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Old 07-08-2010, 06:13 PM

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Location: West Texas
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Mud trouble

Hurricane Alex dumped a lot of rain on my part of the world over the weekend. We had a Link-Belt 8670 parked on a job site where we had just finished. The plan had been to leave it parked there until this last Monday and then take it to the next place we needed it. When the rains came Friday we were busy elsewhere and couldn't get to it in time. The rains let up and the sun came out a little on Sunday, and we crossed our fingers that things would work out Monday. Monday afternoon we got there and things looked good. The soil seems solid and dry...until we picked up the outriggers and drove forward. I made it about four feet ahead and sunk about eight inches in that time. The surface had been solid, but a couple inches down it all turned to soup. So we used a different crane Monday and decided to give things a little more time to dry out. Then, yesterday afternoon storms started breaking out all over the place. It was time to get it out of there before things got worse. My brother and two hands got there twenty minutes or so ahead of me. He had made it a few feet ahead and was rocking it, but every time he came forward he was piling more dirt up in the front of his ruts. I was really concerned about the stress he was putting on the driveshafts and U-joints. So I had him back up to the beginning of his ruts and shackled a 3/4 inch cable onto the front of the rig.

The pick up had enough extra momentum and traction to make it out and on to solid ground. I tried to stay right at the threshold of where I had good traction, but wound up spinning tires more than I had intended. The guy I handed my phone to only managed one picture before being to confused to take any more, and couldn't handle the video function at all. The picture doesn't do everything justice. Here are the ruts. Keep in mind, this was a 90,000 pound vehicle with wide tired tandem steering axles in front and tandem dual drive axles in back. There are big outrigger beams in front and back. When it sunk it only sunk to the bottom of the beams, which then became scrapers of a sort. Here are the ruts when it was all said and done.

Ok, I'm not smart enough to put the pictures on here how I wanted. The first picture is right as the front axles on the crane were climbing out, and the second is of the ruts. Click to embiggen them.
Attached Thumbnails
Mud trouble-stuck-crane.jpg   Mud trouble-ruts.jpg  

Last edited by grizzlybearkeith; 07-08-2010 at 06:22 PM.
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