I saw this custom made clock, made from a Semi Tractor aftermarket Alcoa Aluminum wheel, & thought it was pretty cool. It also made me think about how long it’s taking to reach the 400,000 mile mark. I’m right on the cusp of a major milestone & it’s just creeping along. Then this clock got me thinking about all the Heavy Trucks I’ve seen over the years, & I’ve seen some doozy’s. So for this post I’ve gone back into my archives and found some of the “Greatest Hits” of Heavy Truck to share with you. Let’s get started…
We’ll start with a couple fires. Heavy trucks are just like any other vehicle on the road, only more complicated. Which of course means that there’s more things to go wrong. Like fires. Usually it’s just the cab that goes up in flames. Depending on what the truck is hauling. But that’s also the problem. Most Heavy Trucks are just all cab…The other issue with Heavy Trucks is that they’re extremely top heavy. Without an experienced licensed driver behind the wheel, these trucks can, & will go over. Even with a good driver in control, sometime high winds, extreme maneuvering to avoid other careless drivers, & bad road conditions can send these trucks over.
And sometimes the repair trucks that are sent out to repair the other trucks that have broken down on the side of the road run into trouble… Now, when a car hits these big guys, the car tends to go right under the truck taking out the suspension and sometimes the motor… Then there’s the really tough job of keeping farm & construction trucks on its wheels. These truck are usually driven in fields & hills and places that most trucks have not, or will not go… Back to School Blues!
And of course trucks hitting other trucks. The truck below rear ended a trailer being pulled by another truck. The floor of the trailer when right over the front bumper and thru the cooling assembly and into the motor. Pushing it back into the cab almost 3 feet! The motors in these trucks can weigh up to 3,000 lbs! That’s more than a Mini Cooper. I wouldn’t want that pushed into my lap!I’ve saved my favorites for last…
I like the drive axle laying across the hood. I thought that was a nice touch. But I admit, that this truck hauling a cattle trailer is my all time favorite!Both the truck and trailer were total losses. But I liked the fact that the exhaust pipes were bent in. It kinda looked like horns. The trailer was a double-decker livestock hauler & yes, it was full of cows when it went over. Not a good day to be a cow on the highway for sure. The good news is that rescue workers were able to cut the roof off the overturned trailer to free the cows & all the cows were able to remove themselves. I don’t know what the final destination for the cows was. Hopefully not Burger King. Talk about one crappy day! But if they did, they were pre-tenderized. Yup, I went there.
A word to the wise, DO NOT linger on the road next to these type of trailers any longer than absolutely necessary! Why? Let me tell you a quick story… One day while driving on the freeway, I was coming up on one of these truck & trailers. When, at the last minute, I was cut off by a brand new LS series black Lexus. This car had just come out of a detail or wash. I knew this because it had been sunny for days, the car was spotless and was still dripping water from the undercarriage. Any way, this idiot cut me off and was about half way thru passing the trailer, when one of the cows on the trailer decided it was time to say goodbye to lunch thru the rear exit. Right thru the side of the trailer & onto the hood and windshield of said Lexus. #1 & #2. I know because I even caught some. It must have scared the crap (pun intended) out of the Lexus driver, because they mashed on the brakes and was swerving all over until his wipers finally got enough of the mess off the windshield for him to see again. Needless to say, I laughed all the way home…
Side note… Did you know that the saying “A Word to the Wise” was actually a comedy play written in 1770 by an Irish writer named Hugh Kelly.
Back to the trucks… There are about 2 million registered Tractor Trailers in the USA. The long haulers (the trucks that drive cross country routes) average about 100,000 miles per year. It’s not uncommon to see a ten year old truck with a million miles on it. Most of what’s hauled all over the place, by weight, are agricultural and building materials. These trucks aren’t exactly gas sippers either. The average truck gets in the neighborhood of 4-8 MPG depending on conditions. Most trucks have 2 fuel tanks and can hold up to 120 gallons each! Imagine pulling into the gas station and it costing you $840 on the cheap side for a fill up! The maximum weight for a U.S. semi truck and full trailer is 80,000 pounds spread over 18 conventional wheels. Out in the wide-open spaces of Australia, however, “road trains” can have four trailers and weigh in excess of 300,000 pounds. Freightliner is the #1 selling New Semi Truck in the U.S. moving about 64,000 new units a year. These trucks, new, cost from around $65,000 for a stripped down day cab, to $150,000 for a fully loaded double bunk sleeper cab with all the bells & whistles. All new truck are now equipped with anti-lock brakes, which has greatly reduced the amount of jackknifes. But roll overs are still a problem & most are due to over correcting.
I’m throwing all this info out there in hopes that it may help build some respect for these Heavy trucks and their drivers. You know how upset you get when some one cuts you off while driving your Acura. Now imagine driving one of these trucks and weighing 80,000 lbs overall & trying to stop! Give them plenty of room & every courtesy, let them over when they are trying to pass someone, whether you feel they deserve it or not. Because if you’re involved in an accident with one, the bottom line is… You WILL Lose.
Ever so closer to the 400k milestone! Work seems to be picking up a little, so it could be any week now! Tomorrow I have a 600 mile drive to inspect 2 units. I’m hoping to get a few more long distance jobs to speed things along. I’m starting to get anxious! I’ll update next week. It’s gonna be soon!