We always tell truckers to have at least a week’s worth of supplies in the truck during the winter, and this story is exactly why! Drivers were stuck for six days at the Coffee Cup Truck Stop in Vivian, South Dakota due to the massive snowfall and drifts that encapsulated entire trucks.
From the information I gleaned from Conrad Quail’s Facebook posts about the harrowing experience, the story began Tuesday, Dec. 13, at around 10:30 that morning when Interstate 90 was shut down and trucks had to make camp. It’s not fun being told you’re about to be snowed in for a while.
Embed: Conrad Quail
After a few days of harsh winds and constant snow, Quail’s truck, which appears to be at the far end of the parking lot, had been encapsulated by the drifting snow. Snow is seen in pictures he posted online mounded up to and above the cab of his Peterbilt flat top truck.
For six days Quail sat there, unable to leave due to road closures and the massive amount of snow in the way. Quail was on his way to Washington state with an oversized load, a refrigeration unit, which added to the difficulty in breaking himself free of the icy grip of the snow.
Embed: Gary Hunter
On Friday, Dec. 16, a friend of Quail’s brought a shovel to attempt to dig out the snow, but the amount was too great and packed too tightly for the truck to break free. Later that day, someone with a piece of heavy equipment was able to safely clear the snow from in front of the engine, helping the truck get fresh air.
On Friday evening, local farmers with a massive tractor and a 4-inch diameter tow rope arrived, charging drivers $200 a piece to pull trucks out of the lot. Quail jokes that the farm kids made at least $2500 that evening.
Even that was not enough to break Quail’s truck free, having before broken two chains from another driver with a similar oversized load. Finally, a heavy wrecker from All Pro Towing out of Murdo, South Dakota arrived to slowly but surely get Quail and his truck out to the open road.
It took Quail and company an hour to clear off the snow that had impacted around his truck and cargo. He was supposed to deliver an Evapco refrigeration unit to Marysville, Washington, on Friday, Dec. 16.
That delivery is still in the works as of mid-day Monday, though clearer weather is allowing him to make good progress. No one can doubt he is glad to be free of that ordeal and will have plenty of stories to tell his children.