So Much For A Relaxing Holiday Weekend Run

Topic 687 | Page 1

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Fatsquatch 's Comment
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So I picked up a load yesterday in Belcamp, MD that delivers in SLC Tuesday morning. Roughly 2100 miles with plenty of time to get it there. It was even loaded and ready for me when I pulled into the shipper 2 hours early. Everything was going great.

Until.

So there I was, cruising down the PA turnpike, music playing, enjoying myself. I was even grateful for the cool rainy weather, since I'd spent the better part of the last week being slowly broiled. And then, about 4:30-ish, I felt a slight shimmy in the trailer and thought "that ain't right, I better find one of those pullouts and have a look back there." I didn't make it that far. All of a sudden I heard a whu-BANG, went "WTF was that?!?" and looked out my mirror just in time to see the left front wheelset on my trailer come flying off. Not a wheel, the whole wheelset, both wheels, brake assembly, all of it. The wheels trundled across the left lane and went scrooching along against the jersey barrier. God only knows where they eventually fetched up. They passed me and kept heading west after I'd gotten off the side of the road and stopped. The service truck that came out to chain up the dangling axle never found them, the PA state trooper that showed up never found them, and the State Farm assistance patrol guy that showed up never found them. For all I know they kept going on into Ohio.

So now here I sit, thumbs a-twiddle, waiting for the shop to find all the parts needed to get my trailer back on the road. According to the guys who came to rescue me, the likely cause was the hub bearings seizing up and shearing the axle. There's a huge gouge in the axle that runs about 3/4 of its circumference. They're going to have to replace the axle, and it looked like when everything came apart some of the debris caught the electrical wiring on the way, because the blinkers and ABS light on that side were out afterward, and the license plate was bent out a bit.

All in all it could've been a lot worse though. Thankfully nobody was in the way when the wheels came off and they didn't jump the barrier onto the eastbound side. I guess a few 4-wheelers ran over a few bits of brake parts and got some flat tires, but nobody got hurt, and the trooper made a point of mentioning that it was a non-reportable incident since there was no evidence during my pre-trip that there was anything amiss with the wheel or hub, and the shop guys basically said it was an internal failure that couldn't be forseen from a visual inspection. I still feel bad that other people hit the chunks that came off and got flats, but I'm grateful that's all that happened. Flat tires are much better than flat heads.

If nothing else, I can add it to my list of interesting experiences from the last 18 months, and keep it in mind as proof that even the most thorough pre-trip can't catch the hidden stuff.

Have a safe holiday weekend everybody, and watch out for the RVs. They're out in force for sure.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Loosing a set of tandems is a situation that is close to my heart. I was refinishing some antiques in a garage in Umatilla, which hiway 730 runs thru. A local truck lost his drop axle tire, and everything when the bearing seized. He left a buncha parts in the road, but the tire ran ahead of him, and hit the garage door, and came thur right onto my work bench. Had this happened during the day, I would have been squished. But it happened after I'd gone home. Funny thing ?? the driver didn't stop until he got to the Crossroads truck stop, and his truck was still in the shop the next morning, when the police went to check, after we had made a report. Needless to say, that was an expensive lack of pre trip. The wheel clearly showed a major wheel seal failure, and I point ed it out to the police. Kinda nice, I got a new, heavy duty work bench, and got paid well for the antique funiture parts that got broken. I also saw the results of a set of tandems going thru the Oregon State Building in Pendleton, OR. It went blowing thru the brick wall, right thru the Welfare office. This was on a Saturday, thank goodness. They never found out who lost that set....you'd think the driver would figure that out..

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Wow. I never had that happen and I'm glad nobody got hurt in any of the incidents mentioned above.

I swear, just when things start to go smoothly out there, everything changes in an instant.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

That's some crazy stuff! I saw a set of tandems come off of a circus trailer one time in the Dallas TX area - it was crazy wild watching those things go down the highway - they passed up the truck they came off of, crossed four lanes of traffic, hit the concrete barrier in the median which sent them airborne causing them to hit a light pole which knocked the fixtures down into the highway, then they went across the opposite lanes of traffic literally bouncing right over the hood of one car and rolling down a grassy knoll and off into a residential area. I never knew what the final destination was but it was a frightening experience. There's "stuff" like this that happens out there on the road that can change your life in a heartbeat, a vigilant trucker is a safe trucker. In your most serene moments out there things can turn badly if your not on your game at all times. Fortunately no one got hurt when I witnessed this, but it was truly amazing that nothing worse came of it other than a few elephants in a truck wondering why their trailer was leaning to one side and making a gosh awful noise.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

We, as Drivers have to remember these ugly scenes, cuz half, if not more than half are caused from not doing pre trips, and missing a leaking wheel seal. Be sure and use your flashlight to check the inside tire rim for signs of oil leaking....if the inside wheel seal seizes, it will take the outside one with it in no time. I, for one, don't want to have to live with the knowledge that I caused death or injury just because I was to lazy to do a proper pre trip inspection.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

About two weeks ago that happened to a driver in Central in NE. The entire side of the tandem just detached leaving just a bar. It was in shop for 5 days. They sent me on the 3rd day to watch over the repairs and to deliver the load that was in the trailer. The load was two days late. I really wish I took a picture... The trailer looked wrecked. It wasn't a good feeling having to tow that trailer after knowing what happened with it.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

Good grief, now I'm doubly glad mine was as relatively uneventful as it was. They had Humpty Dumpty put back together again and back on the road in about 24 hours, and I'll still be able to make it to the receiver on time. I hear ya on being nervous pulling a trailer after that though. Not too sure I like hearing that this is a recurring problem with our trailers though.

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