A visitor to this site (from Australia) contacted me after he read this article I wrote about oversize loads.
He also sent me a bunch of pictures showing some of the super-sized vehicles that he works with on a daily basis!
In his own words:
I actually do this kind of thing for a living in Australia and I like when I see or hear that someone is impressed with the size of the machines I transport around the country.
Here is his story…
Hi. My name is Andrew and I drive truck.
This is going to be a brain strain.
I was invited to write about the reasons that I became a truck driver — not just an ordinary everyday truck driver but a HEAVY HAULAGE truck driver.
If you’re not sure what I mean, then just think for a moment the last time you were driving around and you saw a truck with an “OVERSIZE” sign and revolving amber lights with a large load on its back… that’s a heavy haulage vehicle.
An Oversize load can be anything that will fit on a truck (towing a trailer or a low loader) that is wider or longer or higher than a normal gauge semi-trailer.
The difference between a normal trailer and a low loader (for those of you that don’t know) is that low loaders are specifically built to transport extra heavy machinery, which for reasons that will become clear, can’t be driven on the roads. So, they have to be mostly disassembled for transport as they are just too big and too heavy to comply with road and traffic regulations.
I drive a 2004 Kenworth K104 Aerodyne (cabover) with a 580 horsepower Cummins motor.
That’s me picking it up at the factory in Melbourne. Australia (brand new).
As you can see it looks better in the next pic all painted up. It tows a low loader that can carry up to 100 ton having a gross weight of around 130 ton, which believe me is pretty bloody heavy.
The reason I got into this line of work is because I love driving trucks and operating heavy machinery.
Here in Australia we are only allowed to travel in the daylight hours while transporting an oversize load. (I don’t know how this works in the U.S.) But it suits me because of all of the wildlife that comes on to the road at night (i.e. Kangaroos, Wombats, Emus, Cattle, Camels and Sheep) can cause a lot of damage.
I transport loads right around the country, which as a comparison is roughly the same size in landmass as mainland USA, but we only have 6 states on our mainland. Western Australia is a full third the size of Australia, making it the largest, and that’s where I transport most of the loads to.
I live on the east coast but ever since my boss bought me this truck, I spend most of my time away from home, my wife and my two Goldens (Golden Retrievers).
It can take up to 7 or 8 days to travel across the country — depending on the width, weight and height of the load. But I enjoy being on the road… I pull up in a parking bay at night in the middle of nowhere and cook my dinner then settle back and look at the stars or watch a movie then hit the sack. Then, up the next day and do it all over again.
Depending on the width, we have to use 1, 2, 3 or 4 pilot cars. Sometimes we also need a Police escort, mostly to warn the general public that there is something huge on the road coming towards them. Because, for whatever reason, the majority of car drivers on the road never seem to realize how much of the road we are actually using.
As you can see, it gets a little bit tight in some places…
The Dolly and Low Loader combination that I tow around spreads out to a deck width of 4.2 metres (13.7 feet), which as you could imagine on a 6 metre (19.66 feet) wide black top it’s gonna take up more than two-thirds of the road — without a load on it!
I like to think of my job not as a job but like being paid a wage to see my country.
Check out a few more photos from Andrew here.
[Thanks so much, Andrew, for sharing your behind-the-scenes view of what it’s like to be a truck driver for oversized loads. That’s a great story!!!]