A truly devoted fisherman never lets anything prevent him from getting to his honey hole. This Brazilian is a prime example of that. When he gets to an incredibly thin wood bridge, he doesn’t hesitate to take his 2-ton Toyota truck with fishing boat attached over it. You can hear the bridge creaking loudly as he drives over it, which makes you question its stability even more. He has about 100 feet to go to get to the other side, and your guess is as good as mine whether he makes it or not.
A Crude Suspension Bridge
Though anything but good looking, this bridge actually has a fairly sound design. It basically has the same design principles of huge suspension bridges like the Golden Gate, but obviously on a much smaller (and definitely uglier) scale. The forces that make a suspension bridge stable are the compression in the pillars and tension in the cables. The cables transfer the weight to the pillars, which transfer that weight to the ground. But instead of a paved road, in this case you have planks of wood held up by additional tow cables with wood placed vertically at intervals of a few feet. The result is that when something heavy goes across it, the wood and cables sag down. And if there’s too much weight on these pillars and cables, the bridge deck will eventually snap.
Characteristics of Modern-Day Suspension Bridges
The modern suspension bridges of today use multiple strands of wire to increase strength. As far as the roadbed, it’s usually supported by truss structures. However, plate structures are becoming more popular with the recent developments in bridge aerodynamics. When put together, all the components of a suspension bridge make for a sturdy structure that can handle plenty of weight. In case you are wondering, here are some of the advantages of suspension bridges over other types of bridges:
- Sections of the deck can be replaced to accommodate more traffic.
- Main spans can be longer than any other type of bridge.
- They often need less material to be constructed than other bridge types.
On the other hand, some disadvantages are:
- The bridge deck can be prone to vibrating in high winds.
- The deck isn’t as stiff as other types of bridges, which means it may have issues handling highly concentrated live loads.
While the bridge is a working suspension bridge, it’s appearance certainly doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. On top of that, you have a 2-ton truck traveling across the surface on two boards that aren’t much wider than the tires. So if this driver turns too much one way or another, he’s going to be in a whole lot of trouble.
What Kind of Truck Is He Driving?
The truck this guy is traveling over the bridge with looks to be a Toyota Hilux, which is a truck model that’s specific to Brazil and other foreign markets. You’ll see that it’s a 4×4 vehicle that looks somewhat like the popular Toyota Tacoma truck. On an interesting side note, other vehicles in the Toyota Brazil lineup are similar to those in the American lineup but have different names. For example, there is no 4Runner, but there is an SW4. Other versions such as the Corolla, Prius, and Rav4 are unchanged in Brazil.
More about the Toyota Hilux
The Hilux has been around since 1968, but the name was retired in America in 1976. The vehicle has a reputation for durability and reliability. These two characteristics have made it a popular vehicle for militant groups in war-torn regions in addition to the general population.
The newest edition of the Hilux, the 2015, is equipped with a 2.7L engine that generates 160 horsepower. The truck is roughly 5,000 pounds. Add the fishing boat and the other gear loaded on the truck and you are probably looking at a total of just over 6,000 pounds.
Is 6,000 Pounds Too Much?
You’ll soon find out if this bridge can handle that kind of weight. But if I was the driver, I would be more worried about a wheel sliding off one of the narrow wood boards. What do you think? Will the Helix and boat make it or are they going to fall into the water below?
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