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Author Topic: Question for tractor trailer drivers  (Read 2162 times)

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Offline PAmizerman

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Question for tractor trailer drivers
« on: July 23, 2018, 01:24:25 PM »
I am working on plans for my new mill sight and was wondering how big of a loop or parking lot is a comfortable size to turn a tractor trailer around in?
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Offline PC-Urban-Sawyer

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2018, 02:03:56 PM »
Well, according to the Willis Brothers, you need 40 acres...


Offline Leigh Family Farm

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2018, 03:36:16 PM »
Quick Google search says 100' diameter circle. 
There are no problems; only solutions we haven't found yet.

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2018, 04:19:51 PM »
Less than 80ft and you just might want to call for the 40 sticks of dynamite but anything over 80ft is pretty much a breeze. Van drivers working in warehouse complexes most times have to work with less and many times in truckstops you don't get that much space but that's what I'd aim for. Overall length for a standard tractor/trailer rig is 75'6" max but all configurations after that are longer. Make it a good base with no soft ground and you'll be even happier. Also make sure your driveway is wide enough that you don't have the less experienced chaps dropping a trailer into the ditch. That's a nuisance for everyone involved.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2018, 11:10:25 PM »
The standard turning circle for the local milk tankers is at least 25m dia (that works out to ~82ft.), which lines up with Grizzly's 80+ ft.  Going a bit bigger helps with maintaining the surface as the steering wheels don't need to "dig" in as much, and the trailer wheels don't skid across the surface as much. Helps keep your gravel in place. If you are setting up a new dairy operation, they want the circle to be 30+m (98ft) 

Another thing to consider is the width of the entrance. These are usually splayed out, so they may be 30-40ft wide at the road edge, narrowing down to a regular track and gate width after about 30ft. This give trucks and trailers the space to get in and out without crossing into the opposite lane, or taking out your gate posts. 
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2018, 08:41:17 AM »
We have 53 foot road tire (not off road ready) semis who are very worried about getting stuck (one guy told me he would get fired) come in to our place, and although some of them like to turn around on the clay it always makes them nervous, even when its dry.  I've seen some of them turn a 180 in a circle not much bigger than their total length, or pretty close to it, although its important to clear trees and obstructions a little further out so their rear ends can swing.

However, at the request of one driver we put in a backup spur or "T" where the driver can come in forward, we can unload him, he can simply backup and turn his rear end into the spur, until he is pointing out and drive off.  We put down a thick base, maybe 18 inches, of gravel on the "T".  So when its dry, the trucks will turn around anywhere, but when its wet and gooey, or its raining they have the spur with solid base to use and they will almost always use it over the turning circle.  I like it because I didn't want to put such a thick layer of gravel all over our turning circle.
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2018, 09:29:29 AM »
Somewhere in the range of 7 square miles if a SWIFT truck pulls in I have learned.  ;D
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2018, 09:50:17 AM »
Don't Google Swift acronyms. They can be pretty harsh.  :o :D
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2018, 09:53:53 AM »
SouthSide your saying the Swift guys need 4480 acres to turn around lol , I've seen some guy ( not Swift ) just cut it hard and turn there 53' trailers turn around inside 60'.
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2018, 04:07:14 PM »
The stories I could tell about my experience with SWIFT trucks coming to our place....
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Online mike_belben

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2018, 02:10:44 AM »
no one puts more vegetables behind the wheel than swift.  The only company ive seen cross the median and wreck on the wrong bank more than once.  


I am all about the T.. Just make sure the radius into it and into the entrance (culvert?) Is generous to accomodate the trail.  A good driver can spin a 180 with the tandems in place but it'd be better if they could back the trailer tandems off to the side somewhere between 45 and 90 degrees before swinging the tractor the other way and pulling forward.   A vee shape off the side of a straight lane will work good.  This way the trailer is never rocking over the edge or going in the grass if swift does find you. 
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2018, 04:29:20 AM »
A decent size T turnaround will work easy enough for a simple articulated truck. I guess it depends what you are expecting to turn up. This is the size and config most log trucks and milk tankers use, plus a lot of the general freight trucks as well. The new higher capacity rating has an extra axle at the back as well.

They can turn them in a T, but they would much rather have a 100ft loop to drive around. 
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Offline Grizzly

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2018, 11:08:32 AM »
If a driver is capable of properly and successfully using a T, then he is capable of other maneuvers that allow poorer facilities. After 30 years of watching drivers and working with them I prefer to be prepared with a simple yard that has sufficient space for a simple loop. Nothing very difficult. That sounds like a slam on drivers and it bothers me because at least 40% of drivers are very skilled people. But we have to be prepared for the 20% that show up and can't do much of anything. That's the group that causes all the work, not the larger group of drivers that has all the skills required.
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Offline brianJ

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2018, 11:49:00 AM »
Well said Grizzly.    I needed a lot of practice to get good at backing up.   Half way thru my first summer of driving a guy at the grain elevator asked if I could back up into a tight spot.   Had to be within a foot or less.   My reply Yes I CAN.  Might take me two tries.  But to my left I know I can do it.   Wont try backing to my right in such a tight spot.  Nailed it perfectly on first attempt.   

Im a little more out of practice these days but could turn either right or left.

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2018, 08:30:17 AM »
If a driver is capable of properly and successfully using a T, then he is capable of other maneuvers that allow poorer facilities. 
This is true, and its amazing how all the different drivers have different levels of skill, confidence and techniques for turning around, even though thy have several options, some laid out just for them.  I can say "Well, you can turn around here, or here, or back down here" and they still do their own thing.   :D :D

We live in the country, at the end of a couple two lane, dogleg roads, with trees on both ditches.  The nearest escape road is about 1/4 mile away, and I have had drivers roll in with the attitude that if they can get in then they can get out, even without knowing what we have for a turnaround.  

I've also had some stop on the road and call and ask if we have room for a turnaround, a probably prudent approach and I let them know to come on in, no problem.  

I had one guy who didn't call, and backed down the ENTIRE twisted, curving country road to our place, it had to be 1/4 mile, and then back down our driveway, to our yard.  Of course once he got in and the place opens up to acres of flat ground, he realized maybe it wasn't the best thing. :D  I told him if he had enough skill to back down that far, he should have known he could have turned around on a postage stamp, and since we were a sawmill, at least he would have had more room than that. :D
   

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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2018, 09:09:54 PM »
US 129 NC to Tenn.  My motorcyling brothers will know that road as Tail of the Dragon.  SWIFT was notorious for dispatching drivers on this road that has 318 curves in 11 miles.  After a serious accident in 2015 SWIFT began to take steps to curtail their drivers from using US 129.  Some of the curves are such that the rear tires of a big rig cross the opposite lane completely.  Tennessee has banned vehicles over 30' on its portion (don't know how you can travel the NC portion without violating Tennessee law if you are over 30' there aren't other roads across that section of the Smokey Mountains).

This is a photo on US 129.  I am not the photogrpher.



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Offline Magicman

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2018, 09:51:02 PM »
Here is a short video that I made while traveling on the Tail of the Dragon.
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2018, 10:13:05 PM »
I pulled into a Flying J one time and asked over the cb if there was any room, a fellow came on and said sure 2 swift trucks pulled out and we now have 4 more spots. :D :D
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2018, 10:42:24 PM »
Thatís funny.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2018, 11:41:42 PM »
Local truckies tend to have pretty decent skills. 

This is a few years back, riding with a buddy taking a load of wood chips out to a farm out East.

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