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Loaded TT-Unit Crosses Both Sides Of Highway Into Woods!


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6-3-14

Received a call from MA State Police to respond immediately to the area of Rte. 140S between exits 8 & 7 for a serious commercial motor vehicle accident involving a loaded tractor trailer combination unit that wound up in the thickly-wooded area off the right shoulder of the roadway.  Apparently, the unit lost control heading north on Rte. 140, travelled across both northbound lanes, ventured into the center grassy median, hurdled over the steel guide wire cable separating the two sides of the highway, travelled across both southbound lanes, and finally came to rest in the thickly-wooded area off the shoulder of the highway after taking down dozens of trees.  The loaded tractor trailer’s momentum came to an abrupt halt when the unit finally struck a large cluster of trees and became jackknifed around this cluster, with large stumps protruding directly underneath the diesel fuel tank as well as wedged between the tractor tandems.  Since the unit initially was headed northbound, it was now facing the opposite way of the flow of traffic off the southbound lane and therefore needed to be removed without causing an environmental catastrophe, as well as being turned around so that it could be facing the correct direction of travel at the end of the recovery process.

Given the severity of the accident at hand, both of our heavy duty rotating style crane recovery units were dispatched to the scene, as well as our HAZMAT Response Truck, in addition to our mini excavator.  Once on scene, our crews began using chainsaws to begin to cut a path to reveal the actual location of the tractor and to gain access to view if there had in fact been an environmental spill already created which needed to be tended to.  As crew members used the chainsaws to cut down numerous trees, our mini excavator was used to remove the cut down trees and dig up the stumps left behind.  This was a tedious process which consisted of knocking down dozens of trees that crew members could not reach with the chainsaw and placing the cut limbs into piles throughout the affected area.  Once access was gained to the location of the tractor, it was deemed that there were several critical stumps that needed to be removed prior to the recovery process commencing.

There was a large stump wedged between the frame rails and the front tractor tandem as well as between the tractor tandems, themselves.  With the use of our mini excavator, we were able to dig underneath the frame of the tractor to create enough of a gap where the bucket and thumb could remove the stump.  This same process was performed on the stump located between the tandems as well.  After the passenger’s side was free of any visible stumps our mini excavator then continued to create a path onto the driver’s side of the tractor.  On the driver’s side, there was a large stump located behind the rear trailer tandems which was dug up and removed in the same manner the previous ones were.  However, the most crucial stump was located directly underneath the diesel fuel tank.  Miraculously, during the initial impact the fuel tank was only badly damaged and was not compromised.  However, removing the stump out from underneath the nearly full diesel fuel tank was far too risky.  With that in mind, our crews decided to pump the diesel fuel into DOT approved HAZMAT drums prior to removing the stump to ensure that no environmental spill was created.

With the use of our air-powered hole saw drill, a small hole was drilled into the top of the fuel tank.  This was done because there was a steel screen underneath the location of the fuel cap which prevented our siphoning hose from entering the tank.  After the hole was drilled, the fuel transfer process began.  Seeing as the fuel tank was nearly full, it took the use of nearly (3) drums to completely drain the tank.  After the tank was pumped dry, the barrels were strapped and moved off to the side of the work area with the use of our mini excavator until the unit was removed.  The large stump was then removed out from underneath the fuel tank which was the last one to be removed.  Several large tree branches were draped over the top of the trailer and these also were cut and removed prior to the removal of the unit from the thickly-wooded area.  Now that all of the stumps and surrounding debris was removed and placed into piles around the casualty, the actual recovery of the unit could begin.

Both of our cranes were setup in the breakdown lane, one towards the rear and one towards the front.  The crane in the rear would be used to lift and rotate the trailer, bringing it closer to the roadway; while the crane in the front would be used to bring the entire unit up the steep bank and finally up onto the roadway.  Heavy duty rigging straps were installed to the rear tandems of the trailer and the rear crane slowly brought the trailer around until it was in line with the tractor.  A heavy duty rigging chain was then installed to the rear of the trailer and the crane then lifted the entire rear of the trailer up off the ground and rotated it over a few more feet so that it could be in position to be brought back up onto the roadway.  While the rear of the trailer was lifted off of the ground, our mini excavator was used to dig out debris that was between the trailer tandems that would cause friction during removal.

The tractor was still wrapped around the cluster of trees it impacted at the outset of the accident so our rear crane was used to winch the entire unit backwards to untangle the tractor from the cluster of trees.  When the tractor was far away enough from the trees, heavy duty rigging chains were then installed to the front of the tractor so that the final process of bringing the entire unit back onto the roadway could be completed.  Prior to moving the tractor, all of the brakes were caged so that it would minimize the resistance of the winching process up the steep bank.  After the brakes were caged, our crane operator then began bringing the entire unit back towards the roadway.  This process was done incrementally because as the tractor was brought away from the initial point of impact, more stumps and debris were noticed so as they became visible the winching process would cease and our mini excavator would remove them to create a clear path.  Air was supplied to the trailer after both the tractor and trailer were on an even footing to allow for all of the wheels to spin freely during its final climb up the bank.

Once the tractor was at the edge of the roadway, our rigging was adjusted so that our crane could lift the tractor straight up and place it into the undereach to prepare it to be towed, seeing as the front axle was completely ripped out from underneath the tractor.  The front bumper bracket was cut off with the use of our torches as it posed a problem during the towing process.  After the entire unit was prepared to be towed from the scene, it was then transported to our Freetown storage facility where our crews assisted MA State Police DOT with the complete DOT inspection of both the tractor and trailer.

Later that afternoon, our site remediation crews returned to the scene in order to continue with the removal and disposal of all of the cut limbs, stumps, and other debris created from the accident earlier that morning.  Our roll-off truck brought two dumpsters to the scene in order to fill with debris.  Crew members began cutting the trees previously cut into smaller pieces so that they could fit into the dumpsters.  Our mini excavator was used to grab all of the piles of debris and place them into the dumpsters.  This process was time consuming due to the size of the affected area from this accident which consisted of large amounts of stumps, trees, branches, and miscellaneous vehicle parts.  The two dumpsters were filled with debris and transported off the scene and disposed of.  However, the site was not fully cleaned but by this time it was nearing rush hour traffic time and MA State Police did not want the cleanup operations to continue into that time.  Therefore, our crew returned the next afternoon to complete the entire site restoration.  This included cutting and removing another dumpster full of debris.  After this final dumpster load of debris was removed from the scene, the entire affected area was free of all debris, raked clean, and returned to pre-accident condition.  Another DCS / J B Hunt tractor (#349758) picked up the loaded refer trailer at our facility on 6-4-14 and transported it to its intended destination.

 

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Robert Anaya said:

Damn! Very Nice Job! Very curious what this job Netted. I know prices can't be shared on the board.

 

1Towman said:

Very nice job and job description. I would love to know the Job Net too. It would be nice to know If it is a non consensual job and if there state is regulated like Louisiana . What would really be nice would be to see what that job would pay from state to state. I do not own a Rotator and you really have to be a Philadelphia lawyer to interpret the Louisiana Public Service rules and regulations but from the way I see it A rotator in Louisiana Hourly recovery rate would be $370.50 + $210.50 = $581.00 I guess this is why Louisiana only has a hand full of rotators in the entire state

I know Big Wheels has a lot of stuff going on but maybe he would consider figuring out a bill using our Louisiana Public Service Commission rates and regulations. it would be good to use in there billing class that I really do plan on going to someday.

 

http://www.lpsc.louisiana.gov/_docs/_Orders/General Order R-33105 Attachment A Rates Effective 04-17-14.pdf

 

LPSC says A rotator may be used only if ordered by the law enforcement agency in charge of the accident or incident scene and the
rotator is necessary to safely and efficiently restore the flow of traffic to travel lanes. The use of a rotator is not justified
to ensure that the recovered and towed vehicle will not suffer any additional damage, beyond what is reasonable and
customary.A rotator is a specialized piece of equipment and shall be invoiced as such, in that the hourly charge fixed herein in
Section II shall be billed in addition to the charges for the tow and recovery at the appropriate rate (light,
medium or heavy). If a rotator is used, but is not authorized by the provisions of this paragraph, the rotator use cannot be invoiced and the tow and recovery shall be invoiced at the appropriate rate as previously stated

 

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BigWheelRecovery said:

ITOWMAN     I will gladly reveiw your States tow provision policy over the next few days an compare rates between both simular recovery jobs. Just a note  H.D.recoveries in Mass are unregulated.  Thanks  BOB 

 

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1Towman said:

Thanks Bob looking forward to see the comparison. we have decent rates but they sure screwed up the weights. I have been getting a lot of F250 and F350 that are like just a pound or two under 10,001 pounds. its like they added the one pound just to screw us and the difference because of 1 pound goes from Light duty $161.25 add one pound Med Duty $232.50 they also screwed the companies that have Rotators

 

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gtowman said:

Great Job..whatever you charged it dont matter. They gotta pay, it takes a boat load of cash to send all that equipment out to a scene..with a 30 min. ETA.

 

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Jeff Hurley said:

Great job and narrative as always. Very professional the ay a job should be done!

 

 

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