Jump to content
  • Join the TowForce community.

    It looks like you're not logged in. Register to get started and to receive Tower Down Notices.

"The Trailer pulled me Over!"  

Recommended Posts

Original Topic Created in July of 2011:


On June 23rd, 2011, We were requested by the Illinois State Police District 8 to respond to a major single vehicle accident involving a loaded tractor trailer that had left the road and crashed into a cable guard rail and rolled over in the center median at I 74 West Bound at mile post 96.

Our 50 ton and 60 ton Rotator/Crane's were dispatched to the scene. As well as our skid steer with its broom,bucket and fork attachments. Two arrow boards and traffic cones were sent to the scene since both Eastbound and Westbound Left lanes were gonna need to be shut down during the recovery of the causality. Our 16 ton wrecker, Air bag Recovery Unit was dispatched to the scene as well. Central Illinois Road Service was contacted to come out to handle the fuel transfer.

Once on scene, it was discovered that the tractor was leaking fuel out of the vents of the fuel tanks. East Peoria Fire Department, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency were notified of the leak. The Fire Department dug some trenches to contain the fuel until an Environmental Clean up company could arrive on scene. The United States Coast Guard was also notified of the spill and responded to the scene to investigate to see if the spill was gonna be a threat to the Illinois River.

When the unit rolled over the trailer's DOT bumper become entangled with one of the cables of the guard rail. Illinois Department of Transportation tried to relieve some of the pressure on that cable but was unable to turn the turn buckle. With the 60 ton rotator/crane positioned in the left Westbound lane, the 50 ton Rotator crane and Air Cushion Recovery Vehicle was positioned in the Left EastBound lane. A line was run from the 50 ton unit to the cable that was tangled on the DOT Bumper to hold the cable so the bumber could be cut off using our Stihl Cutquick saw.

Once the cable had the tension off of it, the primary air tank on the Freightliner Century Classic  was tapped so air could be supplied to the whole unit. At this time, the Illinois State Police conducted their vehicle inspection, which included checking the brakes for proper adjustment. After the Troopers were done with their inspection, we were given the go ahead with our recovery. The driveshaft was removed from the Freightliner tractor. After talking to one of the drivers of the casualty, we were told the load was 15 round rolls of plastic on skids weighing 3,000 lbs a piece and the truck had just been fueled. Central Illinois Road service pumped off the top fuel tank at this time.

A strap was installed at the rear of the Hyundai 54' Refer Trailer that was attached to one of the lines on the 60 ton Rotator/Crane. Another strap was installed at the front of the trailer and also attached to the 60 ton Rotator/Crane.

The Air Cushion compressor, valve bank and cushion were removed from the Air Cushion Recovery unit and set up. We started at the back of the trailer with a starter bag to start lifting the trailer. Once that bag was inflated, another starter bag was installed a little forward of the first one. After getting three starting bags installed and inflated a full size bag was installed at the rear of the trailer. This step was repeated until we were able to get six full size air cushions underneath the trailer. As the trailer was being lifted by the cushions, two more straps were installed and attached to the 50 ton Rotator/Crane. The Front axle and drive axles of the tractor were rigged with chains, the 16 ton Wrecker was then attached to those chains. With the 60 and 50 Ton Rotator/Crane's being directed to lift with Air Cushions, the trailer was uprighted. The 16 ton assisted in bringing the tractor over in sync of the trailer. Once the trailer was upright, it had a major lean to the driver's side. Central Illinios Road Service pumped off the other fuel tank. The 50 Ton Rotator/Crane was repositioned at the rear of the trailer where a chain was rigged at the back of the trailer to lift the trailer up. The other line off the 50 Ton was rigged to the rear tires on the trailer to assist in sliding the unit into the middle part of the ditch to help stabilize the trailer. The 60 ton Rotator/Crane remained rigged to the straps and was used to stabilize the trailer as it was slide to the center of the ditch.

The 50 Ton Rotator/Crane was then repositioned at the front of the trailer where the front of the trailer was lifted and slide towards the center of the ditch. The 50 ton Rotator/Crane was then repositioned at the front of the Freightliner Tractor so it could be winched around and jacknife to help support the load. Before winching the whole unit out of the ditch, one of the rear doors was opened to inspect the load. All of the rolls that had been on the right side of the trailer had rolled on top of the rolls on the left side putting all of the load on the Left side of the trailer.

The Air Cushion compressor, valve bank and three starter cushions were brought back out of the Air Cushion Recovery Vehicle. We placed two of the starter cushions between the wall and the top roll. Using the cushions, we were able to roll all of the rolls back onto the right side. Next we took the starter bags to the middle two pallets to push them away from the left wall, so they would be in the middle of the trailer. Once we had a big enough gap between the wall and the rolls, we inserted a full size air cushion pushing the load as far to the center as we could. We secured the rear door on the trailer.

The 60 Ton Rotator/Crane was repositioned to the EastBound lane to assist in recovering the unit from the ditch. At this time, the Air line coming over the Detroit engine Air Compressor was removed and an air fitting adapter was installed allowing air to be supplied to the Freightliner tractor so the tractor and trailer brakes could be released. Using the 50 ton Rotator/Crane, the tractor trailer was winched until the Freightliner Tractor was back onto the road. The 60 ton Rotator/Crane was rigged to the back of the trailer to pick and swing the trailer back onto the road. Once back on the road, all of the rigging from the Tractor and Trailer was broken down and returned to its proper location on the trucks. The Freightliner's front axle was then forked by the 50 ton Rotator/Crane to be towed away. The Illinois State Police shut down EastBound I 74 so the whole unit could be drove west a ¼ mile to a turnaround in the middle of the interstate where the unit was able to cross back over to the West bound lanes.

The Tractor/trailer was towed back to our Creve Coeur location, where the trailer was dropped. The Tractor was towed to the Freightliner dealership where the computer was accessed and that data was given to the Illinois State Police for their report. After the Troopers were done with their data gathering, the tractor was towed back the Creve Coeur Location.

After the tractor trailer was removed from the scene, the skid steer with the broom attachment swept up the EastBound lanes cleaning up all of the mud and debris. The bucket was then put on the skid steer to remove the ruts in the median to restore it back to preaccident condition.

The Arrow Stick and traffic cones were then picked up on EastBound side, opening both lanes to traffic. The Westbound lane remained closed til the Environmental Company had finished their initial clean up. Once they were done, the arrow stick and traffic cones were gathered and taken back to our Bloomington Location. The Skid Steer, bucket, broom and forks were loaded up on a flatbed to be hauled back to Bloomington. The Air Cushion Recovery Vehicle was taken back to our Creve Coeur location so the cushions and air hoses that were left inside the trailer could be put away inside it.

Last edited by ILTowman on 04 Jul 2011 16:53, edited 1 time in total.
BigWheelRecovery said:
What a great job glad you are staying busy thanks for sharing with us . Thanks Eric wink.gif
Heavytowman12 said:
Nice Recovery from start to finish emoticonthumb.gif Did you tow the air cushion recovery unit there.
BAHook said:
Yes we towed it out to the scene. It is a old ford and the brakes went out on it so we dont drive it anymore. We have been working on a replacement trailer custom building all the storage for everything we carry in this unit however its taking alot longer than we thought to get it done.
Scooby said:
now thats a old timey recovery unit!!!!

nice use of the cushions all around
SITTOW said:
Great job you guys are having all the fun,stay safe.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...
Please Sign In or Sign Up