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2.7 Managing Space (continued)

Space Overhead

Hitting overhead objects is a danger. Make sure you always have overhead clearance.

  • Do not assume that the weights and heights posted at bridges and overpasses are correct. Repaving or packed snow may have reduced the clearances since the heights were posted.
  • The weight of a cargo van changes its height. An empty van is higher than a loaded one. That you got under a bridge when you were loaded does not mean that you can do it when you are empty.
  • If you doubt you have safe space to pass under an object, go slowly. If you are not sure you can make it, take another route. Warnings are often posted on low bridges or underpasses, but sometimes they are not.
  • Some roads can cause a vehicle to tilt. There can be a problem clearing objects along the edge of the road, such as signs or trees or bridge supports. Where this is a problem, drive a little closer to the center of the road.
  • Before you back into an area, get out and check for over-hanging objects, such as trees, branches or electrical wires. It is easy to miss seeing them while you are backing. (Also check for other hazards at the same time.

Space Below

Many drivers forget about the space below their vehicles. That space can be very small when a vehicle is heavily loaded. Railroad tracks can stick up several inches. This is often a problem on dirt roads and in unpaved yards where the surface around the tracks can wear away. Do not take a chance on getting hung up halfway across. Drainage channels across roads can cause the end of some vehicles to drag. Cross such depressions carefully.

Space for Turns

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.

Right Turns:

  • 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, as shown in Figure 2-12 on page 33. Keep the rear of your 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, as shown in Figure 2-13 below. A following driver may think you are turning left and try to pass you 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.

Left Turns:

  • Make sure you have reached the center of the intersection before you start the left turn. If you turn too soon, the left side of your vehicle may hit another vehicle because of off-tracking.
  • If there are two turning lanes, always take the right-hand turn lane, as shown in Figure 2-14. Do not start in the inside lane because you may have to swing right to make the turn. Drivers on your left can be more readily seen.

Space Needed to Cross or Enter Traffic

Be aware of the size and weight of your vehicle when you cross or enter traffic. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Because of slow acceleration and the space large vehicles require, you may need a much larger gap to enter traffic than you would in a car.
  • Acceleration varies with the load. Allow more room if your vehicle is heavily loaded.
  • Before you start across a road, make sure you can get all the way across before traffic reaches you.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Review Questions - Click On The Picture To Begin...

When making a right turn, you should:
  • Remain in the right lane and as close to the curb as possible, swinging into the oncoming lanes if necessary to complete the turn
  • None of these answers are correct
  • Stop and activate your emergency flashers to let any vehicles behind you to pass until you have a clear opening
  • Swing left before making your turn to avoid using oncoming lanes

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Right turns:

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, as shown in Figure 2-12 on page 33. Keep the rear of your 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, as shown in Figure 2-13 on page 33. A following driver may think you are turning left and try to pass you 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.

Next
If there are two left turn lanes, which lane should a tractor-trailer use?
  • The right lane
  • The left lane
  • Either lane
  • Whichever lane has fewer waiting vehicles

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Left turns: Make sure you have reached the center of the intersection before you start the left turn. If you turn too soon, the left side of your vehicle may hit another vehicle because of off-tracking. If there are two turning lanes, always take the right-hand turn lane. Do not start in the inside lane because you may have to swing right to make the turn. Drivers on your left can be more readily seen.

Prev
Next
Which statement is true regarding low bridges:
  • If you were able to clear a low bridge with a loaded trailer, you will be able to clear it with an empty trailer as well
  • Bridge clearance signs always account for 3 inches of packed snow
  • Road repaving or packed snow may reduce the clearance of the bridge since the sign was posted
  • Some road surfaces can cause a vehicle to tilt, but warning signs always account for that

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Hitting overhead objects is a danger. Make sure you always have overhead clearance.

Do not assume that the weights and heights posted at bridges and overpasses are correct. Repaving or packed snow may have reduced the clearances since the heights were posted.

The weight of a cargo van changes its height. An empty van is higher than a loaded one. That you got under a bridge when you were loaded does not mean that you can do it when you are empty.

If you doubt you have safe space to pass under an object, go slowly. If you are not sure you can make it, take another route. Warnings are often posted on low bridges or underpasses, but sometimes they are not.

Some roads can cause a vehicle to tilt. There can be a problem clearing objects along the edge of the road, such as signs or trees or bridge supports. Where this is a problem, drive a little closer to the center of the road.

Before you back into an area, get out and check for over-hanging objects, such as trees, branches or electrical wires. It is easy to miss seeing them while you are backing. (Also check for other hazards at the same time.)

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