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Michigan Roadtrains and 'Supertrains' too. Biglorryblog has Martin Phippard and Craig Chance to thank for these bonneted behemoths...

  • 01 February 2009
  • By Biglorryblog

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'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."
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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."
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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." 

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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!

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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...

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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!

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And here's a Michigan 'short' (you could have fooled me!) double at 148,000lbs(67.13 tonnes) with a W900 Kenworth short hood.

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And this is what it looks like from the side. In the meantime thanks to Craig and Martin those Michigan 'trains are certainly impressive!