HAULING OVERSIZED LOADS
HOW BIG IS BIG
For most of my 15-year trucking career I chose to haul standard size trailers with an overall length of 72-feet. That, I’m sure, seems like a very big vehicle. However, I’ve always been fascinated by the dynamics of managing these oversized loads though not in the least inclined to become one of these drivers.
Nonetheless, there was a short one-month period I decided to haul trusses, the support beams you see in many of the largest warehouses. These flatbed trailers average 53-foot and could be stretched out to 90-feet to accommodate the largest trusses. The longest trailer I drove was a measly 65-foot one and that had me a little tense maneuvering around some of the corners. Not the least of these was this delivery into Oregon. The picture on the left
We’re on a residential two-lane street and I was driving one of the two 65-foot trailers required for this delivery. Now what? Well the other driver said our only solution was to pull into the church parking lot across from the driveway we had to back into, so we did. The unknown variable here was would the parking lot support the weight of our trucks? Thankfully, it did.
The next couple of pictures show more “normal” deliveries which were not without some tense moments.
Note the picture showing the trailer coming uncomfortably close to the metal poles that hold the walls in place. Being good at backing, and I finally was, is key, to keeping this kind of a job. Knocking the big slab of cement wall down, held in place by a few poles, would not be a good thing.
The other negative was having to climb all over the trusses to place my tie-downs for each load. I bruise easily and by the time I’d been on the job a week, I looked like an ad for domestic violence with my innumerable scratches and bruises.