Sunday, December 18, 2011

My, What A Long Truck You Have

Ed and I both have a doubles and triples endorsement on our license. Having it means we're qualified to pull two or three trailers behind our tractor. When we do the UPS run, we're required to have that just in case they need us to pull doubles or triples but in the past three years that we've done UPS, we've never had the opportunity to do so.

But this year, we got dispatched to pull two trailers! Well, "we" didn't pull doubles, Ed did. He took this picture when we were parked. It's not the greatest since a) it's at night, b) the place they told him to park was against the wall, and c) another set of doubles is parked on the other side of us. So there really wasn't any way he could get a side shot of the truck - this is more like an alley shot.

We had two "pups" as they call them, which are about twenty-five feet long each. With the coupling apparatus and our tractor, we were about ninety feet long. I've seen guys out there with one regular sized trailer and one pup, or even three pups, which makes 'em look super long. A Facebook friend of mine in South Africa says he pulls doubles all the time and over there they call them "super-links" - here, we call them "wiggle wagons" - for obvious reasons.

Ed said that driving them didn't seem really much different other than a little lag in braking, that it felt like the brakes had to catch up with the trailers. And of course, you don't go anywhere that you can't back out of. If you wind up in a jam, from what I understand, it's a real pain in the ass to drop one pup, then the other, reposition both trailers in a way that you can pick them up again and continue on. I'm famous for pulling into a place I can't get out of, so I'm glad I wasn't driving.

But now I can say we finally made use of the endorsement. I guess it was worth the eight dollars we paid to have it added to our license!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A Place For The Snow To Rest
They’re Always Touching Their Hammers
Raindrops On Roses And Whiskers On Kittens
Love Hate Relationship
Full Service


Belledog said...

Beautiful photo.

It looks like a train. And pavement's wet; always good for night photos.

Merry .. Christmas .. Week.

Marlaina said...

MacGyver says he wants to get a doubles, triples and tankers endorsements when we go to Florida next. I'll take the test, but I tell you it will be a cold day in hell before I want to pull a super-long, or wiggle wagon because there is almost NO place to stop and park and use a restroom. I can think of two truck stops, one in Idaho and one in Oregon that are big enough with pull thrus to handle the doubles and triples. States are closing rest areas, which don't accommodate doubles and triples, but at least it's possible to take up two spots there for a short stop. The shippers are all about the extra profit these bring in for them, but the regulators are blind to the real safety issues. To be safe, drivers need to be able to stop when they think they should stop. Not when it is too late.
Speaking of shippers and bathrooms, we are sitting at a shipper, delayed so far two hours because the agent didn't supply a pick up number, and the warehouse will NOT let us use the restrooms. So this is trucking!