Mashed Potato Truck Recovery
By Jim "Buck" Sorrenti
In early March 2017, Ron's Towing in Jackson Hole, Wyo., received a call from the Wyoming Highway Patrol to handle a potato truck recovery. A tractor-trailer loaded with potatoes went off the roadway near Pinedale, a mountain town in western Wyoming.
Owner Ron Reaves has more than 25 years in towing and recovery. He and his team have extensive experience with small- to heavy-duty towing and recovery.
Reaves called Hendrickson's Towing to assist in this recovery, whose owner, Ron Hendrickson, was the recovery lead supervisor for Hendrickson's on this recovery. Hendrickson brought out the light towing equipment and an additional support vehicle. His son James responded in their 2016 Peterbilt/Century 1135 35-ton rotator and Hendrickson's Jared Carter was in their 1999 Peterbilt 379/B&B 60-ton rotator. Kenny Sessions from Hendrickson's was in charge of their accident response van and using response equipment.
Operator Benjamin Miller from Ron's Towing came to the scene with Ron's Peterbilt/Vulcan 940 40-ton and was the operating supervisor in charge of recovery.
"The embankment was very steep conditions and close to the river runoff," James said. "We decided to bring the casualty up, loaded, to the road before we off-loaded it. The truck was loaded with boxed potatoes. The weather was 18 degrees below zero."
The casualty was mashed pretty bad. They double-lined all three heavies to bring the casualty up to the road. The two rotators were on the trailer and the 940 Vulcan was on the tractor. The teams used multiple straps to help secure the load and keep the trailer intact while winching it up the steep embankment.
Sessions used Hendrickson's chop saw to cut sections of the guardrail to be able to slide the casualty to the road.
"Once we got the casualty up to the road," James said, "Ron's Towing brought in their salvage crew to off-load the potatoes for disposal and flip up the casualty and tow the tractor back to Jackson. Ron's also provided traffic control."
Operator Bill Gerdes from Hendrickson's was called in with a Landoll trailer to transport the mashed trailer that was no longer road worthy.
"Ron's Towing helped lift the trailer onto our Landoll to safely transport the trailer back to Jackson," James said. "We had to keep it secured for the night and transport it the next day during daylight hours. Bringing up the casualty loaded saved a lot of cleanup and kept land remediation to a minimum. The recovery part took approximately 20 hours."Show Yours @ TIWDo you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at firstname.lastname@example.org; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magaz