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Baggin' Apples!  


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Topic Originally created by Schmitty30 in May of 2013:
Around 12:15 on Tuesday, May 14th, we were called by the Ohio Turnpike to expedite a response to the 159mm westbound for an overturned commercial vehicle, unknown load, leaking fluids. We responded with a heavy wrecker, service truck and our fuel recovery unit. Once on scene we discovered a tractor trailer with a reefer trailer on its passenger side completely off the road in a ditch. Working with the turnpike, we laid down booms to catch the fluids that had already leaked out, drilled the fuel tanks on the tractor, pumped off the fuel, removed the fuel from the reefer tank, disconnected the batteries and removed the driveline. With a ten mile traffic back up due to an emergency road repair a few miles ahead of us, and no additional hazards to the traffic or the environment, the turnpike advised us that they would prefer that we held off until the next morning to perform the recovery.

The following morning, we responded with our 60 ton rotator, 50 ton heavy wrecker, air cushion recovery trailer, service truck, and single axle dolly converter. Turnpike workers set up a one lane work zone at 8:30am and we went to work. We first pulled the pin, winched the tractor away from the trailer, and rolled it back to its wheels. We moved it up the road and out of the way.

With the truck out of the way, we could focus on the trailer. When the unit rolled over, the manifests scattered, leading to some confusion as to the weight and type of load that was actually in the trailer. We were originally told it was 8500 pounds of frozen beef. Opening the rear doors was not an option, as the trailer was already on an angle. The evening before, we were able to open the view door to discover pallets of apples, side by side, floor to ceiling, beginning approximately 6 feet from the rear doors.

We decided that it would be easier to upright the trailer on level, hard ground vs. in a muddy ditch. So we rigged our two heavy wreckers to the trailer and winched it to the road. As the pictures show, the trailer fought us the entire way out, and brought the sod up with it. When we got it to the road, we discovered that when the trailer plowed into the hillside, it wrinkled the roofline slightly.

With the trailer up on the road, we were able to begin the upright with our cushions. We placed our dolly converter on the kingpin, spun it, and chained it in place. We began at the nose of the trailer with our medium pressure cushions, and one by one worked our cushions under the trailer. We began to upright the trailer, watching the walls and roofline, and repositioning cushions as necessary. Once the roof rail was about 4-5 feet off the ground, we placed our straps, rechecked our cushion placements and pressures, and placed our landing cushions under the tires. We inflated our air cushions to their maximum height, took over with the trucks, and brought the trailer over onto the landing cushions. The trailer came down smoothly onto its wheels.

We packed up our cushions, brought one of our bobtails in to haul the trailer back, hooked the tractor and swept the road of all foreign debris. From the time we pulled out our driveway until we pulled back in was approximately 6 hours.

This was the first rollover we were able to use our new Sonetics headsets on. For anyone who hasn't had the opportunity to work with these yet, you have no idea how much easier it is with on scene communications.

Thanks for looking

As always, BE SAFE!!!




















Our senior operator/team leader hard at work!












foxtow82 said:
Great job Schmitty "B.F.S", Dale, and Rich's crew!

DTR tubegreen.gif said:
Nice job and pics good looking trucks
jacksmelbourne tubegreen.gif said:
That is beautiful work ! Great job by your team .
kw2013669 said:
why do you have the black tarps on the tandems and dolly? just wondering.
George Fulk said:
To protect the landing bags from cuts and grease.
Ed Barker said:
Great looking job.
bdale9055 said:
I have a question, I see this alot more now why have alot of companys separate the tractor from the trailer when there doing a upright.  I've done my share of uprights with n without aircushions n just wondering why. Ty Tim Bloomingdale
Strllostowing said:
Beautiful job . Perfect no other words. I really like the way you protect the landing bags with the tarps. Eight aircushions what was the pressure on each bag? I personally would answer the question of separation of truck and trailer as why put the extra strain on the trailer of the tractor coming over and twisting it. I like separation of truck and trailer.
BMK3457 said:

First and foremost, I'd like to thank everyone for the positive comments, as well as the questions. I feel that's what makes us better as an industry, questioning one another to learn and grow. The location and positioning of where this unit ended up made for a interesting recovery back to the road. 


bdale9055 and wrecker812~ Everyone knows that every recovery is different. Before we begin a recovery, we look at all the factors surrounding it. Had this truck and trailer been up on the pavement on its side, we would've left the tractor hooked up. Instead, it was down in the ditch. So we decided it would be easier to remove the truck from the equation. It proved to be the right move because the trailer fought us the whole way to the road and slid back and forth on the grass and mud. The truck would've become an unnecessary pain in the ass. Hopefully that answered your questions...


strollostowing~ I wasn't running the valve bank. So you can't quote me on this. But I believe Dale said we were about 2 1/2 psi, possibly 3, at our highest load once we began our final lift.


kw2013669~ Hopefully George Fulk satisfied you with his answer because he is exactly correct. Those landing cushions were a huge investment and they have made their money back multiple times over. And the longer they stay in good shape, the more money they'll make us. Plus, after a long recovery, the last thing anyone wants to do is spend more time than necessary cleaning your equipment back at the shop.


Hopefully all questions have been answered. Please, by all means feel free to continue to ask questions and critique the job. The only way we'll get better is by learning!


Rich's Towing Service Inc.
Brendan Kilkenny
2nd Shift Operations-Heavy Duty
Wreckmaster Certified Level 4/5 ID#071266
Matjack Factory Level I Certified
BTR Heavy Rescue Certified
OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER Certified
NFPA HazMat Operations Level
NFPA Rope Rescue and Recovery Technician


BigWheelRecovery tubeplatinum.gif said:

Very nice first class job.
visit our new website bigwheeltowingandrecovery.com
ILTowman said:
First class job. perfect placement of the bags. What a beautiful job. Great work by the Rich's Crew
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