The job was routine for McTyre Trucking, although the cargo was quite specialized. The company was contracted by a Florida fabricator, Benchmark Design, to haul three large-scale drums to Ohio Ethanol in Lima, OH.
The drums were custom fabricated at Benchmark's facility in Plant City, FL. McTyre's role was to plan the route and determine the equipment needed to haul the three drums. Once the 1,060 mile route had been decided, Johnny McTyre, vice president, says the next task was to load the cargo.
"We had to load the drum inside the plant because they were fabricated inside the building," he says. "We used two cranes in the building to load them on the trailer."
To assure the stability of the load, the drums were welded and chained to the turntables of McTyre's 13-axle steerable dolly rig. All three drums were the same size, so the second two hauls were routine.
Each drum was 80 feet long, 12 feet six inches in diameter and weighed 160,000 pounds. Once at the plant in Ohio, the drums were lifted off the trailer by cranes. They were then cut free from the turntables before installation.
The haul was uneventful except when crossing over into Ohio, McTyre says. "Once we got into Ohio, we had to add two state police escorts in order to help with traffic across some of the bridges on the route," says McTyre. "On those structures we could only travel about 5 miles per hour. We had to do some coordination beforehand with bridge engineers to cross a these structures."
For the most part, the driver could post regular speeds and travel during the day. Two civilian escorts were sufficient until the state police were added to the convoy in Ohio.
McTyre says this was "typical work" for his company, which is based in Orlando, FL. "We specialize in heavy hauling. We do a lot of bridge girders, heavy equipment and we are involved in windmill work as well. We're all over the board. We do a lot of work in and out of the ports of the Southeastern US."