Cal Trans Convoys

Well, this was enlightening. Cal Trans posted a video on twitter and FB showing the Convoy yesterday. Those trucks with double trailers are coming north over the Pitkin’s Curve Bridge, and then through Paul’s Slide could only have come from Nacimiento, over a bridge rated for only 15 tons and 30′ in length. How much do these fully loaded monsters weigh? And how long are they?? Any truckers or heavy equipment operators want to chime in on this? I sure hope Cal Trans plans on repairing that tiny little bridge and Nacimiento Rd when this is all over, assuming it lasts.

I have been told these trucks are 65′ long and weight 40 tons loaded. I am afraid the representatives of Cal Trans, USFS, MoCo and others are going to get tired of hearing from me, but I feel it is important. I sent them each a copy of this photo and the length and weight of these transfer trucks, as I have been informed.

Go to Cal Trans District 5 to see the video, but here are 2 stills. Just what Cal Trans told me they were NOT doing. (Sorry I didn’t “clean up” these screen shots.)



9 thoughts on “Cal Trans Convoys

  1. These trucks in the photo are called transfer dumps.
    Truck and trailer combined can carry 25 tons of material.

  2. Jali, according to an engineering friend when he found out the length of the bridge was 60 ft “A transfer dump truck like they’re using has an overall wheelbase of 51′, so ALL of the weight would be on the bridge. Assuming that the quarry is loading the trucks to maximum capacity, that’s 40 tons on the bridge. As the bridge has those 90° turns at each end, the static load would be ALL of it the bridge at once. I’m surprised that it didn’t fail when the first truck went over it. Hopefully MoCo has an indemnity agreement with Caltrans to replace the bridge after they finish using it.” Bob Milton also agrees that the capacity is 40 tons. Whether it is 25 tons or 40 tons it is WAY over limit on that bridge.

  3. I drove over NF road first time in a month yesterday. Wow! It really needs mowing to improve visibility especially on the lower coastal section. The narrow spots are narrower with a wall of fennel on both sides. Kate, do you know if this is planned? We’ll need everything in our favor once Paul’s is open and the multitudes increase.

  4. is the 30ft/15ton posted limit based on the bridge structural capacity or the nf road conditions? it’s not obvious to me that larger, heavier vehicles are a problem, if the limit is related to unrestricted road conditions and said vehicles are escorted in a restricted convoy.

    i’m an engineer in a different but related field. it’s not uncommon to have different load/size limits based on different conditions. that’s why you or i cannot haul around a 12′ wide trailer, but a trucker with a special wide load permit and escort can. similarly, the weight limits may be based on road steepness, ability to brake in poor conditions, etc. but if the convoys are restricted to favorable weather and closed to other traffic, it may be safe for these larger, heavier vehicles.

    thanks for your blog and all the information. i have family in the area and it’s nice to check on what exactly is going on, disaster-wise, over there. i appreciate your vigilance and voice. however there may be reasons for the publicly posted lower limit that are not bridge-related and therefore not prohibitive of these very much needed convoys.

    of course i don’t actually know the details of any of this, and it’s certainly worth asking caltrans the question, but keep in mind that a 15 ton publicly posted limit does not necessarily mean the bridge cannot handle significantly heavier trucks, on a limited and controlled basis.

  5. I’ve been told by someone definitely in the know that they are not cutting down the vegetation on Naci to, hopefully, help curb tourons from stopping for the view and thus adding to the mess on that road.

  6. Tony,

    If that is true then the moron scale will tilt back to Caltrans/USFS and its supplementary crews.

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