Monday, June 23, 2008

Checking The Load

La Junta, Co. Those are 300 bbl oil tanks - nine feet tall and fifteen and a half (16, more or less) feet wide. An escort is required. The escort vehicles have to stop for gas, and I always check my load (see how tight the chains are, etc.), kick the tires, look for any oil leaks, tighten the flags and signs (I lost two flags today - the screws that hold them in place vibrated right out and I lost the screws and flags - but I carry spares), plus just get out and move around.

These wide loads are pretty stressful, particularly on mountain passes and "skinny" roads. Most lanes are at least eleven feet wide. If I put my right steer tire directly on the white line (fog line) on most roads, the left side of the tanks hang directly over the "zipper" or centerline.

That is if there aren't guardrails, reflectors, signs, construction barrels, pedestrians, cars or trucks on the side of the road, bicyclists, light poles or any other obstruction fairly close to the "fog line." Sometimes, we have no choice but to hang it over in the other lane because we'll damage the load against a guardrail or even a rock wall in the canyons.

Plus, we like to "drive fast and look serious."


nora leona said...

Holy crap, that is scary just to read. Be safe.

ptg said...

In the future, I'm going to try looking more serious while driving.

Bob's Blog said...

You do not have an easy job.