Two Trucks , 68,000 and NO Trailer


Well-known member
Company I worked for has always been a can do outfit . The boss man seemed to find a way to get what ever the customer wanted done . Most of the time I saw his ideas and thought that he had pulled a rabbit out of his hat . He made money and the customers were more than happy .

He got a call from a cell company contractor and was told he has a big problem . He has to get a 68,000 lb precast concrete cell building to a site expansion . The kicker is the landowners are environmental people and don't want the trees cut or even trimmed . Besides being heavy this building is 11 foot 6 inches by 32 feet long .

I thought to myself there are 9 drivers , Maybe I will miss this project . Week before the job the boss holds a little meeting . Just as I was to head out the door he said " Dave , You need to be in on this " That " oh crap " feeling hit .

Boss man proceeded to lay out what he had in mind . He told us that there was absolutely no way to get a truck and trailer to the site and that the counterweights for the crane would have to bridged over the fifth wheels on 12 by 12s . We would truck the building like normal on a lowboy , then set the crane up . Then his plan started to worry me . The next step was to take two 12 foot long by 10 inch H beams that were getting kingpins welded to the middle of them and set the beams on the 5th wheels of two trucks .Then position the trucks back to back in a push me pull you arrangement . Set the building on just the H beams and tie the building to the beams as best we could .

Now for the fun details . The 1st part of the journey starts out on a hill side and one corner is too tight just to drive around it . One guy leads up the hill and pulls in to the driveway of a house and then the other truck leads the rest of the way .

So now I'm hoping that I get one of the counterweight Loads , It will be tough to find a way to tie to the truck frame but it's doable . Last thing I heard was . Gary , Dave . Find away to block the 5th wheels on your trucks so the beams for the building don't roll over .

Made for a long week thinking about this deal . We haven't seen the job yet . Gary and I cussed and discussed this all week long . We have two totally different trucks His was an 86 Pete with a 5 and 4 transmission set up and two speed rears , Mine was 93 KW and a 9 speed . So between the two of us it we decided he would lead on the up hill portion because he had the lowest gearing and I would leave mine out of gear and just steer . Boss man liked the idea .

Same crane was to be used for setting the building on the hill and transferring the building from the lowboy to the trucks . When we get there the road up the hill was steeper than I thought and apparently Gary thought the same . When the crane went to set the building the trucks were so out of level that Gray's truck had the building resting on it a full foot before mine .

We tied his end down before doing anything else for fear it could slide down hill before my truck took any of the load . Also we put guys in the cab of both truck as a just in case . There was a concern that the spring brakes might not hold . With the building tied 7 ways from Sunday We rolled down hill to let the other trucks get in to take the weights loads off the crane and move it to the top of the hill . Seemed like that took forever because we just sit there waiting not leaving the cab (Spring brake worry's still) .

Sitting in the cab I can't see a thing thru the mirrors , Just tree brush . Boss man showed back up and handed a two way radio and said " I'll tell you what you need to do " .

Boss checks with both Gary and I and we start out , I kinda feel like I need to push back on the steering because I have been facing down hill so much . Gray eases out perfectly , No lunge , No jerking . Super low gear steady as she go's . He's barely above an idle . At the top of the hill it makes a slight turn to the left and it got just a tad bit steeper for about 15 feet . That's where Gary lost traction . The building lunged and bucked . " SET THE BRAKES!!! " came over the radio . Looking back the building probably didn't move but a couple of inches up and down but facing down hill sitting on the edge of the seat it felt like 18 inches .

Now I know this is where it could all go south . I'm going to have to help him get started . I did mention earlier that gearing wise these two trucks are about mismatched as you can get . Both of us are worried . If either truck breaks anything this will be bad . Told Gary let me take the load and when you feel me pushing to start out . I did let a little bit of smoke out of the clutch but it moved when I felt everything level out I kicked my truck out of gear .

Gary pulled the front of his machine up in the driveway of the house and we set the brakes and crawled out for a much NEEDED smoke break .

The rest of the way wasn't bad , Just a couple of pull ups the weave around the brush . This is why Six Flags hold no excitement for Me . They don't have a ride anywhere close to that one .

Just after getting rolling after the spin out




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That was an ingenious way to move the building Tiny. I have done site & foundation work for many of the 12' X 32' precast buildings and can appreciate what you guys went through to get it from point A to point B.Along with the concrete work part of my job was to make sure the lowboy & crane had a good roadway & setup room for the site,Cut trees,add stone,widen road,etc.It was never boring.That looks like a Hartford/Oldcastle building. Telle-communications work is interesting.Hard to believe as I type that this post it is traveling through conduit into a building then back out to its destination at lightning speed.Also kinda scary that it takes good truck drivers to make it all happen:D


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Steve Frazier

Staff member
That sure was interesting!! I've always thought a vehicle reacts differently when steering in reverse than going forward, did you have any difficulty in following the lead truck at all?


Well-known member
That sure was interesting!! I've always thought a vehicle reacts differently when steering in reverse than going forward, did you have any difficulty in following the lead truck at all?
In this case I had zero problems . Minor boss was watching and guiding the lead truck and the big boss was watching my end . Just did what I was told . Voice activated remote control . :) . I couldn't see anything while i was backing . had to get bent around to have a chance then the brush got in the way

Steve , You are quite correct . With heavy loads for sure . I have found I can back into places that you can't head into .


Staff member
Tiny, I've always had a suspicion that you were backwards...this pretty much confirms my suspicion. ;)


Well-known member
Yes it was before cpap , Not sure cpap or anything else would have helped me sleep the night before . :)
hey, at least this day you had no worries about falling asleep at the wheel, sleep or no sleep. Terror is better than coffee, anyday.