We requested pictures to form a plan and decide what equipment we needed for this cargo recovery. In the end, we brought a flatbed with a dump trailer, a compact track loader with buckets and sweeping attachments, a commercial landoll flatbed trailer, and grain sacks to store the spilled potatoes.
Once we arrived at the scene, we set up control safety cones and then inspected the situation. We found that motor oil had also spilled into the soil surrounding the crash needing spill recovery.
We cleared the soil from around the equipment and placed absorbent pillows to contain the fluid to avoid further contamination. The pictures didn’t show that the ditch containing the potatoes was 10 feet deep and 20 feet away from the roadway. There was also a lot of mud and parts of the vehicle scattered in the area to top it off.
Not that it stopped our team, who began scooping up the potatoes with shovels. We also set up a platform to support the excavator and prevent spreading the contaminated soil while working on the cargo recovery. Once the team had set up, we used the excavator to collect the potatoes and dump them into grain sacks.
The work proved to be more challenging and labor-intensive than we first thought it would be. Combined with the depth of the trench, the wet soil, and newly added rain, it was a challenging job. Still, our team continued to work diligently. When it became dark, we called extra help to get the rest of the potatoes cleaned up.
With the potatoes handled, it was time to tackle the scene cleanup. Using the compact track loader with a bucket attached, we smoothed the land back to normal. Then, adding the sweeper attachment, we cleaned the roadway and restored that once again. Finally, our team returned to the yard to store the potatoes until the next day and reconditioned and returned all equipment to its original state and location.
Even in crazy conditions and no matter the reason, our team is always ready to help where others can’t, won’t, or don’t want to––including potato rescue.