McClain & Co., Inc. - 40ft Underbridge Inspection Unit Bucket Snooper Truck

Routine bridge inspections are, more often than not, exactly that: routine. Most of the time, on most highway and railway bridges, there is little or nothing out of the ordinary that comes up.

Except when there is.

A vivid example of what bridge inspection crews can find while using a Snooper™ truck or other under bridge access vehicle, is what occurred on the six-lane Hernando de Soto Bridge connecting Tennessee and Arkansas.

When Bridge Inspection Crews Call 911

Bridge inspectors working for a private contractor discovered a crack May 11 during a routine inspection of the Hernando de Soto Bridge. They were so alarmed by the prospect of a catastrophic failure that they called 911.

“We need to get people off the bridge immediately,” one inspector told a 911 dispatcher.

“I am doing a bridge inspection here on I-40 Mississippi River Bridge, and we just found a super critical finding that needs traffic shut down in both directions on I-40 Mississippi River Bridge,” the inspector said on the call.

Across the country, bridges are inspected on a regular basis and their conditions rated based on the findings of the bridge inspection crews.

Typically, the larger and more complex bridges, such as the Hernando de Soto Bridge or the Lesner Bridge in Virginia Beach, are inspected more frequently. Every bridge is rated as being in ‘good,’ ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ condition upon completion of inspections.

Bridges that are deemed to be in ‘poor’ condition may be inspected every six months, depending on the condition of the particular structure.

The good news is that what most bridge inspection crews find using a Snooper™ under bridge access truck is rarely alarming. Which really is a good thing given the sheer number of bridges throughout the United States and the cumulative number of vehicles going over them every day.

In fact, it’s estimated that there are currently more than 617,000 bridges across the country. And, of those, just over 40 percent are at least 50 years old, but only about eight percent of the nation’s bridges are considered structurally deficient, or in “poor” condition.

And it is the work of bridge inspections crews all over America, many of them utilizing versatile Snooper™ under bridge inspection and maintenance trucks, that help keep them in good shape .

What Bridge Inspection Crews are Looking For

Bridge inspectors look for defects such as movement in a bridge that shouldn’t be present, cracking in the concrete, or issues with bearings.

In addition, inspectors look for signs of decay like rust, corrosion, or even paint loss. While not critical in themselves, these can be indications of deeper structural issues that have developed over time.

Generally speaking, bridge inspection crews use under bridge inspections vehicles such as Snooper™ trucks to conduct bridge inspections to look for any flaws, defects, or potential problem areas that may require maintenance.

The overall goal is to identify issues early, before they develop into bigger problems.

Fortunately, those “bigger problems” are statistically rare and comprehensive inspections using proper access equipment minimizes the risk of bridge failure.

Bridge inspections are largely visual and tactile. This means that, while sophisticated tools and equipment are used routinely during inspections, the inspectors themselves must be able to access all areas of a bridge. And that includes the bridge deck, above the deck, and below or under bridge access.

Unless an inspector can literally see and touch the structure, a sufficient inspection cannot be performed. And this requires equipment to give the inspection crews adequate access.

And vehicles like Snooper™ trucks are just the thing.

These under bridge access and maintenance vehicles combine accessibility and versatility to provide unmatched access to any part of just about any bridge structure, including:

●      Highway bridges

●      Railway bridges

●      Pedestrian bridges

Thus equipped, bridge inspection crews are able to conduct routine, in-depth, and other standard bridge inspections safely and efficiently.

McClain & Co., Inc. for Snooper™ Trucks and Other Quality Equipment Rental

At McClain and Company, we believe in providing the absolute best in both quality and in customer service. And that means offering our customers the very best in under bridge equipment rentals.

Owner Daniel McClain and his team also believe that your success is our success, which is why our goal is to do everything we can to help you select the right aerial access equipment rental for your project.

Do you already know which Snooper™ Truck you’d like to rent? You can request a quote today and schedule your rental with us.

In addition to Snooper™ trucks and under bridge inspection equipment rentals, McClain and Company also provides construction services and equipment rental in several states, along with Traffic Control Service and Device rentals, as well as Hi-Rail and aerial work platforms and access equipment.

If you have questions about our Snooper™ trucks and other under bridge equipment, or just  want to learn more about bucket trucks and under bridge inspection unit rentals, contact McClain & Co., Inc., by giving us a call at 1.888.889.1284 or emailing us at [email protected].