Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Trucking Images Four

These next images are a little closer to home and taken after I had been given my own truck. These are taken from good views points at a few locations that I found interesting.

These images were taken on I-82 between Yakima and Ellensburg, WA. While the decent isn't terribly steep, that it traverses the side of the slope, giving a wonderful the whole way down is what makes it interesting to me. I took these from a veiw point at the top.

The image below was taken along the mighty Columbia River. Again, not a terribly steep drop into the gorge, but what make this decent interesting is the 45 MPH corner at the bottom. Loaded heavy I'm in 6-high, with the Jake Brake roarin'. Another interesting thing about this drop is the bridge at the bottom. There are times when the wind in howling up the river. Turn that corner at the bottom and suddenly you can be buffetted by a 45 knot crosswind. And when I say sudden I mean just that. Can really get the trailer moving in directions you really don't want it to go, especially when the trailer is empty.

Below we have the steepest grade I had to deal with during my time driving around the PACNW. This is the Thrall Grade on US 95. This grade drops you from the high plateau down to the Snake River in Lewiston, ID. Do you see the bridge a the center of the center picture? That is the bottom of the grade. The grade is occasionally steeper than 7%. This is a 6-high with the jake brake screaming and an occasional touch of the brakes. There are five "runaway truck" ramps. I didn't always like this drop, and fortunately I never had to do it during the winter.

Also note the two-lane highway you see snaking around the images. This is the "old" road into Lewiston. The new road is four lanes. The old road is only two with only a couple of passing lanes. My trainer said that he had to do this route many times several years ago before the new route opened up. He called it a while-knuckler. There are a couple of turns that if you miss them your next stop is the bottom and "trucker heaven".

The last group is not what I call fun. This is a blown trailer tire that happened at 6AM in Spokane, WA this past summer. This was the third blown tire in about three weeks. Interestingly enough, all these tires blew right after our shop people check all the tires on the trucks and trailers, filling those that were under-pressured.

One thing I'd like you to note. This is the reason why tail-gating a truck is a really stupid idea. If a chuck of the tire comes off at the right (wrong?) moment, it will crash through your windshield doing much damage to your car and quite possibily you.

One of my trucking buddies was telling me that he once had a blown trailer tire and a chuck flew off the tire towards the cab, hit the transmission and knocked it out of gear.

On one of my blown tires, it exploded with such force that it bent a 1/2 inch piece of rebar that is used to hold the tire chains.

I plan on doing one final trucking post in the next day or two.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, you're right about the bridge at Vantage... it can be downright scary on that bridge. Hope your trucking job is going well. Safe travels, Rob.