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Steel coils can be deadly. This is what car drivers need to understand about sharing the road with trucks hauling them.


As Told by Jimi Thailyn White

Jimi was riding along with her boyfriend of the last 3 years, when she decided this message needed to be relayed to everyone from the trucking community to the personal vehicles on the road, we all need to take heed:

In this picture is a steel coil. It weighs approximately 46,670 pounds. It is balanced on 2 boards, held down with 4 chains, 3 straps, and the top of the coil is about 11 feet from the ground. The way it is loaded is called “shotgun”, which means it is loaded so that in case of any accidents it will roll off the side of the trailer. Coils may be loaded eye forward (shotgun) or to the side (suicide) and either way it’s perfectly legal. Most drivers prefer to load them “shotgun” to protect themselves.

To put all of that in perspective, the average car weighs approximately 4,000 pounds, which means the coil is approximately 12 cars total in weight. All the time, truckers have people riding along side of their trailers when they haul these steel coils. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, DO NOT ride alongside of the trailer if you value your life, the lives of your children, your Mom’s life, your husband’s life, your wife’s life, your friend’s lives, or whoever is riding along with you in your vehicle. Please stay behind or pass the truck. This is for YOUR safety!

If, God forbid, there was an accident, or something happens to break on the trailer, and this coil comes off and hits your car, there is next to NO CHANCE OF SURVIVAL! This would be just as if 12 cars dropped on top of your vehicle. Please Stay Behind or Pass a Semi Truck!

Even if you can’t see what is on a trailer because the load is tarped, most likely it is still something such as this coil, BE SAFE and don’t ride beside a semi-trailer.

Secondly, PLEASE do NOT cut in front of a semi-truck. Leave at least 1 car length for every 10 MPH of speed that you are doing and more if at all possible. Semi-trucks are NOT able to stop as quickly as a car, especially when carrying such heavy objects. A truck at highway speeds can take up the length of 2 ½ football fields to stop safely, and sometimes more with a heavier load.

The total weight on the pictured load is approximately 77,000 pounds and that is about the weight of 19 cars. So, remember, the next time you move in front of a semi-truck, that truck is 77,000 pounds of steel moving at up to 70 MPH and can take up to 2½ football fields to stop. Do you want to risk it?

If the semi-truck slams the brakes on to avoid hitting you because you cut it off and then hit your brakes, the 46,000 pound coil is going to break the straps and chains holding it down (because under those circumstances NOTHING is going to hold it back) and its going to come THROUGH the cab of the truck and most likely land on your car or whatever other car is in front of the truck after your actions of cutting the truck off so you can turn or exit the highway at the last minute. Do you REALLY want to risk it?


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