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Unread 11-04-2013, 02:55 PM   #1
Terry The Toad
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Default Near Disaster (Really)

I am confessing to this colossally stupid blunder in the hope that it might help someone else prevent something similar in the future.

As you can tell from my signature line, I have a Lang 48 original (trailer model.) I think the new ones have a slide-in second shelf, but mine has (ahem, "had") an extra shelf that looked like a small table. (Expanded metal top with short steel legs.)

Well, I never used that additional shelf. It sat on the back of the cook chamber, I never thought about it, and pretty much forgot it was there.

So, last Thursday I hooked up the smoker and started out to south Georgia for a family reunion. I got about 20 miles from home (far enough to be on an expressway going 65 MPH) and to my horror, in the rearview mirror I saw that steel shelf hit the ground, bounce, and go airborne. (You can probably imagine the sick feeling I had thinking of the possible consequences.)

First - it narrowly missed a van, then the shelf slid to a stop on the line between the two lanes of traffic.

I immediately pulled over and started running back to retrieve the shelf (praying every step of the way that no one would hit it.) I almost got back to where it was laying in the road and a semi ran over it and blew a tire. That threw the shelf smack dab in the middle of one lane where a mini-van hit it and blew a tire.

I managed to retrieve the shelf before there was any more damage (except to my pride.)

To (try to) make a long story short: a trooper showed up and wrote me a ticket for having an unsecured load. Remarkably, the mini-van driver didn't seem the slightest bit perturbed by the whole incident. I offered to buy the guy a new tire - but he said "no thanks". And, after a "Road Ranger" came and changed his tire, the mini-van driver got in his van and left! The semi-driver was pretty understanding too. His company was local so they sent out a shop truck to change his tire. I felt like a complete idiot - but all the other people were incredibly understanding. So, I guess after I pay my ticket - and my insurance company buys the trucking company a new tire - I can try to put this behind me.

I guess considering what COULD have happened, I got off easy.

But you can be sure that I will check, double- and triple-check my trailer next time I go anywhere!
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"I love animals. I just love to eat them more. Fun to pet; better to chew." - Jim Gaffigan
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Unread 11-04-2013, 02:58 PM   #2
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Blessing that no one got hurt, things become missiles at speed as you know
I will never be over the hill.
I'm too darn tired to climb it.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Wow. Thank God the damage was minimal, and thank you for sharing your experience.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 03:03 PM   #4
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Glad no one was hurt....could have been much worse than a ticket and a couple tires! Unfortunately, I bet the ticket cuts into the budget for getting that bad boy fitted for a slide out shelf...
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Unread 11-04-2013, 03:20 PM   #5
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As someone who works for the insurance company i Would reccomend buying that tire yourself! it will affect your rates and hate that it happened!
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Unread 11-04-2013, 05:01 PM   #6
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Really glad to hear that no ne got hurt. Things could have been a lot worse, that shelf is solid steel and heavy.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 10:20 PM   #7
Got rid of the matchlight.
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God is always with us, your story is the proof.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 10:24 PM   #8
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Glad everyone is ok, lucky.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 10:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing. Maybe this will prevent one of us from making a simular mistake.
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Unread 11-04-2013, 11:05 PM   #10
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A great reminder for all of us to check our load before we take off. Glad you and everyone is safe.
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Unread 11-05-2013, 07:25 AM   #11
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Being on the receiving end (twice) of unsecured loads, I know just how terrifying that is.

I also commend you on stopping & doing the right thing.

In the first case of when I was struck by a loose load, it was an alloy sheet that flew up in the air like a beer coaster, and just as quickly came down - it managed to slice the sidewall of my front tyre at freeway speeds - not easy to hold onto, but I got it safely to the side of the road. A good samaritan stopped the guy further up & made him come back - he begrudgingly paid me cash on the spot for a new tyre.

The second was a lot worse. It was an 8' x 4' x 1/2 ply sheet - again at freeway speeds. Truck with an unsecured load - a large industrial dumpster full of demolition debris entered the freeway, and I was doing 110km/h (say 65mph) past him. The ply sheet flew up & came straight at me end on - I ducked so quickly I hit my chin on the gear shifter (fearing I'd lose my head). It smashed the headlight, hood & front screen, as well as taking off my side mirror & scratching up most of the side. Luckily it was a laminated screen, so it deflected it most of the way, rather than letting it enter the cabin.
The splintered remains also damaged the car behind me. He showed no signs of slowing down, and it took several miles before we could get in front of him to pull him over. He initially argued that it wasn't him...... Then when he realised there were several witnesses he agreed that "maybe it came from his truck."
The worst part was when O asked him why he didn't cover his load - the driver just shrugged & moaned that becaue it was high, it was too hard to throw a tarp over it, so he didn't bother. I could have strangled him.

He also didn't have his licence on him, so we had to take down the details he told us - not knowing if they were genuine. Silly fool was in a company truck, with the company name all over it, so I took lots of photos of the truck & all the damage.
With along with those details & the registration number, we soon found out that he was telling porkies.

I told all this to the insurance company who were very good, and they said with my photos, and their assessment, they'd contact the highway patrol about it. A week later he was issued 2 fines - one for an unsecured load, and a second for giving false details.
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Unread 11-05-2013, 11:10 AM   #12
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glad it was overall a minimal negative effect, you got lucky on this one, we have all had something similar happen, things just slip our minds, we are creatures of habit, you never use the shelf so it did not cross your mind that it would have been in an unsecured place.
If it ain't smokin' it must be broken!
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Unread 11-05-2013, 11:29 AM   #13
Take a breath!

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Wow...glad to hear nobody was hurt and you handled it perfectly.
Essential BBQ Equipment
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Unread 11-05-2013, 01:27 PM   #14
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Scary story....thank God nobody was hurt or worse.

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Unread 11-05-2013, 01:34 PM   #15
Mister Bob
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A close call and a lesson for everyone!
Mister Bob, Pitmaster - Bob's Hogs. KCBS CBJ #31759 - IMBAS Certified MOINK Baller

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