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These Ain´t No Tonka Trucks

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Big just doesn´t begin to describe the size of them.

Six massive Caterpillar dump trucks have arrived in Sonora to haul dirt and rock for the East Sonora By-pass project.

The trucks stand 16-and-a-half feet-tall and 20-feet-wide and have tires that top eight feet in diameter. They can carry 210,000 pounds of dirt and rock at a time.

That translates to about 45 cubic yards of material. According to Greg Peterson, project manager with Goodfellows Construction on the by-pass project, a typical ten-wheeler dump truck only carries between eight-to 10 yards of material.

Reason the big rigs were brought in is to help remove more than 250,000 yards of mountain near the Sanguinetti Loop and haul it east to where the old Hess Road will be buried and filled over for a new interchange.

“It´s a significant amount of fill,” Peterson says matter-of-factly.

It takes an equally big loader to fill these big rigs. Caltrans spokesman Robert Spradling says those front loaders weigh-in at 200,000 pounds and can scoop 30,000 pounds of material in their bucket in one bite.

Goodfellows Construction will be using the massive equipment starting at the end of the month.

Peterson said motorists should expect some delays at Ivy Drive and Phoenix Lake Road from the massive truck traffic.

Work will continue through the end of the year.