“What a fucking moron!”
I did tell you that we try not to swear on the closed channel CB radio system that we used in the trucks didn’t I? Well we do try but it occasionally happens, just like it happens on the police band radios when they are talking amongst themselves.
I know some of the local police officers by name and some by sight but I didn’t know which one belonged to the voice that just filled the cabin of my truck. I also didn’t know the owner of the voice that followed it up with a comment about beginning the pursuit of said moron.
What had happened? Well I couldn’t see everything that had gone on because I was still about eighty metres from the intersection and couldn’t see the entire area clearly but I could make a fairly well educated guess. The police and the roads corp had the intersection under caution, the traffic lights were on flash and there was police cars with lights flashing in the approaching lanes ahead and to the right. They were there to stop any cars from entering the intersection until we had cleared it with our 200 tonne convoy.
There would also be a police car in the approaching lane from the left too, but I couldn’t see him because he’d be about two hundred metres up the road ensuring no vehicle could approach the intersection in the direction we’d be turning. The intersection was large with no centre median strips and although we needed the the power company to lift the power lines over our massive load we should be able to traverse it without riding any kerbs but we’d have to use both our lanes and the lanes of the on coming traffic to do it.
As I say I couldn’t see the entire intersection but what I could see was a car, one of those lowered rice burners with fat tyres and a muffler that announces to the world that a wanker is arriving long before you can see them. Obviously one police car is not wide enough to close an entire carriageway off but because most people are sensible and understand what flashing lights mean they don’t have to be. However the moron in the rice burner was special, they obviously didn’t think the caution was for people like them and not only did they decide they could go through the intersection they decided they could drift through it.
The driver had no doubt approached the intersection at speed, moved into the right hand turning lane avoiding the stationary police car and figured that the police had all other vehicles stopped so they could flick the arse end out and drift through the intersection, turn right and leave the intersection travelling in the same direction I was currently headed. I suppose some credit had to go to the driver for their car handling skills no matter how stupid they were, but from where I was it still looked like they came close to hitting the kerb on the exit of their turn. Had that happened we could easily have been halted at an accident scene but thankfully it didn’t.
I don’t know if the driver knew just how close they came to flipping their ride but they obviously didn’t think the police were going to chase them otherwise they surely wouldn’t have done such a move in front of so many cops. The good news for the driver though was that there was so many dash cams covering that intersection at that particular time that when they were called to court to explain themselves they would have a very hard time defending such stupid behaviour.
So as you can see while fucking moron may not have been the most appropriate response over the police band radio it pretty accurately described the driver of the car the police were chasing up Jacksons Road.
As I could see a set of red and blue flashing lights disappearing up Jacksons Road I head the police band radio squawk, “Free to go Oversize.” followed by Pete’s voice on our channel confirming that we could proceed through the intersection.
By the time all the fun was over I was only about forty meters from the intersection and already preparing for my wide sweeping turn. As I’ve said the intersection was wide but our road was only four lanes wide, William Street was six, which meant I had to have the right hand front wheels of my truck well into the right hand lanes of the wrong side of the road well before I started my turn.
Even with the trailer wheels capable of turning themselves, with the aid of the remote one of the walkers had, it was still going to need a hugely wide sweeping turn too ensure we went under the highest section power lines and cleared any kerbs on the left with Corey’s truck.
“Ok eyes on everything boys, you know the drill. I don’t want to know that we are about to hit something I want to know well before we get there.” I said into the radio as I looked in my side mirror making sure the widest part of the load wasn’t getting too close to the right hand kerb. I couldn’t tell the exact point of the load from the mirrors, that was Angus’ job, but knowing the limits of my vehicle, like any good driver should, I had a fair idea where the load was given where the trailer was.
It was force of habit but as I pulled the truck into the intersection I still leant forward and looked in both directions to make sure there was no traffic coming. Because I had pulled loads of a similar size through the same intersection more times than I could count over the last twenty odd years I already had a plan in my head as to how I was going to handle this load.
That plan was one, easy flowing motion, no jerking, no stopping no sudden changes in direction just pick a line and drive the truck and load around it. The power company should have given me plenty of room by lifting the lines high enough over a wide enough distance that even if I was off line by a few metres I wouldn’t hit them. The saving grace there was that I couldn’t afford to be that far off line and still get this load around without hitting anything.
I’m probably making this a little more dramatic than I have to, in reality it’s not really that much different from what you do when you turn a corner in your car, I knew it would go around the corner without hitting anything, I just had to make it happen.
Previous Heavy Haulage story here.