By on January 9, 2010

giant load

Truck Saturdays is when I can safely indulge my love of big rigs. And BigLorryBlog is the place to do it. Here’s a few selections picked for your truck viewing pleasure. This is described as a 325-ton transformer and 6000hp of go-power courtesy of five 8×8 Tractomas monster pullers and a 10×10 Tractomas pusher up the back crossing a bridge. Here’s another view:giant load2

On to what seems like a dinky toy, the vintage Australian road train:

KW roadtrain WA 1982

Australian road trains always fascinated me as a kid, given how restrictive truck lengths used to be in the east coast (one 40′ trailer max.). But going way back, Australians pushed the envelope with their multi-trailer road trains, like this quad from the sixties. Of course, things have changed here too; in Oregon, triple trailers are now allowed, although I generally get the hell away from them as quickly as I can, given the sway I sometimes see on the last unit.

Big load7

Here’s a couple of vintage British Scammell trucks hauling what was described as the “British Space Probe to the sun”. Which came with the question “How will it survive the heat?”  “They’re going at night”. Corny.

MontBlanctruck3This un-photo-chopped truck is what the Mont Blanc Tunnel fire department uses, for pretty self-explanatory reasons

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19 Comments on “Giant Loads, Vintage Road Trains, and Push-Pull Trucks...”

  • avatar

    Yes, with that tunnel rig you definitely want to be able to haul ass back out again.

  • avatar

    I, too, was always fascinated road trains. I suspect they also tend not to travel as fast as a truck on US interstates would, which would make the amplified sway of each successive trailer less of an issue.
    …and on that note, I had no idea that any place allowed hauling triples in the US. I don’t even like being next to doubles, particularly in the winter.  Of course, I was also recently horrified when I learned that some states let people pull trailers behind their “campers” (FYI: if your trailer is nicer than my apartment, you are not camping). At least the truckers in theory are more qualified to handle the complexity of multiple trailers. Non-CDL-equipped rednecks, not so much.

  • avatar

    Only the British would mandate you write “ABNORMAL” on the front of your road train.

    • 0 avatar

      I think that is actually South Africa, the normally label their big stuff “Abnormal” and the SA railway  has a had a fleet of matched heavy haul tractors for years.

  • avatar

    the “British Space Probe to the sun”. Which came with the question “How will it survive the heat?”  “They’re going at night”
    Wait a minute! My grandfather told me the Portuguese were the ones who did that.

  • avatar

    I saw a 2CV at the annual event in Saratoga Springs a couple of years ago that goes with the Mont Blanc’s firetruck (two heads, no tail).
    And, quoting a famous song from the ’70s, I thnk: “Let them truckers roll, 10-4!”

  • avatar

    In 1973 I had to commute from East Lansing to Detroit for a few months, pre-OPEC embargo. No triples allowed at the time, but the trucking industry made up for that lack by adding extra wheels on full-size double trailers (called a “Michigan freight train”), which stormed down I-96 at 90 mph, loaded with pea gravel and NO covers. One morning I lost a headlight and a big chip in the windshield when one of those monstrosities passed me. You heard right — passed.  I was over the limit already, but apparently outgunned in my Volvo 122S, which was happier at just 80.

  • avatar

    And if I think of all those NATO-era yellow signs in Germany, showing the weight limits for NATO military vehicles crossing bridges, with limits being something that to me looked like 80 tons (one way, 40 tons two ways opposing), I have to wonder at 325 tons whether that poor bridge (not to mention the ruts in the hard pack had this thing moved on a hot day) had to be replaced after crossing!

    My vote for the Cadillac of Road Trains (so to speak) is the Ford CL-9000!

    • 0 avatar

      Oops … even though the CL-9000 was a cool truck, I was actually thinking of the LTL-9000 … saw a pic of an Australian roadtrain in a Ford annual report or corporate products document once … couldn’t find the dashing photo that I remember from all those years ago, but now I know why … the attached Ford ad indicates that only 50 were ever made…

  • avatar

    Amazing. But how do the drivers stay awake when these things crawl along at 5 mph?

  • avatar

    Seems like I remember there was a sort of narrative/song on the radio years ago about a guy driving an Australian road train. Definitely not a slow mover, according to the song.

  • avatar

    @ Benders:
    Actually, ‘Abnormal’ is the first name of the firm – Abnormal Load Engineering.  They’re specialists at moving really heavy stuff.
    You generally don’t see really heavy loads moved in the US, though the occasional nuke plant steam generator replacement sometimes goes by truck.  Three Mile Island just did theirs, and IIRC, the last few miles were by truck, for whatever reason.

  • avatar

    I was working at a family owned trailer repair company in the south end (of course) of Atlanta back in the late 80’s. IIRC, the 53’s were just starting to become legal in some states right about then. One or two of them would show up on our yard from time to time for something or another. They looked sooo big parked next to a 48. Nowadays if you even see a 48 that hasn’t been stretched, they look sooo small. And, as Paul pointed out, doubles didn’t exist on this side of the country so we hadn’t seen anything really scary yet.
    I can’t imagine what they’ll be dragging down the interstates thirty years from now. Especially if these government and environmental assclowns succeed in jacking the cost of fuel way up above market value.

  • avatar

    Especially if these government and environmental assclowns succeed in jacking the cost of fuel way up above market value.
    Let me try to understand things better: bankers give credit to people who shouldn’t have credit then bet they can’t pay off their loans, our government gives gifts to the health care industry, we start a war in Iraq while the bad guys are in Afghanistan, OPEC lies about how much oil is still left, we spend billions on a fence to keep cheap labor from being able to get into the U.S. and keep our food prices low, GM management runs their company into the ground, and the environmentalists are at fault.
    Have I got it all figured out?

  • avatar

    Great pics! Here’s more…

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