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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingFebruary 20 - February 26, 2019
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Concrete Beam Lift

0-Concrete Beam Lift-TIW-14 17bdfBy Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Bill Coxon started CTS Coxon's Towing Service in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, when he purchased his first tow truck in 1961. Bill was passionate about towing and personally built the first wrecker to incorporate the use of hydraulics in North America. The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum recognized his many contributions to the towing industry when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

His son Brad took over the business in 1998 when Bill passed away from long-term health complications. Since taking over control of the business, Brad has focused on heavy recovery, heavy towing, specialized transportation, and environmental spill response and clean up.

Eric Godard runs the towing and recovery end of the operation, as well as overseeing the shop and maintenance of their fleet.

On Sept. 14, 2015, Coxon's was called out to handle a rolled-over tanker. They responded with their 2003 Kenworth outfitted with an NRC 30/50 Sliding Rotator and their 2007 Kenworth with an NRC 40/50 Sliding Rotator.

When Coxon's crew arrived they found it wasn't for a tanker. Instead, it was a rolled-over trombone tractor-trailer transporting an 80,000-lbs. concrete beam for an overpass. The driver had taken the corner a little too tight ... the rig came to rest with the tractor still on the roadway and the load still chained to the trailer, but mostly in the ditch.

They first dealt with the tractor.

"The fifth wheel was ripped off the tractor," Godard said, "but the trailer was pinching down on the tractor frame. We had to lift the tractor on a slight angle with one rotator while the second winched it away from the trailer. We had to pull it forward a foot to clear the frame that was hung up.

"The one rotator was standing it up and I had a control line on it that was already rigged to lift it a bit when we winched it forward. We then did a simple roll with a controlled landing and hooked it to our swap hoist and removed it from the scene."

After the tractor was gone they did a small lift on the trailer to allow them to remove the chains from the load.

Godard said, "We could undo most of them and remove them, but some had the hooks under the load so they where cut."

They next removed the trailer from the ditch, lifted and swung it between the rotators to barrel roll it, then hooked it up to one of their tractors for removal.

Finally the beam was lifted to allow a second trailer to back under the load.

"At this point," Godard said, "we rigged to the lifting eyes on the beam. We pre-rigged them in case it shifted and we could not get to then afterward. We did need to do some digging to get to one of them, but three were clear. It needed to be rolled upright for lifting and loading, so we rolled it at the same time as we lifted it out of the ditch.

"We did need to move the one rotator at this point because we needed more room for the second trailer to back in. I decided to just get at the back of the lift giving us lots of play to line it up onto his trailer.

"The beam was chained onto a new trailer and headed out of town," he said. "We spent about 4-1/2 hours on this site. I think separating the trailer and the load took the most time; but I felt it was too dangerous to be in a hurry. We did also have the one direction of the road closed for a good part of this job, but we left the other way open.

"All said, the customer and the police seemed very happy and everyone went home safe, so life is good!"

(Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the October 28, 2015 edition of Tow Industry Week.)

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at jimchaos69@yahoo.com; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!
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