Saturday, 4 August 2012

On loads on Prairie roads

There is a considerable amount of truck traffic on Prairie roads, particularly the Trans-Canada highway. This is hardly unexpected. I must also add that Prairie truckers are generally very considerate towards cyclists and very often pull over into the far lane when passing, even though there is a lovely wide shoulder as the following picture demonstrates.

I extend a big "thank you" to all the truckers on the Prairies who are so courteous.

One thing that I found curious (and by curious, I mean "fascinating" rather than "wrong") were the diverse natures and size of some of the over-sized loads being hauled along. One of the more interesting was a light aircraft with its wings removed which went by somewhere in Saskatchewan before I could photograph it. Other loads included a large-ish house...
...and some very large tanks.
The latter cause me to wonder "Why on Earth didn't they move that thing by train?" My next thought was "Don't be stupid, Bikemoose: something that size is are too big be moved by train on account of the loading gauge!" (A loading gauge is the maximum size a train can be before hitting things beside or over the track.)

The man who rented me a motel room in Treherne, Manitoba, told me that he was only helping a friend by being the clerk for the motel. His "real" job was driving a pilot truck. Pilot trucks are the pickup trucks that often precede or follow over-sized loads to give warning of the behemoth to come. I suspect they also keep a look out for any bits of the route that are too small for the load so as to give the truck hauling it time to stop.

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