A Beer Truck Drops Its Cargo
It was a scene ripped straight from the dreams of beer aficionados – a Budweiser truck tipped on the Gowanus Expressway onramp to the BQE, leaking its yeasty cargo across the roadway. For weary commuters, however, it was a traffic nightmare. As cases and cans went pouring out over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, vehicle traffic backed up towards the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Queens-bound lanes of the BQE were put on lockdown, as emergency personnel attended to the scene and clean-up crews came to clear the debris. The clean-up crews were assisted by some thrifty (and thirsty!) NYC citizens, as well. Those looking for an un-cracked beer amidst the spillage, or empty cans to cash in for change, scoured the flotsam for bounty. The clean-up crews were also charged with cleaning up fuel, which also spilled as a result of the truck’s overturning.
While the incident occurred in the dead of the night (around 3:51am), some of the beer-soaked roads remained closed until nearly 11:00am. As one might imagine, these closings had major traffic ramifications; widespread delays were reported.
No one was killed in the accident, though officials from the FDNY have released a statement saying that one man was taken to the hospital with serious trauma, though is reportedly in stable condition.
Hauling Cargo Safely
So, you’re not a truck driver. You don’t professionally ship large quantities of cargo in oversized tractor-trailers. But even as an ordinary motorist, you realize the importance of securing whatever goods you may be transporting safely, if and when you need to transport them. Be it a mattress atop the roof rack during a short move, or more precarious cargo over longer distances, it is of utmost importance that you learn how to strap down your belongings so as to not scatter them across the interstate. Here, we’ll go over some tips and techniques which will help you hold down your goods safely and securely.
- Something that is often overlooked when packing out a car is the center of gravity. When moving, or when hauling large amounts of goods, it’s tempting to want to fit in as much as possible so as to reduce the amount of trips it will take to complete the task. However, overloading a car, truck or SUV can be dangerous. Keep in mind, while driving, that the normal balance of your vehicle may change if you’ve loaded in differently-weighted items.
- Be cautious when using bungees. Their elasticity makes them adaptable for many jobs, but that same lack of specificity can sometimes allow for jostling and looseness. They’re also prone to wearing out. If you do use bungees, use them in a supplementary way, and always make sure they’re new and firm. Ratchet straps, and their hookless counterparts the cam strap, are stronger and more trustworthy alternatives to bungee cords.
- One large parcel is always better than multiple smaller items. If possible, lump everything into one larger container. The more moving parts, the more likely you will overlook fastening something tightly, and therefore the more likely it will be for that item to wriggle loose and drop off your vehicle as you drive.
- When you’ve finished securing your load, re-check to make sure all constituent parts of your cargo are properly fastened.
- Don’t overload! It’s better to make more than one trip than to test your limits and have a strap break mid-ride due to an overload.
- Invest in a proper bicycle rack. Bicycle racks come in three basic types: roof, trunk, and hitch.
- Finally -and this advice applies to driving in general, of course- drive carefully! Drive slowly, especially around curves. Carrying heavy loads often obstructs lines of vision, so make sure to utilize your mirrors effectively and thoroughly and change lanes with extreme caution.