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Thread: 11' 8" Truck-eating bridge in Durham, N.C.

  1. #1
    Supporting Member DIYSwede's Avatar
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    11' 8" Truck-eating bridge in Durham, N.C.

    "The Dunning-Kruger Test for Truck Drivers"

    The bridge even has its own home page (but has now grown to a full 12' 4"):
    11 FOOT 8 - The Canopener Bridge

    The documentary "Overheight must turn" (12:05):

    https://vimeo.com/271945574

    "The Definitive 11'8" Bridge Crash Compilation (9:49):


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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    One would think that a nation like the USA that boasts standards for its interstate highway system would have a standardized minimum height for overpasses. If we can get the states to adhere to standard dimensions for vehicle license plates, we should be able to agree on minimum bridge heights.
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    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    There's lots of low overheads in the US that were in place before there were standards and in most cases the cost of correcting them has been deemed unacceptable by the ruling authority (usually local - e.g. Chicago is a nightmare for tall vehicles). In all cases it's ultimately the driver's responsibility to insure that his vehicle can safely pass along a roadway and it's likely that the wheel holders seen in the video didn't even know what their maximum height was before entering the underpass since none of them slowed down to a crawl to observe and judge the fit before hitting.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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  6. #4
    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
    There's lots of low overheads in the US that were in place before there were standards and in most cases the cost of correcting them has been deemed unacceptable by the ruling authority (usually local - e.g. Chicago is a nightmare for tall vehicles).
    Yeah, nothing ever gets fixed until enough people die because of it. We'll just have to wait until a propane truck drives under a too-low bridge next to a day-care center.

    In all cases it's ultimately the driver's responsibility to insure that his vehicle can safely pass along a roadway and it's likely that the wheel holders seen in the video didn't even know what their maximum height was before entering the underpass since none of them slowed down to a crawl to observe and judge the fit before hitting.
    And public safety is ultimately the responsibility of the "ruling authorities".
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    Supporting Member DIYSwede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    We'll just have to wait until a propane truck drives under a too-low bridge next to a day-care center.
    Not an open day-care center nearby - nor is it a propane semi, but the sad story of a topped-up lobster reefer... ( 6:51):

    Last edited by DIYSwede; 06-22-2020 at 05:09 PM.

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Developing and emerging countries have an advantage over the USA in the underpass minimum height area. Since most of their infrastructure is based on modern vehicle sizes and carrying capacities when they construct their roads the roads are built to a higher set of weight standards than the USA has they are built to have a use life of 100 years and are regularly re topped to insure they remain smooth the bridges are a minimum of 5 meter with 5.5 being the normal minimum a new overpass will be constructed this allows for years of re topping without the need to grind away the surface prior to adding a new layer but normally many countries will only allow 2 layers put down before grinding back down to the concrete
    In Israel for instance the highway that runs the length of the country is capable of being used as a runway for aircraft of almost any size almost anywhere along its length this was done because of the threat of losing their established airports. In the oil rich countries on the Saudi Arabian peninsula their roads are made to withstand 2, 3 even 4 times the maximum axle weights allowed here in the USA
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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    One guy out of all of them had reservations about driving under it but decided it was worth taking the chance He should have driven the miles around it.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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    Years back when I moved from NJ to WV I rented that same truck (26ft. 26,000#).
    On the second trip of three, I was moving some heavy machinery and thought I might be over weight. When I got close to the weigh station I got off the interstate and took the back road.
    When I came to a turn the GPS said to go left but I did not think that was correct so I went right (not a good idea).
    After about seven miles on a two lane road (with no place to turn around) I came to tunnel. The sign said 12'3" IIRC the truck was 12' 1" or 12' 2". As I sat there thinking about what to do (did I mention this was at night?) a truck pulled up behind me, the driver got out came up to me and said "I don't think you are going to make it".
    I said to him I think i have 1 or 2 inches clearance.
    After a short discussion we decided he would guide me thru.
    I made it without any problem.
    After unloading I realized I was not over weight.

    A few years ago I was on the interstate in WV and as I neared an exit there was a road closed sign, I exited and got onto a road that ran parallel to the interstate.
    When I neared a bridge overpass there was a large dump truck body wedged between the road and the bottom of the bridge. The cab and frame was in the median.
    The driver was killed in the crash.
    Apparently he had the body up when he got on the highway, I don't under how one could miss the fact the body was in the raised position when he got into the cab.

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    Supporting Member DIYSwede's Avatar
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    "Oversize Load" signs are only there to warn other drivers...
    This one managed to squeeze not only a bed, but an entire dump truck under a bridge:


  13. #10
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIYSwede View Post
    "Oversize Load" signs are only there to warn other drivers...
    This one managed to squeeze not only a bed, but an entire dump truck under a bridge:

    While a 773 is normally a dump truck the one featured in the video is configured with a water tank making it a water tanker but that is just semantics.
    Normally a bed on the larger trucks would be removed and shipped separately on the larger equipment for weight and height considerations shipping 2 loads is sometimes cheaper than shipping as a whole and there is the matter of reasonable reduction of size. On the Interstate system most states now allow 14' 1" as max legal height instead of the 13'6" High pole pilot vehicles are required over 15' just about everywhere now some states are requiring a high pole over 14'6" .
    So several things went wrong here. First the driver probably fudged on the overall height to get less expensive over dimensional permits, the permit agency was not due diligent in their routing the road surface may have been topped reducing the clearance, the pilot if one had been hired failed to properly check the overhead height in 2 or 3 places as required when obstructions may exist. But most of all the driver ignored the 6 side observance rule when driving a truck especially #5&6 ground and sky Long multi axle rigs can gain several inches in height if the road surface slopes down and up under an over pass due to its length.
    I wonder if he had one of these on board to check his height with. my guy who pulls the trailers he and I own together has one and it has proved very valuable more than once
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