Pucker Moments

Discussion in 'General Trucking Discussion' started by Gased, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Gased

    Gased Well-Known Member

    I figured I start this thread because I've had a few but today took the cake. I'd like to hear of everybody's as well. I'm not talking about that car that cut you off and you smoked the tires moments but the real true pucker moment in your career. The one you will never forget.

    Here is mine.

    Today I had to deliver a 9K JLG 45' shooting boom forklift. The machine weight is roughly 24-25K. I took it to downtown where they are building a new hotel for the new Horseshoe Casino they just opened here.

    The site did have three entry points but they are raising beams into place with heavy cranes so two of them are blocked. The only entrance is down a gravel slope of about 2%. It rained here last night. The gravel was wet. I turned into the place to find another semi unloading windows in the entrance. Son of a beech! The customer meets me and says " We are going to have to unload here, you won't be able to get in." I was hesitant but said whatever.

    So, I set my tractor brakes, engage the PTO, throw a chock in front of my front drive. I begin to slid my wheels forward on the Landoll. Now mind you the JLG is backed on with the counter weight facing the cab of my truck, which is pointed downhill, on wet gravel. I balance my weight on the wagon and start to raise the deck when the truck starts sliding. Not just a ehh, it moved, but rather a holy f*#king **** this is bad news! My initial reaction was to reverse the process that started the forward momentum but didn't have time seeing how it was just about to jump the chock. I hopped into the cab and set the trailer brakes as it jumped the chock. The whole truck slid about a good ten feet. Had I not stopped it, it would have made news because people would have been hurt.

    Needless to say, I waited for the semi to unload his windows and proceeded to flat, and level ground to unload. I won't ever make that mistake again! What mistake you ask? The mistake of being impatient and rushing so I can get done and go home. Puckered me up so tight I won't crap for days.

    Here is a link of the same forklift I was referring to.


    By the way, I wish every construction site looked like the one on the web page. I have yet to see a site all clean and open like that!
  2. rebel

    rebel Well known, by a few Supporter

    I'm glad you posted that. I'm not a driver, but I've moved a LOT of machinery, big and small, in all kinds of conditions.
    Every accident or near accident I've seen always ended with the same words.
    "I wish I hadn't rushed that, listened to Bossman so-and-so, waited for this or that.......etc."

    Sometimes, there ain't no do overs.
    A billboard I saw when I was a rookie says it all.
    "Why do we always have time to do it over, but never have time to do it right the first time?"
  3. 8978

    8978 ** Commie Express ** Supporter

    Had a load of all sorts of length and size I beams used to build an indoor overhead crane. One of the beams extended out maybe 2' from the end of my flatbed. It's night and driving like I normally do and some driver says, boy that's a long beam ya got there. I say, not that long, maybe 47'. He says looks more like 55'. Holy Batman. Pull over and that beam has shimmied out.

    Pull into a weigh station that was closed and try to push it back in. Ya, right. Was going to put a chain on it and winch it in 1/16th of an inch at a time then get a brain storm. Backed into a big wood light pole and pushed it back in.

    The whole load was chained but there was a void inside so no contact with that one beam. Put another chain over that one!
  4. Injun

    Injun Rabid Squaw Staff Member Supporter

    I stalled out on UT143 between Parowan and Brian Head going up a 13% grade on a 15mph "S" curve, with a 1,000 foot sheer dropoff to my right and a cliff straight up on my left. An impatient pickup driver just had to come down the hill just as I entered the first part of the "S" and crowded between me and the uphill cliff. I watched my outside right trailer tires "float" around the inside of that corner (over the dropoff) as I pulled back hard left to clear the corner. That's when I stalled.

    Started her up, first gear, chug, stall. Try again, stall. Okay. Granny gear with PDL locked and Off Road engaged. Start 'er up, eeeaaaaassssee off the clutch and creep up around the second half of the curve. As the road straightened out, my foot was shaking so hard on the accelerator that I couldn't keep a steady speed.

    Get to the top at Brian Head and come to an unmarked, low looking wooden bridge of some sort. Crap! Pull the air brake, clean my britches out from the previous situation and then eyeball the overhead structure. Looks like I will juuuusst clear it. Not like I can back down what I just came up anyway, and there's really not anywhere to turn around. It clears. Get to where 148 splits off (the plan was to take 148 to 14, but it's weight restricted to 26K, so I had to continue on 143 to Panguitch) and then remember I'm hauling 38,000 pounds of placarded battery acid.

    Explaining it to the DOT guy the next morning was the easy part.

    The lesson I learned from that: When there is a sign at the bottom that says, "Trailers over xx ft Not Recommended" ....turn around and go back. Regardless of how many miles out of route I am because I missed the turn I was supposed to take. And regardless of the fact it is not marked "Restricted" in the Atlas.

    But I must say, that was one of the most beautiful drives I have ever taken. The scenery was breathtaking. Once on top, dusk was just falling. At 10,800 ft and the crisply clear sky, it seemed you could just reach up and touch the stars. It was absolutely spectacular.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Racer X 69

    Racer X 69 Member

    I've hauled those on stepdecks before. Good times.

    OK, so I gained a super pucker factor gig today. An "OH ****!" moment if you will.

    I have two jet engine thrust reversers on a 53 foot aluminum deck flatbed, loaded towards the back on two 12 foot square pallets. About 7,000lbs, very light.

    Just past Garrison, MT on I-90 today a gust of wind whipped up, 90 degrees to the roadway. It actually lifted the trailer off the pavement, and almost pushed the tractor over.

    It was definitely one of those moments. I think I need a new seat now.

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    • Like Like x 1
  6. 8978

    8978 ** Commie Express ** Supporter

    You should be on a Depends commercial
    • Like Like x 2
  7. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

  8. Racer X 69

    Racer X 69 Member

    Actually I "puckered" so forcefully that I had to stop and pull the seat out of my ass. Even cut a doughnut out of it.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    LOL, HMM Donuts. You could do like an Ad Eh, Like Mobile Delvac. Racer 6 x 9, Granbury Texas. One time in bumper to bumber traffic......
  10. Duck

    Duck Quack Supporter

    About a year ago I was at home with a load that had to deliver in Chicago early in the AM. I'd had to stretch out the trailer quite a bit to get the trailer axles legal. I don't remember where I'd hauled it from but it was one of those "take it home for the weekend & deliver it Monday morning" loads of meat.

    The place in Chicago I was going to was in a tight residential area sorta, so as soon as I got past the scales on I-57 I stopped at the rest area just after it & ran the tandems all the way forward before heading into Chicago.

    It was raining, .. not too bad but the pavement was wet. And it was windy as hell out. I was doing about 50 mph right at the spot where the skyway merges in and there's a curve to the left.

    I probably was in my mid 20's on the drives, and probably upper 30's on the trailer. Right on that curve, even though there were 15 foot high concrete walls on either side of the Dan Ryan, a combination of a gust of wind and probably a slick spot on the pavement made the drives slip on that curve & the tractor started fish-tailing. I stepped on the clutch & hit the trailer brake handle gently to pull it out of the fish-tail. It wasn't a wild, radical, fish-tail. I don't think the drive tires crossed over the dotted lines on either side of the lane, but I sure as hell could feel it.

    It was weird because I didn't get all puckered up with my heart rate in "hummingbird mode" until AFTER I'd straightened the truck out & had it back under control.

    This was just before rush hour & it was DOWNTOWN Chicago. If I'd have wiped out, it would have been on TV. I had to deadhead out to somewhere by Ottawa to get another load & I was afraid to get the thing over 50 mph until I got to dry pavement.
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Rigor

    Rigor Well-Known Member

    I was going uphill on and heard a voice on the c.b. say " Hey flatbed, Your going a little fast." This on a snowy night. A few seconds later I heard " I lost my breaks." I'm thinking it's a joke when I see the flatbed hit the comedian coming right at me. He was able to miss me by about 2 feet but still sprayed me with a lot of snow & slush. It took 2 tow trucks and a complete surgical team 8 hours to remove the seat from my buttocks and yes, I do have the photos to prove it but those will NEVER be posted on the Internet.
    Have fun on all your runs, speed safely, I'll catch you another day, another way! Rigor Mortise said that.
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Gypsy1973

    Gypsy1973 Well-Known Member

    I was pulling a 53' box and decoded to take a shortcut across the mountains from Johnson City TN to Winston Salem NC. As soon as I left Johnson City, I knew that I was in trouble. I slid the tandems all the way forward so that I could clear the curves, and even then I was using both lanes. As I approached each curve, I was on the air horn to warn approaching traffic, which meant, since I was also using my brakes a lot, that I had to stop fairly often to let the air build back up. At one stop, a sheriff's car pulled over in front of me. When he walked up to my cab, his first question, in a broad Tennessee accent, was: "Driver, what the HAIL are you doin' on this road?"
    "Deputy, I'm kind of wondering that myself. It's not illegal, is it?" I asked hopefully.
    He replied with one of the world's great understatements: "Oh, it's LEGAL, all right. But we REALLY don't recommend it!"
    He was good enough to lead me to the county line, warning oncoming drivers about the loose nut behind him, where a deputy from the next county led me out of the mountains.
    I've had warm feelings about TN deputies ever since.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. colohayhauler

    colohayhauler Clutch Monkey

    I guess one of my favorite..or least favorite incidents, I was pulling an almost ancient lowboy that used to belong to the Navy or something. 50 Ton cap, heavy sucker, was loading a JD 544G articulated loader on it, in the mud. Had all my brakes set, climbing the ramps slowly and my brain got this funny feeling the world was slowly turning (made me dizzy), as I was about 3/4 up the ramps when my front tires were muddy enough the loader slid sideways off the ramps and hit the ground, damn near tipped over. Ripped a bunch of marker lights off the trailer but I didnt give a crap. My wife was standing about 50 yds away, about to crap her pants too. I hate mud!!
    • Like Like x 1
  14. saddlesore

    saddlesore Well-Known Member

    Now You know what i meant about "floating" a trailer with those loads...LOL
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  15. Gased

    Gased Well-Known Member

    Mud does suck and those type of moments make you wake the hell up real quick.

    I was loading a 135' super boom the other day and accidentally hit the crab steering switch when I meant to go to two wheel steering. Boy, the sucker started walking towards the edge like it had a mind of it's own. Woke me up quick. That thing weighs 43.5k and has to be loaded perfectly or you're going to have an over-weight axle. Another pucker moment in the life of Gased.

  16. colohayhauler

    colohayhauler Clutch Monkey

    That would damn sure leave a mark in the pants too, especially without it having a ROPS!!
  17. Gased

    Gased Well-Known Member

    The machine itself has a built in Gyro that ceases any movement when it goes past a certain threshold but as for me having ROPS in the basket, nope. The only protection I had was a harness. The fall doesn't hurt, it is the sudden stop afterwards that usually leaves a mark. LOL
  18. Duck

    Duck Quack Supporter

    Not really a "pucker" moment but it's a funny story.

    Winter of 2006/07. I'd brought home an empty trailer & when I parked, my drive tires were in a shallow puddle of water which I didn't notice cuz it was dark.

    Temperature dropped & the following Monday the truck was stuck. It wouldn't budge. I could put the damn thing in 13th gear & it would idle showing 35 mph, and that's with the power divider locked. No tire chains.

    All that kitty litter stuff is just an old wives tale, .. probably made up by pet stores. There was nothing close enough to anchor a chain to use a come-along. And nobody else around that early in the morning. So I called my mom.

    She'd never even sat in the drivers seat of a truck before, but she has driven stick-shift and understood the concept of "step on the clutch & hit the brakes when the truck starts moving".

    I got behind the trailer & chained my 1946 Ford 2N tractor to the ICC bumper, & started tugging on it. I had the truck idling in low range reverse and I set a plastic bucket on the ground next to the truck, about 5 feet behind the door & told my mom that IF the truck starts moving backwards, wait until that bucket is about even with the door & step on the clutch & hit the brakes.

    Lots of tugging, holes dug in the gravel by the little antique tractor. I could rock the truck in it's spot, but not much else was happening. It has a front end loader, so I raised it all the way up so it would transfer some of that weight off the front axle. All that did was make the tractor start doing wheelies.

    But eventually the little thing dug in and the truck started backing up. The truck was in low range reverse, and the tractor was in 1st, which goes about 5 mph at full throttle. I guess the truck idles at 6 mph in reverse. The chains went slack & as soon as my mom saw the plastic bucket line up with the door of the truck, she did exactly as I'd instructed, ... except I hadn't explained the air brakes thing to her. There was no immediate response from the brakes so she panicked and pushed harder on the pedal & the truck jerked to a stop. Then about a nanosecond later, the slack came out of the chains & jerked the tractor to a stop & I ended up face-down on the hood of the tractor with it's steering wheel in my gut while the tractor's front end was jumping up and down as the big paddle tires were going back and forth between gripping & spinning, until I got my foot back on the clutch. It felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach by a horse.

    But at least the truck wasn't stuck any more.

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