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Author Topic: Question for tractor trailer drivers  (Read 2163 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. 
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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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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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Offline 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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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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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2018, 08:39:37 AM »
I ride the dragon several times a year the last time a few weeks ago. It's a motorcycle mecca but I don't care for it.

You still see big rigs on it from time to time even with the ban. It's a long way around to get from Knoxville/Maryville to Robbinsville if you can't use 129.

Personally I'd like to see them ban more campers and trailers.

Actually if I never have to ride it again I'd be happy. First thing guys want to do when they come up to the Tenn house is "ride the Dragon". Too much work with no scenery and a bunch of jerks on sport bikes tearing it up or some fool in a cage that can't keep his line.

Lot's crash every year riding it. At the Deals Gap stop they have the "tree of shame" which is covered with bike parts, xrays and obits.

BTW Not to be outdone, Here in Florida we have our own motor cycle gauntlet.. it's called Tail of the Gecko. 11 curves in 318 miles.
This picture was taken on the Dragon


 
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2018, 09:35:15 AM »
If you want your own private dragon adventure without all the poseurs, start at brushy mountain prison in TN and run 116 up to 297 or down to 330.  

Coal trucks and banjos.  Be careful.   For as close to civilization as it is, ill bet its one of the most rugged patches in america.  Like a miniature amazon encircled by highways.  James earl ray escaped from brushy mountain and didnt get far across frozen head.  
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2018, 10:20:13 AM »
another good ride in WA is highway 20 from Sedro Wolley to Omak across the North Cascades
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2018, 12:31:20 PM »
Raider Bill I agree that the Tail of the Dragon is a lot of work to ride for just being able to say you did it.  I have ridden it a few times and like you if I don't ever ride it again I won't miss it.  Here in Stokes County, NC we have plenty of curvy roads to challenge a rider's skills and I can sleep in my own bed after riding.  Highway 66 North from King, to Highway 89 South is about as technical as the Dragon but without the hype. The scenery is pretty good and the roads aren't overly busy.  The Parkway is just 45 minutes away as well.  

I'm sawing at a site this week and next where there is a T for logging trucks to turn around.  They pull through the T then they do have to back to the right where there's about 40' feet of space.  So there's no problem with side clearance.  They turn left then back down to the unloading ramp where the big rubber tire loader unloads the logs.  From the ramp it is a straight shot out of the site back to the road.
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2018, 01:41:23 PM »
Thanks Mike, I'm always looking for that next road to putt along on in that area.

Heading up again in September for a weeks riding.
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2018, 01:49:45 PM »
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2018, 05:34:31 PM »
I run a 48 ft flatbed spread axle log trailer and I never plan to turn around when loaded. So always plan to take trucks straight in to unload and then turn around unloaded. Loops are OK when loaded if they are wide enough at the turns but tight turns are hard on the tires and no fun at all if you drop a wheel off the hard surface. 

I have a third (lift) axle close spaced in front of the front spread axle which does give me some flexibility as I can dump the air bags on the rear axle but with the higher loads I am allowed to carry, that puts a lot of stress on the two close spaced axles. I have watched on tight turns and you can almost roll the tires off the rims on tight turns with a load.

I have operated on some tight landings with narrow roads where I have had to drag the trailer sideways into a T road to get turned around before loading. I would never do that when loaded. 

I don't even want to think about the times I've dropped a loaded set of tandems off the edge on some narrow tight turns.  
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2018, 10:42:05 PM »
You can run 40k on a spread right?  How many board feet can you typically get on and stay under 80?  Is the trailer heaping or is there room to spare when you hit 80k?
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2018, 02:08:28 AM »
I always haul pulpwood so I am set up with five bunks of 100 inch sticks. It's all weight scaled now so I never look at BDFT or cords. I guess I haul approximately 13 to 15 cords at max weight. That's based on about 64K load.

The 10 ft spread axle trailer makes it easier to meet axle weight limits or in other words it allows you to shift weight off the tractor tandems. In MN when hauling logs, I am allowed 80K plus 5% in summer and can go +10% + the 5% tolerance during frozen road time. 

In WI I can get a permit to haul 90K and the only way I can stay under the axle weight limits is with a spread axle trailer. With both the MN and WI weights over 80K, it's hard on tires as you are pushing the max tire limits.

In both MN and WI with a 6-axle setup, with a third axle on the trailer I can get a permit for 90K +5% in MN and for 98K in WI. In WI the 98K is max year around and in MN during frozen roads you can go 90K + 10% + 5% tolerance or about 104K. With the 6 axle set up, I have relatively few tire problems other than the scrubbing of the rear spread axle tires on turns.
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2018, 08:39:08 AM »
I watched a driver once take a turn so tight on asphalt, he tore a wheel off his trailer.  It came off and laid on the road.  Itís things like that which show how difficult trucking can be.  
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2018, 08:59:06 AM »
Trucking is a thankless job.  Drivers dont get near the appreciation they deserve.  
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2018, 02:38:05 PM »
I watched a driver once take a turn so tight on asphalt, he tore a wheel off his trailer.  It came off and laid on the road. 
That's the downside to spread axles. I've watched that rear spread set of tandems on tight turns and the tires roll sideways to the point the sidewalls are scrubbing the pavement. I do have a dump valve in the cab for the rear airbags but if you forget to turn it back on after the turn it's big trouble. Many trailer manufacturers will void your warranty if you install a dump valve. The upside of the rear dump valve is you can instantly shorten your trailer length by 10 ft for tight turns.
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2018, 07:50:00 PM »
Im surprised no one has made them a steering spread.  They have self parking cars and self driving trucks now.  Electric trucks etc. 
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Offline Resonator

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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2018, 10:16:18 PM »
Pa mizerman, bigger is better. Make it easy for the driver, and consider room for loading and unloading. Your first truck in will tell you for sure how well it works, and if the lot needs to be bigger.
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Re: Question for tractor trailer drivers
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2018, 06:06:01 PM »
Thanks for all the input. I like the idea of a T.
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first tractor trailer load

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by woodmills1
xx
Compact tractor log trailer

Started by John Mc on Forestry and Logging

6 Replies
1815 Views
Last post August 23, 2015, 06:57:26 PM
by John Mc
xx
Leasing a tractor trailer?

Started by Bridger on Forestry and Logging

5 Replies
1705 Views
Last post July 04, 2010, 08:25:47 AM
by Sawyerfortyish
xx
Tractor forwarding trailer vs. older skidder

Started by mf40diesel on Forestry and Logging

29 Replies
6575 Views
Last post August 12, 2014, 06:48:23 PM
by BEEMERS
 


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