Scrap-hauling dump trailer heels over just ahead of car in the adjacent lane on the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. Photos: Tom Berg, from video by "Hypotenuse"

Scrap-hauling dump trailer heels over just ahead of car in the adjacent lane on the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. Photos: Tom Berg, from video by "Hypotenuse"

Did you see it on a network newscast last Friday– that scrap-hauling rig tipping over on New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge? The spectacular footage probably made every newscast in the world.

Yes, it was Friday the 13th, and this incident was definitely unlucky for the truck driver and the thousands of people who got caught in the long traffic delay as pieces of metal and the rig itself blocked all northbound lanes of the busy I-87/287 bridge that spans the Hudson River north of New York City. It was down for four hours. Southbound lanes were briefly closed, too, as metal debris spilled over the center barrier.

The guy whose dash cam caught the rollover could’ve been crushed if he had been maybe 50 feet farther ahead, so he has to count himself lucky, as was everyone because news reports say no one was hurt. Do a web search for more info on this happening, like the lady whose baby was delivered in an ambulance stuck in traffic.

Watch the wreck here

The finale is the axle and its wheels rolling onto the scene as the rig slides to a halt. No wonder the trailer suddenly lost its footing and fell over! News reports called it “suspension failure.”

Trailer's detached axle -- the apparent cause of the rollover --  rolls into view as rig slides to a stop on its side.

Trailer's detached axle -- the apparent cause of the rollover --  rolls into view as rig slides to a stop on its side.  

Comments blamed the driver (but would a pre-trip inspection have caught faults in fixtures that let the axle loose?), the trailer’s owner (that seems likely), even the basic design (the rear axle’s role as a fulcrum during normal dumping supposedly weakens it).

No doubt there’ll be some citations over this. And operators of this type of trailer hauling any kind of load are probably taking a close look at their vehicles – if we’re all lucky.

Author

Tom Berg
Tom Berg

Tom Berg

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational trucks and trailers of all types.

View Bio

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational trucks and trailers of all types.

View Bio
0 Comments