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A Flippin’ Load

May 18th, 2012 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

A couple of years back I was invited to assist with a HD rollover demo at the Texas Towing and Storage Association show in Arlington, Texas. The casualty was the remnants of an old mixer that had a load of hardened cement in the drum with the weight of “68,000 lbs.” spray-painted on the outside. Now, it seems the good guys from brand “X” had kinked their boom the year before while playing with this awkward and heavy load, so we were on notice that this thing was a handful.

TTSA members Andy Chesney of B&B Wrecker Service donated blocks and rigging off his rotator and Todd Johnston of Apple Towing and Greg Arens of Arens Services volunteered their services as riggers and wrecker operators.

By the time the demonstration was to begin, the nearby beer tent was open and doing a brisk business, as testified by the loud voices coming from the cheap seats on the nearby bleachers. Initially, the wrecker boom had to be extended beyond its rated capacity, so what else is new in the real world? Slowly but surely, the mixer chassis was lifted off its side and, as it did, the boom could be retracted, thus increasing its capacity and reducing the risk, but the possible free roll beyond the balance point was another shock load to be considered. To make a long story short, our experts flipped the thing over and back on its feet without bending or breaking anything. But the beer talk kicked in among the spectators so our guys had to repeat the performance.

The derelict load was laid back down, re-rigged and uprighted with no less drama than the first demo. But, let me add, sometimes it is possible to do things in a controlled setting that would not otherwise be possible alongside a busy highway.

This time it worked and we all left with smiles on our faces. Next time? Well, who knows? But it’s always good to quit as winners.