Towing & Recovery

Tractor Trailer Rollover March 23, 2015

Call received from the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department at 9:30 PM for a tractor trailer rollover on Route 19A in Portageville also involving a pickup truck. The tractor trailer was on its side and the load of bagged salt scattered everywhere. The truck was leaking fuel into the road ditch and needed to be contained.

We dispatched our 40 ton slider, a heavy wrecker, our Incident response truck, a service truck with extra personnel, our tele-handler loader to assist with cleanup of the salt, our flatbed wrecker for the pickup, and a tractor trailer with a drop deck to assist with removal of the damaged truck and trailer. A Haz-Mat clean up company was also contacted to clean up the fuel and salt.

When we arrived on the scene we found a southbound tractor trailer had rolled over with the tractor cab was laying in the ditch and the trailer in an empty lot. The tractor was leaking fuel, oil, and anti-freeze onto the ground. The trailer roof had been torn off and the cargo open and scattered over the crash site. The pickup was still on its wheels with the front end wedged under part of the trailer. With the roof collapsed the passenger side of the trailer walls were laying down on the load and ground. Sherriff and State Police personnel were on the scene and along with the Nunda and Pike Fire departments.

After initial fuel containment, the fuel tanks were drilled and the remaining fuel was pumped out and into storage containers. Spilled salt was contained and removed from scene.

We positioned our 40 ton slider with the boom extended out over the side of the trailer. We rigged 2 lines from this unit to lift and hold the side walls of the trailer so we could work inside the trailer. It was further secured by the rear axle to prevent sliding while crews worked inside trailer to remove additional cargo. Once cleanup was done, the pickup truck was removed from scene by our rollback unit.

After trailer was unloaded, straps were positioned to the front and rear of trailer and a low line was rigged to the suspension of the trailer to assist with rolling the tractor and trailer back onto its wheels. We repositioned our heavy wrecker towards the front of the tractor. A low line was rigged to the highest point on the steer axle and a 2nd line was rigged to the drive axles to assist our 40 ton slider while rolling the complete unit back onto its wheels. Both wreckers were then used along with our tele-handler loader to roll the vehicle back onto its wheels.

With this completed, the both wreckers were unhooked and the 40 ton slider was repositioned to allow for transport from scene. The tractor and trailer were unhooked and tractor taken back to shop. The trailer was too unstable to try and transport it back to our shop in Bliss. The trailer was transported to a local highway department for removal during daylight hours. The scene was cleaned up and all vehicles returned to shop.

The following morning we dispatched our 40 ton slider, 2 service trucks and extra personnel to Portageville to assist with the rest of the cleanup and secure the trailer and transport it back to bliss. Using the boom on the 40 ton slider to help move the roof and walls into a more stable and contained space, load straps were used inside the trailer to pull the roof down and also cross brace the walls in order to hold the unit together so that it could be transported. The floor of the trailer was bowed downward and structurally unstable, so we ran cross chains from the suspension on the trailer to the dolly legs and cross chains from the dolly legs to the wrinkle being used by the 40 ton slider to hook to the fifth wheel pin. This would create a secure link between the 40 ton slider and the suspension so that the floor wouldn’t buckle while transporting. The trailer was then transported back to our shop.