|March 29, 2017
Approximate time: 0145
Weather Conditions: Clear
Contacted by the Pennsylvania State Police Embreeville Barracks requesting us to respond to Gap Newport Pike and
Lower Valley Road in Atglen Borough for a tractor trailer that was on fire. We were advised that the unit was loaded with
limestone. No further information was able to be provided.
Based upon the information we were given, we immediately dispatched a recovery supervisor, one of our heavy duty
sliding rotator recovery units, and a one of our truck tractors to the scene.
Upon arrival, a Volvo tractor pulling a dry bulk pneumatic tanker trailer that was reportedly loaded with limestone was
found to have caught on fire in the are of the rear drive axle on the driver's side of the tractor. The tractor and trailer
both suffered significant damage.
The unit was partially blocking the roadway.
The Fire Chief and Chester County Fire Marshall were onscene.
Based on a quick survey of the scene, a heavy duty wrecker along with Null's Recovery & Site Restoration were
requested to be dispatched to the scene in addition to the equipment already enroute.
One of our portable light towers was set-up to provide a safe work environment for the crews working onscene.
It was found that the tractor suffered major damage, the air system was compromised. The driver's side rear drive axle
had the tire burnt off and the wheel was sitting on the roadway. Due to the damages to the tractor, the trailer was not
sitting level. With the trailer being loaded, the damages sustained from the fire, and not level there was concerns about
the trailers landing gear supporting the trailer while the tractor was removed. Additionally, due to the damages to the
tractor, the loaded trailer would be sitting too low for our tractor to hook to the trailer once the damaged tractor was
removed. The trailer had the air lines and electrical wires burnt off. The front of the trailer saw enough heat from the fire,
that one of the product pipes exploded during the fire.
Upon arrival of NR&SR, they were requested to set-up traffic control equipment. It would be necessary to shut down the
slow lane on the southbound side of Gap Newport Pike in order to perform the swap out of the tractors.
With the traffic control equipment in place, the heavy duty sliding rotator recovery unit was positioned on the driver's
side of the unit. Rigging was connected to the trailer's frame, and front tank supports to distribute the weight as the
trailer's aluminum frame had been compromised from the fire. The rotator was set-up on a work platform, the boom was
rotated counter clockwise. The two main boom winch lines were connected to the rigging that had been put in place on
the front of the trailer. The rotator cautiously lifted the front of the burnt trailer, extreme caution was used as it was
unclear how much damage the trailer's frame work sustained from the fire. With the weight of the trailer now being
supported by the rotator, the heavy duty wrecker worked to separate the truck from the trailer.
The heavy duty wrecker released the pressure from the fifth wheel release. The heavy duty wrecker then winched the
damaged tractor out from under the front of the trailer. The damaged tractor was winched far enough away from the
trailer that our tractor could be connected to the front of the trailer.
NR&SR worked to scrape and clear the burnt aluminum, truck parts, and debris from the roadway.
With the truck and trailer now separated, the heavy duty wrecker turned around and hooked to the rear of the burnt
tractor. Both drive axles were chained up. Wireless towlights and secondary attachments were installed. The steering
was secured and the exhaust was covered.
|Team Null's was also kept busy with many different jobs the end of this week, below are just a few of the actions shots.
|Trucks R5, C17, and T8 with TL6 transported and set a 28,000 pound fuel storage tank and components.
|Truck S10 towed a loaded tri axle dump truck to a place of safety that it could be unloaded, and then to the repair shop.
|Trucks 141 and T7 with TL9 transported a burnt RV to a salvage yard.
|Truck S10 transporting a tri axle dump truck from an auction in Maryland.
|C18 transported two brand new Freightliner chassis's from the dealer to the body manufacturer.
|Truck S10 recovered this bucket truck back onto the roadway with no further damage.