Saving the boss

Photo credit: thepretenda's Big Truck Sequence on Flickr

Here’s another story from Petr, a former mechanic who once had a job changing tires of trucks stranded on the freeways of Quebec and Ontario. He was an apprentice to Tony, who was “very, very tough.”

Once they were called in the middle of the night to a huge transport vehicle stranded near Dorval Airport.

“It looked like a crippled yellow dinosaur, kneeling by a small curb. To lift anything of that magnitude and get the wheels off, you need two jacks,” Petr explained. “You stack up large pieces of flat wood under the other jack and alternate until you have that sucker about two feet high.”

“Truckasaurus” comes down

Tony was under the rear axle, half-way through the lift, when the vehicle began to shake. Luckily Petr was paying attention.

“The wind was blowing pretty hard from the airport, and the dinosaur started rocking. I threw down the next two wooden blocks and shouted. All I could think to say was: ‘Tony, come out, it’s shaking!’

“I was tugging at his snow gear. He was on his left side when truckasaurus came down. It flexed the planks stuffed under the axle to keep it from going all the way to the ground, but Tony was still on his side. As soon as it bounced back up, he kind of flopped onto his back, and the monster rested with about half an inch to clear his chest. I pulled him out by his parka that was snagged on the big yellow axle,” Petr said.

“Tony was one of those guys who took six arrows in old Westerns – and he really was that tough. He didn’t die. He just got tougher and meaner. But that night, he went home and I had to drive his massive red truck because he couldn’t turn the wheel.”

A similar tale

Luckily Tony was relatively unhurt compared to this WorkSafeBC Hazard Alert that describes how a worker suffered a broken pelvis and tailbone after being crushed under heavy mining equipment.

Thanks again to Petr for sharing his story. If you have a story to share about safety in the workplace, please email me.


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