Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Headed for SLC, UT

 Good afternoon from New Mexico.....enroute to Salt Lake City, UT. The panorama above of from the site that I loaded out from Lubbock, Tx yesterday. The windmill that you see is the first one of its kind built in the US. It is there for testing and trial runs. The crane that was used to put it up is what I was there to pick up...2, count'em, TWO of the counterweights that went on it. There were 11 or 13 of them.....at 22,046 pounds each!  That is why two of them made for a full load for me.....44,092 pounds.  But it does make for a really sweet load to pull! 
Right now I am taking a lunch break and rest break in Edgewood, NM, hiding behind the WallyWorld here. It is one of my parking spots that I use on a regular basis. Abbie needed to get out for a little bit, and I needed to eat and take a break from the wind!  There is a High Wind Advisory in effect until tomorrow morning 10am. Winds right now are fairly steady at 19-26mph, gusting to about 40-45. Later they are calling for 30-40mph steady with gusts up to 60-65mph. I changed lanes a while back without turning the steering wheel. I'm just glad that I have a very low load....does make it just a bit easier to navigate.
I caught this shot of the "cabin" for the crane pulling out. The operator's cab is in the front, turned sideways for transport. This is the part of the crane that has the electric motors and majority of the cables. The weight of this "cabin" is 123,000 pounds. Each track weighs about 103,000 pounds, and the base of the unit that the tracks and cabin hook up to I forgot to get a weight of.  One of the Heavy Haul drivers said that he thought this was either the largest or 2nd largest "crawler" cranes in the US.

My last load that got me to this load was from New Iberia, La to Carlsbad, NM.  It was 10 steel pipes, 20' long, 3' in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. They weren't real heavy, but the load was 9 feet high....
 it makes for an interesting drive when you run into wind....and with the load being hollow, the wind passes through them and almost creates a vortex out the rear end of the trailer that makes you feel like you are chasing the rear of the trailer around at times.  Keeps you on your toes!

On the way up to Carlsbad, I passed this little incident....actually, pretty large. It is several tight curves just west of Sweetwater, Tx where I-20 and US-84 split. This was in the last west bound curve, and the curve tightens just a bit towards the end of it. Not sure just how this occurred, but he hit the very start of the guard rail and ran it almost to the end before laying over. The truck is pretty well torn up and the trailer didn't look in much better shape. I hazard to guess what happened. Looked like either he fell asleep, wind caught him, or he was running way too fast for the curve. Whichever it was, he is probably looking for a job today!

Well, I think I am going to try to get the rest of the way over the pass into Albuquerque before the wind gets much worse.  Not sure just how far I will get today. I am not going to take many chances.

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