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Auburn, WA 98001

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Maple Valley, WA 98038

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North Bend, WA 98045

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Suite B, 5815 W Thorpe Rd
Spokane, WA 99224

Pro-Tow Helps with Hazardous Material Towing

Pro-Tow Helps with Hazardous Material Towing

In this incident on April 4, 2023, a semi-truck hauling a tank of silicon tetrachloride reported a stripped coolant line and needed assistance. This transport truck needed hazardous material towing for their tank and trailer. Team Pro-Tow responded to the call.

Splitting the Tractor and Trailer

After fighting heavy traffic on our way to the scene, our team arrived to perform a recovery assessment. We decided to split the tractor and the loaded trailer. We turned the tractor around so we could tow it away.

Due to the low clearance of an overpass on our route, we had to hook up the 40-foot trailer separately and tow it to the customer’s destination.

Careful Hazardous Material Towing

We drove slowly and carefully as the tank was 2/3 full of hazardous silicon tetrachloride and weighed about 51,000 pounds. Plus, it was sloshing around in the tank. This sloshing could cause the trailer to be unbalanced and tip, resulting in a hazardous material spill. Our experienced driver took things slow and steady to avoid that disaster and made for a 5.5-hour round trip.

What is Silicon Tetrachloride?

Silicon Tetrachloride is a clear and colourless liquid used to make Silicon-containing chemicals that produce silicon products in commercial applications.

Unfortunately, this material is extremely hazardous to the environment and our health. It will burn your skin and eyes with contact. If you breathe it in, you’ll irritate your nose and throat.

It reacts violently with water and moist air and turns into hydrogen chloride gas. This gas is toxic and corrosive. In addition, it can release flammable and explosive hydrogen gas if it comes into contact with metals.

Driver Made the Right Call

The transport truck driver’s decision to call for help when they noticed something was wrong with their vehicle was certainly the right thing to do. If an accident occurred with this load, it could have caused a hazardous material spill. Worse, it could have caused the material to react, form hydrogen chloride gas (and hydrogen gas), and create a significant safety hazard.

Safety first. Always call a professional like Pro-Tow if you need help with hazardous material towing.

Digging Potatoes – Spud Spill Cleanup

Digging Potatoes – Spud Spill Cleanup

On January 2, 2020, we got a call about a load of potatoes that had spilled into a ditch. The initial report stated that around 5,000 to 10,000 pounds of potatoes needed recovery. But, after the cargo manifest, we learned it was 19,420 pounds! So, we requested some images to help form a recovery plan, including what equipment to bring.

After reviewing the images, we settled on bringing a flatbed dump trailer, a compact track loader with buckets and sweeping attachments, a commercial Landoll flatbed trailer, grain sacks to store the spilled potatoes, and a road closure kit. Once ready, Pro-Tow and Pro-Enviro headed out for this cargo recovery.

Scooping Up Potatoes

At the scene, we quickly realized that the images hadn’t quite captured the full depth of the cargo recovery and spill cleanup. For example, the ditch was greater than 10 feet deep and located about 20 feet away from the side of the roadway. There were also parts of the vehicle scattered across the road. In addition, a ravine at the bottom of the trench created wet conditions while we worked. These factors would make the spill recovery difficult.

We put together a new, better recovery plan despite the many challenging factors. While digging out the potatoes with shovels, we also set up a platform for the excavator. Once we set that up, we used the excavator to remove the potatoes and put them into the grain sacks. The work still proved to be more challenging than thought, with the different trench conditions and then it started raining. Still, our team didn’t quit or give up but diligently continued to scoop and bag potatoes.

Potatoes Cleared. Call Cleared.

After several hours it started to become dark, so we called in some additional help for the last stretch of the spill cleanup. Eventually, we got every potato cleaned up and bagged. With that part finally handled, we loaded up all our equipment and cleaned the debris left from the accident. We also used the compact track loader with a bucket attachment to smooth the land which got disturbed during the cargo recovery.

Before leaving, we cleared everything else up and then headed back to the storage yard. There, we would store the potatoes until the owner determined a plan for them. Then, before calling it a day, we reconditioned and stored all the equipment in its original locations.

Accident Recovery on a Leaky Semi-Truck

Accident Recovery on a Leaky Semi-Truck

On April 23, 2021, Team Pro-Tow received an emergency dispatch from Washington State Police about a bobtail tractor collision. Without any other information, we set out with a requested C-class heavy-duty wrecker.

Heavy Duty Towing Service Required

We arrived at the scene, performed a scene evaluation, and found the bobtail tractor resting precariously against the guard rail. Not only that but the engine oil pan was also damaged and had already lost 10 to 15 gallons of engine oil. That was a big problem that we needed to address immediately with special accident recovery care.

We put together a recovery plan, including calculating weights and distance for the safest and quickest recovery. Team Pro-Tow handled the work of recovering the bobtail tractor by using the HD Crane-style rotating wrecker. We brought in additional equipment to complete the recovery safely, and our skilled operators got to work. We safely recovered the casualty without any additional spills or damage. Then provided a heavy-duty towing service to remove the casualty from the scene so fuel spill cleanup could begin.

Fuel Spill Cleanup

The next step in the accident recovery was the fuel spill containment, cleanup, and some debris cleanup. Again, team Pro-Enviro was on the scene taking care of the spill recovery. 

Meanwhile, WSP informed the Washington State Department of Ecology about what was involved in the accident recovery and cleanup. We also dispatched additional equipment required for the cleanup. Our team worked with efficiency and speed to clean up the debris and spill on the road. Only once the roadway was back to its original condition was the job complete. 

We got to the storage yard and returned all the equipment to its original location and condition. Once we completed the paperwork, we gave the cleared call on a heavy-duty towing service and cleanup job well done.

Beef at 47 Cargo and Truck Recovery

Beef at 47 Cargo and Truck Recovery

On February 26, 2021, a transport trucker lost a snow chain on the I-90, westbound at exit 47. When the snow chain snapped, it damaged his tire, which led to damage to his fully-loaded semi-trailer. The damage was mainly to the structural frame of the trailer and fuel line, resulting in fuel to steam on the road and adjacent snowpack.

Fuel spill recovery

This accident needed fuel spill recovery, as well as heavy-duty towing and cargo recovery. Because of the accident, the trailer refrigerator wasn’t running, and it was carrying 38,000 pounds of frozen beef. Upon investigation, the customer saw that the fuel spill was severe. We estimate there were 10 to 20 gallons of fuel that required fuel spill recovery.

Team Pro-Enviro went to work to repair the leaky fuel line, contain the spill, and with extensive cleanup of the road and surrounding snowbanks. Meanwhile, Team Pro-Tow created a recovery plan to complete trailer recovery to save the beef, and heavy-duty towing services. Read more about Pro-Enviro’s spill recovery efforts with this incident.

Heavy-Duty Towing

Team Pro-Tow brought a heavy-duty wrecker that could tow the trailer and its 38,000-pound load of valuable beef. Fortunately, we repaired the fuel and electrical lines to the refrigerator to save the cow!

After we repaired the trailer and Pro-Enviro had completed the cleanup, we could load it up for safe transport. The client was happy that the incident didn’t spoil the beef, and it was a successful cargo recovery. Once we got our equipment back to the shop, we cleaned and conditioned everything for the next job.

Working as a Team

When there is a semi-truck accident that involves a fuel or oil spill, Team Pro-Tow and Team Pro-Enviro work together on the response. Pro-Tow handles the complex heavy-duty towing, including complicated crane lift and uprighting of extremely heavy trucks and equipment. However, before that can happen, Pro-Enviro ensures fuel spill containment and repairs to prevent further contamination during transport of the casualty. Pro-Enviro also takes care of spill recovery and cleanup.

If an accident requires an experienced heavy-duty recovery team, you can always call on Pro-Tow.

Burnt-Out Trailer Recovery On The I-5

Burnt-Out Trailer Recovery On The I-5

On December 10, 2020, Team Pro-Tow responded to a Washington State Patrol’s (WSP) call for accident recovery on the I-5. A tractor and trailer had caught fire and was extensively damaged. In addition, all the tires were also severely damaged, which makes for a challenging recovery.

Team Pro-Tow on the Scene

This truck and trailer recovery required a Class C heavy-duty crane-style wrecker. The tires, wheels, floor, walls, and axels of the trailer were heavily damaged by the fire. We used extra equipment to move the trailer safely. We needed to bring in a heavy-duty flatbed trailer and a converter dolly to help with accident recovery.

Recovery Plan in Place

We knew that for trailer recovery, the converter dolly needed to go under the front of the trailer to move it from the rear. However, we quickly learned that even with the support of the converter dolly, the trailer was too severely damaged to tow safely. Therefore, the safest option for this accident recovery would be to load the trailer on a flatbed Landoll trailer, still using the support of the converter dolly.

Team Pro-Enviro took care of highway cleanup, spill recovery, and cargo salvage. Read Burnt Mayo Cargo Salvage to learn more.

Loading the Trailer

Slowly but surely, Team Pro-Tow rigged and loaded the trailer onto the flatbed. We used a snatch block to double the winch line and reduce line tension. This method helps safely pull loads with minimal strain and damage. When the burnt trailer and equipment were moved off the I-5, we moved it to a secure yard. Because of the height of the load, a pilot car needed to accompany the trailer transport.

Caught on Fire – Again

On the way to the yard, the pilot truck behind the trailer noticed smoke coming from it. Our team pulled over to check it and found the trailer was once again on fire. The fire was coming from the battery box. They put it out with three fire extinguishers. Then they cut and secured all electrical connections from the battery box so it wouldn’t ignite again.

Trailer Recovery Complete

Finally, after few roadblocks, our team got the trailer casualty back to our secure yard. We used two heavy-duty Class C trucks to remove the trailer from the Landoll flatbed. Then we put it on two retention ponds. Another accident recovery complete by Team Pro-Tow!

Accident Recovery: 167 Wine Bottles on the Road

Accident Recovery: 167 Wine Bottles on the Road

In this incident, on February 2nd, 2021, we received a special request for an overturned semi-truck and trailer carrying 167 wine bottles. The overturn had happened on the ramp from 212th to NB167, which was a heavily trafficked area. We responded on route with a heavy-duty rotating crane-style wrecker, heavy-duty recovery wrecker, equipment support vehicle, and necessary additional labor.

Accident Recovery

We responded to the incident command post and waited for the Washington State Police to close the ramp. As we waited, our Team Pro-Tow did a scene evaluation, put together a recovery plan, and did some recovery calculations. The quickest and safest method, and least chance of more spillage, was to use specialty air cushions and landing bags. Our team skillfully installed the cushions and landing bags, followed by the rotator rigging and recovery wrecker rigging to upright the combination. Working carefully and without rushing, we began the recovery work. We completed the task successfully and moved the unit to a nearby safe location. Our Pro-Enviro team began the spill recovery and debris cleanup work from the spilled bottles during that time.

Continued Recovery

The load inside had shifted considerably to the driver side, which meant we needed a heavy-duty class S tractor to transport the trailer safely. Our trusty team began the task of separating the trailer, then used the rotator to lift the nose of the trailer and allow the Class S tractor access. The hookup went without a hitch, and we transported it to our secured storage yard with an escort from the Department of Transportation. Meanwhile, Pro-Enviro continued the spill recovery and debris cleanup. We located the appropriate secured storage locations at the yard, installed environmental spill containment pods, and parked the tractor. Finally, we reconditioned all vehicles and equipment, completed the paper, and gave the cleared call.

A messy accident recovery well-handled!