Driver dispatch from a series of wintry hazmat loads over Loveland Pass

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Updated Jan 8, 2015

Don Christner rig at Loveland Pass edit (800x466)

While the city of Buffalo and the New York Thruway in the greater area surrounding the city were grabbing all the November early-winter headlines, Reed Hurst Trucking driver Don Christner and his running partner were quietly but heroically hauling hazmat on a series of loads over Loveland Pass in Colorado, where November was quite wintry indeed.

Regular readers will be familiar with Christner, who sent in the pictures here last month. (Follow this link to his story of a haul by the mammoth snowbacks over the same pass early last year.) He tells the story of the loads in brief below. Enjoy. (Photo credits go to Christner — thanks for sharing, Don.)

My running partner, Mike McGinty, and I ran a series of loads through the Mountains in Colorado through the month of November.  It was a month of winter weather in the Rockies, great for the ski areas but a challenge for trucks!

Tires chained edit (800x603)Running our trucks together we were more productive than running alone. Mike and I would just keep working to get through the problems no matter what they were. If you are running with someone who wants to work it makes a huge difference, and Mike is just such a driver!

Every time we stopped to chain up we were celebrities. Two or three drivers would come up to our trucks to watch us chain:

“I’ve never chained before.”

“Where are the guys that you pay to chain your truck? Will you chain my truck?”

“I don’t have any chains, do you have any I can borrow?” (Colorado requires you to have chains in your possession in the mountainous areas from Sept. 1 through May 1.)

Late one night we came up I-70 to find our hazmat route, Highway 6 over Loveland Pass, was closed. The DOT shut down I-70 at Eisenhower Tunnel in both directions and held all traffic so Mike and I could drive our hazmat loads through by ourselves. We were still chained up through there rattling like crawler tractors!

We’ve got that series of loads complete now, a terrible lot of work. An incredible adventure! Amazing grandeur!  Hmmm. My paycheck doesn’t  really reflect the whole thing.

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Nonetheless, thanks to Mike for having my back on these runs! And hats off to the drivers that run loads through the mountains of Colorado year round! —Don Christner, Wyoming

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