Overweight/heavy container best practices

Discussion in 'Intermodal Trucking Forum' started by WCA64T SFA, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. WCA64T SFA

    WCA64T SFA Bobtail Member

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    Aug 1, 2021
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    What are some tips for drivers unfamiliar with hauling containers as far as axle weights and heavy containers?

    With chassis that do not have adjustable tandems, are there any tricks to adjusting the fifth wheel to take weight off the chassis tandem, assuming the tractor has an adjustable fifth wheel?

    What is the heaviest a 20 ft. container can be before over-axle weight is a concern, assuming there is no tri-axle chassis available?
     
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  3. striker

    striker Road Train Member

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    you have to know the states you're running in, and this a really vague area. Colorado and Wyoming have the heaviest normal interstate weights, 12/36/36, as long as you don't exceed 80K. However, Wyoming is very strict on the bridge law/axle weights, you can be perfectly axle legal, under gross, and be over on bridge and get shutdown in Wyoming. It also depends on what roads are you running, interstate, US highway, local roads, and what distance are you going. I've run 20' containers on tandem axle chassis at 44K for maybe 25 miles on the interstate, wouldn't want to go any further, and even then I'm hesitant to do it.
     
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  4. striker

    striker Road Train Member

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    A continuation on this, you really need to have a motor carriers atlas and/or local bridge/axle limits, I carry a motor carriers in the truck, as well as a printout from the state of Wyoming showing the bridge law limits. Going back to my above comment, under Wyoming's bridge law, a 20' container weighing more than 36,000 lbs, on a stretch 20' chassis is illegal, as for a 5 axle combination, you exceed bridge limits. On a few occasions, we've been shutdown at the Port, and had to send another truck up to off-load part of the material, the only exception is an ISO tank or any HAZMAT liquid. Colorado is hit/miss regarding this, as are other states, but our rule of thumb, any 20' load going to or through Wyoming that will weigh more than 35,500 must be on a tri-axle, if the customer doesn't like it, too bad, hire someone else. Also, here's a sketchy part of this, we have competitors in our area with a bunch of 4 axle tractors, they run those instead of tri-axle chassis, it really depends on the mood of the scale master as to whether or not they are legal, I've seen them let a few hundred pounds over on bridge slide, but then other times, they've shut them down.

    Even with 40' loads, we've started running them on tri-axle chassis due to too many tire issues, it's getting old having a driver sit on the side of the road for 5 or 6 hours waiting on road service for a 10.00x20 blowout, and in our case, we run some pretty rural parts of Wyoming, Montana, S.Dakota where cell service isn't happening, or you can't find anyone with a tire. If, we absolutely have to run it on a tandem, we don't exceed 65 mph loaded, and if time allows, might even only be doing 60 mph. If the weather permits (rain or cold temps), we might be able to step it up to 68 mph. Yes, we've had customers balk at the chassis rental fee for a tri-axle (we privately own 20), but we explain to them the other risks to it.
     
  5. SlantSix

    SlantSix Bobtail Member

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    Oct 18, 2017
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    The company out of Chicago I run for has me assigned to their 4 axle tractor. I mainly use the pusher drop axle to comply with bridge weight on 20s. Typically I only do this on crosstowns. I will pull a loaded box from BNSF in Elwood to CSX in Bedford Park typically loaded between 37,000 and 43,000 about 45 miles. I will do a bunch of these, and using a 4 axle tractor with pool chassis allows us to save time getting lifted on and off for each run, they are already on chassis and i can just drop them at CSX. I did get a bridge weight ticket in Elwood with a slightly heavier load (45k). The drop axle really does stabilize the tractor and lessens the truck's rocking back and forth while starting with a heavy 20; it really makes it feel more sure footed. I never realized how much energy is wasted in that rocking.
     
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  6. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

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    It took three years of 1.5 foot tall piles of anual tire bills to convince our owners that the pier chassis they leased when the NY/NJ lines got out of the chassis business were shot and to consider leasing new chassis.

    Out of over 600 chassis on long term lease and around 500 are new.

    Radials, hub pilot wheels, Q brakes, secured LED lighting, 40/45's and multi pin slide axles have on board tire inflation. The drivers love them..

    Been a few years since I had to order $2000.00 of lights every few months too.

    PM charges dropped by 30% too.

    He did slip up and take 50 'refurbs' from Trac. Looking into them I find they were re-furbed twice, 20 years old. New Paint, LED's and radials but on grease filled spoke wheel hubs...

    We still have around 25 oldsters with 10:00 x 20 'WILL POPS' but we don't go far,

    Radials are needed on any heavy of long haul trips, the anual stack of tire bills is only 1.5 inches now.
     
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  7. striker

    striker Road Train Member

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    Unfortunately, we have two choices for chassis pool, DCCP and TMWP, and it is based on the steamship line, TMWP is about 80% radial, LED, most are rebuilt APL chassis, but a few are ex-Hanjin that have been refurbed. DCCP on the other hand are all junk, 10.00x20 bias, a smattering of 11x22.5 (non-radial) and a smattering of tubeless 10.00's, and the hens tooth radial 11R. The lights are 90% bulb, but as they replace burnt out bulbs they put in LED, the problem is, none of the pool or depot mechanics have the ability of an auto shop flunkie, so the lights are put in, wired wrong or not installed correctly, it's a daily problem with broken or missing pins. Then you have the pool itself, managed by morons, both of the rail chassis repair shops have told the pool manager they need to convert to radials, it's getting harder and harder to get 10.00's, his logical for not converting to radials, hold on to your hat, "the truckers will steal them, why on earth would I do that, the truckers will steal them for steer tires". Um, NO, install recaps, the truckers won't steal them, and if that was the case, the TMWP radials would all have been stolen by now.
     
  8. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

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    What scares me with those 're-furb' units is the fact that the 'depreciated value' goes up each time. Your insurance company says a 2001 Cheeta 40 foot is 4 or 5 grand but the steamship line wants 12 grand due to the cost of the re-furb. Desite the more modern appliances it is still a tired piece of junk. we had a guy hook the LR corner of one on the pier and it rippled like a train rear ended it.
     
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  9. striker

    striker Road Train Member

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    2001 model, where'd you find such a new chassis? I've been doing this 24 yrs, and there are chassis floating around Denver that have been in use longer than that
     
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  10. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

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    TRAC leasing.

    Now DCLI on the other hand put the 30 year old ex. sealand chassis back into the chassis pool. My guys are seeoing the numbers we turned back in two years ago among the small offering at the chassis depot...
     
  11. striker

    striker Road Train Member

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    TRAC, which is TMWP/TSXZ out here, I was being sarcastic about the age, but yeah, we have some old chassis in the area, then there's the repair infighting between the depots, the railroad and us truckers. It gets old.
     
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