ABS, MSF Adv. Course and ATGATT saved my butt Monday...
Once again I was teased by one of my bosses about putting on all of my gear at my LT when leaving work. I said, "you just never know". This is what happened 10 minutes after I said that....(copy of the e-mail I sent to a few friends).
...Just thought I would pass the news clips along.
Monday afternoon I was leaving work (downtown Birmingham). I decided to take the highway home. I was following one of my bosses, Jamie McKinnon, onto the highway on my motorcycle (my K1200LT). At the top of the 26th Street onramp downtown there is a really short merge to get on the highway 20/59 Eastbound. Just as we got to the top of the ramp, a set of 3 tractor trailer rigs were in the center lane. The first truck slams on his brakes, tire smoke and everything, the second truck jumps on his brakes, causing the third to brake hard. The third truck had the steel coil on it.
My boss Jamie was next to the second truck when it slammed on the brakes and I was next to the third truck with the coil on it. I hear a loud pop and looked to my left to see this 45,000 lb steel coil slide forward on the trailer. Oh sh**, I jumped on my brakes in a full ABS panic stop and cut off the pickup behind me and kept him from going around me. Jamie made it far enough ahead so that the third truck missed clipping his back bumper. The third truck with the coil still attached, dove into the space I created in the right lane and managed to get the truck to the shoulder. Just before the truck came to a stop, the road banks hard to the right, where the angle and the pressure on the remaining chain and mounts on the trailer finally broke. The coil rolled off to the right, nailed the retaining wall almost going over and down onto the railroad tracks below. The coil slammed into the next section of the concrete wall flipping it vertically where it slipped in between the trailer
and the wall. The trailer's rear wheels ran up on to and over the 7' diameter coil. No other cars were hit, no one wrecked but the truck. When the coil hit the pavement it stopped. The force of the trailer going over the coil didn't
even budge it. The guy I cut off in the pickup came up to me and said he was happy I cut him off not realizing what was about to happen.
I'm amazed at how close I came to being a grease spot on the road. If I was
in my Toyota FJ Cruiser, I probably couldn't have stopped in time and been hit. I was on the LT because the FJ was broken into in Atlanta 18 hours earlier. I got home to Birmingham at 6:30 that morning with 2 hrs sleep and took the motorcycle to work because the FJ was at home in the garage with a broken window. That's another story. After a full day of work and less than 6 hours sleep in the past 48+ hours, I just lucky I had a little left to avoid a tragedy.
27 coils have come off trucks in this stretch over the past few years. 8 came off last year alone. This is the first one for the 20/59 corridor for 07. A coil like this came off in January nearly striking a woman's home in the Decatur area. Attached is the news footage, view it in real player or windows media player.
Sorry for the video quality I was only able to film it with my camera off my
Copy and paste each link in the address bar on your browser. I takes about
a minute to load. Each file is about 22.5MB
As others have said here before, all the gear all of the time. I highly believe in the MSF training courses and practicing panic stops and emergency manuvers regularly on your own time, it may save you butt. Happy I was riding my LT, ABS, good training and a lot of luck saved me that day.
2005 K1200LT, Graphite, Motolights, Xenon, XMXT