Low flying objects.

Submitted: Friday, Nov 30, 2018 at 19:47
ThreadID: 137507 Views:5201 Replies:17 FollowUps:17
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G'day Explorers

Hopefully this post is taken as fact not only because what I am about to tell you is a real dead set possibility but it is something that I actually saw/heard happen 'before my eyes' as the saying goes.

It still gives me a cold shudder just thinking about it, the what if's, but luckily nothing dramatic happened ~ this time.

Some years back a fellow motorist from Karratha, wore a sea container lock down pin in his upper chest and throat, this pin came off a semi trailer ~ through the Nissan Patrol's windscreen and sadly the rest is history.

The scenario has me travelling at the posted speed limit on the stretch of highway between Newman and the Capricorn roadhouse, some 2oK's to the south.

The highway is again busy with all sorts of vehicular traffic, light vehicles, buses, trucks and of course the omnipresent road trains, most just carry general freight others carry whatever the resources sector demands, this stuff could be conveyor systems to huge off highway trucks and loaders to unrecognizable things that get hidden from the public gaze deep inside a mine site in this ancient part of Western Australia ~ in essence there's a huge amount of stuff on trucks and trailers we share the roads with, at speed.

Now I only heard a fairly loud whirling noise as the middle trailer of a road train snaked it's way past my vehicle, the road surface is standard fare for the country, so it's rough in places due to patching and tacky bitumen where it simply melts because of the high ambient temperatures, but this melt is normal in the north west.

Anyway, I just happen to glance in the door mounted rear view mirror to see an object in the air at about 'top of the wheel' on the right side rear spare wheel that sits on a swing out wheel carrier, so it was a good 5 feet off the ground.

By the time I had pulled up off the hard shoulder and turned the Cruiser back in the direction I'd come from, the road train had already disappeared from view but I could still hear it.

The cold shiver and sickly feeling started the instant I saw the 'low flying object'
right on the fog line of the road surface.

As I say it's real it happened and it will happen again, possibly with a different outcome, but I sure as Moses hope it's not me in the firing line.

So if you are travelling and there's a road train coming head on, hang on and hope it's not your turn, to get a fright of your life.

Safe travels : Joe

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Nov 30, 2018 at 20:01

Friday, Nov 30, 2018 at 20:01
Hi Joe

You are very lucky indeed and one would hate to think it coming through your front window.

All the best

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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 11:48

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 11:48
G'day Stephen

Thanks for your reply and interest in the post, yes I and my wife are quite lucky in this instance, I don't think it's my time yet but I've become a whole lot more anxious now when a road train comes into sight.

Safe travels : Joe
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Reply By: Kazza055 - Friday, Nov 30, 2018 at 22:11

Friday, Nov 30, 2018 at 22:11
I recall a few years ago having a truck with a transportable building coming towards me and a length of angle (light galvanised sheet) coming loose. It came of about 100m in front of me and hit the road on a flat angle, it bounced up as I went past and landed just behind me where it skidded to a stop.

If the timing was different it could have quiet easily have come through the windscreen and ended up spearing either my passenger or myself. It was also lucky that there was no one right up my ginger.

This still gives me nightmares to think what might have happened..
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 11:56

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 11:56
G'day Kazza055

You and I can at least feel smug in the fact we can talk about these scenarios and have nightmares to haunt us. Stay safe.
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Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 00:00

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 00:00
This type of incident is way more common than you would expect.

I get really angry at the number of truckies who are careless about ensuring total security of their loads - or truck and trailer components.

In my many years on the road, I have had a number of similar "narrow escapes" from death, caused by "foreign objects" falling off passing vehicles.

Some, I've encountered, lying on the road. Others have flown past me.

I've come across a complete truck spare wheel carrier frame, lying in the middle of my lane on Gt Eastern Hwy, West of Merredin - just on dusk - and hidden in the gloom, almost obscured by oncoming vehicle lights.

Luckily I spotted it in time to stop and pull it off the road. It weighed around 50-60 kgs and measured about 40cm x 120cm x 120cm.

My missus was travelling as passenger with a friend in her car, Northwards on Tonkin Hwy, near Gosnells, several years ago, when a huge bolt, similar to the above, flew off a passing truck, towards them - and just cleared the roof in the centre of their windscreen.

The Missus said she was convinced she was going to wear it, and she ducked instinctively.

I knew a shearer from Kulin who went to live in Southern QLD around the mid-1980's.
Not so long after he moved there, he was out West, driving towards Toowoomba, late at night, and as he passed a truck going the other way, a piece of unidentified steel fell off it and went through his windscreen, hit him smack in the face, and killed him instantly.

The Police could never find the truck, or the truckdriver - only that the origins of the piece of steel, was from a truck.

I've come across the following, lying on the road - wood gluts, star pickets, hay bales, railway sleepers, nondescript pieces of steel big enough to cause serious damage, and load straps and binders.

There have been people killed by flying wheels coming off trailers, and a bloke was killed on the Kwinana Fwy quite a number of years ago, by a single wayward brick, that fell off a brick truck going the opposite direction.

From that incident onwards, all pallets of bricks carried, must be either shrink-wrapped with PVC, or have steel mesh surrounding the pallet/s.

It's of major concern that so many of these types of incidents happen, and I think that the amount of load security checks on commercial vehicles should be increased.
The penalties for insecure loads are quite steep, but more random checks need to be carried out.

The worrying part is - those of us with mechanical experience know, that that's a stepped (or shouldered) retaining bolt - with the nut missing.
It makes you wonder whether it came from an item being transported, or off a trailer, or off the truck itself.

It then makes you wonder, what larger component is no longer being properly retained in position.
Hopefully, the loss of that bolt is discovered promptly.

Back in '93, I bought a new 100 tonne Drake, 4 rows of 8, spread low-loader, along with the matching 2 rows of 8 dolly.
My manager and I drove over to Brisbane from Kalgoorlie, to pick it up, and take it back to W.A.
We picked up a 75 tonne Cat excavator from Browns Creek in NSW, for a backload to cover the trip.

We got out along the Western part of the Long Paddock, just past Caiguna - when my manager, who was driving the float (I was escorting), noticed that one set of the dolly wheels wasn't tracking properly.

We stopped and inspected the rig, and were horrified to find that the wheel bearing cap and nut on one axle on the dolly, was gone completely - and the entire wheel hub and set of duals was just starting to "walk" off the end of the axle!!

It was a very serious omission on the part of Drakes employees, that someone had forgotten to fully tighten and insert a cotter pin, in that particular wheel bearing nut!

We didn't want to consider the possibilities of what could have happened with a wheel hub and set of duals parting company with the dolly at 80-90kmh! And we were only grossing a "light" 107 tonnes!

Drake could only apologise for their major error, and set up better assembly checking procedures.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 13:07

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 13:07
G'day Ron

I often wonder about the legalities and the enforcement of them in regards to the trucking industry, I do not wish to start a conflict on the subject here on the forum, but I have over the decades seen some (in my opinion) dangerous loads on road trains heading into and here in the Pilbara and many of these are under Police escort.

Things like steel structures, be they conveyor systems, crushers or portable accommodation units with major bits flapping in the breeze as the entire shamozzle barrels along the highway, some of these very obvious flapping loads must surely be noticed by the driver or if the rig is being escorted, by the escort pilots.

There are always 'things' laying on the roadside or actually on the road surface that have come off a moving vehicle, I have a collection of 7 near new load binders and straps which I've picked up off the road side mostly not to far away from an access road into a mine, fire extinguishers and chain binders with good lengths of chain, I even picked up a full set of screw drives in their hi impact case.

A couple of years back, travelling between Dalwallinu and Wubin there was truckie wandering on foot back to his road train with a real dopey look on his face, CB radio banter at the time was all about this bloke, who'd lost an entire trailer 'dolly' off the top trailer, I spotted the mangled dolly out in the wheat field just past the huge gouges in the bitumen, imagine a trailer dolly clobbering a family in a car.

During the so called mining boom not too far back, an entire iron ore reclaimer bucket wheel loading structure fell off a slow moving truck in convoy from Port Hedland to where ever this 200 + ton thing was meant to go, lots of red faces, lots of questions not a lot of answers but one heavy haulage company went under, possibly because 'Big Brother' mining doesn't like negative press, apparently. The Youtube video of the drama has also disappeared since then too.
Safe travels : Joe

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 13:43

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 13:43
Joe - Yes, I remember the episode of the iron ore reclaimer bucket wheel loading structure falling over.
It was discussed at length on a number of the trucking and tractor forums.

The big floats (my 100 tonne Drake included) have hydraulic suspension.
There's usually a Honda hydraulic power pack supplying the fluid to adjust the suspension height.

You lower the float right down to the stops to load up, then adjust the height for travel, allowing for adequate suspension travel.
If you come to an obstruction, you can often lower the deck enough to slip under the obstruction.

On the big platform floats, the hydraulics are separate for each side, so you can even adjust the slope of the deck.

What happened in the Pt Hedland incident was, the float wheels had to run up over kerbing, due to the width of the float (and the inability of road engineers, and kerbing installers, to understand that big floats have to use the road, too!).

With a very high load, as in the Pt Hedland case, keeping the deck level is important, to avoid tipping over when adverse angles are being encountered.

Someone, who obviously remains nameless in the book of shame, connected up the hydraulic hoses incorrectly on this particular float - they were back-to-front.

So the float operator went to level the deck as the angle increased with the float wheels riding up onto the kerbing - and of course, the deck tilted the wrong way, exacerbating the lean - and the reclaimer bucket wheel loading structure then simply fell over.

There's simply no excuse for losing loads, such as a trailer dolly off the deck of a semi. It's straight-out carelessness and laziness.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Mick O - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 01:04

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 01:04

Got a raw piece of it the size of a cricket ball land in my lap after it fell off the back of a B-triple side dumper moving from Woodie Woodie to god knows where on the Rippon Hills Road! Christ it hit the windscreen with a bang and fairly scared the shit out of me and "Outback Al" at the time and left a hole in the windscreen of a corresponding size! Thankfully though a few strips of 100 mph tape held it till I got back to Melbourne 2 months later!!

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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 07:21

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 07:21
G'day Adventurous One

Mick, there's much to fear when these B-triple or Quad ore carrying roadtrains rattle by, more so if they have just entered the actual highway from whatever mine site they operate from, because quite often there are chunky cricket and golf ball sized projectiles ready to drop off and clobber something or someone.

I would have yelled stronger words than 'MANGANESE' had the windscreen episode been my situation, as you described.

I'm not sure what mental giant in Western Australia's state government actually thought ore carrying Quad trailer road trains to be a good idea, these buggers run 24/7 and often in a nose to tail convoy at 90 kmph from an East Hamersley Range mine site to Port Hedland, then factor in the Lithium mine(s) heavy haulage contractors also carting their part of the Pilbara to an export terminal at the port.

Safe travels : Joe
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 05:42

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 05:42
I watched a pin off an excavator come off a low loader and cartwheel down the road. It went under the taxi in front of me and jammed under the gearbox launching him a few feet into the air. Not a good day to be a cabby. He was very lucky not to have been injured. The car was wrecked.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 13:57

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 13:57
G'day Gbc

Sometimes it's the things you can't or don't see that get you, if you are in the wrong place at the time.

Safe travels : Joe
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 07:52

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 07:52
Lucky escape Joe, glad you (and passengers ?) got through this ok.

Don't forget all, you have to be mindful of loads on any vehicle, I've seen tradies ladder come off roof racks, bottles / cans out of ute trays.

There are fines in most (all ?) states for unsecured loads, and that means anything that could come adrift when driving.
I think one state(s) have just enacted a new law that nothing is unsecured INSIDE a vehicle cabin too, to prevent flying object injuries when braking or in crashes.

Wide loads are certainly common around our country, probably WA and outback where mines etc operate sees more serious loads.

Took this off the dash cam yesterday of a dump truck on the Mid Western Highway, between West Wyalong and Rankin Springs, he was heading east.

I was expecting something around the bend, but not this . . . the lead pilot vehicle escorting these sorts of wide loads usually gets out onto your side of the road, flashing all lights to indicate it's a serious load.

Is this a baby one Joe ?
I think it might be.

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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 14:31

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 14:31
G'day Les
All good my friend, yes it can be said I and the wife are lucky in this instance, there are lots of untold melodramas happening all over the world, but this one is my story and it's something the has shaken me to the core.
Yes there are a lot of what if's that didn't happen but if I had not been doing the actual posted speed of 110Kmph at the time, maybe just 10Kmph slower would I have worn this low flying object in the head? ~ don't know!
I do know however, I will be on edge whenever a juggernaut comes at me, with or without visible 'flappy bits' even if it's got an escort ~ Police or pensioner.
I'll even go out of my way to follow up on a dangerous load to see which mine it heads into, then I will plague the haulage and mining company, as they do have a 'duty of care' ~ I'm not sure if the local or state governments have the balls to act on these careless carriers, but I am more than willing to rattle their cages.
I am not as sharp as you Les, the dash camera in my Cruiser was not recording at the time, it might have caught the moment, but it would have certainly recorded my verbal response, yes I got told off for my colourful language(s) ~ yep I can swear in several languages, I might have to devise a numeric swear word system so Maria won't know what the #3 I'm on about at the #5 time?
Safe travels my friend, have a safe peaceful Christmas.
Regards : Joe
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Reply By: Ozi M - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 08:56

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 08:56
Like all of us, I too have seen various objects on the side of the road in the bush but the closest I have come to an unwelcome visitor was in suburbia.

Travelling along on a dual lane road and the ute in front was a bit slower so I moved to the other lane, about one second after I did this, the lid on the large BBQ on the back of the ute took off and landed on the road right next to me.

If I had stayed in the other lane it would have been in my lap, scary stuff
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 14:34

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 14:34
G'day Ozi M
All I can say is 'you made a smart move at the time.
Safe travels : Joe
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Follow Up By: Ozi M - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 16:40

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 16:40
I now have a dash cam, that would have been one of the very few bits worth keeping
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Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 09:21

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 09:21
It's amazing really that more people aren't killed or injured when you think about this topic !

Back in the mid 80's I was riding my FJ1100 Yamaha from Sydney to Adelaide across the Hay plain - was cruising along nicely at 110 kph ;) when another motorcycle coming the other way who I'm guessing was also cruising along at 110 kph ;) when I saw him look down suddenly and then I saw this big cylindrical object heading straight towards my face - ducked my head in less than a split second and got hit on the very top of my helmet with what turned out to be his muffler. We both stopped and turned around and met at where the muffler had stopped and couldn't believe our luck - particularly mine ! Only that morning the other chap had a new 4 into 1 exhaust system fitted to his Suzuki. We refitted the very dinged up muffler after some panel beating and bush mechanics and went on our merry way !

I still shudder every time I think about this near death experience !

Happy and safe travels

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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 14:53

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 14:53
G'day Gazz

Funny you should say this about a flying object contacting a bike rider, well it's not funny in a humorous way, just coincidental as such.

Last year a Japanese tourist on a bicycle got frizzby'd by the lid of a large ice/water cooler vessel, the wayward lid hit the bike after it bounced off the cooler, making the avid adventurer wobble off the road into the long grass, the poor bugger didn't have the strength in him to pick his belongings or his bike up at the time.

Mum, Dad and the kids travellers watched it all unfold, then stopped to help the bloke out, I stopped to offer assistance, but it wasn't needed, I just left the scene with a big grin on my face, funny that!

Apparently the work ute driver returned to collect the lid of the 'chilly bin' ~ genuine Kiwi's on a working holiday.

Safe travels : Joe
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Reply By: Hoyks - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 10:32

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 10:32
A guy died out near Muswellbrook years ago from the vehicle he was in hitting a shipping container latch on the highway near the power stations.

It just wasn't his day. Picked up with a suspected heart attack and traveling to hospital in the back of an old petrol F-truck ambulance when it hit the chunk of steel that punctured the fuel tank and set it on fire.
Poor ambo's only just got themselves out and had no chance of moving the stretcher.
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 10:40

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 10:40
It was laying in the midle of a southbound lane on the Pacific highway halfway between Coffs harbour and Woolgoolga outside the zoo at Kumbaingeri. It was the large rhs that the locking pin fits into on the corner of a semi trailer to fasten containers on. It some how became unwelded and had fallen of.
Two of my workmates were transporting an elderly man accompanied by his daughter to hospital in an F100 ambulance in the early hours of the morning.
The amulance passed over the steel object and in doing so it flipped up and ruptured both fuel tanks.
A fire followed and a pool of 150 litres of petrol surrounded the wagon and no way of opening the back door or moving the Ambulance forward.
The Ambo and Daughter in the back managed to sqeeze into the cab and escape through a front door.
The fibreglass ambulance burned to the ground and the elderly gent on the stretcher died a horrible death.
The semi with the missing part was never located.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 15:11

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 15:11
G'day Hoyks and Pinko

Hope you don't mind the reply but you seem to be talking about the same incident, it's almost impossible to comprehend the horror of it all.

There's next to no chance of tracking the truck or trucker down, but my guess is that he or she might know of their possible involvement if they notice the missing container lock down pin, this sounds very much like the incident on the coastal highway out of Karratha in Western Australia, very tragic and totally avoidable if maintenance and correct inspection of equipment is done in a timely manner.

Imagine the bits and pieces coming off this load.

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 18:50

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 18:50

That's a serious "missile!" It looks like a trailer "rocker box" pivot pin, so weighs maybe 2-3kgs, nearly 50mm in diameter, and at least 250mm long. It should be retained by at least one Nyloc nut, if not two. Glad to know it wasn't on target!

Back when the Victoria Highway wasn't sealed, we were travelling after dark near the Keep River crossing, and something on the road was highlighted by another oncoming vehicles lights. It looked like a snake, rearing up, ready to strike the unwary. Turns out it was a tyre locking rim, off a truck wheel. It had the potential to not only damage the guts of the ute, but enter through the floor pan and injure the youthful occupants.

In the same area, a year or two earlier, a traveller had run over a steel picket, hidden in the dust, in his Mini Minor. The picket pierced the floor pan, then the driver's thigh and he was evacuated by the RFDS.

Hope you're both going well, Joe?


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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 20:18

Saturday, Dec 01, 2018 at 20:18
G'day Bob

Thanks for the response, yes mate there are some extremely dangerous things found on and just off the road, the Pilbara as you know is vast with fairly scant communications and most outposts are a fair trot apart should someone require urgent medical attention.

Plenty of people have had serious encounters far from help, clobbering a big bullock is a real issue on any night time drive, let alone lost things on the road surface.

The mining side of things has actually pushed the cattle away from what was pastoral lease and these yet to be mustered animals simply graze the roadside vegetation, situations usually happen when the beast heads to the greener grass on the other side of the road.

All good with the 'Boss' and myself ~ thanks.

I trust you and your good lady have a safe and peaceful Christmas

Best wishes and safe travels mate. Joe
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 11:17

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 11:17
Bob, I reckon you're spot-on with the origin of that bolt.

The worrying part is that that nut wouldn't have rattled off in one trip, it would have taken numerous trips - meaning supervision and equipment safety checking in that trucking organisation is very poor.

As regards the locking ring on the road - funny you should mention that.
My head mechanic in the early 1980's told me how he and 2 mates were travelling together, when working for the Water Supply Dept, East of Kulin in the early 1970's.

They were hammering along this gravel road at speed, when there was an almighty "BANG!!!" - and the two ends of a locking ring popped up through the floor of the ute, just barely missing the two passengers!

None of them had seen the locking ring, it was the same colour as the gravel - and they presumed that as the passenger side front wheel ran over it, it stood up and angled just perfectly, to punch through the floorpan!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: ian.g - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:52

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 15:52
There was a gentleman by the Name of Ben Schultz who was the manager of Grazcos (A shearing contractor) in Charleville during the late 60's early 70's driving between Charleville and Quilpie in a Valiant, this road was all dirt at this time and was always bad, went over a piece of broken car leaf spring buried in bulldust, which came up through the floor pan, through the seat and pierced his thigh very badly. Almost bleed to death and was also evacuated by RFDS. Think Ben is still alive and living in Toowoomba.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 17:11

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 17:11
Crikey, ian.g, that gives me the willies.

On the Mereenie loop recently I saw a broken down camper in the distance. As I was approaching I saw the remains of the slipper springs that had come apart and caused their predicament spread about the track. I was able to avoid them, thinking more about tyres, but your story puts a far more serious slant on it.

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Reply By: Member - Warren H - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 00:04

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 00:04
Quite unexpected things can turn into missiles as well. Travelling at 110 kph on the Federal Hwy, I once had a chunk of truck retread rubber flipped into the air by a Landcruiser in an adjacent lane, it hit the front tyre of my vehicle with a substantial thump so I pulled over to check. It had ripped a lug off my Desert Dueler with the casing exposed. Goodness knows what it would have done to a small sedan.
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 10:17

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 10:17
A few airborne missiles have thankfully just missed me over the years. Several smaller ones have damaged the windscreen of course.

But the classic was at 110kph on the freeway from Gold Coast to Brisbane when a surfboard took flight from the roof of the vehicle in front and headed straight for Roz's face. A very quick flick of the steering put me onto the centre shoulder and the surfboard went past the side and under a following 4WD. No idea what happened to it then!
Hope my reflexes are as good now as then.

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Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 17:52

Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 17:52
I was once very lucky not to be responsible for goodness knows what damage to an oncoming vehicle and driver. I was driving a Series 3 Landy that had a dodgy bonnet catch. After it let go a couple of times (held on by the strut) we roped it down to the bull bar via one of the spare tyre bolts. The crew I was working on had a dodgy mechanic, dipstick by both name and nature. He 'fixed' the bonnet catch and also removed the stay which he reckoned was shorting the battery. We were driving down the Rolleston-Springsure road on a bit of main road between two seismic lines in our grid. The Landy was going flat out at 80 kph (4cyl, lwb ute), the fixed bonnet catch gave way and now devoid of the stay, slipped out of the hinges (no split pins of course, what LR had them fitted) and sailed free. The bolts on the spare tyre carrier put two neat holes in the roof as it continued into the air, the blue heeler in the back gave a yelp and jumped through the sliding window into the cab, the bonnet remained airborne but stayed on our side of the road. All this happened as the only vehicle we'd seen in days passed us in the other direction. We were so lucky nobody was injured or killed! Picked the bonnet up of the road chucked it in the back and continued the days work. The prequil to this episode was the day before while the Landy was being serviced, we were using a borrowed cruiser; we ripped out a rear brake line on some flattened scrub that twisted upright as we drove over it and discovered that dipstick had put a nail into a previously severed front brake line, so no brakes at all. He did have a bit of form. Modern attitudes to OHS can be a bit tedious but it could be a bit of a cowboy show in the 70's, like the powder monkey on our Simpson Desert crew, who smoked and ignited the cardboard in the back of the explosives truck with a butt thrown out the window. Apparently when the flames turned green they knew to drop the extinguishers bolt over the crest of the dune. The story goes that all that was left of the Tojo were the chassis rails, engine and gearbox.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 17:30

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 17:30
In my long gone motor bike days the gods must have been looking after me. In the days well before "Cover Your Load" rules I was nearly hit by a brick falling off a truck load of demolition material, and on another occasion, similar but this time a large clod of clay.

The third occasion was a sheet of corrugated iron liberated from the roof rack of some DIYer. It went past only a couple of meters away (or I went past it) at head height.

The fourth occasion I was in my car, driving home in the early morning from night shift. It was winter, poor light, grey overcast, grey light, grey concrete 100kph road. Body clock out of whack and tired, I didn't see the steel mesh factory floor parts crate (grey of course!) lying in my lane until too late and hit it at about 80, full frontal. It flew over the roof.Well, I was ok, but fearing the worst for my car stopped to assess the damage, fully expecting it to be undriveable with a punctured radiator, etc.

Amazingly, apart from the bent bits is was ok. And also amazingly, the object was heavy enough not to have flown over the roof, but to have come through the windscreen had it chosen to do so.

Scary stuff when you think about it.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 18:39

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 18:39
Bricks Frank! Yeah, them too......

Many moons ago, and I think it was on the Hume Hwy when it was still just two lanes. (Yes children, it really was once.)
A truck in front was regularly dropping bricks off an unwrapped pallet at the back of the tray. Mostly they shattered and some large pieces went flying into the air. Although he was a bit below the speed limit I kept well back out of range, not game to try for an overtake.
Trouble was, the line-up behind wanted to pass me and to save them from driving into the flak I signalled and moved out over the centre line. Started getting blasts on the horn and probably unheard profanities.
Eventually came to a town with restricted speed and was able to pass and convinced the truck to stop. The poor driver was aghast at what he was causing and very apologetic and grateful to me. Bet those following drivers were not so appreciative of my driving style! lol


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FollowupID: 895297

Reply By: Greg J1 - Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 18:16

Monday, Dec 03, 2018 at 18:16
In 2011 we were in Kakadu when someone told us the Darwin show was on. We decided to check out the Darwin show so we headed for Darwin. Between the bark hut inn and corroboree inn there was a traffic accident. Police everywhere and a triton ute smashed in the scrub.

After we spent the day at the show we stayed at the humpy doo pub on our way to shady camp. We set up camp and we were having a beer as this old fella wandered by. We said guday and he stopped to chat but he seemed a bit distant. My wife asked if he was ok and he just started crying.

He told us about how he had just lost his wife in an accident near the bark hut inn. It was the accident we had drove past 2 days earlier. A rock had fallen off the side of a side tipper who had just loaded at one of the quarries and had went through the windscreen and killed his wife. His son was on the way from cairns to pick him and his caravan up.

Life can be so fragile

Cheers Greg
AnswerID: 622436

Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 00:00

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 00:00
I can recall the SIL's father (Jim) telling us of a near-death experience on the Collie-Williams Rd, on their way to Collie from Williams, way back in the mid-1960's.

He and his wife were travelling down this windy road, and saw a log truck barrelling along towards them.

Just before they passed, a log fell off the truck, hit the road, end-first, right in front of them - then the log did a spiral, when the other end of the log hit the road further to the left, and further back.

As the back end of the log hit the road, it lifted the front end of the log - and the front end went up and over the roof of their car - without touching it!!

The log then flew out to their left, into the scrub - still without touching the car!

Jim said they both ducked instinctively, thinking the log was coming through the windscreen - but it did this amazing corkscrew action, and missed the car completely!

They stopped in shock - but the log truck didn't!
I bet he knew he'd lost the log, but he wasn't stopping to face the music!

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 622444

Reply By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 17:18

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2018 at 17:18
Also Low Lying Objects.

Was driving back from Brisbane towards Sunny Coast one night. We were in the overtaking lane doing 110kph passing a car when an object came into the view of low beam.
I hit the anchors and swung in behind the car I was passing.

The object was the guard rail. Must have just been hit and detached by something "large"...and the pointy end was hanging still suspended off one of its posts half way into the overtaking lane. Would have speared right into anything that hit it.

A few of us pulled up and a guy nudged it back into place with his truck.
Even with hazard lights on and people with torches waving people to slow down - still had idiots zoom past without slowing down. (I think most of them must have been heading to Inskip Point - sorry sorry - my sarcasm these days....gets out of control!!)
Kerry W (Qld)
Security is mostly a superstition. It doesnt exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
-Helen Keller

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AnswerID: 622449

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