"Thrown to the Wolves"- The Saga of the 10 Wides.

Discussion in 'Heavy Haul Trucking Forum' started by TripleSix, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    Anyone remember that first 10 wide? Can't see your trailer anymore. Can't back to save your life because you can't see your trailer. Checking your clearance nervously whenever you run through a jersey barrier. Swearing that once you get empty that you will never pull another oversized load because it's too stressful. Get a ticket and you'll swear that you're going back to pulling a box.
    Background: I started driving local in 1987. Went OTR in 1990 pulling reefer. Started in open deck in 1991. The cabover was still the truck of choice of the bottom of the bottom feeders, JB and Schneider. Werner has been sucky for as long as I can remember. TMC was still rocking the anteater KW. I was driving for Osborn Transportation. Osborn was an outlaw company back then. Run out of hours, and they would toss you another logbook. They ran primarily 48 flat, tandems. Then one day, the spread axles show up. A driver tells me that I could load 40000 lbs on the spread. Stupid me got a 40000 lb coil and loaded it to the rear of the trailer. Worst ride ever up I59. Next scale I got to (Manchester,TN), I get a Stupid Driver Award. "But I was told I could load 40000 lbs on a spread!" Never did it again.

    One day, I show up for work, and the shop had wired in a pair of revolving beacons on the top of my flattop KW. First time pulling a 3 axle lowboy. Had to take a machine up to Iowa. "Look at me! I'm pulling an oversized!" (Hey, it was my first time...it's kinda like getting laid. You think you know what you're doing, but you really don't have any idea on the first go). Got the load off, but jumped back on 80 heading back to Des Moines. Went into that scale with the banners still on, and got a Stupid Driver Award. Never did it again.

    Osborn wasn't a heavy haul company, but we did pull heavy. What's the difference? There was no one at Osborn that could help me. They gave me a good truck. They could build any trailer to pull any load. But there was no one, in the office or another driver that could help me if I got into a bind. Trial and error is an expensive way to learn$$$$. You guys think that trying to remember all the state OSOW regs is difficult? Try doing it without the internet and cellphones. I remember grossing 120000 lbs and coming up to a 50 ton bridge in Missouri (you know how they mark their bridges...they route you over a bridge that's marked lighter than your load). Stressful...

    The biggest difference between a heavy haul company and a pretend heavy haul company is the heavyhaul company will have real heavy haul drivers there that can help you. Even so, you will STILL be thrown to the wolves. Understand what that means. Just because you know someone out in the woods doesn't mean you're out of danger.

    Anyways, I am hoping that some of you guys will share your 'thrown to the wolves' stories...where the boss wants you to get something big, heavy and ugly, load it and deliver and you, the poor driver, have no idea what you're doing.
     
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  3. xsetra

    xsetra Road Train Member

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    Funny post. Reminds me of too many GOOD days. Lotta stress and waiting for the pay phone. When you could get to a parking lot big enough and have a pay phone.
    Never hauled heavy. SO just the few times. Pulling 14 or 16 wide and get routed into construction that you can't fit thru.
    Traffic backs up while you wait for the SP to show up.
     
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  4. cnsper

    cnsper Road Train Member

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    Before I got my license, I had driven a total of 5 times across Montana over the course of a year. Did not go to a school and the old boss was not in a hurry to get me my license. Got my license on Thursday and on Friday this was my load into a residential area. It was 10' wide and there was no trainer ever in my truck.
    [​IMG]
    Then I come in Monday and was told I had to move a haul truck. No idea how I did not hit anything. The only instruction I was given was how to hook and unhook the neck.
    [​IMG]
    I had no clue at all about this stuff. I had chains on it but not nearly enough but I did make it to the site, including about 15 miles down a goat trail. At one point there was a jersey barrier and then nothing for about 600 feet down and only one lane turning a corner. I don't think that anyone could be as nervous as I was that day.
     
  5. Rontonio

    Rontonio Road Train Member

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    Being a one truck shop, I am thrown to the wolves on every load. Luckily all the experienced guys here on TTR and out in the world are very giving of their time and patience to help a guy develope his skills.
     
  6. cnsper

    cnsper Road Train Member

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    You really need to have a heart to heart with that boss of yours. LOL
     
  7. Rontonio

    Rontonio Road Train Member

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    I would but as he is a heartless A hole with no empathy it would do no good. All he says is you were dumb enough to take the job ....
     
  8. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    @Rontonio, could you tell us about your very first oversized?
     
  9. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    @cnsper
    Yeah, they DEFINITELY threw you to the wolves.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  10. soloflyr

    soloflyr Medium Load Member

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    Hate to admit it but that is just about where I am now. I have pulled heavy (that's a relative statement), but not truly "heavy" in comparison to what I have been doing this last year or so. Was use to 60-65,000 pound loads, grossing 100k or less, but have been doing heavier stuff since I signed on with this current gig. The heaviest I have been since then is 185k gross.

    I have done up to 13' wide, just shy of 16' tall. The longest I have been is 124' with my current truck & trailer & a borrowed jeep.

    The company that currently has their name on the doors is pretty much stupid when it comes to what is involved with doing OS/OW stuff, so I am pretty much on my own. Basically getting to train them as I go & it can be frustrating, especially since I am still learning, make that teaching, myself.

    I got into it because I had always wanted to experience it, I like a challenge. Been fortunate so far that I haven't had any major problems, self-inflicted or otherwise. Still learning something new all the time.

    When I was approached to consider doing it I was told it was because I was the kind of driver that wouldn't move until I thought everything was 100%. Some days I regret it but most days I feel a sense of accomplishment for getting it done right. Still other days I feel like I could become homicidal with some of the morons in the office.

    I do a bunch of reading & research as well as absorbing knowledge from this forum & those that have more experience.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
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  11. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    Hey Solo...do you keep your permits? And give us one of those 'near disaster' stories. We know you have one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
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