Tractor-Trailer in ditch during March 12th storm
We received a call from a trucking company about their truck in the ditch and leaning on Route 19A south of Portageville. The Wyoming County Sheriffs’s Dept. also called shortly after to make sure we received the call and were responding. Unit RM07 was dispatched to the scene and upon arrival found a tractor with a container trailer in the southbound ditch 3 miles south of Portageville on Route 19A. The truck was in a 4 foot deep ditch with the tractor and trailer completely off the road and leaning against the bank of the ditch at approximately a 60 degree angle. The trailer was loaded with 43,000 pounds of salt in super sacks. After assessment RM88 was dispatched to the scene to aide with the recovery. It was determined a rotator unit was required from a neighboring tow company to assist with the recovery of the vehicle. The container was intact and would not need to be off loaded and risk damaging the cargo in the process. While waiting for the other heavy wrecker to arrive, RM07 was rigged to the front of the tractor to be used in pulling the unit up the bank and out of the ditch once the unit was in an upright position. RM88 was rigged to the rear of the container to be used for stability and control while bringing the vehicle back on its wheels. The Wyoming County Sheriffs’s Dept. closed the roadway so that we could proceed with the recovery.When the rotator arrived it was positioned in the south bound lane of the roadway next to the trailer. Two lines were used off of the rotator, one to the rear of the container and one to the front of the container. The front line was positioned over the top of the container down the right side and across the front of the trailer and hooked to the left front lower corner of the container. The same method was used on the rear of the trailer with the line being hooked to the left lower rear corner of the trailer. At this point the rotator was used in conjunction with RM88 to roll the vehicle back onto its wheels. The vehicle was still in the ditch so it was now leaning at a 25 degree angle. RM07 was used to pull the vehicle up onto the road while the rotator was used to keep the vehicle from rolling back on its side while being pulled up out of the ditch. Short pulls were used in order to control the direction of the tractor as it came up out of the ditch and onto the road with the trailer following along. RM07 remained hooked to the front of the tractor but pulled ahead after each short pull keeping the tractor coming out of the ditch at an angle that brought it across the road enabling us to get the trailer up out of the ditch quickly. Once the vehicle was up on the roadway. All lines were removed and stored in their respective places. The vehicle was inspected at this time and determined it could be driven safely. The trailer was leaning slightly to the right but without breaking the seal on the trailer we were unable to determine how much of the load had shifted. It was determined at this time that it was safe to drive back to our shop under its own power. A service vehicle was used to follow the vehicle back to our shop. The scene was surveyed and it was noted that there was no debris left in the ditch or roadway. At this point, the Sheriffs’s Dept. was notified that the roadway was cleared and the road could be opened. All tow trucks and service vehicles were removed from the scene.