Did I tell you about how great mystery bags and dead horse followed with a chaser of snotblock are? No? Well how about I tell you now? I’m only kidding, I had finished those two wonderful delicacies and it was time to wash it down. Coffee is good, but Iced Coffee is better but sheesh you didn’t enjoy my wonderful recounting of lunch I don’t think I’ll waste my time telling you about an Iced Coffee.
Anyway we’d gotten out of Cain as easily as I said it would be, we had a few impatient twats trying to beat the truck as the road dropped back two two lanes but that’s par for the course. Honestly you’d think that when people see a bunch of flashing lights and a police escort they’d do everything they can to adhere to the road laws but it’s not the case.
Not sure what it’s like in other countries but we have a whole bunch of dickhead road warriors who think road laws are made by people with no idea about the roads. They think road rules are “thought up” by a lonely guy in a dark room, not by engineers and planners who actually have qualifications that allow them to do the jobs they do. A proportion of these dickheads think because they earn enough to pay fines road rules don’t apply to them, truth be told these numpties do adhere to the road rules they claim are not for safety most of the time, except in the pub where their mouth moves faster than they drive, but every now and again like the whole world is watching them they have to go and prove how clever they are.
One of the funniest sights you see on the road is when those dickheads pull their stupid crap in front of a copper, what’s even funnier is when they act surprised they were caught when they do it in front of a bloody police escort. It’s like some of them don’t realise that while the cops in the escort wont give chase, in all but the worst circumstances, they don’t have these radio things to call other cops in the area. Like I say it’s fun times!
Apart from the one guy who did just that, coming out of Cain at breakneck speed going around us and down the wrong side of the road, we did see him pulled up by the boys in blue about a kilometre down the road, there was only a few impatient drivers that caused a minor issue.
About three kilometres out of town the road widened and we were back to a divided highway with two lanes each side, which meant we could increase our speed a little bit, maximum eighty clicks, and pull the load over to the shoulder letting let traffic pass every few kilometres, especially before hills so we didn’t get too much of a bank up as we slowed down.
The run into Riverbend was easy and idiot free, although in fairness to the idiots of the world there was a lot less traffic on the regional highways so your numbers weren’t dwindling just slightly down due to the total of road users we saw.
The ease of the run into Riverbend was a bit of a blessing because we knew the run through Riverbend was going to be slow and somewhat annoying, even without any dramas, because Riverbend wasn’t an easy town to negotiate a large load through.
We approached our first Riverbend obstacle, it was only a small one, well it was large in size but didn’t pose us a huge issue other than time. As the name of the town suggests there is a river and a bend, but the bend wasn’t our problem the river was because not every bridge, especially bridges in the country are made to support such huge loads. I know what you’re thinking, lots of cars and trucks at once must surely equal one large load by itself, but that’s not entirely right, because a load this big is a bit of a dead weight and puts more strain in smaller areas that multiple vehicles does.
We of course didn’t pick a bridge that was not rated for the load we had, the only way that would happen was if we had a voice over and a TV crew filming us and to build the suspense they’d have the voice over guy say something like. “As they roll this massive load over the bridge at walking pace, will the bridge hold them up?” Then they’d show a shot of a different bridge with a crack in it, throw another scary line at the viewers then go to an ad break. But that wasn’t us, we weren’t about suspense we were about delivering large loads.
Of course we wouldn’t be allowed to run over a bridge that those guys in dark rooms with no idea about road rules didn’t deem safe, but we still took it very slow and very careful.
The first thing we did was close the bridge off to traffic with road crews and our front pilot on the northern side of the river stopping traffic well clear of the bridge. The second thing we did was get walkers out in front and behind the load, the third thing we did was unhook Corey.
While the bridge might have been designed for heavier weight that us we still took very little chances. Stopping was of course easier with Corey’s truck but providing I was careful enough I could do it without him, especially on such even ground. Removing Corey’s truck and sending me over alone wasn’t to save him or his truck in case the worst happened, we knew that wasn’t going to happen, it was purely to remove twenty tonne, his truck plus the solid concrete block used for ballast, of weight from the bridge as we crossed it. Any buffer is a good buffer but removing twenty tonne was not going to hurt us and with an up hill on the opposite side of the bridge there was little chance the load was going to get away on me without Corey’s breaking behind me.
With Corey unhooked I slowly moved onto the bridge, it was wide enough for the load, we had about a metre either side, but I still had walkers on either side watching the load’s extremities to make sure I didn’t wander too close to the side.
I was doing less than ten kilometres per hour as the wheels of the trailer came down onto the bridge
Voice over man: “Will the 300 tone load that is twenty metres wide, make it over the single lane bridge with a maximum load rating of 5 tonne. The tension is mounting, have the boys made a huge mistake?”
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Previous Heavy Haulage story here.