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Hauler's Cool Hands Ace The Assignment

The News Tribune – Tacoma-seattle News

Tacoma, Wash. If there were Academy Awards for the trucking industry, the Oscar for best performance in a supporting role would go to Tacoma’s own Omega-Morgan Rigging and Industrial Contractors!

No doubt about it. Omega deserves heaps of accolades for the flawless performance its five-man mega-load hauling crew turned in last week.

Without breaking a sweat, Omega’s steady crew hauled a 100-ton expansion joint for the new Narrows bridge across the state from Spokane without a hitch.

Unlike Big Boat Movers, the Texas company that couldn’t figure out how to comply with demanding state regulations designed to protect highways and bridges from super-heavy loads, Omega had the know-how and the right gear for the job.

Speaking of nifty gear … who knew that a guy – Omega’s Pete Uhler in this case – could help maneuver the cargo around a tight and tricky turn near the bridge by walking alongside and steering remote-controlled wheeled dollies beneath the load? That was beyond cool.

There wasn’t a technology geek in Pierce County who read that detail in The News Tribune’s report on the move Sunday and wasn’t immediately consumed with gadget lust.

Omega’s acceptance speech, such as it was, was classy and professional all the way. No chest-thumping, no swaggering.

When the big rig and its super-sized cargo came to a final stop on the Gig Harbor side of the bridge just before 2 a.m. Saturday, five operators in matching fluorescent yellow jackets lined up to meet the press. To all appearances, they had just finished hauling a load of hay across the Cascades.

How did he feel about this 300-mile trucking feat, front-tractor driver Dave Selvog was asked. All the man could say was, “Accomplishment. Accomplishment and pride.”

If you’re good, you don’t need to brag.

As for controlling 429,000 pounds of momentum on the downward run from Snoqualmie Pass, Omega co-owner Troy Tallent practically shrugged as he allowed it was "somewhat challenging technically.”

Actually, Omega has hauled loads twice as heavy as the expansion joint, so it really wasn’t such a big deal to the firm and its employees. Still, it was an impressive display of execution and teamwork.

The legend of Galloping Gertie, undulating to destruction, is impossible to top. But many years from now, a memorable part of the lore of building the second (or is it the third?) Narrows bridge will be the story of these skilled and professional truckers from Tacoma who made a tough job look easy.

Copyright 2011. Tacoma News, Inc. A subsidiary of The McClatchy Company. All Rights Reserved.

About Omega Morgan

Omega Morgan is a 23-year-old specialized transportation company with offices in Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Calgary and Edmonton. It provides innovative solutions for the complex moving, rigging and transportation challenges faced by manufacturers, power generation companies, general contractors and logistics providers. For more information call Omega Morgan 1-800-442-8141 or visit www.omegamorgan.com.