Tractor trailers are big, freaking dangerous death machines, in case you didn't know.
In this case, a trailer just ate a leg. Well, chomped-n-gnawed on it a bit, although my coworker and friend, now on day two in the hospital with a cast up to his ass might parse it differ'nt.
First, I wasn't there, gentle reader. I had dropped off the trailer at the loading dock that morning. But I've seen pics, heard the tale and visited the leg, and so I'm counting this 'holy *uc*!' moment.
Here's the story. Most trailers only have tires on the back end of the box, whether one or two axels doesn't matter. The point is, for a trailer to stay horizontal without the truck/tractor on the other end, you have to put down a landing gear (metal legs) located about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down the box. In the end, the trailer's nose will stick out some distance beyond the landing gear.
Unless there is a brace or a jack under the nose, do not put anything very very very heavy into the box's nose. Like a forklift.
You. Will. Tip. The. Trailer. Like. A. See. Saw.
Which is what my friend did, regretfully. He drove a forklift off the dock onto the trailer and out to the nose to pick up a gaylord.
- Good news, the trailer nosed over only some 2 feet or so.
- Bad news, the very very heavy dock plate got jammed up in the trailer.
- Good news, the very very heavy dock plate kept it from going ass-over.
- Good news, bad news, good news, bad news later ... my friend's leg wound up pinned between the trailer and the dock. Fractured. Flesh-mangle, bone-views and all. ... He took pics on his i-phone.
- Respect these beasts.
- If you have the good luck to walk away from bad luck, keep walking.