Michigan Roadtrains and 'Supertrains' too. Biglorryblog has Martin Phippard and Craig Chance to thank for these bonneted behemoths...
'Keeper of the flame' Martin Phippard has e-mailed me to say: "Hi Brian, attached please find a few photos from a friend, Craig Chance, in Michigan. I first met Craig on the outskirts of Dearborn back in 1991 at which time he was a very young blade driving a Brockway 361 with a V12 Detroit at the front end of a Michigan Train hauling aggregates. Just recently he made contact again and after a little prompting agreed to send some photos of trucks he has driven for BLB."
Martin explains: "Interestingly in Michigan where weights are the highest of all the US States, they still use the Eaton/Fuller 13-speed rather than the ubiquitous 18-speed on the grounds that the transmission (gearbox) gives a longer life in service. I think the overdrive ratio of the 13-speed, which I recall is 0.87:1, may be better suited to the deep rear end ratios on the Michigan tractors too although I don't have details."
And he adds: "In any case I am indebted to Craig for the pictures, particularly when he mentioned that it was Minus 16-Degrees F when he took the ones in the snow! And although I know you still struggle with terminology I hope you will note Craig's reference to Short Doubles, Trains and Super Trains. I shall be asking questions later! Best regards, Martin."
Meanwhile, we'll let Craig take over the commentary...after all he was the one who had to take the pictures in the snow! "Martin---Here are the pictures you requested of various Kenworth trucks. These are all trucks that I have had the pleasure of driving for my employer with the exception of the orange short double. I took the pictures of the super train today (1-30-2009). It was cold and snowy all day. This is the truck I currently drive. It's not as fancy as the W900L but it pays the bills. Notice the axle configuration on the super trains. This is why they can scale more weight. I hope this is helpful." It certainly is Craig and for those interested the rig is grossing 164,000lbs (or 74.39 tonnes) and that's a T800 slope nose Kenworth up the front!
And what you have here is a Michigan Gravel Train 154,000 lbs gross weight (or a 'mere' 69.85 tonnes!) with a Kenworth W900L up front...
Andf here's a picture of Craig himself in front of his W900L--obviously not taken today as the sun is shining and there's no snow! Now click through for more!
And here's a Michigan 'short' (you could have fooled me!) double at 148,000lbs(67.13 tonnes) with a W900 Kenworth short hood.
And this is what it looks like from the side. In the meantime thanks to Craig and Martin those Michigan 'trains are certainly impressive!