U.S. Steel loses bid to move steel coil case out of Alabama court

We’ve commented on this situation before. It seems to be progressing (slowly) through the courts. Does anyone understand why they load the coils eye to the side rather than eye to the sky?

Pittsburgh Business Times

Officials in Alabama have been seeking a solution for a public safety hazard in which 22-ton coils of steel produced by the company’s Fairfield Works are falling off of flat-bed trucks in the Birmingham area. In the most recent case, a truck traveling the interchange from Interstate 59 to I-20 on Oct. 2 lost a steel coil and the 22-ton roll of metal struck and damaged a freeway retaining wall. There were no injuries in the incident, but there have been three such security failures, involving a total of five coils, since June alone. On June 8, a motorist was injured when her car struck one of the fallen coils.

4 thoughts on “U.S. Steel loses bid to move steel coil case out of Alabama court”

  1. Eye to sky is very difficult to load/unload onto a flatbed by crane. Also, it is even more difficult to secure since you can’t get a chain through it without damaging the coil edge.
    There’s a fairly sharp turn on a highway just east of Cleveland where the posted speed limit drops dramatically. This is a popular location for coils coming loose as well. Not surprisingly, this area is called “Dead Man’s Curve.”
    I freely admit I could be wrong, but I am not aware of any case where improper securing and/or excessive speed was not to blame.

  2. I must admit, I never looked carefully (and we are in different part of the business) but aren’t those coils skidded first and then loaded?

    If they sit bare on the bed, then I guess this would make sense …

    As for not securing, IF they were skidded, one could make skids with holes in the center, so that a chain could secure it.

  3. It’s rare (if it is done at all) that a 20 ton coil is put on a skid. The higher-end stuff is usually put on some type of rubber cradle to prevent damage to the outer laps from any slight rolling back and forth (when the truck comes to a stop for example). The run-of-the-mill hot rolled coils where surface quality is not overly critical might just get chained down.
    Another consideration: If they were skidded, then the facility receiving the coil would have to be able to pick the heavy coil up and rotate it so it could feed properly into their blanking/slitting/stamping lines.

  4. I can see that requiring a 20 ton rotator at every receiving location might be an unreasonable requirement. But a coil which breaks free is a wheel, free to travel on for a fair distance and with a mass something like 10 times that of a passenger car, likely to severely damage everything in its path.

    Perhaps making cradles manditory would be a solution.

    By the way, you mention 20 ton mother coils, but I thought mother coils topped out around 10 tons (20,000 pounds).

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