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Iraq Must Have Small Trucks

In the New York Times story about the missing explosives, they try to put things into perspective.

As a measure of the size of the stockpile, one large truck can carry about 10 tons, meaning that the missing explosives could fill a fleet of almost 40 trucks.

Even civilian trucks carry more than that. I worked my way thru school (among other things) unloading 18 wheelers. I only wish that was the capacity.

Interstates limit them to 40 tons or 80,000 pounds without an oversized load tag. There was an overloaded truck stopped at our state border carrying 112,000 pounds. (56 tons)

Even if you only put 50 tons per truck, using standard 18 wheelers, that is 8 trucks not 40. Again, these are civilian vehicles.

A military vehicle operating without highway restrictions could easily carry 80 tons. Considering 20% of the bunkers were destroyed during the war, it seems plausible that the remaining load could have been hauled away in as few as 4 trucks.

Not to pile on the Times, but 10 tons is a ridiculously low number.

Afterthought: I should have been more clear... That is gross vehicle weight, not all of that is payload because the truck weighs something empty. Still, you get the idea.


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Comments (22)

The weight limit in most US... (Below threshold)

The weight limit in most US states is 80,000 lbs *gross vehicle weight*.

Typically cargo weights are in the 58,000-66,000 lb weight range depending on the empty weight of the tractor/trailer.

A tandem axle typical "dump truck" is limited to 60,000 lbs with an empty weight of 18-24,000 lbs.

We once dealt with the case of a truck carrying pulpwood that weighed in at 126,000 lbs. The defense of the truck driver was ingenious -- the scale was only certified to 120,000 lbs

They may have small trucks ... (Below threshold)

They may have small trucks there. When I was in Europe, I didn't ever see an 18 wheeler and the trucks I did see were usually pretty compact.

I'm unclear on when this was supposed to have happened; after the shooting started but before troops arrived? This isn't new news if that's the case.

You'd think the reporter co... (Below threshold)

You'd think the reporter could have picked up the phone and called down to the circulation department and asked them how many tons of their fish wrapper an 18-wheeler can carry. Wouldn't even have needed an outside extension. Too much work to verify a point that might have made Bush look better. If it was story about moving Kerry's medals they'd know the weights of each individual one, and list it as just a little heavier to show what a burden he still carries. Pathetic excuse for journalism.

John I said that (gvw) in t... (Below threshold)

John I said that (gvw) in the extended post.

The more I read about thi... (Below threshold)
mark m:

The more I read about this I have to believe we DIDN'T have control of this pile of explosives. I'd bet the farm that stuff was shipped out (to Syria???) before we got there. Even looters on a large scale would take a long time to move that much material.
Kudos to the NYT though, they are getting their adgenda out there at a crucial time...even if this is old news.

What? You're expecting accu... (Below threshold)

What? You're expecting accuracy from the MSM? Even when they're on the right side of an issue, they're lacking in accuracy. I've quoted lawyer/writer Vincent Bugliosi several times; he said, "Reporters are a group who can always be counted on to use a minimal amount of intelligence."

I was thinking it was like ... (Below threshold)

I was thinking it was like the Isuzu NPR or similar moving /crate bed style truck.

I'll come at it from a diff... (Below threshold)
The Drill SGT:

I'll come at it from a different perspective. The reporter likely got his info from a military source.

A typical military dual axle (well its really got 3 axles) are the classic Duce and a half (2.5 Ton truck) or 5 Ton trucks. Those ratings are off road capacity and the on road capacity is normally double that, meaning 5 tons and 10 tons respectively.

Also, other than artillery projectiles, ammunition capacity is noirmally cubed out before it's weighted out. Meaning the volume you can carry is the limiting factor.

so from those perspectives, using a 10 ton capacity for a truckload is not unreasonable

Maybe that old Datsun "Hilu... (Below threshold)

Maybe that old Datsun "Hilux" pickup that was scarcely bigger than a VW bug?

Let's remember all of Iraq ... (Below threshold)

Let's remember all of Iraq was set up to be a war machine. The highways were extra wide and the bridges extra sturdy to support tanks and weapons of war. The idea Saddam was reduced to a few duce and a half's is a long stretch.

If they wanted them moved, I'm sure they could come up with 4-8 large trucks.

All they needed to do is take those mobile labs that were used to "produce helium to launch weather balloons to monitor crops growing in the barren desert" and use them.

Of course the sheer weight indicates this was not just a few guys with wheel barrows but a governmental/military operation.

BTW McGehee, it was the Toy... (Below threshold)

BTW McGehee, it was the Toyota "Hilux" not Datsun.

- This is another case of "... (Below threshold)

- This is another case of "time frame slippage" by the MSM and the Kerry camp is taking full advantage of "talking out of school" knowing there are certain area's of intel the admin doesn't want to make public for various stretegic reasons. But in this case I think it will be shot down fast. There must be some Iraqi's that have first hand knowledge about the stockpiles and I would expect some statements by the Defense department letting the air out of this one...

- Kerry's people have backed off the "full security counsil" statements and have lowered that to "members of the security council" and refuse to make any other statements. Probably the best thing to come out of that story is it will shut the dumbass statements that Kerry's so willing to make in that area down. Once again he's trying to have it both ways. BLut everyone knows why he switched 180 degree's on the 87 billion vote because Dean was threatening to run away with the primaries....

- Knowing there was some 600,000 tons of explosives when we first went in and that more than 400,000 tons has been destroyed 380 tons is not that much comparitively...Most of the material that was stolen is now hiden in Mosques and other insergent safe sites....

- This is another "float and grab" headline for the Kerry people to make hay on by the MSM... They're drolling at the idea of 4 years of total daily mayhem and fun with Teresa's mis-guided missle mouth in the White House...Headlines everyday and full journalistic employment....

Expect more of these kinds ... (Below threshold)

Expect more of these kinds of stories to be rehashed by the MSM. Two new polls came out today which bode well for Bush -- one has Bush ahead by 3 percent, the other has him ahead by 8 percent. If those numbers continue the Libs will go even more ballistic. Today Clinton told a crowd of Kool-Aid drinkers that we're headed for a "soup-kitchen" economy. I believe Clinton and Kerry are competing for the "Whopper of the Week" award.

Worrying about the GVR in I... (Below threshold)

Worrying about the GVR in Iraq? Come on.

Regardless the number of trucks required to move the stuff, there are some things that obviously point to a conclusion other than that a group of terrorists is now armed with the largest pile of highly explosive material in terrorist history.

A) Any terrorist looking to use the stuff would likely have taken just what they needed. Not every ounce of the stuff.

Considering less than a pound of the stuff took down an entire airliner, does anyone really think that a terrorist organization was likely to have removed the entire 380 TONS!?

Obviously not.

B) Not a single attack has been attributed to the stuff. Not one. Had ANY attacks been undertaken using HMX, don't you think the NYT would have included that in their story?

C) Terrorists are notoriously thin wristed. It's a known fact! So I doubt they'd have done that much work in their lives, let alone in the time between the invasion and today.

380 tons is a crap load of material. Regardless how dense.

Donny George, we hardly knew ya.

GVR? I clearly meant GVW.<... (Below threshold)

GVR? I clearly meant GVW.

I'm going to have to punish my secretary, Ginger.

Any suggestions?

Jim,On Matthews' "... (Below threshold)


On Matthews' "Horerace" version of Hardball on Friday, he described the race as tied with the momentum clearly on Kerry's side. He mentioned four polls of which two showed the race exactly tied, one (AP/Ipsos) showed Kerry ahead by 3 and one (which he seemed to be discounting) showed Bush with a paper-thin 1 pt lead.

Had that been the only information I received on the polls last week, I might have been a bit distraught. But lo and behold, on RCP we see Bush with between a 3.4% (two-way) and 3.1% (three-way) lead.

And Zogby's poll just increased Bush's lead from 1 to 3 and Gallup just showed Bush ahead by 5.

So I guess the only question I have is when Chris Matthews is on the air next Tuesday night will his grief be visible or will he pull off a great acting job?

Cooking gas shortage. Reme... (Below threshold)

Cooking gas shortage. Remember the cooking gas shortage in the beginning of the war? Did you know that almost all modern explosives can be burned more or less safely as fuel for cooking?

The easiest way I can see that 380 tons of explosives went away is that it got used up making rice. Stolen explosives are also cheaper than unavailable cooking gas.

What difference does it mak... (Below threshold)

What difference does it make how many truckloads it took? One pound of this stuff can do some serious dammage (See Lockerbie Scottland Airline explosion and subsequent crash). We are talking 380 Tons!!!! For the mathamatically challenged thats 380 Tons X 2000 lbs/ton=760,000 lbs. Enought explosives to blow more than 760,000 airplanes out of the sky. This is a HUGE fuck up.

Have you guys seen the upda... (Below threshold)

Have you guys seen the update on this on NRO NRO Kerry Spot?

Two points: 1) Perspective--by June, some 248,000 tons of explosives have already been destroyed or captured. 350 (or is it 380) tons missing is bad, but not exactly of Biblical proportions either.

2) But more importantly: CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr says Defense Department officials think these materials were taken from the site before the invasion began.

And the most important fact... (Below threshold)

And the most important fact not reported by the NYT is that not ONE OUNCE of those 380 tons has been used in any attack on US forces.

This is a non story.

"Unaccounted for" means jus... (Below threshold)

"Unaccounted for" means just that. Not that it is in the hands of the enemy. Two HMX bunkers were destroyed during the bombing and what explosives were there were destroyed. Who knows how much the terrorists got their hands on, but with a truckload of fertilizer and ammonia such as was used in Ok City obtaining explosives were never an issue for terrorists. IMO a lot of the explosives were removed before the coalition forces ever got on the scene just like the WMD stuff, probably in Syria.

BTW McGehee, it was the ... (Below threshold)

BTW McGehee, it was the Toyota "Hilux" not Datsun.

That's what I meant to say. ;-)

Thanks, Paul. I knew somebody would catch it if I was wrong. I never get away with a mistake. Never!






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