The News of the Weird - Auto & Trucking Atlantic

News of the weird

Selections From the Strange, Bizarre and Neglected Compiled From Around the ‘net To Hopefully Bring a Smile To Your Day

Thank Baby Jeebuz They Didn’t Use it For Pizza Delivery! recently reported on a story about a  massive truck carrying a giant machine called an aerospace autoclave, took an entire year to travel from Maharashtra to VSSC (Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre) in Kerala. The massive 74-wheeled truck reportedly left Nashik in July 2019, passed through 4 other states covering a total of 1,700km and is finally set to reach its destination soon; almost a year after it left.

The massive truck is said to average just 5 kilometres every day. The massive truck blocks the entire road, with no place for any other vehicles to pass and requires a crew of 32 members to control its movement. As seen in the video, the aerospace autoclave weighs in at 70-tonnes and has a height and width of 7.5-metres and 6.65-metres, respectively. The massive machine, manufactured in Nashik, makes various other equipment used in India’s space research projects.

The News of the Weird - Auto & Trucking Atlantic

During the transfer of the machine, all vehicular activity around the truck had to be stopped, to ensure the safety of other motorists. Police also provided a pilot car to ensure the safe movement of the truck, while passing through cities.

Officials also had to cut down trees, remove electric lines to ensure smooth movement of the truck. The 32-member crew would also plan their day ahead and inform concerned authorities of their arrival, especially before entering towns or cities. After almost a year of travel, the truck is finally said to have entered the state of Kerala earlier this month. It is now scheduled to reach its final destination of VSSC in Vattiyoorkavu, Kerala by the end of the month. Talking about the truck itself, as seen from the video the truck is a Volvo and is part of the brand’s FM series. While we cannot determine the exact model, the Volvo FM series are massively capable trucks with huge payload carrying capacity, with gigantic power and torque figures.

Baby Driver

A trooper stopping a car with a suspected “impaired driver” on a U.S. highway on Monday was bemused to find a 5-year-old in the driver’s seat, the Utah Highway Patrol tweeted.

After seeing a vehicle driving slowly and weaving in the left lane of the Interstate 15 freeway, the trooper turned on his siren, and the driver neatly pulled over to the side of the road.

Dashboard camera video posted by the police captures the conversation between the trooper and the driver, which has since been viewed on YouTube almost 760,000 times.

The News of the Weird - Auto & Trucking Atlantic - Baby Driver

“You’re 5 years old?” the trooper says. “Wow!”

He then asks the child where he learned how to drive and takes down other details.

The boy, who was not identified as he is a minor, said he had left home in his parents’ vehicle after arguing with his mother, who had told him she would not buy him a Lamborghini.

“He decided to take the car and go to California to buy one himself,” the police said in a tweet, adding: “He might have been short on the purchase amount as he only had $3 in his wallet.”

The Utah police did not respond to requests for more information about the boy.

News of the Weed

You’ve heard the phrase “sticking your nose in other people’s business,” and that’s exactly what a Fayette County, Texas, deputy did during a traffic stop when he opened the hatch of a septic-service tank truck and discovered 350 pounds of marijuana inside. 

Drug investigator David Smith stopped the truck near Flatonia, Texas, which is midway between San Antonio and Houston on Interstate 10, a busy drug smuggling corridor where traffickers typically use commercial vehicles. Smith said the driver appeared nervous and had no license. Her male passenger was also on edge. 

The deputy said the two gave consent to search the truck, but they may not have counted on him so thoroughly discharging his duty. He opened the tank and found “multiple bundles which were wrapped in plastic cellophane, axle grease and tape consistent with illegal narcotics,” said Sheriff Keith Korenek told local media. We sincerely hope the bundles were expertly wrapped to be waterproof and everything-proof, because they contained 350 pounds of pot that was bound for a bong near you. We’ve seen pot smuggled lots of ways over the years, from inside Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZs again and again, to a senior Santa and Mrs. Claus thoughtfully delivering 60 pounds of Christmas “presents.” But we haven›t seen a pipeline quite this potent.

New Hampshire’s Flying High?

In another Autoblog story, New Hampshire’s fierce embrace of personal freedom confers drivers there a latitude found nowhere else in the nation. The Granite State is the only one that doesn’t legally mandate wearing a seat belt. Earlier this year, state legislators worked to repeal the 85-year-old law declaring, “No person, while hunting or obviously on his way to or from hunting, shall have a ferret in his possession, custody or control,” which we’re pretty sure is another issue only faced in New Hampshire. 

Looking to the future, Governor Chris Sununu signed House Bill 1182 into law. Covered by Forbes, the “Jetson Bill,” HB 1182 legalizes driving a flying car on public roads. Specifically, the law creates a way for the owner of a «roadable aircraft» to register with the Division of Motor Vehicles and pay a fee to get license plates, but using the car as a plane can still only happen at an airport. 

The News of the Weird - Auto & Trucking Atlantic

Ex-State Rep. Keith Ammon is now the New Hampshire distributor for PAL-V flying cars (pictured at right). 

He worked with current State Rep. Steven Smith on the law — or as Smith put it, Ammon “brought me a list of stuff we needed to address.” Smith also heads his state’s autonomous vehicle review commission, and said, «I look for ways to boost our image as a state that embraces technology change. Maybe people will come here first.» Since flying cars — whenever they take off — will need to be certified by the FAA as airworthy and flown by pilots, legislators worked to fill in the gaps between FAA and state motor vehicle regulations. 

FAA-certified mechanics conduct annual inspections, and the agency already requires seat belts, enforces rollover standards, and mandates a forward crumple zone. Pilots get annual physicals to keep their flying licenses current. 

The Jetson Bill adopts the plane ID number issued by the New Hampshire›s aeronautics agency as the vehicle›s VIN, plus each vehicle will have an FAA «N» number for national use and a New Hampshire license plate so local police can find out whose flying car they›re pulling over. The bill also establishes a committee to look more closely at the issue. Of note, again, only trained pilots can fly the things, and takeoffs and landings will only be allowed at airports. 

We’re not sure how many pilots would benefit from not needing to catch a ride at their destination airport, but since the FAA hasn’t approved any flying cars yet, and there are none requesting approval yet, we have some time to answer those questions.  Meanwhile, HB 1182 ushered in some more practical legislation related to tolls, impaired driving, and license revocation.  

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