Mind the Overhang!

Crane treads overhanging flatbed
Crane treads overhanging flatbed

Spotted this one in a rest stop along I-84. I suppose it’s perfectly safe, but those anchoring hooks really don’t inspire much confidence, even if the only way you could jounce that crane sideways would involve flipping the flatbed. Right?

Yes, it was hanging over the other side just as far.

Come to think of it, the tractor that towed this assembly wasn’t present. Perhaps someone discovered / was informed it really isn’t a Good Idea / legal to haul an excavator at 65 mph in this configuration?

At least the driver didn’t do that

15 thoughts on “Mind the Overhang!

  1. Flipping the flatbed is exactly what happened on a curve about 1km from my place.
    Speed limit was 60kph (just under 40mph).
    Big machine toppled into another lane.
    Professor from local university was killed.

    The road slope was improved since then.
    But I always pay attention to what’s in the other lane as I go this way.

    1. pay attention to what’s in the other lane

      A friend of mine decided to not pull up next to a trailer loaded with utility poles at a T intersection and was rewarded by getting to watch the entire load spill off as the truck started around the corner. If he’d been beside the truck, he’d be pushing up daisies right now.

      Sometimes, you simply cannot be too careful…

  2. Completely normal. I worked for a construction equipment rental store for years. If you look in the back, there is another chain attached to the body of the machine, and there are also probably others not visible in the picture. Those chains are there to keep the load from shifting side to side, but mostly back and forth, with acceleration and braking of the rig. However, if the driver takes the corner to quickly, no amount of chains in the world will hold that thing on. Even if they did, the weight would tip the truck over. You’d have to be taking a corner pretty fast for that to happen. That being said, it always makes sense not to tailgate any vehicle at any time, especially one that has any kind of exposed load (timber, piping, bricks, etc.)

    1. Completely normal.

      I was afraid you were going to say that… [grin]

      I’m perfectly content to noodle along far behind such loads at whatever speed they’re traveling, which is usually about as fast as I’m willing to drive. When they get to a truck lane on a hill, then I’ll pass… in the leftmost lane with as much clearance as I can get.

      If anything happens, I’d like to watch it happen from a generous distance. Oddly, many folks suck right up on their tail and draft them, which makes absolutely no sense to me.

      Conversely, it seems when a big load like that overtakes me from behind, driving at the speed limit is no defense: they blow by like I’m parked!

  3. At least here in Finland thinking is not truckers’ forte. A digicam is a wonderful tool for documenting idiotism. My Ixus (shameless product promotion) is always with me.

    1. A digicam is a wonderful tool for documenting idiotism.

      A long time ago, in a state not so far away, our house was on a recently paved back road that attracted informal drag racers. After a few weeks of that, I waited until one pair was turning around at the far end, walked to the end of the driveway with my camera, and waited until they came roaring over the hill at top speed… at which point one skidded to a stop and drove up the hill in reverse. The other driver began swerving side-to-side, as though that would make him invisible, and drove past as I panned the camera to follow.

      Problem solved: nobody ever drag-raced on that street again…

    1. On our bus trips to Marching Band competitions, we chaperones were seated directly behind the driver, where we’d arrive second at the scene of the accident. The drivers were not, shall we say, confidence-inspiring.

  4. Australia has had millions of years since any volcanic activity for weathering to wear everything pretty flat. The nearest mountain to my place is Mt Coot-tha – 300m or 900ft.
    The first time I went overseas, where they have real mountains, I jumped into the seat behind the bus driver for the best view.
    In a very short time I found I could no longer look out the front of the bus – I died a thousand deaths as we careered around mountain roads, teetering on the edge of instant annihilation by plunging down deep ravines, and then again on the flat when the bus drivers seemed to be playing chicken with every large truck that appeared.
    So I learned to look out the side window, and to look at distant scenery.

    1. So I learned to look out the side window

      Highly recommended: that also keeps you from watching the driver nod off, as some of ours did. Admittedly, that sort of thing hadn’t killed him yet, but it’d probably only happen once and I really didn’t want to be around when it did.

  5. Touring the Canadian Rockies with friends a few years ago, we found ourselves aboard one of those giant luxo tour buses for a trip to the top of some mountain or other.

    The rig was way too big to make it around the hairpin curves. So the driver would climb the first leg, pull forward as far as possible into the runoff area opposite the apex of the hairpin, then **back** up the next leg of the hairpin. Then forward for the third leg, reverse for the fourth leg, and so on.

    Plenty of dry mouths and sweaty palms on the first few reverse legs, as we mentally compared our own respective back-up accuracy against the 18″ or so of shoulder separating the bus from the ravine to the side.

    That driver had mad skilz, as the kids say.

    1. Plenty of dry mouths and sweaty palms

      I’d have pulled some of the upholstery up with me when I stood up after that…

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