Trailer collapses on Route 121 in Poland

A trailer hauling cotton to a recycling business in Mechanic Falls collapsed Tuesday under its load and the weight of snow and ice on the roof, on Route 121 in Poland. The driver, Kevin Wolf, 49, was not injured. (Maine Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit photo)

POLAND — A trailer loaded with cotton collapsed Tuesday afternoon under the weight of its load and snow and ice on the roof, on Route 121, according to state police.

Kevin Wolf, 49, was driving the Corcoron Environmental Services’ rig to its property in Mechanic Falls when the trailer snapped in two, just past Hackett Mills bridge, according to Trooper Jeff DeGroot.

Wolf, whose address was not immediately available, was not injured and no other vehicles were involved, DeGroot said.

“The trailer roof had been compromised previously,” according to DeGroot, who investigated for the state Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit.


The upper rails where the roof and walls join broke, causing the lower rails of the trailer let go. He said there was snow and ice on the roof and inside the trailer.

The 2009 Vanguard trailer was demolished. The 2016 Peterbilt tractor was not damaged, DeGroot said.

Corcoron Environmental Services, which provides recycling services to municipalities and businesses, was issued citations for an expired inspection and trailer frame failure, DeGroot said.

Such structural failures involving tractor-trailers are relatively rare.

“We get one or two a year,” DeGroot said.

  • Snow

    He should be cited for the ice and snow on the roof as well. I was nearly killed last year from ice coming off a tractor trailer.. totaled my vehicle to say the least.

    • FrankE

      Clearing ice and snow off the top of a 53′ trailer is no easy or safe task. First of all there is no safe method to actually climb up there, then there’s the poor footing up there. That aluminum is not only flimsy but incredably slippery. A fall from that height could be deadly.
      I’ve been out of the business for many years so I’m not aware of any clearing stations. In the end, you can’t hold the driver responsible for snow and ice. Companies usually just replace windshields when they are caught. In the 27 years I drove trucks I took out two windshields that I was aware of. The best defense to falling ice and snow is to pay attention and stay out of the fall zone behind and beside the truck. The higher the speeds, the further back you need to avoid. Always assume that the overhanging piece of ice is going to fall eventually. Try not being in the general vicinity when it does………..

      • Jon Mennealy

        We have one such “cleaning station” at the Hannaford Distribution Center in Winthrop. It is a high, wide, sweep-brush type of thing that the driver can pull the trailer under. I have yet to see it in use, though, so I’m not sure how effective it is.

        • FrankE

          After the very first time I attempted to clear snow off the top of a school bus years ago, long before my truck driving days. I had this picture in my mind of such a device. In all the years of complaining about it, no one in this area ever devised anything. There is something that resembles an ice clearing device in front of Mardens Warehouse on Locust St. it’s been there for years but I’ve never seen it in operation. That could have been very helpful with all the trailers I pulled out of Country Kitchen..

  • Jon Mennealy

    Hauling cotton? Does cotton really weight that much? It seems like the snow and ice were the main, if not the actual contributors to the collapse. Or, maybe the previously compromised trailer roof.