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Morning gentlemen (and ladies)

You guys don't have the monopoly on dumb a.. truck drivers.

I know this rail bridge, and there is a "height gauge" with steel cylinders hanging on chains from it at its approach that should have hit the trailer or the cab, and alerted the driver!!!

The bridge and track still looks in pretty good shape considering the impact was strong enough to flip the cab on its side, and then right itself.

Peter......Buco Australia

Last edited by Rich Melvin
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In my town, just about 5 minutes from my house the Black River & Western Railroad runs. Right at the station is the railroad bridge which is low, and always getting hit despite numerous warnings that almost any truck will hit it whether straight jobs or tractor trailers. So far this year it has been hit at least 7 times, twice in one month. There has only been one tractor trailer that I have seen that realized he was not going to get through. He pulled into the railroads driveway to figure a way to turn back around which there is enough room to do so.

There was a low tunnel like underpass under CSX tracks north of me.  Twice l was aware of box trucks too tall, obviously, for this route, were blithely driven into this "tunnel", as far as they would go!  The first time the county put up larger, conspicuous signs, the second time,  the road was dug out, lowered below tracks, road was widened.  I am not aware of further driver attempted size reductions .

It's an awful experience for these drivers, and I don't laugh at them. Having rented some fairly large trucks a number of times for moving family members long distances, I sympathize with them. I'm not a professional driver, of course, but I realize how it can happen. I had several close calls myself. In one particular instance, if my son hadn't been riding with me and shouted out for me to stop, I would have had a catastrophe. It'll shake you up for a while!

Last edited by breezinup

Ahhh Brissie has a cousin of Melbourne's infamous " Monty"  .. The Montague St bridge ... always claims a few a year , even with the hanging rods like Peter described ... He even has a website dedicated to how many days accident free he has been

Mot to mention Social Media accounts ...

He even has a song written about him ... ( I had to search hard for the "bleeped " version )

I will add a further story in the same vein LOL ( would it really be me if I didn't?)

My Uncle owned and operated a pretty successful transport company in Geelong ( he shall remain nameless ) but like most early truckers he built up a decent enterprise over many years from a simple one or two truck operation ...

Way back in the early days he had to do a delivery in the Western Victoria district , in an area that had a good few bluestone smaller bridges ... and back then it was sometimes a "try and see" enterprise ( lol ) .. he came to one such bridge he had passed under previously a year or so ago , and he knew it was close , so he cut the truck back to a crawl and eased his way thru ... annnnnnnd halfway thru it bit ! ( what he didnt take into account was a road crew did some roadworks a few months earlier and laid a good 3 inches of new tar over the old road base ... So there he was ...stuck... evaluating things he decides to hop out of the cab and let the air out of the tyres so he can reverse and not rip apart his van ... As he steps down from the cab , who should arrive but a passing member of the constabulary ( police man ) ... who gets out of his car , takes off his hat and states the obvious

" Bit Stuck Mate ???"

Quick as a whip Uncle comes back with

"Nah Mate ... was just delivering the bugger, and I cant for the life of me remember the drop off address ...."

( above tale was confirmed in exact detail by his "jockey" .. passenger workmate)

He then let about 50% of the air out of the tyres and dropped it an inch or so , so he could carefully back out with little to no damage done ...

Last edited by Fatman

The worst one I saw was driving to work one day on I30 near Dallas.  A large box truck had been converted to a car hauler.  4 small cars on a good day.  This day they decided to put 2 cars on the bottom and a Ford Expedition and a pickup on top.   The expedition was on top in front.  Apparently no one had checked the height.   I got there just after they had tried to go under one of the lower overpasses in the area.  It was still 16 feet/4.8M plus.    There were pieces of the Ford Expedition all over the freeway for a 100 yards/meters.  The biggest piece was the rear end.   At 75mph/120kph and the slicing action of the I beam, there wasn't much left that was recognizable.  The pickup had been flipped off the back and was still hanging by the rear chains.   

The driver looked sick.  There may have been a good reason, some cases these clearence incedents are not covered by insurance.


About 1987 driving on the east side of Rowlett TX, going south on Dalrock road.  A big road for the town then.   A Saturday about 6:30 am.  A garbage truck was headed north, speeding and the front dump lift was not locked down.  Garbage truck hit a bump in the intersection and the front lift arms jumped up about 5 feet/1.5M.  The arms caught a power line crossing the road and were pulled all the way up.   The truck wasn't even slowed as it caught the line and busted 2 telephone polls from either side of the street.  When the poles busted,  the tension dropped, the arms went down and the power line slid over the top of the truck and was dropped in the street.    They were dropped about 20 feed in front of me with no time to stop.  I ran over the live power line, but avoided the poles.   

The garbage truck kept right on going without slowing down.   It is not something the driver could ignore, the noise of the arms banging up and down could have deafened the driver.   When I called 911 they were a little dumbfounded, but got on it right away.  I identitified the garbage collection company also.  I didn't see garbage trucks speeding through town after that.   The bill from the power company was probably enough incdentive for the garbage collection agency to better train the drivers to follow speed limits and lock down the hydraulics.

The poles were replaced and the road opened in about 4 hours.  The lines were a couple of feet/600mm higher this time.

Last edited by VHubbard

It didn't happen to me, but...(sort of a train story)

When I worked at the phone company, a new batch of bucket trucks was delivered. The manufacturer must have estimated the height of the workers in the buckets at 5'2" because when splicers who were about 6' and taller strapped ourselves in, the height of the bucket was such that we felt we were about to fall out if we leaned too far out.

A safety inspector concurred, and the manufacturer sent a fiberglass expert to the garage, equipped with 4" high extensions that he bolted onto the top of each bucket, making them taller and safer.

Some of us had tested the new trucks to see if they would fit under certain of the low-underpasses of the LIRR in the East Hampton area. They fit perfectly, with very little clearance to spare.  Then the bad news came in. One of the guys had cleanly sliced off one of the new bucket extensions, along with the entire bucket and parts of the boom, forgetting that his bucket was now 4" higher.

Last edited by Arthur P. Bloom

There is a 11'-2" Main Street underpass that goes under the ex-PRR NEC mainline right in the middle of downtown Metuchen. Which is also a county road. Despite numerous warning signs (and lights) trucks routinely get stuck. Some spectacularly.

Drivers have blamed mapping software for not labeling the bridge low height. hmmm, as Jack said earlier: 'I thought they were professionals'.

The news article indicates the truck was part of Republic Services' fleet. 

This link confirms Jack's suspicion.  Note the 'tank' on the top of the truck in the headliner photo! 

Republic Truck info

Great...and common...location for storage of those types of fuels (e.g., our own city buses)...EXCEPT for low bridges!!!!!


BTW...More recent news articles re Republic indicate they have contracted for more than 100 new trucks...that run on battery power!!  Maybe they'll clear that bridge??

Oh, and other comments in their annual reports reference their outstanding safety record.


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