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Moving the Immoveable Mixer, Part 1

0 e9538By Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Capital Towing & Recovery in Columbus, Ohio, serves central Ohio and the surrounding areas. Company president and founder Brandon Harris, a former police officer and graduate of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, had an opportunity to build a new towing company and in April 2007 he jumped in with both feet.

On Aug. 4, Capital Towing & Recovery was called by a concrete company requesting to recover a massive Terex concrete mixer that had rolled onto its side.

"They told us the truck was in a field off the road working on powerline pedestals," Harris said. "The fully loaded Terex front-discharge concrete truck slipped off the wood mats and then rolled. They were unable to unload the concrete which made this recovery very challenging."

Moving the apparently immoveable not only requires the right equipment, tools and knowledge, but also the right team to come up with a plan of action and implement it successfully.

At approximately 5:15 p.m., Harris arrived on scene to find the concrete truck was located approximately 4,000' from the road.

"When I arrived, the construction and concrete companies were attempting to unload the concrete mixer before its load hardened," Harris said. "Unfortunately, the concrete hardened and they were unable to unload the truck.

"It was determined by all parties involved that, due to the location and time of day, it was best to attempt the recovery the following morning. Plastic and oil-absorbent pads were put down to catch any hazardous material leaking from the truck overnight."

The following morning, Capital's recovery team went to the scene to begin prepping for the recovery. They dispatched operator Wes Seymour in a 2005 Kenworth/Century 7035 35-ton heavy wrecker, operator James Manssa in a 2016 Kenworth/Century 9055 50-ton wrecker, operator Phil Pilkington in a 2015 Chevrolet Express 3500 box truck support unit and Harris returned to the recovery scene in his 2016 GMC 3500HD first response pickup truck.

Due to the wet and slick wooden road mats, an abrasive absorbent material was needed for traction. The recovery team brought 15 bags with them to the recovery.

The recovery team first met with a rep from the construction company for a safety brief prior to beginning work. After the brief, they began rigging to the concrete truck for the recovery.

It was planned to employ the construction company's 110,000-lbs. excavator as a deadman due to the recovery angles and the truck not leaving the road mats.

"The recovery consisted of rolling the fully loaded front-discharge concrete mixer weighing approximately 80,000 pounds," Harris said. "We also faced having the hardened concrete load on the top driver side of the drum.

"We calculated that in order to roll this vehicle successfully, it would require four two-part winch lines and eight snatch blocks for line redirection and weight reduction, as well as a deadman weighing at least 45,000 pounds."

The Century 7035 was placed at the front of the casualty and the Century 9055 was placed at the rear. The deadman excavator was staged in the middle.

(Editor's Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part article. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!)

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!
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