Saturday, September 13, 2014

09-13-14 – Riding Shotgun – Sometimes I’m Stuck-Up

The way that I use the term “stuck-up” today is totally different than you might expect. You see, Thursday I had my work truck stuck in the mud while it was pointed uphill at a fairly steep angle. I had a delivery two counties “inland” from the river, but they didn’t say which of two locations it was to be delivered to. So, I stopped at the closest one, climbed the short but steep drive to the site, saw that no-one was there, and started backing down the slope to turn around at the bottom and proceed to the other site.

Unfortunately, while trying to get near the off side (To you non-horsemen, that means the passenger side.) of the driveway, I took my eyes off the mirror for a moment. STUPID MOVE! When I looked back, the back duals were hanging over the edge, and only the inside dual of the front duals were still on the stone drive. When I tried to move forward, (uphill) the tire spun slightly and down I went. I put the axle in the lock position (think positive traction), and put the rear axle in gear also. (If I’m saying this wrong, you truckers correct me!) There was still no forward movement, but the truck sank a little deeper into the mud.

Just behind the rear axle was a ditch, and beyond that, asphalt pavement. In a moment of brilliance, I decide to put it in reverse and see if I could get enough speed up in the three feet or so between the tires and the asphalt to get to the pavement and “hop” the truck up on solid footing. Of course, all you experienced truckers are already laughing, but hey, it’s not like I had much to lose. The truck shot back alright, for about 18 inches. By then, I was only another 18 inches from the asphalt, but it was level with the center of the rear dual. I knew better than to spin the tires anymore. I guess loaded buckets don’t hop any better than concrete trucks.

Knowing that the company had another truck or two in the area, I got on the company radio and asked about a pull. One veteran drive responded that he was on his way. I then called the office on my phone and told them I was hung, but that the other driver was coming to see if he could help. In five minutes, he was there. With a smile, he congratulated me on the fine job I’d done of getting hung. He said that he wouldn’t bother hooking to me because he knew the outcome. He suggested that we get the customer to send a guy over to fire up the track-hoe that was on-site and see if it could pull me out. He, too, was there in about five minutes.

Even then, it took about a half-hour’s work to pull, push and pull again to get me on the pavement. The customer ended up with a much-needed wider driveway entrance, with the addition of about 15 tons of my 22 ton load. I had to dump that much to lighten the truck to where the hoe could move it. The remaining seven tons went to the top of the driveway, where they’d originally wanted the whole batch. The veteran driver laughed as we left and said, “You have days like this!”

I was thankful that at least the boss didn’t have to shell out $900 for a tow truck! © 2014


Sunnybrook Farm said...

I really hate getting stuck and I have done it a few times but not with something that heavy. That is a whole other level of stuck. It is good that help came so quickly.

Sixbears said...

When I buried my conversion van axle deep in the muck, the brake lines got damaged. Failed 200 miles later. Drive careful.

Chickenmom said...

At least it's not a boring job! Stay safe out there Gorges!