Saline Valley Road Observation

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Older Fossil
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Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by Older Fossil » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:57 am

We were recently staying at PSR and took a drive up to the Hunter Mountain Cabin. After we had just turned off the Saline Valley Road onto Hunter Mountain Road, we observed this Miller's Towing truck dragging two large tires along the Saline Valley Road and heading down Grapevine Canyon.

Image

Does anyone know why they were doing this? Does Miller's have an arrangement with the county to perform some type of maintenance? If the tires were being delivered somewhere, I'd assume they would have been loaded on the flatbed.
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D.A. Wright
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by D.A. Wright » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:21 pm

Maybe doing their own grading to smooth the way back because they are going in to bring something big out? The recently had to bring out a motorhome that lost a set of dual wheels and tires (worked loose and spun off), but that was on North Pass.
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ETAV8R
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by ETAV8R » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:44 am

Wonder if they are finally going to get that Ford near Willow Creek and doing the loop.

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:02 pm

Older Fossil wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:57 am
Does anyone know why they were doing this?
Just now I called Miller's Towing in Lone Pine, CA to answer this question. The friendly gentleman on the phone explained how they have several sets of huge tractor tires ensconced at strategic locations inside Death Valley that they will hook up to their tow trucks on the way out to tow to "knock down that washboard that beats the hell out of our trucks. You know what that washboard does to your vehicle so just imagine what it does to our trucks with your vehicle loaded on top!."

He also explained that Miller's does not have a contract with the NPS for road work. BTW - the hourly rate for wilderness/off-pavement towing is $350.00 per hour.
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Older Fossil
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by Older Fossil » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:51 pm

Death Valley Dazed wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:02 pm
Just now I called Miller's Towing in Lone Pine, CA to answer this question.
DVD, thank you for making the effort to find out! It makes sense from Miller's point of view.
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Kauri
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by Kauri » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:50 pm

Death Valley Dazed wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:02 pm
Older Fossil wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:57 am
Does anyone know why they were doing this?
Just now I called Miller's Towing in Lone Pine, CA to answer this question. The friendly gentleman on the phone explained how they have several sets of huge tractor tires ensconced at strategic locations inside Death Valley that they will hook up to their tow trucks on the way out to tow to "knock down that washboard that beats the hell out of our trucks. You know what that washboard does to your vehicle so just imagine what it does to our trucks with your vehicle loaded on top!."

He also explained that Miller's does not have a contract with the NPS for road work. BTW - the hourly rate for wilderness/off-pavement towing is $350.00 per hour.
Thank you for this information!
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ETAV8R
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by ETAV8R » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:46 pm

Knowing that they don't do road maintenance means they are out there retrieving a vehicle.

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Candace_66
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by Candace_66 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:08 pm

On November 3, 2017, I was driving south toward Hwy 190 on the Saline Valley Road. Along the way I saw a Miller's flatbed with a Jeep Grand Cherokee (bearing US Gov't plates :D ) on the back. The truck was pulling a "tire drag" behind it.

The driver parked where the SV Road meets Hwy 190. Mostly to add air to the truck tires (using an onboard compressor, see pic). He also dropped off the tire drag.

I already knew what the tire drag was for. Talking to him, he confirmed they always drag the road when they go out on a job. In this case, he went all the way to Hidden Valley to pick up the Jeep. IIRC, he said the job would cost about $2000.


ImagePB030118 by Candace66, on Flickr

ImagePB030119 by Candace66, on Flickr

ImagePB030121 by Candace66, on Flickr
Last edited by Candace_66 on Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:56 pm

Wow, Candace, a local newspaper reporter could not have done a better job with this report. Photos included! Thanks for taking the time to post this.
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by Candace_66 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:56 pm

Death Valley Dazed wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:56 pm
Wow, Candace, a local newspaper reporter could not have done a better job with this report. Photos included! Thanks for taking the time to post this.
Thanks! IMHO, I am more thorough and careful than most reporters these days, but that's another topic. :D

Here's a bonus pic of the Border Patrol using a "tire drag." This was just a few miles north of the border, on the Goldwater Range in Arizona. Pic taken January 24, 2014. I've seen a few of these tire drags lying near roads in the area, both on the Goldwater Range and in Cabeza Prieta NWR. In fact during another visit, I saw the BP dragging El Camino Del Diablo in Cabeza Prieta.

ImageIMGP1033 by Candace66, on Flickr

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Candace_66
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by Candace_66 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:09 pm

Death Valley Dazed wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:02 pm
...BTW - the hourly rate for wilderness/off-pavement towing is $350.00 per hour.
That's not bad. Four years ago in Colorado, I was charged $500/hour for an "off-road recovery" from an unmaintained jeep trail. The recovery was simple, my dead vehicle was parked at the end of the trail. They just had to use a tow strap to drag it down with their highly-modded K5 Blazer.

Thankfully, I was not far from the maintained county road (the Mosquito Pass Road on the Alma side). The "off-road recovery" part took one hour total. So I paid $500 while Chrysler paid the rest of the cost involved. Which may have been a bit, since the operation required the tow company to send two flatbeds, one transporting their K5.

Sparky of SoCal
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by Sparky of SoCal » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:10 am

I don't think the Border Patrol is dragging to make for a better ride down the road.

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Candace_66
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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by Candace_66 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:02 pm

Sparky of SoCal wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:10 am
I don't think the Border Patrol is dragging to make for a better ride down the road.
Other than to smooth the road surface, what other purpose is there in using a tire drag?

Makes sense to me that the BP tries to keep the roads smooth. They do a lot of driving around out there. I can remember driving around all day and not seeing anyone else except for the Border Patrol.

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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by Daw89446 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:46 pm

Candace_66 wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:02 pm
Other than to smooth the road surface, what other purpose is there in using a tire drag?
Me thinks it might have something to do with making a clean surface to monitor foot prints of those coming across the border to make it easier to track them. Knowing the time it was drug also give agents a time frame to determine the age of the prints. And a new surface makes the foot prints clearer to determine age and type of shoe.

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Re: Saline Valley Road Observation

Post by jacknv7 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:00 pm

Daw89446 wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:46 pm
Candace_66 wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:02 pm
Other than to smooth the road surface, what other purpose is there in using a tire drag?
Me thinks it might have something to do with making a clean surface to monitor foot prints of those coming across the border to make it easier to track them. Knowing the time it was drug also give agents a time frame to determine the age of the prints. And a new surface makes the foot prints clearer to determine age and type of shoe.
Why Dave I believe you are on to something there...

http://agentnowhere.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... roads.html

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