Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Post Flying Mattresses

People don't seem to realize how much lifting force gets put on a mattress or box springs when a pickup is driving at any kind of speed. Those things need to be tied securely. They're amazingly aerodynamic. And yet I keep seeing them being hauled with no tie-downs at all.

I started checking mattress tie-downs on pickups after one suddenly lost three mattresses right in front of me on I-5. They scattered suddenly from the truck bed, like blown-on dandelion fluff. One flew to the lane to the left of me and one flew to the lane to the right of me, but the third was 85% in my lane. Even if there hadn't been traffic right behind me, slamming on the brakes wouldn't have kept me from hitting it. I just slowed and gritted my teeth, wondering what it would do to the car.

Then a semi passed me in the right lane. Its wheels hit the corner of the mattress that was in its lane and flipped it like a tiddly-wink out of my lane and into the left one. The mattress that was fully in its lane turned out to be a box spring. It splintered and the bits bounced crazily.

I was saved. The semi and I drove on, with traffic coming to a standstill behind us.

The pickup slowed and got to the right, but there wasn't a good shoulder to pull off onto. So they just looked at the remains for a couple of beats and started driving again, with two unsecured mattresses (or box springs) still in the back. 

Watch out for pickups hauling mattresses.  

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