The Wyoming Department of Transportation needed significant help a few weeks ago when a heavy piece of equipment sank in the mud of the rain-soaked prairie. Big Al’s Towing had their new crane truck for less than a week when they received the call.
A crane truck replaces two or three tow trucks working at the scene of an accident. Because it can lift directly instead of dragging a vehicle across the ground, it causes less damage to vehicles and the ground below.
It is the only one of its kind in Laramie County.
“The only way we could take it out was to pick it up straight,” said Dave Rose, Big Al towing. “You couldn’t grab it and start pulling it.”
Big Al’s Towing purchased the crane truck for $ 690,000 to help eliminate traffic accidents. The truck has a 40 foot boom that can extend in any direction, making it easy to pick up and move vehicles.
“So if you had a car stuck on the road or maybe even in a ditch or a ravine, you could pick up the car and move it and put it on another truck, or clear it on the road or whatever,” Rose said.
The truck was called to the port of entry on I-15. It acts as a mobile crane and has been used to adjust loads on trucks entering the state.
“They are only allowed at a certain weight on each axle,” Rose added. “So we might have to pick that up and move it, or say they’re too long or something, maybe we need to move the whole load forward, back or whatever. . “
The truck is also used on construction projects.
“We can do air conditioning units on top of houses, whatever we need to do,” said Michelle Jones, Big Al’s towing business relations manager. “It’s very versatile in what it can pick up. “
Jones said another benefit of the new truck is that it can speed up highway crash resolution. Tow truck drivers are at risk at accident scenes because drivers are distracted when they see the wreckage.
“The important thing in our industry is to avoid side crashes that happen a lot, and that’s how these drivers get injured,” Jones said. “People don’t pay attention, or they don’t pay attention to driving, they watch out for this wreckage here, so the sooner we get that off the road and the traffic is smooth, the less opportunity they have to have. ‘enter (a secondary accident). “