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NTSB preliminary report on Missouri crash

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 12:15 PM

Euclid

 

 
Backshop

As I've explained before, there are two ways to high center a truck, and both apply only to semis.  The first is if it's a lowboy trailer, where the trailer frame comes in contact with the pavement and levers the drive axles off the ground.  The second is if the angles are so steep that they exceed the vertical pivoting range of the fifth wheel, which also levers the drive axles off the pavement. Also, since this crossing was in regular use by dump trucks working for the CoE, this couldn't have happened. 

BNSF and Amtrak just threw everything at the wall to see what would stick.  They wanted every angle covered beforehand.

 

 

 

Amtrak/BNSF say this about the driver’s actions in their press release published in Railway Age:
 
“operating the Dump truck through the railroad crossing without sufficient undercarriage clearance necessary to prevent the undercarriage of the vehicle from contacting the railroad crossing in violation of § 304.035.4 RSMo;” 
 
So you are saying that Amtrak and BNSF simply made this up as a total lie because you have proven that it could not have happened?  That is not convincing.  For one thing, how do you know that this truck in the collision was identical to all other trucks engaged in this hauling project?
 

Apparently Backstop believes he is better informed about this than the quoted BNSF statement because he had a CDL and drove. 

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 12:23 PM

charlie hebdo
Apparently Backstop believes he is better informed about this than the quoted BNSF statement because he had a CDL and drove. 

I believe he would be better informed of whether you can get a dump truck high-centered at a xing.  

  

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of

my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 12:48 PM

charlie hebdo

 

 
Euclid

 

 
Backshop

As I've explained before, there are two ways to high center a truck, and both apply only to semis.  The first is if it's a lowboy trailer, where the trailer frame comes in contact with the pavement and levers the drive axles off the ground.  The second is if the angles are so steep that they exceed the vertical pivoting range of the fifth wheel, which also levers the drive axles off the pavement. Also, since this crossing was in regular use by dump trucks working for the CoE, this couldn't have happened. 

BNSF and Amtrak just threw everything at the wall to see what would stick.  They wanted every angle covered beforehand.

 

 

 

Amtrak/BNSF say this about the driver’s actions in their press release published in Railway Age:
 
“operating the Dump truck through the railroad crossing without sufficient undercarriage clearance necessary to prevent the undercarriage of the vehicle from contacting the railroad crossing in violation of § 304.035.4 RSMo;” 
 
So you are saying that Amtrak and BNSF simply made this up as a total lie because you have proven that it could not have happened?  That is not convincing.  For one thing, how do you know that this truck in the collision was identical to all other trucks engaged in this hauling project?
 

 

 

Apparently Backstop believes he is better informed about this than the quoted BNSF statement because he had a CDL and drove. 

 

It seems like we're getting bogged down in a difference of definitions. Our company operates a fleet of flat bed lumber delivery trucks with single or double back axles. From time to time, I've had drivers get a truck stuck where all wheels were on the ground, but the frame was hung up in the middle. In our part of the country we would call that getting high-centered. If I'm understanding it correctly, Backshop calls that something else?

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 12:49 PM

zugmann

 

 
charlie hebdo
Apparently Backstop believes he is better informed about this than the quoted BNSF statement because he had a CDL and drove. 

 

I believe he would be better informed of whether you can get a dump truck high-centered at a xing.  

 

Experience in the field goes a long way.

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Posted by Backshop on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 1:16 PM

Euclid

 

 
Backshop
I don't know but then you don't have the facts for all the accusations that you're making, but that hasn't stopped you, has it?

 

I am asking you about something that you have made very specific which was this:

"BNSF and Amtrak just threw everything at the wall to see what would stick.  They wanted every angle covered beforehand."

You were referring to Amtrak and BNSF publishing their press release saying that the truck driver attempted to cross the track while his truck did not have sufficient bottom clearance to prevent the truck frame from contacting the crossing surface.

Regarding this press release, you stated the above comment quoted in blue.  So I asked you to explain your contention that Amtrak/BNSF were misrepresenting the facts of this matter.  Then you respond by saying you don't know.  Then you compare it to all the "accusations" that you say I make. 

What specific accusations have I made?

 

Facts are for courtrooms.  BNSF and Amtrak put out a press release. They named over a dozen things that the driver did wrong.  What they did is no different than a couple going through a divorce and the aggrieved party claiming emotional, physical, sexual and mental abuse, along with other things.  They are all things that could've happened, but it's up to the jury to decide.

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Posted by BaltACD on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 1:20 PM

Murphy Siding
zugmann 
charlie hebdo
Apparently Backstop believes he is better informed about this than the quoted BNSF statement because he had a CDL and drove.  

I believe he would be better informed of whether you can get a dump truck high-centered at a xing.   

Experience in the field goes a long way.

While it has been well over 60 years ago, I thought my Corvair was going to be high centered on some road I was driving in Southern Indiana a little North of Louisville.  A relatively steep approach to a very small precipice and a steep descent - felt like a reversed V.

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Posted by Backshop on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 1:21 PM

Murphy, were those trucks on a road?

As far as me being accused by a couple of posters as knowing more than the railroad.  At least I have some experience.  The very prolific poster has been blaming the railroad since the day it happened. When he is called out on stuff, he moves the goalposts.  First, the truck had to make a run for it so it wouldn't stall.  Then the truck had to make a run for it so it wouldn't be on the tracks for too long. I could go on and on, but I have a life outside this forum.

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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 3:32 PM

There not being much of the truck left to judge by, I would opine it was a "ten wheeler," probably with an additional tag axle.  It's not likely the truck would get hung up on the frame.

If the peak of the crossing was as sharp as has been alluded to, and given the acute angle (45 degrees) of the crossing, it might have been possible for the drive axles to get "cornered," ie, one wheel of each axle off the ground, which would result in spinning wheels.

That said, how many dump trucks loaded with rip rap had been over the crossing prior to the collision?  If this was the first, it's a whole different story than if it was the fiftieth.  And how many trips had the driver in question made over the crossing?

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Posted by Euclid on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 3:38 PM
Read this quote form a joint press release by Amtrak and BNSF.  It comes from a list of legal violations they say the truck driver committed to cause the collision:
 
“operating the Dump truck through the railroad crossing without sufficient undercarriage clearance necessary to prevent the undercarriage of the vehicle from contacting the railroad crossing in violation of § 304.035.4 RSMo;” 
 
Now I know that they are not truck drivers, so they can’t be expected to know the details of this Mendon collision, but they say that the truck driver killed in the collision operated his dump truck over the crossing while the truck did not have enough clearance to prevent the undercarriage of the truck from contacting the crossing.
 
I would interpret that to mean that the truck frame did strike the crossing deck and/or the rails.  How could it have not struck the crossing if it did not have enough clearance to cross without striking the crossing?  However Backshop says this snagging of the crossing would have been impossible.  He says BNSF and Amtrak are just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.
 
So here we have Backshop taking sides with the deceased truck driver because he does not believe the story told by BNSF and Amtrak about the insufficient truck ground clearance.   
 
It sounds to me like Backshop is the one picking on the railroads as he tries to take the truck driver off the hook, and places the blame on Amtrak/BNSF. 
 
Obviously Amtrak and BNSF are blaming the truck driver for the crash by their list of 20 legal violations committed by the truck driver.  But Backshop informs us that the Amtrak and BNSF are just making up theories and throwing them against the wall in hopes that they will stick.
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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 4:25 PM

Euclid
Obviously Amtrak and BNSF are blaming the truck driver for the crash by their list of 20 legal violations committed by the truck driver.  But Backshop informs us that the Amtrak and BNSF are just making up theories and throwing them against the wall in hopes that they will stick.

I doubt they are "making up" theories.  There is likely some basis for their hypotheses.  

My observations of the possibility of the frame hanging up are based on everyday observations.  As I said, it would take a pretty signficant "peak" to catch the frame on most dump trucks I've ever seen.  And that's why I ask how many trips these dump trucks have made over that crossing.  If the number is significant, I would opine that it makes the possibility of getting high centered on the frame virtually nil.

The grades on approach and the brush were cited as issues by the farmer - not the peak at the crossing.

Reportedly there was another truck following the one in question.  We haven't heard from that point of view, although we may not until any trials that occur.

At least he didn't leave hundreds of feet of skid marks before he ran into the train.

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Posted by Backshop on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 4:29 PM

Euclid
So here we have Backshop taking sides with the deceased truck driver because he does not believe the story told by BNSF and Amtrak about the insufficient truck ground clearance.   
 
It sounds to me like Backshop is the one picking on the railroads as he tries to take the truck driver off the hook, and places the blame on Amtrak/BNSF.  

Wrong again, Bucky. If that's how it "sounds" to you, you need to get your hearing checked.  I merely questioned one thing out of many. Everything BNSF stated doesn't have to be true for them not to be responsible. Some of their points could be seen as contradictory.  In one point, they say he was speeding and couldn't stop.  Then they say he high centered.  They also say the truck wasn't well maintained.  In the condition the truck was in after the accident, that would be hard to assess. 

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 9:34 PM

Backshop

Murphy, were those trucks on a road?

 

 

I don't know. More than likely, they were coming off a road on a new approach or jumping a curb onto a construction site. Either way, we'd call it being high centered. What would you call it in your area?

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 10:34 PM

FWIW, the Leucadia Blvd crossing of the NCTD (AT&SF) Surf Line has signs warning that the crossing is likely to high center large trucks. I still hear occasional reports of trucks getting stuck at that crossing.

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, August 4, 2022 6:45 AM

Backshop
Everything BNSF stated doesn't have to be true for them not to be responsible. Some of their points could be seen as contradictory.  In one point, they say he was speeding and couldn't stop.  Then they say he high centered.  They also say the truck wasn't well maintained.  In the condition the truck was in after the accident, that would be hard to assess. 

That is true that all offenses on the BNSF/Amtrak list do not have to be proven in order to win the case.  But I would give the charges equal weight in their merit and plausibility.  So, I conclude that they have a basis for all the charges.  For the charge of entering the crossing with insufficient ground clearance, their description indicates that the truck frame would have struck the crossing surface.
 
But the truck was struck by the train before it had passed off of the crossing.  So that could mean that the truck frame would have struck the crossing on the basis of dimensional calculations, but did not leave any actual evidence in the form of damage or marking on the crossing surface.  In other words the truck may have never went far enough for its frame to strike the crossing. If that is the case, we are left only with the accuracy of their calculations to prove the driver entered the crossing with insufficient bottom clearance. 
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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, August 4, 2022 6:54 AM

Like Tree said, it appears to be either a 3 axle truck with 2 drive axles or a four axle with a tag.  Here's close to what it would look like.  Dump trucks haul heavy, dense material so gross out quickly.  They don't need a lot of length to carry the load.

dump truck with tag axle - Bing images

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Posted by rdamon on Thursday, August 4, 2022 7:02 AM

Caught Yesterday in LaGrange

https://youtu.be/3WsZiXNZ-n4?t=784

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 4, 2022 8:12 AM

It was very clear in one of the news photos that the truck in question had a tag axle.  Whether it was lowered or not before the accident is yet to be determined.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, August 4, 2022 8:13 AM

rdamon
Caught Yesterday in LaGrange

https://youtu.be/3WsZiXNZ-n4?t=784

Driver failure - got to raise the land legs to their fullest extent.

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, August 4, 2022 9:11 AM

Overmod

It was very clear in one of the news photos that the truck in question had a tag axle.  Whether it was lowered or not before the accident is yet to be determined.

 

 

 

What would you conclude (if anything) if it was lowered at the time of the accident.

 
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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, August 4, 2022 9:42 AM

BaltACD

 

 
rdamon
Caught Yesterday in LaGrange

https://youtu.be/3WsZiXNZ-n4?t=784

 

Driver failure - got to raise the land legs to their fullest extent.

 

Yep.

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Posted by tree68 on Thursday, August 4, 2022 12:34 PM

Overmod

It was very clear in one of the news photos that the truck in question had a tag axle.  Whether it was lowered or not before the accident is yet to be determined.

I would opine that it would make little difference.  It would partly depend on just how much weight the tag axle actually bears.

And remember, the other two axles are not fixed on the frame - they have some vertical play.

And an as-yet unanswered question - how many trips had the truck made over the crossing before the collision?  If that number is significantly higher than zero, the high-center issue may be moot.

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, August 4, 2022 12:48 PM

To add to Tree's post---Tag axles, since they are raised and lowered by air and have airbag suspensions, have quite a bit of vertical travel.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, August 4, 2022 2:48 PM

Backshop
To add to Tree's post---Tag axles, since they are raised and lowered by air and have airbag suspensions, have quite a bit of vertical travel.

And even if down, they are equipped with wheels and tires that are rolling, just like the drive and steer axles.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, August 4, 2022 4:20 PM

Euclid
What would you conclude (if anything) if it was lowered at the time of the accident.

That the truck was loaded heavily enough to require the axle to be lowered.  That might be to accommodate extra weight, or give lower ground pressure.

If I recall the picture correctly, the tag was in a raised position after the accident.  Let me repeat that we should wait for the accident investigation before judging anything like this.

A peripheral point is that the truck was long enough to accommodate the additional tag axle.  I doubt the tag would have hung up on the crossing or unloaded the drive wheels; the issue is more that the truck was longer and potentially heavier than a 'regular' 10-wheel dump truck. 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, August 5, 2022 9:24 AM

In this long thread, is there a photo of the same type of truck or at least an accurate description?

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Posted by Backshop on Friday, August 5, 2022 9:35 AM

charlie hebdo

In this long thread, is there a photo of the same type of truck or at least an accurate description?

 

I posted a link to a similar one about 10 posts above.

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Posted by Euclid on Saturday, August 6, 2022 8:10 AM

Overmod

 

 
Euclid
What would you conclude (if anything) if it was lowered at the time of the accident.

 

That the truck was loaded heavily enough to require the axle to be lowered.  That might be to accommodate extra weight, or give lower ground pressure.

 

If I recall the picture correctly, the tag was in a raised position after the accident.  Let me repeat that we should wait for the accident investigation before judging anything like this.

A peripheral point is that the truck was long enough to accommodate the additional tag axle.  I doubt the tag would have hung up on the crossing or unloaded the drive wheels; the issue is more that the truck was longer and potentially heavier than a 'regular' 10-wheel dump truck. 

 

I don’t see anything wrong with judging this or any other element of what has been reported.  The NTSB is free to conduct their investigation, and we will all learn of their conclusions at some point in the future. 
 
In any case, I do not recall anyone here claiming that the truck got high-centered on the crossing.  The only claim regarding that came from BNSF/Amtrak in their list of the 20 offenses by the truck driver, which was published as part of their lawsuit against the trucking company.  And they only say that the truck frame was not high enough to clear the crossing.  They don’t say the truck got high-centered.
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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, August 6, 2022 12:19 PM

Euclid

   And they only say that the truck frame was not high enough to clear the crossing.  They don’t say the truck got high-centered.

 

What do you think "high centering" is?
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Posted by Euclid on Saturday, August 6, 2022 2:11 PM
I would define it this way:
 
A condition occurring when a hump in a road  contacts the bottom of a vehicle frame and forces the frame upward, thus lifting its wheels off of the roadway to the point of the wheels losing tractive contact with the road, and thus stranding the vehicle in that state of suspension.  It can also lift a trailer frame and transfer most or all of its weight to the point of road contact, thus making it impossible for the towing vehicle to move the trailer off of the high-centering predicament.
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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, August 6, 2022 2:35 PM

Correct, so that was what the railroad was implying.

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