Wednesday, January 11, 2017
A little background:
I recorded this last night coming south from Fort Wayne, Indiana on I-69.
A severe thunderstorm was going through the area with 30mph sustained cross-winds, and frequent gusts up to 60mph, heavy rain, and some hail. I thought I was driving in a tornado, and I was fighting to keep it on the road. It was probably the worst cross-wind I had ever experienced.
I'm in a loaner tractor, which is not set up to install a CB radio (no antenna), so I have no idea what's going on in front of me beyond my field of vision, and I have no way of communicating with other drivers other than lights/horns.
At the time of the video, the rain had subsided a bit, but the winds remained.
I had slowed to about 45mph. My emergency flashers are on. Visibility was poor, and I came up on this Rich Logistics truck that had come to a complete stop and was blocking the right lane of the Interstate. I saw the situation in plenty of time, but I had no where to go as the left lane was full of traffic.
Once I came to a complete stop, I kept my eyes glued to my rear-view mirrors. Being the Negative Nancy that I am, I was sure I was going to be blasted in the rear end by another inattentive driver. It was a nightmare situation.
For the life of me, I can't figure out what Rich Logistics was doing. Why was he not pulled completely off to the shoulder and off the travel lanes? Nobody was in front of him or blocking him in any way that I could see. If he was having mechanical problems, I cannot foresee a scenario where he wouldn't be able to at least get his rig completely off the roadway. As you can see in the video, the Rich Logistics truck IS moveable...so why was he stopped and blocking the Interstate?
I think he panicked because of the weather conditions, and decided to come to a screeching halt exactly where he was...a horrible decision.
I think the lessons here are:
-scan far enough ahead and drive the conditions.
-make wise decisions which won't make matters worse.
-if one decides conditions are impossible, get COMPLETELY off the road as soon as possible.
-the side skirts on our trailers are EXTREMELY bad news in last night's conditions. I believe that if I had been empty, I wouldn't have been able to keep it on the road.
BTW...I removed the audio for the video because I figured you didn't want to hear the screaming and cussing!
at 10:12 AM