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takes all kinds to make the world go around

Discussion in 'Trailers' started by Randy88, May 6, 2019.

  1. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Was in the local truck repair shop a week ago, needed a new spring for my tag trailer, when I got out I could smell hot brakes, to point of it reeked something awful, glanced at the back of the shop and could see blue, black smoke coming off the back of a liquid pressure tanker trailer that stuck out past the end of the shop as I walked in. Walked in and asked everyone at the counter, who's brakes are on fire, since every mechanic was at the counter getting parts, the owner asked, where at, told him, out back, he said nobody has come in here yet, an couple seconds of conversation I asked its a liquid pressurized tanker out back on fire, was told the only one back there just pulled in was anhydrous ammonia and he was loaded but called in about an engine issue not a brake issue, I asked where the hell is he then.................nobody had seen him yet. I then asked, there is a loaded anhydrous trailer out back on fire and you guys are just standing here in the office waiting for parts, as they say that got everyone's attention and the owner asked me, are you serious, told him dead serious and would like to stay alive long enough to get my parts, so out back we went, and sure enough the trailer brakes were on fire, loaded with anhydrous ammonia and the driver was completely clueless his brakes were on fire.

    The shop owner ordered the driver to pull up closer to the shop and yelled at his guys to bring out a hose, his brakes shoes were literally on fire and the flames were up around the inner tires and heating the tank valves of the tanker as the shop owner sprayed water on the brakes to put them out. It took about a half hour to get the brakes cool enough so they quit steaming, I have no idea why the tires never blew or lit up, but got hot enough to blister the paint off the inner rims. The brake drums were so hot they were cherry red, it melted the axle cover seals out the end of the axle and oil dripped out the end onto the outer rims. When it was all over, the shop owner thanked me for saying something, he too had no idea why the tires never blew or why they never lit up.

    I asked the shop owner to recap the whole ordeal, so I understood, the driver had no clue his brakes were on fire, had brake issues at all, never looked back to see the blue back smoke pouring out the back of his trailer, pulled a loaded anhydrous tanker into town, out back of the shop, still clueless to anything, and otherwise he'd have pulled his loaded tanker, by then axles fully engulfed into the local coop and up next to two 15,000 gallons a piece anhydrous tanks to offload his load, also in town and been clueless to the whole deal, was told I got it right and fully understood the situation.

    I told the shop owner to call the coop, once the trailer is offloaded, to order it back to his show, to put all new drums, shoes, inner tires and rims on the trailer and do a complete inspection before it ever rolls down the road again, and next time have a different driver sitting in the seat of the truck, that was beyond stupid.

    Fortunately in my state, liquid anhydrous ammonia which is a deadly pressurized farm fertilizer, and is considered hazmat, is not governed by any DOT rules, they can run unlimited hours, have no log books to abide by and no hours of operation to abide by either, they are exempt, so any driver can run 24/7 all season long day in and day out and be perfectly legal, all they have to do is pass a written test for hazmat and a liquid tanker endorsement. Ironically, the truck/trailer and driver were perfectly legal to go back out on the road again, even without going into the shop for a complete inspection and brake job, after all its anhydrous ammonia season and time is money but the shop owner is also a fireman and he told me he'd not let the trailer back on the road till was at least safe to run, the driver on the other hand, he'd be given another truck and trailer and be back on the road 15 minutes later.

    The whole ordeal started with how compressed liquid tankers are filled, they have a park brakes system that connects to a valve cover, if you've never seen an anhydrous tanker before, in order to fill the tank, you need to hook up two hoses a fill hose and a vent hose, but in order to do that, you need to flip down the cover locks, which set the trailer brakes, so the truck and trailer can't roll with the hoses hooked up, once the trailer was full, you just flip the cover locks back up, which release the park brakes on the trailer, but at the plant the driver was at, they flipped the locks up, but they never latched, and the driver never did a walk around to check, he just drove off and down the road, once on the road and after hitting enough bumps, the cover lock bounced down and engaged the trailer brakes, the driver was clueless at any of it, all he knew was he needed to downshift two gears to get into the shop, thinking he had engine trouble, never looking back to see the smoke or flames, but he told me personally he was tired, he'd been behind the wheel four days straight with no sleep, it was the plants fault for not locking the safety valve in place?? Feel safe on the road, this guy is still hauling anhydrous even today, sure with the rain we just had, he's clocking in major hours to get caught back up again probably without any sleep, but with enough caffeine and nodoze he'll be good for another few weeks.
     
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  2. dirty4fun

    dirty4fun Senior Member

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    Unfortunately he is not the exception, as more and more trucks are driven by unqualified drivers. If you can't tell that your brakes are locked just by the feel of the drag you shouldn't be driving anything much bigger than a petal tractor. The smoke rolling off the rear axles might be an indication of a problem, tired or not the driver needs to be off the road, for ever.
     
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  3. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    That won't happen, his record is clean, he has no accidents, has a long track record of no tickets, violations, nothing.

    I asked if it was the first day with a new brain and was told he's been pulling anhydrous for over 25 years and I quote, "we need more drivers just like him on the road today, he's a valuable asset to the trucking industry".

    The guys at the truck shop just shook their heads and thanked me over and over for saying something, otherwise the first they'd have known was when the tires blew or someone reported the smoke out back, the driver had no clue as to what was going on, that's for sure, when I came around the corner behind the shop, the driver was on his cell phone and yes even facing and looking at his trailer while talking and apparently it still never registered, apparently he wasn't on the phone to call the fire department because the siren never blew and nobody showed up and the phone in the shop wasn't ringing when I walked out the door either, so I'd guess in a split second he wasn't on the phone to anyone that pertained to his trailer brakes on fire or the problem at hand.
     
  4. Old Doug

    Old Doug Senior Member

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    I could tell you several storys like this one were i wondered how they made it off the lot were he got in the truck that morning. Its unreal.I would have a hard time fixing some thing for a company that has drivers like him.I say this from years of experince most guys that haul stuff farm related shouldnt be behind the wheel of a lawn mower. Its dirty hard work that isnt for most so they use any one that has a heart beat.
     
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  5. Ronsii

    Ronsii Senior Member

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    Wow!!!! just WOW!!!!! Lucky for them you dropped in :)
     
  6. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    I hated those blasted brake safety valves. Had them rattle off on a bumpy road more than once and lock up the brakes on me. Get out in the middle of the road, in my haste to make it right forgot to pull the maxi valve.

    Well when tightening up the safety thing heard the air beginning to flow into the spring cans, and knew it was a short time until the truck was going to start rolling without me in it, fortunately I got quickly snapped into reality and had enough time to release the safety thing and get back in the cab and set the brake for real.

    I have never even come close to forgetting to set maxis at any other time, but that one time.
     
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  7. Ronsii

    Ronsii Senior Member

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    I guess if it started to roll you could pop the safety cap again.
     
  8. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    That is what I did but it did not give me a good feeling hearing the air flow to release the brakes standing outside the truck. And it is always hilly here, it would have been rolling somewhere.
     
  9. Hobbytime

    Hobbytime Senior Member

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  10. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    And this driver pulled into a town with his brakes on fire shortly before noon with several eating establishments packed with people less than a block away, not to mention quite a few business's also full of people the same distance away, and the entire town downwind of the truck and trailer, meaning if it were to blow, the whole load would be taken into the heart of the downtown area in seconds, yet the driver was clueless to any of this, so in essence, if I'd gone to the shop last in my list of errands to be done that day instead of first, and looking back knowing nobody else came into the lot the whole time I was there and as dumb as the driver was, I and my wife would have a few blocks away when the blast went off, either the blast or the anhydrous cloud would have gotten us, not sure which it would have been.

    I've wondered since if the driver even knows how dangerous the stuff he's hauling really is, the way he acted that day you'd have thought he had a tanker hauling water or something and not a pressurized gas product.
     
  11. Old Doug

    Old Doug Senior Member

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    I was seting at a stop sign weighting to pull out on the highway 5 miles from town i heard a guy on the CB tale another guy that he had a brake smoking he said he was going to have it checked out. He passed by were i was seting it was smokeing bad i got on the CB and told him it was bad he didnt reply. I figured he was tired of hearing about it. I was headed the other way and dont know what happen. It was a box trailer so i dont know what he was hauling but looking back i should have call the cops in the town he was headed for.
     
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  12. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    And we have a government that brags about how they are doing everything they can do to remove "burdensome regulations" for businesses! Yes there may be some unnecessary rules and regulations but to just out right do every thing you can to eliminate any and all is stupid to my way of thinking.

    Not to say MSHA, the organization that I had contact with in the mining industry, does not have it's own faults but like they say most of the rules and regulations are written in blood!
     
  13. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Return run from delivery of fertilizer outside of Columbia MO, on I-70, can see smoke ahead, figured was a problem on the shoulder, but no, was a skinny African ?American? driving a beat up Volvo conventional with BOTH right rear trailer tires GONE, had run the flat so long it left then the one beside it popped and ran so long it was smoking like a asphalt fire. Tried to raise him on radio either did not know how to use, could not understand English or did not care. Was hard on the throttle smoke rolling from the stack and the idiot just kept going, I went about my business and went home.
     
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  14. funwithfuel

    funwithfuel Senior Member

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    We had an anhydrous tank failure up in the Rockford area about a month ago. The neighboring towns had to be locked down. Many hospitalized with breathing issues.
    My MSHA refresher trainer always showed us a video. It was always hard to watch. A state trooper happens on what appears to be an accident. It happened down near Effingham, I believe. A farmer with wiggle wagons leaking anhydrous, 2 people on the ground. He calls it in, grabs his first aid bag and charges in. Within seconds , he's on the ground. Every time the audio cuts in and out, the trooper is trying to take a breath. Then the audio goes silent. A minute later, the fire department arrived. They hose the vapor down while donning hazmat gear. But it's too late. Everyone has expired. That video alone speaks so highly to just how dangerous this sh!t is. I understand farmers use it responsibly, a little training goes a long way.
     
  15. funwithfuel

    funwithfuel Senior Member

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    Here in the Chicagoland area, that is an everyday occurrence. We have so many refugees and non English speaking immigrants pulling hazmat/ overweight around here. And the guys running in and out of the rail yards have absolutely no respect for other vehicles. You can point back to tell them something is wrong, they just keep rolling. o_O:mad:
     
  16. funwithfuel

    funwithfuel Senior Member

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    Every rule, someone lost their life for, is what they told us, that's why they're "written in blood"
     
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  17. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Funwithfuel we were presented that same video in the fire brigade training we received at the nuke
    We had compressed gas storage including chlorine along with farmers treating fields around the plant so had to be exceptionally careful
    Then a local MFA supply yard full of wiggle wagon anhydrous tanks at least was at end of season and almost empty, drug head intent of achieving more meth took a five gallon bucket stuck it under a fitting then knocked the fitting off with a hammer all three found laying aside the wagon next morning.
     
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  18. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    We don't run anhydrous, not worth the risk involved when other, non-lethal options are available. Very few farmers locally around us do.

    I was working for CAT in 2008 at the plant in Decatur. A lot of anhydrous use down there. They had a similar event at a local coop where a meth head with a cordless drill attempted to drill through a tank. They caught him before he breached the tank.
     
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  19. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Stupid can be self correcting
     
  20. funwithfuel

    funwithfuel Senior Member

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    They willingly ingest that stuff?:eek: I will never understand the drug culture. o_O The bleeding hearts need to take a step back and allow Darwin to take over. Don't think of it as being heartless, just consider it as natural culling of the heard.