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.