"Beware the Bull Wagon" NM/AZ Hwy 80


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crowtoe
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Location: Portal, AZ
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"Beware the Bull Wagon" NM/AZ Hwy 80

Post by crowtoe »



Living in a small burg "off the beaten path" in far southeastern Arizona has its' advantages. Peace and quiet, beautiful views, and for a scooter driver, little to no traffic. If you find yourself tired of the goofball 4-wheel drivers and stress on the Interstate (10) and are looking for an alternative, NM/AZ 80 from Road Forks (NM) to Douglas (AZ) is just the ticket.
However, if you decide to take this side trip, be aware that from January through September, 18-wheel cattle haulers - also known as "bull wagons" - run this stretch like their hair was on fire. Usually they will run in packs of 2 or 3. They have little regard to anything or anybody on the road, and run at speeds up to 90 mph. I've seen them blow through the town of Rodeo at 60 mph where the speed limit is 35. They usually run just before dusk to night time which makes their dangerous activities even more precarious. On January 8th of this year, a bull wagon crossed a double-yellow to pass another 18-wheeler in a very tight and curvy part of the highway known as "Silver Creek", slamming head-on into a van with two occupants. The 70-year old driver was killed instantly, and the 78-year old passenger had to be choppered out to Tucson where, thankfully he survived.
The deceased driver happened to be the president of American Legion Riders Post 11 in Douglas, the occupant a member also, and both men were headed back home after their monthly ALR meeting. They are/were also my neighbors, the president was also a good friend and an avid biker since the age of 14.
My friend "Way-out" was a Vietnam combat veteran, husband of 50 years, father of 2, grandfather, 30-year retiree from Ford Motor Company in Ohio, artist and volunteered for multiple organizations in our small community. His loss was a great tragedy.
My friends in law enforcement tell me that most bull wagon drivers are ranch hands, and possess a CDL for that purpose alone. While they may have passed the CDL scrutinity of their state, their experience is, comparatively speaking, highly limited to that of a "professional" trucker.
It is not my intent to disparage every person who drives a bull wagon, but rather educate my fellow scooter drivers to a danger they may not be aware of.
Y'all ride safe, and if you're ever in the neighborhood, jump off the super slab and come enjoy the views along NM/AZ 80.


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dingdong
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Re: "Beware the Bull Wagon" NM/AZ Hwy 80

Post by dingdong »

Thanks for the heads up. I stay as far away from the cattle haulers as possible. I have never seen one that was driving like he was sane. Don't know why but it seems like they all drive like that.
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pidjones
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Re: "Beware the Bull Wagon" NM/AZ Hwy 80

Post by pidjones »

Would you be refering to US70 from Lordsburg, NM to Douglas, AZ? We just took it on May 11th and found it to combine bull trucks with slow vans and "I've got enough to buy myself out of anything" sports cars. A stop to take a picture at the boarder included a pass by of a couple cattle haulers. But, there are a lot more of them around Clovis!
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