

http://safetarp.com/mt-1/

A death of a driver due to a tarping injury or a million dollar lawsuit due to a fall will probably be more than the cost of this system anyway.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

andhe78's Comment
member avatar

I now know there are innovative tarping machines and stations available for the flatbed industry that preclude having to walk on top of high loads by personnel if various companies choose to install them. Some are even small and mobile. Climbing on top of loads high off the ground is now archaic like being a circus acrobat. Even circus acrobats should have safety nets. Perhaps a prospective flatbed driver should choose a safety-conscious flatbed company who will ensure that such fall-safe tarping systems are always available to drivers even maybe as part of a contractual provision. Some of these systems if not most or all can even untarp loads safely as well. Or, stick with dry vans or refers. Or have it in their flatbed job contact: no climbing on top of loads required if they should consider a flatbed company.

Tarping-related fall is the single leading cause of death and injury to flatbed truckers.

Which American flatbed companies ensure that safe tarping systems are always available to drivers?

I say that if the customer wants their loads tarped, then perhaps they should provide a tarping station to the trucks.

Here is a link as an example to show safe tarping equipment is indeed on the market:

http://safetarp.com/mt-1/

A death of a driver due to a tarping injury or a million dollar lawsuit due to a fall will probably be more than the cost of this system anyway.

Wow, didn't realize you were preaching about this topic on this thread too. Simple answer in my limited experience, get out there in the flatbedding world and find out the majority of tall load shippers have already figured this out and have a system in place.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

I'm starting to wonder if he really works for Safetarp.

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