Monday, March 21, 2011

Ice and snow removal? Horse apples!

I have been reading all the news about snow and ice removal on trucks. How long have the rocket scientists been going ‘round and ‘round on this issue?

Take a tank trailer, which has no slip ladders to access the hatch and has a grated metal catwalk along the top of the tank. A lot of newer tank trailers also have pop-up hand rails along the catwalk. Most of this loading, unloading takes place at shipper or consignee’s facility. Now this makes for a relatively safe environment, yet, a lot of shippers still require safety harnesses when climbing on a tank.

Compare that to a high cube trailer with absolutely no practical way to get on top. What if you poked a hole in the roof of a 53-foot 13.6 high van, fell and ended up on top of the freight? That wouldn’t be too good if you were empty … or if you were loaded with a foot-high layer of junk batteries.

What driver would pack a 16-foot ladder and a bottle gas snow blower anyway, and climb up there in icy conditions and clear off snow? If you found such a driver, he would also be a good candidate to haul Jack Daniels whiskey to Mexico with Jack Daniels logos on the side of trailer in EspaƱol.

There is no fit-all answer, it’s that simple.

Remember that flap over splash and spray? How to keep trucks from blinding the cars right behind them with all that splash and spray when roads are wet? Studies went on forever. The government spent a ton of money to find a solution only to be stuck in the “inconclusive” mode. They finally gave it up.

My suggestion is, in winter, just park every trailer at an airport and truckers could pick up their trailers there. If necessary the driver could get in line with the airliners to be de-iced. Another thought: We probably should stop every 30 minutes and knock accumulated snow/ice off landing gear and do a complete inspection of undercarriage. There might be buildup that could fall off and be run over by another vehicle.

I know this is ridiculous, but no more silly than the concept of mandating snow and ice removal in the first place. The driver’s responsibility? Horse apples!