Written by Jeff Hillyer
Boeing needed to move an Aft Pressure Dome for a 767 from Grand Prairie, TX to Wilmington, OH.
The problem is this is a fairly large piece of equipment, standing 15? 4? tall on the ground, and there are only two ways to transport this item due to the fact it could not possibly be turned sideways, leaned over, nor laid flat.
The fastest mode of transportation – the Antonov (a large Russian air freighter) or by truck. Problem is the Antonov cost $ 1,000,000 a day to rent (1Million dollars, a-day!) so our friends at Boeing contacted Dan to see whether SPD could tackle the move.
Dan put Steve Buck to work, contacting states and ordering route surveys to find a suitable route for the precious cargo, after 3 weeks of telephone calls and endless miles run scouting the way, Dan then summoned the help of truck 520 with drivers Chubby and Kim Hillyer for this delicate task.
On April 11th Chubby and Kim arrived in Grand Prairie, TX, but the load was not quite ready. Ten days later after the product was finished and modifications made to the shipping fixture, to satisfy Chubby so that this product could be safely transported, they were on their way.
The first two days went well and almost without a hitch, until the bridge engineering department of Iowa called Steve Buck and said, “sorry but you can’t bring that load into our state…it’s too high.”
So Chubby and Kim stayed in Sabetha, KS for the next ten days while Dan and Steve made hundreds of phone calls and pilot cars covered thousands of miles trying to secure new routing.
Luckily, Steve and Chubby have established an excellent working relationship with the folks in the Missouri Superload office and with their help and a few uncommon favors that they won’t give just everyone, a route was approved.
While Chubby and Kim were forging thru Missouri, Steve was hastily working with Illinois to find an approved route since entrance to their state would now be at a different point. During this whole process Steve was supposed to be on vacation (our hats off to him for showing great work ethics and dedication.)
The rest of the journey went rather smooth, well as smooth as a 17? high load can go, when traveling east of the Mississippi.
The load was then safely delivered on May 9th, to another satisfied SPD customer.
Kim says Chubby aged about 5 years in that 30 days, and Chubby says it wasn’t all that bad except trying to cross the Illinois river on hwy 67, idling along in creeper gear with the air bags dumped for three quarters of a mile, because there was only 1 INCH of clearance between the top the load and steel beam girders overhead.
Not to mention 800 traffic lights, 7000 wires and a million tree branches, that was all too low!!
Ok maybe the last statement was a slight exaggeration. But that is the story of the load that lasted a month.