“I stand corrected guys, it’s not a live one, this prick is as dead as they come.” Millie called through on the radio as the truck driver who had decided he was too important to stay behind anyone caught up with the rear of the convoy.
You might remember we were on the Robinville bypass and letting vehicles go around us on the right hand shoulder. Half way through doing our bit to help traffic and some guy in a B Double decided that he’d pull in front of whatever traffic he felt like. The same guy claimed he was filming a TV show so we needed to get out of the way. Well that’s were we are.
For those that don’t know a B double is a twin trailered truck, smaller than the road trains we’d see before this trip was over, that measures up to about twenty five metres with two turntables for hitching the trailers to. This cowboy was running two flat decks, the front one had a five metre Reefrunner boat and a Toyota Landcruiser on it while the rear trailer was empty, possibly why he figured he didn’t need to consider other road users.
“Get fucked!” came the call across the the radio after the driver heard Millie’s response. “Just get out of the way, some of us are actually trying to work here.”
The truck was gaining speed but because of the width of our load I could only see what the live camera feed was sending to the monitor in the cabin, I couldn’t make out any details, but Millie could as it went passed him and began to nose up with the rear of our load.
The B double started out wide enough to clear the sub station on the back and he was still gaining speed, like the Commodore driver with the wanker lights under the doors this truck wasn’t content in just passing he wanted to pass and pass as fast as he possibly could.
“Keep it straight you fucking morons!” Came the voice on the radio.
Engaging with idiots like we had passing us, whether they were in a car or truck was something we avoided most of the time and with a guy this lively there was no way any of us were going to engage directly with him.
“He’s cleared the rear of the load.” I heard Corey say across the closed comms radio, “Keep an eye on him Matt.”
“Yeah no worries Apple, I’m doing what I can up here.” I replied.
Keeping any truck relatively straight isn’t a difficult job and it can be done but it’s a fact trucks do wander, just like cars, the biggest problem is that the wander is exaggerated the longer the vehicle gets. Most truck drivers understand this and give their fellow road users as much room as they can and in return give other trucks as much room as they expect, but it was clear this cowboy was not of the same school.
I’m not saying our rig didn’t move, because there is every chance it could have, although the move would have been minimal the massively oversized load would have made it look worse but the reaction from the other driver was uncalled for. Especially given that later on when we were looking at the camera footage from one of the eight cameras on this load it clearly showed our cowboy’s rear trailer swaying a lot more than our load was even before he reacted.
“What the fuck are you doing?” came the voice. “Drive it straight you fucking amateurs. How long have you had your license, a week?”
Yet again no one replied but even if we had it wouldn’t have made any difference because the driver of the other truck would not have been able to reply, he was too busy grabbing arm fulls of steering wheel trying to save his truck.
While he was mouthing off at us for not driving straight the guy had ignored his own load. As I said the longer the vehicle the more the swerving is exaggerated but something else that doesn’t help that is a lack of load. When the jerk behind the wheel jerked the steering wheel the effect at the front wasn’t too much but the effect as the empty rear trailer finally followed a second or two later was of course more dramatic. We were dead lucky, I mean counting our lucky stars lucky that the rear trailer had cleared the front of the widest part of the load when it started to swerve because had it not we’d have had a flat deck trailer inside our multi-million dollar sub station.
While the truck driver wrestled with his truck and tried to straighten the swaying trailer all we could do was watch on. Although when I say we it was really on me, the guys in the front pilot and some terrified car drivers coming up behind who saw the action live. I don’t mind telling you too that I was worried, not for the driver’s sake but for us and those around us, if the shit really hit the fan and this guy couldn’t get it back we’d all suffer at the hands of a prick who claims other people can’t drive.
It really was touch and go for a few seconds, the trailer swerved left, swerved right, swung into the grass after coming off the shoulder and fishtailed slightly then swung back onto the bitumen. The driver had barely slowed down whilst he was fighting the trailer and through the headlights coming from behind I could see the dust and dirt he was dragging back onto the road after hitting the grass.
I still don’t know how he did it but after five direction changes the driver was able to regain control of his truck. Had it not been for Phil thinking early and pulling the front pilot all the way to the left shoulder things would have been different for the boys but thankfully Phil’s one of those amateurs like me and Corey.
“Geezus christ guys. That was close.” Phil said on the closed comms radio.
As the truck straightened up and pulled ahead of us Millie responded to Phil’s message, however Millie’s response was on the open radio.
“Guys, in case you haven’t worked it out we were just passed by a deadset TV legend. A guy so professional he they make TV shows about him. That’s right it’s the one and only, best driver in the world. Mudflap.“
“Well I bet that exemplary piece of driving doesn’t make the final cut!” I replied.
“Get fucked you useless steering wheel attendants.” came the reply from the truck now picking up speed and pulling ahead.
Previous Heavy Haulage Story here.