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Big Jim-myth Buster?


other dog

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We were talking about rt.250 a while back,the section between Fairmont and Moundsville,WV in particular,so Big Jim gave it a try and survived with no problems. He researched the trip well in advance too. I had told him about my trip across there in '80,and that I said at the time I wouldn't go back across it bob-tailing.And I told him what Bollweevil said,and what the man at Triadelphia had said. None of that scared Big Jim. He called the police departments in Littleton and Cameron,and they said the tight turns that used to be there had been done away with. Good thing-I just don't think you could make those turns as long as we are today.He was driving a Freightliner Columbia long wheelbase tractor with a 53' spread axle flatbed loaded with 47,000 lbs-overall length 77 1/2 feet. According to the Va. DOT I'm 70' overall with the Peterbilt and a 48' trailer. He said the worst part was the curve coming up out of Moundsville,and there was a hard turn onto a bridge somewhere farther down the line that took the whole road to make. Well,almost the whole road-he got over to the left as far as he could and he said he had about 2 feet to spare when he got onto the bridge.

Actually we were both thinking about going that way to Triadelphia Tuesday.I was several hours ahead of him,and when I went through Moorefield,WV Tuesday night-actually Wednesday morning it was about 10 degrees and clear. I was climbing the big mountain on rt.42 before you get to Mt. Storm when a pickup came up behind me and I could see snow blowing in the road in his headlights.It was so fine I hadn't even noticed it before,but as I neared the top it was no problem to see it.It was coming down hard and the wind was blowing it across in front of me,covering the road in places. Rt. 50 was pretty much covered,as was rt.560 up to Oakland,Md. Rt. 219 north was well salted so instead of taking 42 on to Friendsville I stayed on 219 up to Keysers Ridge and went to bed. No way I was going to try 250 in those conditions,so I went on across 68 to 79 north to 70 west to Triadelphia. Then I went on up 250 in Ohio to I-77 to pick up a load of brick in Sugarcreek going to Norfolk,Va. Still snowing all the way,but I had no problems until I got back to the usual trouble spot,which is I-64 from Beckley to the Va. line. For the second time this winter the road was closed after I got across Sandstone mountain because of accidents,so I pulled off on the ramp at the Dawson exit and took a nap. That's me-when the going gets tough I go to bed. I got up and went on to Norfolk and unloaded Thursday just after noon,then back to Petersburg and loaded another load of piling for Triadelphia to unload Monday.

Back to Big Jim- I called him and told him i'd run into a lot of snow,and when he got to the mountain before Mt. Storm-I don't know the name of it,it might be Mt.Storm mountain.It's a big one,4 miles with a 10 percent grade,has a bunch of those huge wind turbines on top- he couldn't even get up the mountain.He met 2 salt trucks at the bottom and they told him to wait until they came back then follow them up. He did,but in the meantime another truck came off of rt.93 and turned and started up the mountain,not knowing about the salt trucks. So when they came back,Jim fell in behind them and they started up and they soon caught the other truck,struggling to make it up. By the time he finally got up the mountain and got to Triadelphia it was too late to get unloaded. He unloaded the next morning and reloaded steel for Roanoke.He had an appointment time to unload at 12:30 the next day,so since he had plenty of time he came back down 250,thus proving that it can be done. Why anyone would want to though is a different story. But I can't say I won't do it again-Big Jim did. Besides,if it gets too tough I can probably find a wide spot somewhere to take a nap.

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