Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – Hot Mix in the Summertime edition

One more dip into Wacoville, I think

Before I left for Dallas, my day job (for the City Of Waco Street Department) was driving/operating 20-ton dump trucks, asphalt rollers, and front-end loaders so big I had to climb a 10-rung ladder to get into them.

Obviously I had my commercial license, and my usual job was to hook up the asphalt roller behind the dump truck, load three workers into the cab, and go to the asphalt plant, where the truck would be filled with hot mix (asphalt).  After that, I’d drive to the designated location, let the panels on each side of the truck down, and follow behind on the roller while two of my co-workers dug their shovels into the hot mix on each side, and filled the potholes – the other co-worker drove the truck slowly forward.  As the asphalt cooled, it stuck together and hardened, usually leaving a large triangular pile against the front of the bed. (where it was hardest to reach with the shovels)  Usually, I would release the rear tailgate (which was hinged at the top of the bed), disconnect the adjustable release chains at the bottom, and drive forward slowly, with the bed raising, until the sticky lump at the front of the bed would come unstuck, and slide to the ground.

Simple, no? Until one day, a rookie driver didn’t get rid of the cooling lump, and by the time he got back to the equipment yard, it had solidified into an immovable chunk.

The driver thought he could loosen the chunk by racing backward with the bed lift engaged, and then hitting the brakes. He did this three times without dislodging the chunk.

On the fourth time, the chunk dislodged and slid down the bed to the rear tailgate. Unfortunately, he had neglected to undo the chains on the bottom of the tailgate, locking it closed, and the chunk hit hard.

The front of the truck went high into the air, leaving the driver pretty high off the ground. It stayed there. He began to panic. And then –

The tailgate broke loose.

The truck cab slammed down onto the ground,  bounced up about 10 feet, then fell again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Four times.

We could see him bouncing off the roof of the cab each time. It looked like something that would happen to Wile E. Coyote. He had been wearing his hard hat, and wasn’t injured, just a little stunned.

He looked at the group of us that had been watching, and we were all laughing hysterically.

Here’s a look at what happens when you’re not watching lour load distribution :

2 thoughts on “Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – Hot Mix in the Summertime edition

    1. I kinda felt bad afterwards for laughing, myself. But there were 8 or 10 of us standing there watching this, and two of them were standing on either side of me and slightly ahead of me, in my field of vision, and I could see their heads bob up and down slightly every time the cab hit the ground.
      That didn’t exactly detract from the hilarity of it all.
      Glad I was able to bring a little humour into your day.

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