Oops,anybody we know?

Discussion in 'Flatbed Trucking Forum' started by Old Man, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. TPS Report

    TPS Report Bobtail Member

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    I'm reading up on flatbed, would like to get into it in a couple years and the OP's picture is something I would like to avoid.

    Looking at trailers I see some have a rating for coils at 50K in a 4 foot section. Most coil racks I see appear to only be about 3 feet long. How do know that you are good with let's say a 42k coil on your 3 foot coil rack?
     
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  3. brsims

    brsims Road Train Member

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    Given the size of the coil and placement, plus what appears to be 5 chains, I guessing a coil weight of around 46,000-47,000 lbs.

    He's got the coil shoved back a bit, pushing more weight onto the spread axle (properly, for those of you who don't drag a deck)

    Unfortunately, if you look at a flatbed trailer, the further back you go the more material in the frame you lose as the frame curves up to provide a mount for the axles. And that is an all aluminum trailer. Could have had micro-cracks in the frame prior to loading, that are very hard to impossible to see when the trailer is empty or very lightly loaded.

    End of the day, it's unfortunate that it happened but I wouldn't place any blame on the driver. Depending on the age of the trailer and the amount of road abuse (today's roads SUCK!) and how frequently the trailer pulls very heavy freight (don't often see stepdeck pulling steel coils) this could have been a building issue that NO ONE could have seen coming.

    Props to the driver. That coil is properly secured, and it looks like he kept full control throughout the entire situation.
     
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  4. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Road Train Member

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    You carry enough dunnage to be able to get under there while you are empty though, I'm sure. I switch trailers pretty regularly, I tend to figure I'm ok with giving the brakes a good inspection when I hook onto the trailer and then once a week after that, and I'm rarely with a trailer that long anyway.
     
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  5. brsims

    brsims Road Train Member

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    I'm lucky in that I keep my assigned trailer. So it gets a good inspection every day and a very thorough inspection every week. But that isn't really reasonable when you drop trailers every day or so.
     
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  6. ChaoSS

    ChaoSS Road Train Member

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    I think anyone who swaps trailers should at least be checking brakes, lights, tires, and brakes includes checking adjustment, and listening for audible leaks while you're under there.
     
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  7. brsims

    brsims Road Train Member

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    Absolutely. But doing a full in depth (checking the frame rails VERY closely looking for micro cracks, greasing everything, banging and thumping everything bangable and thumpable) take a lot of time. More time that the average company driver doing a lot of drop and swap type runs can reasonably have time to do on EVERY trailer they see.

    Takes me two hours or more to crawl under and really LOOK into my trailer thoroughly. Longer if I find something beyond my ability to repair. And that's after I do the thorough crawling under and getting dirty inspection on my truck.

    I keep my trailer, so it gets the same Owner Op level treatment as my truck. I'm planning on buying in Spring, so this is the best time to really get down and dirty on the equipment. Everything I learn now will save me money and time later.
     
  8. Pedigreed Bulldog

    Pedigreed Bulldog Road Train Member

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    I have to disagree with the "properly" statement. You're still only limited to 80,000 gross, meaning the more weight you shift to the trailer, the lighter your other axles become. 38-40K on the spread, and you are left with 28-30K on your drives. That makes it difficult to turn (trailer wants to push straight ahead...extremely dangerous on slick roads), not to mention if you have to leave the pavement the trailer acts like a boat anchor and the drives just don't have the weight to get enough traction.

    The PROPER way to load ANY trailer is going to have the axles relatively close on weights. Yes, you are ALLOWED 40K on the spread, but ideally you'll only have 34-35K there, with 33-34K on the drives. Personally, I prefer loading 33-34K on the drives and letting the trailer weigh whatever is left. The lighter you can keep it on the spread, the easier it is on the tires and the less stress you place on the frame as you go around whatever turns you'll need to make.

    Loading heavy to the rear "just to be safe" because of the extra wiggle room afforded by the spread is the lazy way to load, NOT the proper way.
     
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  9. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    There are certain trailer makes that have a tendency to crack right in front of the front trailer axle. The crack starts at the bottom and goes up. It usually doesn't break all at once, and that would imply that a certain driver didn't pre trip before he took the trailer and loads. That's a big coil and that's a lot of weight in a small area. I want to give this driver the benefit of a doubt because he did a good securement job, but odds are pretty good that this trailer was cracked before he went and loaded.

    Where would you put the coil? On a cracked trailer, you don't.
     
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  10. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    I do too. I like the weight on the drives, IMO it gives better handling in bad weather. Being tail heavy feels dangerous to me.
     
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  11. spyder7723

    spyder7723 Road Train Member

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    Thats why god invented dunnage. Pull it up on a 4x4 and voila, you can inspect your brakes.
     
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