Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Short, Narrow Truss Bridge and Big Farm Equipment

I was off the beaten path to get pictures of the Thompson Mill 1868 Covered Wood Bridge. I was so far off the beaten path I let my GPS figure out how to get to my next intended stop, Kinmundy, IL. (It still has a wood railroad water tank.) I learned that the county roads in Shelby County are not only narrow, the good pavement is one lane down the middle. Fortunately, we never met a car until we got to Altamont, IL. So when I saw this bridge, I simply stopped to take the picture. (My wife watched for other cars.)

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The reason I stopped to take the picture was because of the narrow width. But now that I'm looking at the picture, it occurred to me that this is the shortest truss bridge that I have ever seen. I don't see any signs indicating weight restrictions. So I think that means it should be good for 80,000 pound trucks.

As the size of tractors, combines, planters, etc. continue to grow, the narrowness of country bridges becomes an issue. I wonder how tight a fit a dual-tire articulated 4WD tractor is on this bridge. I don't take full-frontal pictures of tractors. But I think this 3/4 view will give you an idea of how big modern tractors have become. And some tractors are now triple-wheeled. Note that one of the side rails on the bridge has been bent.

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These must have been trade-ins because they were on a CaseIH lot
The tracks for Quadtracs can now be up to 30 or 36 inches wide. These look like just a couple of feet.

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Note the 470 with the narrow row-crop trac has extra long axles. It is used for operations where the footprint needs to be between crop rows. The high-horsepower 580 with wide tracks is used for tillage so its "footprint" will be erased by the tillage equipment.
Even fixed frame tractors can get rather wide.
Combines quit fitting in a single road lane a long time ago.

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Even the sprayers are getting wide.

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