|October 2, 2017
Approximate time: 1438
Weather Conditions: Clear
Contacted to respond to Route 283 westbound at the Spooky Nook Road exit in East Hempfield Township for an owner's
request for a tractor trailer that was involved in an accident. We were advised that the Peterbilt tractor and loaded
frameless dump trailer were both severely damaged, off the roadway, and that there was a large spill approximately 100
yards long off of the roadway. Additionally, photos were sent from the scene.
Based upon the information that was gathered, and the photos that were sent from the scene, we immediately
dispatched two of our heavy duty sliding rotator recovery units, our lowboy trailer to transport the damaged truck tractor,
one of our truck tractors to repower the damaged trailer, one of our skid steer loaders equipped with bucket and forks,
and street sweeper. The skid steer loader, and street sweeper were loaded onto one of our tractor trailers for transport
from our facility to the scene. Null's Recovery & Site Restoration (NR&SR) to respond to the scene to assist with the
While enroute to the scene, we were contacted by Lancaster County HazMat. They advised that DEP was requiring that
the grass that was effected by the spill be cut to soil level and be removed from the scene. They were also requesting
hat soil samples be taken in the area of the spill. This information was relayed to NR&SR.
We were also advised while enroute, that a second tractor trailer was involved in the accident and that Patriot-St. Denis
Towing (PSDT) was onscene for the recovery of that unit.
Traffic was backed up for approximately six miles prior to the accident location, a majority of our equipment was
re-routed so that it was approaching the accident scene from the west side rather then the east to avoid the major traffic
Upon arrival, we met with the fire department and police department, we were advised we were good to begin our portion
of the recovery. We also met with PSDT.
The Peterbilt tractor was pulling a East Genesis Hybrid trailer, westbound on Route 283 just after the Spooky Nook
Road exit ramp when it was involved in a collision with a second tractor trailer. The passenger side front corner of the
Peterbilt and the driver side rear corner of the trailer of the second tractor trailer was the initial impact point. After the
impact, the Peterbilt tractor trailer unit continued forward opening up the side of the second tractor trailer unit. A majority
of the driver's side wall and back door frame assembly from the second tractor trailer were embedded into the front of
the trailer portion of the Peterbilt tractor trailer unit. The trailer portion of the Peterbilt tractor trailer unit struck the front
end of the second tractor trailer unit causing major damages to the axles, undercarriage, air system, and frame works of
the Peterbilt's trailer.
The Peterbilt tractor trailer unit travelled approximately 400' from the point of impact, off the roadway, down into the
grass area of the cloverleaf ramp system. The oil pan on the Peterbilt was compromised in the collision causing oil to
spread from the point of impact to the final resting place. The front axle was compromised, the hood, cab, and sleeper
all sustained major damage. The sleeper was pushed back into the front of the dump trailer. The trailer was loaded with
sand, which had shifted to the front of the trailer from the force of the impact.
It was determined that due to the location of the unit, the severity of the damages, and the current traffic backlog, that
we would work the recovery of the Peterbilt and dump trailer unit from the grass area of the cloverleaf to minimize the
additional closures that would be needed along with the damages to the cloverleaf area.
One of the heavy duty sliding rotator recovery units was backed into the cloverleaf area on the passenger side of the
damaged unit. This rotator, was set-up on a work platform, the trailer was winched forward to relieve the pressure that
was on the fifth wheel latch. The fifth wheel was able to be released at that point. The trailer tires were blocked so that it
could not roll. The rotator then rotated the boom clockwise, a 12" wide recovery strap was placed under the belly of the
trailer and up each side, the strap was hooked to the two main boom winch lines on the rotator. The lines were
tensioned and the weight of the trailer was lifted off of the back of the severely damaged Peterbilt tractor.
The second heavy duty sliding rotator recovery unit was positioned on the edge of the ramp. This rotator was set-up on
a work platform as well. The boom was rotated clockwise, one of the main boom winch lines was run to rigging that was
connected to the frame of the Peterbilt. Once the weight of the trailer was off of the damaged tractor, the front end was
lifted to reduce the amount of damages done to the grass due to the damaged front axle, the Peterbilt tractor was then
winched out from under the loaded, damaged, dump trailer. The Peterbilt tractor was winched into a position that it could
be lifted and rotated back onto the roadway. The tractor was rigged to be lifted, lifted, rotated back onto the roadway,
once overtop of the roadway, it was set onto our lowboy trailer and secured. The sleeper and many other parts of the
truck had to be secured to the trailer.
The skid steer loader was then used to stabilize the large portion of the trailer from the second tractor trailer unit that
was embedded into the front of the dump trailer. A cut off saw from NR&SR was used to cut the portion into smaller
pieces so that it could be disentangled from the front of the dump trailer. Once it was removed, it was carried to the
roadway by the skid steer loader and loaded onto one of PSDT's rollbacks. The area under the front of the dump trailer
was cleaned of the truck parts, debris, and fluids, so that our truck tractor could back down into the cloverleaf and
connect to the damaged trailer.
Our tractor was connected to the trailer. NR&SR worked to make temporary repairs to the trailer's air lines, braking
system, and tires. The front axle, which was completely torn loose, was chained in place, NR&SR removed the wheels
and tires from the front axle. The damage tire on the passenger side back axle was removed, and one of the wheels and
tires from the front axle was put in its place. The loose parts on the trailer were secured. The loaded trailer was then
recovered back onto the roadway.
Our personnel assisted NR&SR with cleaning up the truck parts, debris, fluids, and grass clippings per DEP.
The skid steer loader, large truck parts, and other equipment were loaded onto our Landoll trailer and secured for
transport from the scene back to our facility.
The damaged truck and trailer were transported from the accident scene to Null's of Cochranville. Once at Null's, the
damaged Peterbilt tractor was lifted off of the lowboy trailer and placed in our secure storage area. The damaged dump
trailer was also placed in our secure storage lot.
The rigging that was used on the recovery was cleaned of the oil and other fluids, inspected, and returned to its
respective location. Our equipment was re-fueled and made ready for the next call.
A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE HEMPFIELD, MOUNT JOY, AND EAST
PETERSBURG FIRE DEPARTMENTS FOR THEIR HELP ONSCENE
WITH TRAFFIC CONTROL AND SCENE SAFETY!