|December 11, 2017
Approximate time: 0548
Weather Conditions: Clear
Contacted to respond to the area of York Building Products - Mason-Dixon Sand & Gravel at 1079 Belvidere Road, Port
Deposit Maryland for a loaded tractor trailer that was hauling sand that had overturned. Limited information was
available as the accident had just occurred and the caller was not onscene. Based upon the information that was
available, we dispatched two of our heavy duty sliding rotator recovery units, our tracked skid steer loader, one of our
truck tractors, and contacted Null's Recovery & Site Restoration for one of their Incident Response Units and their
excavator to respond to the scene. Our tracked skid steer was loaded onto our Landoll trailer, NR&SR's excavator was
also transported to the scene on the Landoll.
Upon arrival a Peterbilt sleeper tractor pulling a Ti Brook frameless style dump trailer loaded with sand was found to
have just loaded out of York Building Products when it dropped off the shoulder of the roadway. The drop off was
approximately 3-4' and dropped into a creek. The unit was laying on it's passenger side. There was an active fuel leak,
which was leaking into the truck's frame rails. At that point, the fuel had not entered the creek. Our first arriving operator
immediately placed a catch pan under the leak to contain it until additional resources arrived. Absorbent pads were
placed to absorb the fuel that had already leaked.
One of our portable light towers was set-up to provide lighting for scene safety.
Upon arrival of NR&SR, they immediately began work to pump the leaking tank, they placed booms in the creek to
ensure that no fuel had entered the waterway.
A scene survey was performed. It was found that when the unit left the roadway, it struck several trees. Additionally,
when it overturned, it knocked a tree down and was now laying on top of the trees. There were several trees against the
roof of the truck, which would need to be removed prior to the truck being uprighted to prevent further damage to the
truck. One of the trees caused significant damage to the sidewall and top rail of the trailer's passenger side. The trailer's
tarp system, which was compromised, had contained the load in the trailer, with the exception of where the top rail was
broken. A small amount of sand had leaked out of the trailer onto the ground at that spot. There were several cracks in
the crossmembers and frame work of the trailer.
A recovery plan was established, which would allow the unit to be uprighted and then recovered back onto the roadway.
The Cecil County Sheriff's Department arrived onscene, they gave us the go ahead to begin the process of uprighting
the unit and recovering it from the creek.
One of our operators removed the driveshaft from the tractor.
NR&SR worked to cut the trees clear of the cab.
One of the heavy duty sliding rotator recovery units was positioned parallel to the unit with the boom in line with the
trailer tandems. This truck was set-up on a work platform and the boom was rotated clockwise. The second heavy duty
sliding rotator recovery unit was positioned parallel to the unit with the boom in line with the tandems on the tractor. This
truck was set-up on a work platform as well and the boom rotated counter clockwise.
Our operators donned their wireless headsets to establish onscene communications. Rigging was placed at the rear of
the trailer, a strap was rigged through the rear wheels on the driver's side, the strap was then routed around the trailer's
tailgate, under the passenger side wall, and back across the tarp system. This strap was connected to one of the main
boom winch lines on the rotator that was positioned at the rear end of the unit. The trailer tandems were chained in
place. A strap was rigged to the front axle driver's side wheel on the trailer, this was connected to one of the auxiliary
boom winch lines on the rotator at the rear end of the unit.
While this was being done, the steering axle on the tractor and the front drive axle were chained in place. A strap was
rigged to the driver's side wheel on the steering axle. This strap was connected to one of the auxiliary boom winch lines
on the rotator that had been positioned at the front end of the unit. A strap was also rigged to the driver's side outside
dual on the tractor's front axle, this strap was connected to the other auxiliary boom winch line on the rotator at the front
end of the unit.
All of the lines were tensioned, the rigging was checked for proper connections.
With four winches now rigged to the unit, the two rotators began to lift the unit. Once the rear end of the trailer was lifted
several inches, a second strap was able to be placed under the sidewall of the trailer. The strap was connected to the
trailer's tandems, it was placed under the side wall of the trailer and up across the trailers tarp system. This strap was
connected to the second main boom winch line on the rotator that had been positioned at the rear of the unit. With five
winch lines now rigged to the unit, the recovery of the unit continued. The trailer was lifted several more inches, the
sidewall was starting to lift, however was showing signs of stress in the area where the top rail was broken. A third strap
was able to be placed under the trailer. The strap was connected to the trailer's suspension and routed in a "Christmas
wrap" manner towards the front of the trailer capturing the sidewall in the area of where the top rail was broke. This
strap was connected to one of the main boom winch lines on the rotator that had been positioned at the front of the
unit. With six winches now in place, the recovery continued. As the unit was being uprighted, rigging was placed to the
front drive axle on the tractor to help lift the tractor's tandems up out of the creek. The two rotators utilizing seven
winches worked together to bring the loaded tractor trailer unit back onto its wheels and hold it there.
Once the tractor trailer unit was on its wheels, the focus changed to recovering it back onto the roadway while holding it
upright. A medium duty recovery truck was positioned at the front end of the unit to assist with lifting and steering the
front out of the tractor out of the creek and back onto the roadway. The two rotators and the medium duty worked
together to bring the tractor trailer forward and sideways back onto the roadway while holding it upright. Once on the
roadway, the rotator at the rear end of the unit continued to hold it upright, as all of the load was on the passenger side
wall causing the unit to try to roll back over into the creek. Our personnel and NR&SR personnel worked to recenter the
load in the trailer.
While this was being done, several of our other personnel removed the rigging from the front two recovery trucks. The
rotator at the front end hooked to the front of the tractor and prepared to separate the truck and trailer.
Once the load was recentered, the rotator at the rear end of the trailer, was re-rigged to hold the front end of the loaded
trailer as the dolly legs were not designed to hold the loaded trailer. A strap was placed around the belly of the trailer.
The strap was tensioned and checked. The trailer was lifted off of the tractor's fifth wheel plate. The tractor was then
towed out from under the trailer. Our tractor was backed under the trailer. The trailer was lowered onto the fifth wheel
plate and the fifth wheel was latched. The rigging was removed from the trailer.
All of the rigging that was utilized was loaded into NR&SR's IRU for transport back to our facility for cleaning and
It was requested that the trailer be transported back to York Building Products so that the load could be returned. We
contacted YBP, they advised if the trailer was not able to dump under its own power, that the load could not be brought
back to their facility. Due to the damages to the trailer, it could not safely be dumped.
The tractor was prepared to be towed from the scene. The fender on the passenger side of the drive axles was broken
loose and rubbing the tires. The fender was cut the remainder of the way clear of the truck so it didn't cause damage to
the tires. The loose parts on the trailer were secured. The damaged truck and trailer were transported from the accident
scene to Null's of Cochranville. Once at our facility, the tractor was placed in our secure storage yard. Arrangements
were made for a replacement truck to come to our facility and the load be transferred out of the trailer as it could not be
unhooked and left sit on the dolly legs loaded. Our tractor remained hooked to the trailer to await the cargo to be
The rigging that was utilized was cleaned, inspected, and returned to its respective location.
Once the replacement truck arrived, NR&SR's excavator was placed on our heavy duty rollback to allow it to serve as a
platform. The excavator worked to transfer the load from the damaged trailer to the replacement truck. Once the trailer
was empty, it was placed in our secure storage yard as well.
Our equipment was all made ready for the next call.