Thursday, October 28, 2010

Big Excitement in Downtown Leoti!

Traffic was stopped in various areas on the highway between Leoti and Lakin today as several pieces of equipment passed along the road. Vehicles were pulled over onto dirt roads and at the Lydia Elevators. There was absolutely no room for any other vehicle beside this load. Once in Leoti, cars were practically piled up so that they could see everything going on. Several of those people pulled out cameras to take a multitude of pictures.

I visited with employees who are transporting this oil refractory from Tulsa,, Oklahoma to Billings, Montana. The load is 25 feet wide, very long and extremely tall. Every high line along their route must be stretched to the limit in order for this load to get under it. Five pilot cars lead the way and five other pilot vehicles followed the truck. The lead vehicle has a very long "tape measure that extends off of it's front bumper to make sure that the load can get under it without any difficulty. It has to measure each and every electric, telephone and cable line before the crew can move down the road.

One of the men to whom I talked told me that this massive tank is lined with 5 feet of solid ceramic. Its peak speed is 36 mph. Of course, winds, etc would slow it down even more. The transport truck pulled the trailer with the tank but a second truck was "hooked to it" by a long piece of iron. That truck is responsible for pushing the load on through. That truck must carry weights behind it to provide extra pressure for pushing. It is estimated that it will take two months from the time that they left Tulsa until they drop it off in Billings. It took these men and women an hour after they arrived in southern Leoti and left the western city limits of Leoti enroute to Tribune. Many people from utility companies travel with this load as they must lift lines all along the way.

It was frightening to us on-lookers as we watched several men on foot who were constantly having to go underneath the equipment to check things out. This is not an easy and totally safe operation. Believe me, I am thankful that my husband and son do not have that job! I would be a nervous wreck!!!

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