Three local tow companies come together to safely remove damaged cement truck from ditch
You might say it takes a community to pull 80,000 pounds of cement truck and cement out of a ditch after it overturns.
That's what happened Wednesday when crews from Dan's Tire, Dickinson's Auto Service, and L&L Transmission, came together to figure out a way to recover a cement truck that had crashed on Route 98 in Batavia after blowing out a tire.
"They (the truck owner) requested that we go out there and remove their truck with the least damage possible without cutting up their truck because they want to keep the loss on it as minimal as possible," said Steve Grice, towing operations manager for Dan's Tire. "They were also concerned about the property owner and not any further damage to their property, which Tony Scalia is taking care of tomorrow, restoring their property."
The crew was Grice, T.J. DiLaura, Jesse Repass, and Matt Scott, from Dan's Tire, and Chad Dickinson, Bob Dickinson, Bobbie Dickinson, and Steve Dorf from Dickinson's Auto Service, Cameron Selapack from L&L Transmission.
Grice said between Dan's and Dickinson, he thinks they had the two largest wreckers in the county on the scene to deal with a truck and a full mix barrel weighing an estimated 80,000 pounds.
"I know it was a huge safety concern of the fire department and everybody," Grice said. "To our knowledge, everyone was happy that everything was done safely. The road was closed down for a short period of time. Once the truck was upright on the roadside, we had one lane opened up and within an hour that the road was open and clear for public traffic."
Dickinson's used their 45-ton "King Kong," with its 90,000-pound capacity, and Dan's it's "Big Black" with 50- to 100,000-pound capacity. King Kong took control of the mix barrel and crews were able to lift it back onto the frame of the truck and safely chain it to the truck. Big Black was able to hook onto the front of the truck and then the two trucks "walked" it back and forth onto the shoulder of the roadway.
After repairing airlines and refilling the truck's suspension to be able to handle the load, Big Black held the truck stable while King Kong moved to the front end and lifted it so the broken axle could be removed. After repositioning the truck, Dickinson's was able to safely tow it to the owner's property on East Main Street.
Grice said Wreck Master's was on speed dial to help with any weight calculations during the operation.
"It was a combined effort and combined brains came up with the proper way to safely remove it without causing further damage," Grice said. "I know someone brought up one point they were concerned for safety because of the weight we were dealing with.
"At no point at any time was anybody's safety in jeopardy. Everyone knew the weight they were dealing with; what had to be done; and the safest way to do it."
Photo: Steve Grice, Chad Dickinson, and Bob Dickinson.
Below, video provided by Steve Grice showing a little of the operation to get the truck out of the ditch. Photos below courtesy Steve Grice.