Every time I see some good ol' fashioned carnage, I just can't help but laugh my frikkin' a$$ off!!! It could either be a transformer hit by a car, a pole torn down and mangled by a tractor, a fuse blowing and sounding like a cannon going off, the charred remnants of an arc flash, or anything of that nature sure gets a good gut cramping laugh outta me. It’s best when I can see the destruction in person but a good detailed story of some type of full on “Come-apart” can have me cryin’/laughin’ too. Like this rim for instance...
How in God’s Green Earth does a rim from a trailer end up like that?!?!? What a unique style of rim, where can I get one? Take a look at the wavy edge, and the chunks missing... YEP!! This is how you give it 110% right there. No half a$$in' that one. If you're gonna do it... DO IT!! HAHAHAHA.
It all started with the Unknown
How do you know you have a flat tire on your trailer when going down a dusty road? Wait until you hit the pavement I guess. Lol. So the story goes like this....
It’s getting close to the end of the day, nothing exciting just a nice somewhat busy day at work. Then I get a call from the other Serviceman...
“Hey, I am gonna need some help I am in a little predicament.” He says in a calm voice as I can hear semi trucks and cars passing by in the back ground.
“Ya, no problem whatcha got goin’ on?”
He tells me he is on the side of the highway and got a flat tire on the trailer that we use haul the Side-By-Side on. There is no jack to lift the trailer so we are gonna have to get creative to get the tire changed out. I’m thinkin’ no big deal, unload the Side-by-Side and we could probably lift the trailer high enough by hand to put some wood under it. I do carry a 3 foot chunk of a 4x12 header. Hey you never know.... :wink:wink
Welp, there he is about halfway down the hill on the side of the highway.As I am approaching, I make sure no traffic is coming and flip a U-turn and park behind him about 50 feet and put my flashers and strobe lights on. Give us a little buffer zone. Then I see the rim... I instantly lose it!! Bent over laughing I am hardly able to get the words out due to my laughter. I asked, “How the hell did you do that?! That is AWESOME!!!”
He just came off of a gravel road and with all the dust there would have been no way to tell if he had a flat tire or not. Then when he hit the pavement, that is when he found out. The dust had turned to smoke from the rubber tire. The crazy part is when he was pulling off to the side of the highway after seeing parts of the tire flying through the air, he hit the “rumble strip” on the shoulder of the road. For those that don’t know what those are, they are a bunch of grooves cut perpendicular to the flow of traffic to create vibration when you drive over them. Hopefully waking you up if you drift off the road. Well in this case the rumble strips acted like a bomb. The whole tire ripped to shreds, parts of the steel rim went flying and even a marker light got ejected from the trailer. Man I would have love to see that!! Hahaha Hey, he was even laughing when he was telling me this. Talk about a full on Come-Apart WOW!!
Now I wasn’t able to get pictures of the carnage due to the fact that we were on the side of the highway and needed to get this trailer back together and on the road in a hurry. This wasn’t just a simple tire change, with no jack and a broken leaf spring this is gonna be interesting. Let me break this down for you with some aftermath photos. We Lineman don’t need AAA or a tow truck... Let me show you why.
WARNING Redneck engineering at its finest
In order to get the trailer lifted off the ground we used the bed of the Side-by-Side to rig a hoist from the trailer to it. After compressing the suspension of the side-by-side the trailer lifted off the ground enough to get the spare tire on. Well since the old tire exploded and the rim destroyed, the back of the trailer landed on the spare tire skidding and creating a nice flat spot. Hitting the right rock in the right place on the way back could be interesting. Wait something else isn’t right!! The tire is rubbing on the fender and seems to be pushed to the rear of the trailer.... There is the problem, the leaf spring broke.
The front portion was hanging down when we first looked at it. With the leaf spring broken it allowed just the weight of the trailer to be enough to have the fender rest on the tire. So we came up with this to keep the trailer at the proper ride height so we don’t tear up another tire when I limp this thing back tot he shop.
Yep, that is exactly it!! A 4x4 block taped to the axle with the frame of the trailer resting on it. See the black electrical tape has so many uses doesn't it @dandays. If you question its strength... just use a whole roll.
“The Rope, What’s with the rope around the axle?”
Oh that, ya it serves a purpose also. So since the leaf spring was broke it also allowed for the axle to shift to the rear of the trailer. So using a hoist attached to the front of the trailer...
We centered up the tire in the fender to keep the trailer from “crab-walking” down the road. Meaning it would cause the trailer not to tow directly behind the truck and kick it off to the side. Here check out my little drawing...
So with the axle as straight as we could get it with a couple ropes and a hoist. Also our suspension block in place and secured with black electrical tape and the spare tire on with a flat spot, I believe this trailer is as road worthy as she gets. So with the Side-by-side loaded back on it, I hook onto it with my bucket truck and head to the shop.
Now this may seem like it took us hours to get this trailer road worthy but in all actuality it was only a matter of 15-20 minutes. While my Fellow Lineman was working on one part of our redneck fix, I was getting parts to fix another issue. Efficiency, no standing around with your thumb up your..... when there is work to do get it done!!
So I didn’t travel back to the shop at 65 mph but for some reason I really wanted to give it a try. You know just to test how good our redneck repair job would work. I just left the strobe lights and flashers on and drove about 35 mph all the way back to the shop about 10 miles away. Not so much as a single hiccup the whole way back. I bet this trailer could go another 10,000 miles but we decided to play it safe and haul the broken trailer in with another trailer. A trailer hauling a trailer...
So here is the laundry list of parts needed to get this trailer back in working order:
- 2 - New Tires
- 1 - New Rim
- New Leaf-spring
- 1 - New Marker light
Just one tire wasn’t enough, I mean if you are gonna take it in to get fixed... take it in to get fixed!! You know what I’m sayin’. LOL there I go laughing again!! Good news is nobody got hurt, we made it back to the shop on time and the trailer will be back in action in no time. It just needs a few new parts is all. I am just glad it isn’t mine.
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