|B-TRAINS, INTERLINKS & B-DOUBLES|
The WHYS and WHEREFORES of B-TRAIN COMBINATIONS
by Martin Phippard
In my opinion some of best looking B-Train combinations one can see anywhere are those hauling in Michigan State. Today these 11-axle outfits can legally scale at 164,500-lbs gross weight (74.78-tonnes) and because many are driven by owner-operators, the standard of finish is truly astonishing with polished Alcoa wheels and matching trailers the order of the day.
|Various Michigan Break-Doubles|
Michigan’s steel-hauling rigs are configured differently according to the size of coils they haul. For example, on the lead trailer of a typical 8-axle B-Train trailer set it is possible to see four, five or even six-axles under the fifth wheel tail with two, three and sometimes four-axles under the rear trailer. Axle groupings and spacings are described by the steel haulers in their own unique way. A “tandem-nine-quad-nine” describes a set-up in which there are two axles at the rear of the rear trailer, a single axle nine feet ahead, four axles under the tail section of the lead trailer and another single nine feet ahead. These descriptions always describe a sequence running from the rearmost axle forwards.
During the 1970s most steel haulers used flat decks or platform trailers and coils were tarp’d while in transit. Current coil carriers employ either hoop trailers or sliding-siders (curtainsiders) both of which allow faster turn-arounds. Although the current trailers are undeniably more efficient and driver-friendly than the platforms, it is debateable as to which actually looked better. A 1970s 11-axle B-Train headed up by a long hood conventional Brockway 762 and carrying several coils neatly sheeted in shiny black tarpaulins is a memory to cherish!
|Doyle’s Autocar||KW Steel Coils|
|Mack Steel Coils||Ford Curtainsider|
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