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Making a right turn at a city intersection


remoandiris

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Obviously HDTs make wide right turns. What is the best point in an intersection to initiate the right turn?

 

I learned in my LGT (crew cab dually long bed) that the best point to initiate the turn is when my rear door just passes the corner of the curb at the intersection. It is about 4 feet in front of the hitch.

 

Since RV hauler hitches are much further back than that, I am guessing the turning dynamics are different. I searched the HHRG and YouTube but came up with zilch.

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That's just going to take practice--every truck and trailer is going to be different. One thing I've found (and I probably need more room for a U-turn than just about anybody else here!) is that you have a lot more room at the front of the truck than you might think. I've got a camera mounted on the hood mirror pointed down that helps--and have realized I've probably looked stupid for backing up on a number of occasions when I was clear by several feet.

 

And there are certainly places where desperate times call for more desperate measures. There's a particular intersection near downtown Atlanta that I've been through a number of times where I consume the left turn lane (turning right), and still barely clear stopped cars and a light pole by inches (with at least 6 tires using the sidewalk!). Without traffic it would be easy, but there's generally a long enough back-up on the street headed to/from I-75 that no one is really able to move much to help with the turn. Ideally, you'd swing into the oncoming lane on the street you're turning on to, but sometimes it just won't work.

 

I'll have to dig it up, but I put together a spreadsheet tool a while back that lets you simulate a 90-degree right hand turn given the dimensions of your truck and trailer. That would help you to see what it would take to keep the wheels off the curb.

45' 2004 Showhauler -- VNL300, ISX, FreedomLine -- RVnerds.com -- where I've started to write about what I'm up to

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Good morning, Nuke-E.

 

If you happen to run across the mentioned spreadsheet I would be most appreciative if you would send it to me.

 

Thanks!

 

Michael

bockofma (at) yahoo.com

2007 Volvo VNL 670

2007 NuWa HitchHiker Champagne

 

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I'll have to dig it up, but I put together a spreadsheet tool a while back that lets you simulate a 90-degree right hand turn given the dimensions of your truck and trailer. That would help you to see what it would take to keep the wheels off the curb.

 

If you find that spreadsheet, I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate seeing it.

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I do not post often.

I teach for the RV Driving school (good or bad). I teach you to start your turn when you look over your right shoulder and look down the curb. when you can see straight down the curb start your turn. You need to be 3 feet or more from the curb on the street you are on.

I do this and my truck is 30 feet long and the 5er is 40 feet.

I also teach people to get their CDL and with a 53 feet trailer you go out until the right tire grove is even with your shoulder.

Just my advise. It is worth what you paid for it.




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Glyn (KL0PG) & Diane Carson
2002 I-H 4400 Papa's Dream (Mama's Nightmare)
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Remoan, When I make a right turn from the right lane I like to drift a little to the left if traffic will let me and then I go as deep into the intersection as I can then start the turn. If there is only one lane you are turning into the I'll slow down until I get help from the on coming traffic. If no help I just keep inching forward and watching that mirror until I can clear everything. If two lanes then I just watch that right mirror and sweep it as wide as the roar/traffic will allow. But calling a spot to start a turn I haven't tried that. Hope some of this might help. Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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When I was driving big trucks we were taught to approach a right turn in the right lane, but prior to getting to the corner to swing to the left THEN make the right turn trying if at all stay out of the opposing lane on the road we were turning onto. The safety departments were pretty adamant about staying out of the other traffic lane.

 

 

Better not try that on a road test in Illinois! From the Non-CDL Illinois Handbook:

 

Turning

The space around a truck or bus is important in turns. Because of wide

turning and off-tracking, large vehicles can hit other vehicles or objects

during turns. Following are rules to help prevent right-turn crashes:

✗ Turn slowly to give yourself and others more time to avoid problems.

✗ If you are driving a truck or bus that cannot make the right turn

without swinging into another lane, turn wide as you complete the

turn (Figure 1). Keep the rear of the vehicle close to the curb; this will

stop other drivers from passing you on the right.

✗ Do not turn wide to the left as you start the turn (Figure 2). A

following driver may think you are turning left and try to pass on the

right. You may crash into the other vehicle as you complete your turn.

✗ If you must cross into the oncoming lane to make a turn, watch out for

vehicles coming toward you. Give them room to go by or to stop.

However, do not back up for them, because you might hit someone

behind you.

 

Figure 1 shows the turning vehicle encroaching in the approaching lane after the turn. Figure 2 shows the turning vehicle swinging left before the turn.

Dennis & Nancy
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Yup. CDL Test asks about three times if you swing wide in the first part of the turn or the end part of the turn. Swing into oncoming traffic on the new road if necessary.

 

I will have to try turning by reference point. I always just guessed at it.

 

Watched a loaded dump trailer go up on one curb and his outside tire suddenly had 1" of tire height between the rim and the curb. Thought for sure it would blow. And he had plenty of room to miss the curb. Just because you do it for a living doesnt mean youre good at it.

 

I hope my boss doesnt look too close at my work either . . .

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If space permits, I start my right turn as the trailer tires just enter the intersection. This means that I am deep into the intersection.

 

If space does not permit, then I do as suggested above and turn the truck hard left (making sure no one is in the adjacent left lane), prior to turning right. So far, I have not hit a stop sign or gone up on a curb. :)

 

Although not discussed, I make my right turn in such a way that a car can NEVER get between the trailer and the curb. This includes "follow through" on the completion of the turn. That is, I steer the truck into the right lane on the completion of the turn. I am constantly watching the trailer tires to make sure that I am very close (no room for a car to sneak in) to the curb. I live in SoCal and there are some really mentally challenged people driving cars and motorcycles.

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If space permits, I start my right turn as the trailer tires just enter the intersection. This means that I am deep into the intersection.

 

If space does not permit, then I do as suggested above and turn the truck hard left (making sure no one is in the adjacent left lane), prior to turning right. So far, I have not hit a stop sign or gone up on a curb. :)

 

Although not discussed, I make my right turn in such a way that a car can NEVER get between the trailer and the curb. This includes "follow through" on the completion of the turn. That is, I steer the truck into the right lane on the completion of the turn. I am constantly watching the trailer tires to make sure that I am very close (no room for a car to sneak in) to the curb. I live in SoCal and there are some really mentally challenged people driving cars and motorcycles.

X2 watch tail swing on cars to your driver side
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Then I guess things have changed from what they were 30 years ago. I was taught to keep the trailer in the right lane when you swing left to block traffic trying to pass on the right when turning.

That is called a "lane blocking" maneuver and is how most states allow it. In MANY cases you cannot make the turn without doing that. The key is to keep the right lane (your origin lane) blocked to prevent "drive-by's".

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I've uploaded my spreadsheet. Fair warning though--I put it together 2 years ago, and there are probably some errors buried in it. Pretty much all of the inputs are on the "Vehicle Parameters" tab--use care, but it should show a diagram of the two-vehicle combination.

 

I found it pretty insightful seeing what a discontinuity in steering wheel angle does to the trailer--in particular the corners of the trailer away from the axles. It may very well be that many of your trailers ride plenty smooth, but the manner turns are completed gives it a good jerk.

 

I wouldn't mind eventually including masses in this spreadsheet, so that turn geometry and weight/balance can be considered simultaneously. Maybe I'll have to sit down with Henry and generate some stability metrics as well.

 

Here's the link.

45' 2004 Showhauler -- VNL300, ISX, FreedomLine -- RVnerds.com -- where I've started to write about what I'm up to

Headlight and Fog Light Upgrades http://deepspacelighting.com

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Here is a link to someone who put together the original Lazy Days videos onto one 41 minute compilation. I have not watched this one but rather the original series that used to be on the Lazy Days Better RVing web site.

Worth watching.

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The first part of that video is what I meant. That is the way I was instructed to do if possible because the company said if someone runs into you from the road you are turning onto you would be at fault for occupying the incorrect lane. What they didn't say was it would be your fault no matter what the circumstances were........

 

The common good, your own financial interest, your safety, and what's legal are all too often four different things!

45' 2004 Showhauler -- VNL300, ISX, FreedomLine -- RVnerds.com -- where I've started to write about what I'm up to

Headlight and Fog Light Upgrades http://deepspacelighting.com

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"Textbook" descriptions, like above in the IL CDL manual are a good starting point. There are so many variables, intersection layout, traffic density, time of day (antsy commuters vs soccer moms) and dozens of others that hard and fast rules are hard to come by.

Just this morning I had an oversize machine where I had to break almost every rule out there just to make turns amongst drivers totalyy oblivious to my needs.

The one item that is consistent in turning an RV in an intersection is the much greater "tail swing" due to the common layout of wheels much closer to the center of the trailer. It even gives me pause when I pull my RV vs the commercial units I handle.

No matter what, go slow, stop if needed, pull on the flashers and GOAL Get out and look. The horn blowing will eventually subside. No cop in the world in going to cite you for being careful.

Jeff Beyer temporarily retired from Trailer Transit
2000 Freightliner Argosy Cabover
2008 Work and Play 34FK
Homebase NW Indiana, no longer full time

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"Textbook" descriptions, like above in the IL CDL manual are a good starting point. There are so many variables, intersection layout, traffic density, time of day (antsy commuters vs soccer moms) and dozens of others that hard and fast rules are hard to come by.

Just this morning I had an oversize machine where I had to break almost every rule out there just to make turns amongst drivers totalyy oblivious to my needs.

The one item that is consistent in turning an RV in an intersection is the much greater "tail swing" due to the common layout of wheels much closer to the center of the trailer. It even gives me pause when I pull my RV vs the commercial units I handle.

No matter what, go slow, stop if needed, pull on the flashers and GOAL Get out and look. The horn blowing will eventually subside. No cop in the world in going to cite you for being careful.

Jeff,

 

You sure hit the nail on the head some days it seems that most of the folks on the road forget that they are on the road.......

 

Some years ago we leased a couple of 550 Ton Grove Seven-Axle carrier cranes with crab-steer but they were still 10 ft wide and way too long for many places we needed to go much of the time. In some ways these cranes were pretty darn agile for their size but as you well know, when dealing with oversize loads..... "size does matter".....

 

One day we had the one of the "550's" through the outskirts of town and the roads were somewhat of a tangle with odd intersections and moderate traffic........we had front and rear pilot cars and for the most part it was fair going ......until......we get to a rather odd five road intersection that formed of a sorta "S-shaped" track that the carrier would need to drive slightly into the opposing traffic left turn lane......the traffic light turned red and the front flag car stopped and waited......just before the green light a fellow in new pickup with a single axle utility trailer pulled into the opposing left turn lane......as the light turned green the flag car turned wide and the flag girl stepped out and ask the fellow in the pickup to please backup but he ignored her as he chatted on his cell.......Bill pulled the carrier forward as far as he could and stopped with the crane block and hook about 3 feet in front of the pickup........Bill set the brakes and jumped out and trotted past the block as the fellow in the pickup rolled his window down a few inches........Bill asked him if he would please back up about 10 feet.......the fellow said "well ya know I am tired of you big rigs pushing me around so you get the big money just drive around me"......then he rolled up the window......

 

No problem........Bill trotted back to the carrier ladder fired up the crane boomed-up to within a foot below the traffic signal light and then pulled up the crane block and hook up to the boom-anti-two- block switch and then hopped back to the ground and into the carrier cab and steered "full-crab-right" and inched very slowly as the 7,700 pound block and hook (little 250 toner) glided over the front edge and corner of the pickup hood clearing it by about 8 inches.........as the moron in the pickup eye's grew to the size of oranges.....Bill completed the crab-turn and crabbed as close to the curb as he could and then hopped out lowered the boom and secured the block and hook while the traffic cleared......

 

The flag girl was mortified that Bill would be mad at her.........Bill smiled and said....."sweetheart, it's not your fault that fellow was having a bad day.......so look at the bright side....... he got to see the biggest hook he ever imagined close-up .....and he got to see a +$5.5 million crane walk sideways.........and he's right.........I DO get the big money........"

GMK7550.jpg

 

Drive on..............(Crab......slowly)

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