Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Complete Heights, Weights, Lengths for Vehicles

Tom Bisbee sent me a copy of his new book, Transporter's Vehicle Directory. It's got the length, width, height and curb weight of over 9900 vehicles. (1995-2005 model years).

If I was a broker or a transporter, I'd sure want to have a copy of it. If it saves you from one fine, it's more than paid for itself. Plus, I've got to think it would make figuring out loads a lot easier. I'm planning on making this book available in my online catalog (should be online by Aug). But if you can't wait that long, go to and buy a copy directly from Tom.

I personally talked to the author of this book to find out a little more information. Tom Bisbee has many years of experience in logistics and as a broker. I think he's forgotten more than some people know about the business, so his book has my recommendation.

Cottrell Trailers: The Lawsuit Saga Continues

Madison County Record | New Lawsuits: Wednesday, June 1
The BS regarding quarter inch chain continues.
I'm guessing this case is now in appeals. This is the case won in the lower court by the lawyer listed below.
I think the jury directed Cottrell to pay 1.4 million, which in my mind is completely out of control.

People have been using quarter inch grade 70 chain for decades. It is safe if it is inspected regularly and used properly.

Replace chain that's been dragged. If one link is worn, either cut the chain down and use the smaller, unworn portion or just get rid of it.

If you crank the ratchets down until the frame of the car is sitting on the bed of the trailer, you're over-tightening. I know this is a popular way of making sure you're not over-height, but it puts a lot of stress on the chain. If Momentum = Mass X Velocity, think what this means when an over-tightened chain with a worn link is shock-loaded by a Chevy Suburban when you have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the next air-head four-wheeler.

And always four chains to a vehicle.

1/4" Grade 70 chain has a working load limit of 3150 pounds. The design factor is 4:1, which means the safe working load for the chain is at 25% of the breaking strength of the chain (12,600 lbs). Four of these chains should be able to secure a vehicle.

How can a chain that breaks at six tons be unsafe?
Answer: When the chain is worn.

has a new tie-down bar that indicates when you're using excessive torque on the chain ratchets. They've put a lot of time into figuring out the safest way to secure these vehicles.

Unfortunately, personal injury lawyers are putting a lot of time into figuring out how to go after trailer manufacturers instead of looking for the big company's maintenance schedule for trailers, driver training programs, etc.