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Travels of the Trucker Delivery to BC Ferries Post #4

October 25, 2011

Building at BC Ferries

Delivering to BC Ferries is a difficult task. There is currently a project underway to build a new ramp at the Tswassen terminal and it is being worked on by FRPD (Fraser River Pile and Dredge) and other subcontractors. The project involves the transportation and installation of large pieces of steel which are used as part of the bumper system for the craft and as part of the loading ramp. The average piece weighs approximately 11 tonnes. It isn’t the pickup or the transport of the material that is difficult it is the delivery which is extremely difficult and dangerous.

The Delivery

On this particular morning I had a pickup and delivery to BC Ferries in Tswassen. The pickup did not go smoothly since the block of steel itself was 26 feet long and I only had a 48 foot trailer with which they wanted to put 2 of these massive 11 tonne beasts on. The load was a wide load which meant I needed wide load signs on both front and back and pilot lights along with red corner flags on each corner. II was narrow enough that I did not require a pilot car. I told the shipper that I was only sent a 48 foot trailer so I could only take one. I had it loaded on and promptly set about strapping it down securely to the deck. Once the load was strapped I departed down the narrow road that was just off 176th street at the bottom of the hill by CN Rail. I got back onto 176th street and since I was a wide load I had to follow a specified route. This route led me from 176th street all the way down to Highway 10 and from Highway 10 I went to Highway 91. Once on Highway 91 I went to Highway 99 and exited at River Road headed towards the BC Ferry terminal. Arriving at the Ferry terminal I stopped at the Fare Booth and stated I had a load for Berth 5. They told me to keep my 4 ways on and take a specified lane. When I arrived at the job site I was expecting to see a crane. No crane was in site, but out on the water there was a crane. The only way accessible to this crane was to drive onto the pier which was very narrow and full of turns.

Once on the pier I had to wait for the crane to remove the steel plate on my deck. After unstrapping and removing my corner flags I was all set. They had mentioned that previous attempts of guys backing out had been unsuccesful and full of failures so they advised they would swing my trailer back around with the crane. I unhooked my trailer, lowered the landing gear and disconnected. The workers secured my trailer and lifted it. I backed out and turned around at the bottom of the pier and returned backing up under my trailer which had now been turned around.

Once I was back out on dry land my nerves returned to normal. The twists and turns made this job task most difficult and I did return for one more delivery there which also went off without any problems.

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