Sunday, May 23, 2010

Will It Fit Under There?

That is not an optical illusion. We hauled some new insulated tanks over to one of the beef packers in this here Golden Beef Triangle on Saturday. Our loads were just a hair under eighteen feet tall - say, about 17'10" - which meant some creative routing was required. Most overpasses around here aren't posted until they are under sixteen feet high - so that doesn't do us any good. But, there is a map available from the state that has that information, plus we've gotten to know the local obstructions fairly well over the years. That includes low power lines. We use kicker sticks - which are long poles attached lengthwise to the top of the load. These help the various power and cable lines slide across the top of the tank and keep them from snagging on any projections - like lifting eyes or tabs for mounting ladders. And yes, I tapped a couple of lines.

We also have to work our way through stoplight support arms. If there had been no median, we'd have appropriated the whole street to dodge them completely - we'd be in the wrong lane to dodge one side, then go to the other lane to dodge the other. In this case, we could drive between the lights and just barely clear. We have to do the same at rail crossings with fixed large booms containing signals and signs.

This wasn't the largest capacity tank I've ever hauled - but it was the largest diameter set on it's side. The tanks were 16' diameter, plus the insulation and a stainless corrugated outer sheath, and a several inch reinforcing ring at the bottom. The ring lifted the tank off the trailer a few inches more thus making the load higher. If a customer wants tanks wider than this - they are generally built on site. It's just too difficult and expensive to haul them for any appreciable distance.

Plus, I can guarantee ya that these things pull like the proverbial lead sled - all that wind resistance really taxes the power we have. Oh well, we never get good fuel mileage anyways. What we haul is decidedly not aerodynamic.

1 comment:

Cedar View Paint Horses said...

There was a huge silo/cylinder thingamajig cruising south on 43 outta GB today and I couldn't help think of you and yer job.