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Another tricky soft-sided fridge box recovery!

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Topic Originally Created in February of 2016:
We were called to assist a local operator with this incident. The Spanish registered vehicle was loaded with tomatoes, grossing at 98,560lbs. Allegedly, an oncoming vehicle caused the driver to swerve to the N/S. Once the wheels left the hard surface, the weight and the embankment took the vehicle off the road and down the embankment into the trees. 

The embankment was extremely steep and about 3.5m deep. The trailer overturned, bending the chassis of the tractor unit. If you look at the images, you can see the N/S of the trailer is completely separated from front to rear. The bulkhead is severely damaged and it was only the trees jammed beneath the side that were preventing the whole load from coming out onto the ground. 

It was our intention to recover the tractor/trailer and its load without it spilling or the trailer box collapsing. As has been mentioned before, soft sided fridges are particularly difficult to recover from situations like this due to their inherent weakness, the box being made of fiberglass that is simply glued together. It is only the shape that gives it rigidity. 

Room was limited and we decided to place the NRC at the front of the combination. The 1075 was driven as far alongside the NRC as possible to allow the trailer to pass behind as the recovery progressed. A considerable amount of time was then spent creating the rigging arrangements which you can see in the images. 10 broad webbing slings were used at approx. 4ft intervals and additional slings were arranged to give both support and a considerable dissipation of the effort required to right the trailer. The rigging was set up in such a way that the cables passed back and forth between all straps and booms several times with the intention of keeping a balanced load on all components. The 1075 had to be positioned a long way from the casualty leading to problems with stability. The drag winch was used to run back to a substantial tree in the woodland where the cables were doubled up to assist with the winching effort required to pull the trailer back up the embankment. This did have the effect of aiding stability. 

Kavanagh's heavy recovery vehicle was set up to create the main pulling effort required. It was rigged to yet another large oak tree where the cables were set up on a 2 to 1 arrangement. The trailer was righted and had to be supported at all times until on the carriageway. As the embankment was so steep, the side was virtually out of the trailer and the load was still bearing against it. Constant movement of both recovery cranes and cables was necessary to keep everything under control whilst the position of the trailer changed during the winching process. 

Once the trailer was back onto the carriageway, ratchet straps were used to secure the side once the recovery equipment was removed. Both cranes were then used to lift the tractor unit/front of trailer out of the hole and place them on the carriageway. It was recovered to Kavanagh's base with their heavy recovery vehicle. 

Here's a link to the news article: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/canterbury/ ... ash-91428/




Holy snatchblock couldn't have been much line left on the winches.
Good job.


MooresBP tubegreen.gif said:



MACK6X6 said:

     Nice recovery.  Questions?  How many and what width and length were the straps you used for the upright.  I'm looking to get some 12" straps for our 45ton crane and would like input as to length.  Also, in looking at the pictures this appears to be a straight job - did you attach up under the axles to the frame for the pull?  If not, where did you attach to generally?  Once again, nice rigging to get it out in one piece.  Thanks, Steve.


1Towman tubebronze.gif said:

awesome recovery and rigging that's a whole lot of lines to the load for sure !
Young Mike said:
In answer to your question Steve,

The straps are 12inches wide and either 4 or 6 metres long, we use both lengths. I think we used 12 to keep the trailer together. If you are buying recovery straps, you will need at least the height of your tallest casualty, although you can add more chain at the connection point or an endless loop etc. Too short is no good and if too long you always run out of cable.

We found various places to attach to, fifth wheel ,chassis, suspension anchor points etc etc. Every job is different, so there are no hard and fast rules. You have to see what you have at the time and make your decision based upon that.

Regards,  Mick 
tcsc1 said:
Beauty rigging, what length line are you running on your winches? Sure a lot of lines to watch did you have spotters watching for interference? Again well done, love your posts. D
MACK6X6 said:
     Thanks for the response Mick.  We have a lot of recovery experience under our belt but we have primarily use endless loops which I know would perforate in this situation.  We recently acquired a set of air bags to assist in the lift.  I don't think I'll be able to afford 12 12" straps all at once, but I'll get started on it.  LOL!.  Once again, rigging is obviously where it's at and you guys definitely know how to "gettr' done".  Regards, Steve.
Trex said:
thats alot rigging! thanks for share
Roach901 said:
Hey Mick, over here the driver would have pulled the pin to "help the wrecker guys out". 🙂 Awesome job as usual. If I ever get a vacation, I want to see the awesome jobs you do. Look out for a Florida RedNeck at a scene some day!!
BigWheelRecovery tubeplatinum.gif said:
Truly an unbelievable recovery done by an exceptional recovery team, hats off to you Mick!      BOB 
visit our new website bigwheeltowingandrecovery.com
Eric Godard tubeyellow.gif said:
A great recovery for sure! Your work is  impressive, Keep sharing I always look forward to seeing your post. 
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