Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eye Candy on This Trip

East of Columbia, MO - eastbound. A series of huge billboards in the tradition of the old Burma Shave signs, only these spell out MIZZOU. Pretty cool.

The big cross at Effingham, IL. It's billed as The World's Largest Cross. I don't doubt them.

West of Indy on I70. We'd seen this guy before and discussed just how full of win this pickup truly is - and he later passed us again. Not hard to do when we're biting our fingernails driving far slower than we're used to - mostly in Illinois.

Look closely and you can see a single stack rising from the right front of the bed. You can also see the artistic bend put in the tube - I'm sure he'd hate to blow smoke directly on his non existent trailer. This kind of thing really tickles a trucker - here's someone trying to be a wannabe, and they fail to at least have dual stacks. Single stacks scream "fleet" truck. Lame.

Jets were flying over the rest area west of Indy, so I tried to catch one. We saw a refueling tanker with the boom hanging out in the wind, but I missed it. Two of us took a left at Indy into Michigan, and our runnin' buddy headed towards Pennsylvania. We unloaded four tanks this evening, and I've got to drop one more off tomorrow, then head for home.

I like Michigan as far as weather, people, and scenery. I don't care for some of the laws. Oversize loads are limited to fifty mph on four lane roads, and forty five on two lane. We are already a bit of a traffic plug, and to have a speed differential of fifteen to twenty mph difference with the rest of traffic just makes us a target.

Plus, we give each state detailed information about our load size, overall width, height and length. This lets the individual states route us away from overpasses that are too low for us to fit under. We are routed around construction we may be too wide for. Michigan, however, just kinda sorta halfway routes us away from these sort of things. I've mentioned before how we usually haul twelve foot diameter tanks, and how we are generally 14'2" to 14'4" - and 14'4" is usually how we are permitted. This means nothing to Michigan. We went under two overpasses today posted at 14'2". We made it, but there have been plenty of other times we've had to go "off route" to get around some obstacle. Apparently, Michigan doesn't seem to be able to keep track of all their overpasses and actually update that database - something that pretty much every other state in the Midwest has no problem doing. Their fallback is a disclaimer on the permit (which in all fairness all states usually have) claiming they have no responsibilities if the permit route takes us into a situation that damages our load or a public structure. We are responsible. If we want assurance that our route is passable, we have to hire the route surveyed. Pilot car companies do this - they'll put up a pole set at the load's height and drive the full route - before we get there. Then, the theory goes, they can inform us so we can reapply for a new permit with the correct route. It's a racket, and it stinks.

So, I'm in Mt. Pleasant tonight, tired and grumpy. I'll get shed of the last tank in the morning, and I'm headed back for the dry, hot prairie. Home.


Earl said...

Hope the hot shower and sleep make you next drive another wonder. There are so many wanna-be folks in the world, that I wanna-be sometimes.

Jerry in Indiana said...

Hey Jeffro,
Good meeting you today. We'll have to do it again real soon if you're in the area again or I'm out there.

Jeffro said...

Earl: after all that, I just wanna be home - heh. Finally made it.

Jerry, I really enjoyed talking to you. It was a blast, and we're gonna have to do it again.