Flatbed Variety

Topic 4373 | Page 23

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Bud A.'s Comment
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Wilson, love the pics! Thanks!

Waiting to load salt in New Mexico...another day at the salt mines lol.



I assume that you have to tarp that so it does not all blow away going down the road... shocked.pngrofl-1.gifrofl-1.gif

Do you put the straps over or under the tarps? rofl-3.gif

I'm still sitting here over seven hours later. When it was my turn, I was backing into the dock and the guy came out and told me my load wasn't ready yet. Two other trucks have loaded since then and he just told me it'll be about an hour, so I guess they're bagging it up so it won't blow away.



Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Old School's Comment
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Yesterday after making my usual run from Louisiana up into Farmington, Connecticut, I picked up this back haul load in Ansonia, CT. This was picked up at a 145 year old foundry which is still in it's original location. The buildings were very old. To get to the area where they would load your truck you had to enter a tunnel that had a 12' - 6" height clearance! When I protested they said, "yeah most of these modern trucks won't clear that tunnel, we're glad to see that you are an observant truck driver, and if you will go three blocks down this street, take a left, then go to the third light and take a right, then to the next light and take another right, then keep going until the road narrows there will be a man there to meet you and he will show you where to back into the pit - we will have to load you there." So, as I'm headed to "the pit" I'm starting to wonder what I've got myself into. When I finally get back there it is more like a large garage looking structure made of old stone. It is very dark inside with no lights, and the door is at such an odd angle with the building that the combination of not being able to see inside "the pit" and entering the doorway at about a 45 degree angle with the door makes me have to get out and look (G.O.A.L.) several times just to get inside this crazy hole and still be somewhat square with the walls.

Now that I'm inside "the pit" I'm thinking how in the world am I going to get loaded in here? There's no room in here - there's about two feet of clearance from the sides of my trailer and the rear, and my cab is still out in the daylight. As I'm contemplating this mystery, I start hearing a groaning and creaking noise like old gears beginning to turn and ancient timbers moving and very slowly light begins entering "the pit". I looked up to see the very ceiling above me slowly opening up and soon I see an old white haired Chinese man cranking a large wheel up in the next level of this building above me - I'm amazed, and kind of feeling a little creepy about this whole situation, but I'm keeping my game face on, looking like like I do this every day! Next thing I know an overhead crane on that next level above me is lowering my pieces of freight down through the ceiling and onto my trailer. When we got finished with this ordeal here's what I had. Two impellers used to mix the rubber compounds in a vat that produces the rubber that goes into the tire manufacturing process, and two end walls for the vat. The end walls have the the large holes in them that hold the bearings in place which the impellers will spin within.

flatbed trailer loaded and strapped with parts for rubber tire-making vat

Due to the sharp edges of the load I am using edge protectors to keep the straps from getting cut through as I navigate my trip down to a Cooper Tire manufacturing plant in Tupelo, Mississippi.

edge protectors used on a strapped flatbed load

Here's an "insider tip" for any aspiring flat-bedders who might be reading this. Sometimes if you have a situation where your regular edge protectors wont fit or sit just right because of an unusual angle, or even if you don't have any regular edge protectors, you can always save your old out of service straps that are torn and cut them into 18 - 24 inch lengths, and they provide excellent protection. You may be wondering why they don't get cut, like your strap that you are securing with will, and the reason is that they are not stretched taught like your strap, that is what causes it to get cut during the vibrations of the trip. Here's a look at what I'm talking about. I've doubled mine over for a little bit of extra cushion, but it really isn't necessary.

edge protectors used on a strapped flatbed load

And just for fun, here's one final shot of the entrance to "the pit". Even flat-bedders sometimes have to back in to get loaded. I don't care what kind of big truck you are driving, you are going to learn to back that thing into some pretty unique situations at times.

flatbed backing into tiny little doorway picking up

Wilson's Comment
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^^^Old School

Wow! I know my new truck wouldn't fit in there. The cab is 13'.

I love that strap protection. I have some unserviceable straps that I can cut up. What a great idea!

As for having to back into the weird angles..... I'm glad it was you and not me!

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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Old School you are the man and holy crap what a spot to put a trailer.

I have to admit that when I read the part about the old Chinese guy cranking on a wheel, I was half expecting an early April Fools joke until I read further.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Pat M.'s Comment
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Pretty cool Old School... but......... My truck would fit in that tunnel.... LOL

We do see some pretty cool places, even if they are difficult to get into.

Bud A.'s Comment
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That is very cool, Old School! And thanks for the tip about using old straps . . . I just got a bunch from another driver when I repowered a load . . . he told me on the phone they were nearly new, of course.

I thought I had backed into some tight spots, but this takes the cake! And the ceiling opening up with a bearded Chinese guy peering out . . . how did you keep a straight face? I would've cracked up.

I can't remember where I heard this, I think it was my trainer, but a driver I know told me about delivering a load to a farm owned by an Amish guy. He was wondering how he was going to get the steel off his truck since they don't use any engines. The guy told him to back next to the barn. He offloaded 20 tons of steel bars with an ancient block and tackle that stuck out of the hay loft, and used a team of horses to do the pulling. He told the horses "gee" and "haw" to turn them where he needed them, and they did exactly what he needed. Makes me appreciate what my ancestors had to do to make their farm productive. My grandfather farmed with horses until he got his first tractor when my dad was seven. We have it so easy these days.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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Hard to mess with the Amish. They can get things done that leave you scratching your head at times.

Pat M.'s Comment
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This is what 6 other trucks and myself have been hauling the last 2 days.Total of 33 loads that includes 5 loads that we had preloaded and staged about 6 miles from the site. We were out of trailers that we were not using or we would have staged more... LOL

Last load of the day... Hint they all looked the same

big cement boxes loaded and chained on flatbed trailer

After they picked the last box I got a quick photo of the boxes. Sorry not very good.

flatbed trailer picking up large cement boxes

The weirdest part of the whole trip to the site was the road. Once we got off the highway, you drove along the river on a winding road up against a cliff. That was not so bad, you were driving down hill for about 40 miles. The weirdest part of the whole thing was the river, it was going the other direction.

Bud A.'s Comment
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So today I learned that I made a dumb rookie mistake when securing my most recent load. I'm posting a pic to illustrate why the angle of the straps is so important, not to rat myself out.

On an indirect tiedown, the book says the straps should be at a >45°angle when viewed from the end. This is to ensure that there is enough downward pressure to increase the friction and to secure the cargo. Vertical securement requirement is 20% of the weight of the item.

This piece weighs only 1000 pounds. I had two straps on it for a WLL of 10,800, so I figured I was good to go. Since the piece is short, the strap angle is only about 30°, but my quick math said I was still ok. (You all remember trigonometry, don't you?)

Hauled this 1700 miles, and everything was cool until the last 100. Then it rotated a little, about three inches, which is thtee inches too much for my comfort. The straps were still tight, too. I had noticed about 150 miles out when I stopped that it had rotated about a half inch, so I tried to crank the straps but they were as tight as I could get them. I think it probably happened on some really rough roads in Tennessee.

About 50 miles later, another flatbedder called me on the CB and told me it had rotated. I thanked him and told him I had seen it, but decided to check again and saw that it had rotated more. Scared the crap out of me. I threw another strap on it and checked it twice in the last 100 miles.

The other pieces weigh almost 3x as much, but haven't budged with only 2 straps. The angle on those is about 60°.

The lesson for me is, either find another way to secure these when the straps are going to be at a low angle to the deck, or use 32x the required securement on them. (No, I don't have any friction pads. That's on my list of things to buy.)

industrial equipment strapped to a flatbed with explanation on proper cargo securement techniques

Again, not trying to get myself in trouble, just hoping someone else can learn from my dumb mistake.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
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Talk about variety! Here's a load that parked next to me at a truck stop recently. From mattresses to motor cars they've got it all!

flatbed trailer loaded with car truck mattress and household goods

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