Suit asks to bar U.S. Steel from hauling coils

Well, this would certainly cramp their style.

Essentially all coils go by truck to rerollers or slitters. Most coil consumers have given up the nice rail lines they were close to 50 years ago and rely solely on trucking now for transportation.

The alternative to “eyes out” loading is “eyes to the sky” loading, which certainly seems safer. Riding down the road beside these things, I’ve often wondered too why they load them this way and how safe I really am driving behind them. I don’t stay behind one for any longer than I absolutely have to.

The Birmingham News
Bessemer DA contends way steel is loaded poses a danger

Bessemer District Attorney Arthur Green has filed a civil lawsuit asking a judge to bar U.S. Steel Corp. from hauling steel coils on Alabama highways.

The suit says U.S. Steel loads its trucks with the steel coils “eyes out” – with the holes in the coils facing each side of the trailer – because they are easier to load and unload that way. Green contends in his suit that loading the coils in such a fashion is dangerous.

Since 1987, steel coils have dislodged from flatbed trucks onto Birmingham-area interstates 23 times, state transportation officials say. State officials said they do not know how many of those coils were from U.S. Steel.

The coils, which can weigh up to 44,000 pounds each, have caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to Birmingham-area interstates.

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3 Responses to Suit asks to bar U.S. Steel from hauling coils

  1. Brandon says:

    I am surprised no one has been injured or killed. How much cost will it add to place them on the trailers eye to the sky?

  2. Michael says:

    I couldn’t find online any discussion of the relative costs of the two ways of loading coils.

    I know when coils come to us, finally slit into like 2″ wide coils, they come “eye to the sky”.

    But the big coils I see on the highway do come “eye out”.

    One comment I read said this makes it easier to roll them off the end of the flatbed truck. Surely that’s incorrect. You wouldn’t casually roll even a 15,000 pound mother coil off the end of a flatbed. For a start, it would be hell on the suspension of the truck, then it would be a rolling disaster for anyone in it’s path.

    It’s hard to imagine that skidding them would be all that hard or all that costly.

    And can you imagine driving down the highway and seeing a 15,000 pound mother coil rolling towards you?

  3. Brandon says:

    It seems to me they would start putting them eye to the sky. There is a steel service center in my town, and I see trucks with large master coils on them at least one every 2 weeks. Like the author, I steer clear. There has been one instance here, that I know of, of a coil coming off of the truck when the truck was at a non-busy intersection. From what I heard, it really did a number on the road.

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