It's Rob at the helm this time. First time maybe for this blog?
I'm proud to present to the world the final product which took 10 months to modify and finish. It's a long story, but the frame was built, unpainted, and sat for 6 years. It's a trombone float to carry the modular office buildings we haul. All shrunk up, the total length is 53 feet, the deck is 42 feet. Stretched to it's maximum length, the deck is 66 1/2 feet, making the total length 77 1/2 feet long. It is hydraulically controlled to lift off the bogy (frame which contains the suspension system only) and the goose neck. Lowest height is 30 inches, tallest height is 54 inches.
When it was first built, the wheel spacing was 4 feet between each axle. However, after it was built, MTO weight regulations for that wheel spacing changed so that the a triaxle could carry only 3000 pounds more than a tandem, which is basically its own weight. So we had to stretch the bogy to a 6 foot spacing, which changed the dynamics of the WHOLE REAR FRAME!!! Everything was affected by this. I essentially stripped the rear frame of all its outriggers but one, and all the inner cross members but one. There was no blue print for this, but all custom made. For such a big float, it's amazing how many things fit with less than an inch to spare. We also made several upgrades and reinforcements, which also took considerable time.
What makes this unit the Cadillac of our floats is that we can stretch the trombone section of the float 15 feet by using a winch, and close it up again using the same winch! (winches typically can only pull things together, but not push them apart). Normally we release the locking pin, pull the spike (hand lever for trailer brakes only) and drive the truck ahead to pull the float apart. But this is a rather frustrating experience on loose gravel, and even worse on ice!
There's so much detail that went into making this float the thing of beauty that it is, but I won't bore you with it. I'll simply share some pictures of it.
Float minimized........................................ Float maximized
All the way down (when backing under a building)
All the way up (when taking stands from under a building)
Bogy and frame together
Frame lifted up from bogy. Note how the bogy has come forward in relation to the frame. Note as well how the hoses have to miss the orange pulley. Can the keen eye discern the engineering flaw with the pulley? It has since been modified!
A bird's eye view onto some of the intricacies
We also move uncle Tim's mobile stores, which is always exciting. If only I could fill all the orders I received on the CB. Sometimes I just say that I have such an addiction that I need to take this kind of a lunch box. One time (pre 105 km/hr speed governor regulations) I had another trucker hanging out at my back door in the hammer lane for miles, which was frustrating me. So eventually I thought of a polite way to tell him to get lost: I told him that the drive-thru was closed, and either to proceed to the next Timmies or get in behind me to lett others the chance to do so. He didn't say anything. He did slip back in behind me though. :)