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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:51 AM
Original message
Droopy's trucking fact of the day
A typical eighteen wheeler can haul 40,000-50,000 pounds of freight. The loads I haul weigh around 43,000 pounds. The gross weight of the truck must not excede 80,000 pounds. And there are weight limits on the axles, too. In most states you cannot have more than 12,000 pounds on the steer axle and not more than 34,000 pounds on the tractor tandem axles and the trailer tandem axles.

If you are overweight on an axle and you get caught at a weigh station they will fine you and make you adjust the axles so that your load comes into compliance. On most trailers a driver can slide the tandem axles on the trailer to redistribute the weight of the load. If a driver is caught with a gross weight of over 80,000 pounds he/she will be fined and will have to have another truck come out to the weigh station and take some of the load off so the truck will be within compliance.



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shockingelk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 02:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. Awesome! Did I get things right here?
I wrote this last fall after the Kay report came out:

Dr. Kay's Big Garage

"It is important to keep in mind that even the bulkiest materials we are searching for, in the quantities we would expect to find, can be concealed in spaces not much larger than a two car garage."
- Dr. David Kay,
Iraq Survey Group
October 2, 2003

Let's look at that statement.

In Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, we were told Iraq had "upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents" - we're not told what these munitions are, and assuming they're small, like a 88mm mortar round, 30,000, when placed well would rise a few feet off of the floor of a two car carage. Also in his State of the union address, President Bush told us of "25,000 liters of anthrax" and "38,000 liters of botulinum toxin". This is 63,000 liters, or 630,000 cubic centimeters. A large garage could accomodate this volume if the Iraqis chose to store them all in snuggly fitting tanks.

President Bush also told us Iraq had "materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent." I'm not sure about the materials needed to produce the gasses mentioned, but one can assume they would amount to at least 500 tons. A typical 40 foot semi trailer is built to carry a payload of no more than 30 tons. Dr Kay's garage would also have to hold 16 semi trailers to carry the 500 tons of material President Bush spoke of in his State of the Union address.

It was also revealed by President Bush that there were "thousands of Iraqi security personnel ... at work hiding documents and materials from the U.N. inspectors." Two-thousand people qualifies as "thousands." A greyhound bus has a capacity of 55 persons. So we'd need to fit 36 Greyound busses in the garage as well.

So, it seems that when Dr. Kay said "two car garage", he likely misspoke. What he meant was a garage large enough to hold a couple cars, 16 semi-trailers, nine Ford Explorers, and 36 Greyhound busses.

References: http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/10/02/kay.report /
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/2003012...
http://google.com/search?q=semi+trailer+net+payload+wei...
http://www.greyhound.com/company/fleet.shtml
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 03:01 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Correct on the semi-trailer storage
I've heard of drivers carrying just over 30 tons in a 53 foot trailer, but that's really pushing it, and they have to have a permit here in the states to haul that heavy. I'd say you got it right.
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shockingelk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 03:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Thanks!
I recall that was the hardest thing to come up with a figure for, and I also recall I used one of the lower spec weights I could find for that type of truck.

Are you on the road now? Is that what truckers say, "on the road"?
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Not on the road now
I do a local turn of about 330 miles so I get home every night.

I did the road deal for about 3.5 years and let me tell you I wouldn't trade the experience for the world, but I'm glad to be home every night now.
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shockingelk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 03:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. One of my uncles had a produce route
Owned one truck, always had just one truck and one employee and just delivered produce to stores in an area of rural MN.

He's been retired for years now but when you talk to him he's attentive but still looks mostly straight ahead of him and speaks in short sentences. One gets the feeling you're having a long drawn out conversation of the road:

"There went a jack rabbit (pause a few seconds) See it?"

"Yeah."

"Uh huh. (pause) Maybe he's off to see his lady-friend."

"Yup. (long pause) 'Spose that flirty Beth'll be standing on the dock waiting for ya smoking her cigarette when we get to Granite Falls."

"Married. (long pause) Cute though."

"(pause) Seems to have a head on her shoulders too."
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 03:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Ah yes, the thousand yard stare
When you're a trucker you have to look a long ways down the road to make sure you know what to do in case of an emergency or road construction or something. I guess it can make you look like that no matter what situation you are in if you've trucked long enough.

As far as speaking in short sentences goes, I've met drivers like that. Hell, I'm like that. But I don't think it has anything to do with road conditioning. I've met drivers who'll talk your leg off, mainly, I think, because they spend so much time alone and they like some company.
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shockingelk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 03:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I have a question
When I see shredded tires by the highway, they usually look like big truck tires. Are they made to wear out sooner than car tires? Is there a reason other than they carry more weight?
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. They're really expensive
(over $300) and no one wants to replace one until he really, really needs to. And they're generally replaced one at a time--they all wear out at different rates. Which explains in part why every truck on the road today has at least five different brands of tires on it.

Three weeks ago I was unloading a truck, one of my regulars--most of my suppliers send the same truck with the same driver every load. I unload a lot of trucks, but this one stood out because he had two tires showing cord all the way across the casing.

I pointed this out to the driver. "Oh, they're okay."

Three days later the same truck brought me another load of concrete. "You remember the two tires you pointed out last time I was here? Both of 'em blew right around Raeford."

About once every eight weeks one of my loads comes in late because the driver was sitting on the edge of the road for two hours waiting for someone to bring him a new tire. Carrying spares isn't popular in the South anymore; a mounted spare probably weighs 200 pounds, and since the scale at the weigh station can't tell the difference between 200 pounds of revenue-generating freight and 200 pounds of spare tire, most guys opt for revenue-generating freight. When you decide to scatter a tire all over I-95, someone has to bring you a new tire, mount it on your wheel unless you destroyed your wheel getting the truck to the side of the road, balance it and hang it on your truck.
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I'll go into tires in another trucking fact of the day
Tires for trucks are designed to last 200,000 miles. When you see one shredded on the road one of several things could have happened. The driver may have hit some debris in the road that punctured the tire causing it to explode. The tire could have been worn so badly that it feel apart. And the tire could have been under-inflated causing the tire to heat up due to more friction causing it to explode.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. They have really, really big cars in Iraq
It's all those damn oil sheikhs there. They're just rolling in cash, and when you have that much money you can buy anything you want.

Which explains why every Iraqi Oil Sheikh has a huge car. Its wheelbase of 347 feet, overall length of 452 feet, and width of 46 feet houses a swimming pool, sauna, workout room and wet bar--one that serves no alcohol, in accordance with Islamic tradition. It has separate changing rooms for men and women, in accordance with Islamic tradition. There are two Rolls-Royce jet engines, a massive diesel generator and even a solar array.

An Iraqi Oil Sheikh car doesn't have a driver, it has a mayor. There is a staff of 92 assigned to work in the car, a crew of 15 mechanics to keep it running, and it has its own zip code. Each IOS car has a name, which usually begins with "village of."

Because IOS cars have over 60,000 horsepower, they can travel over sand dunes with their giant paddle tires. This is important because IOS cars won't fit on roads.

Compared to an IOS car, Bush's beloved pickup at only 16 feet looks positively plebeian.

A building big enough to park two IOS cars would hold the entire purported Iraqi WMD program. Easy. No problem. Yeah, that's the ticket.
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