Taking Curves

Topic 17012 | Page 1

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Old Roadie's Comment
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Here's the situation. I run I-77 through West VA on nearly every trip. Usually loaded to nearly max weight both gross and on all axles. The loads are loose potatoes about 4 or 5 feet high front to rear in the trailer. By no means top heavy. My tractor is a 2016 Freightliner Columbia glider kit, trailers are a mixed bag of makes, all reefer units. Super singles on tractor and all trailers. I find myself leaning very uncomfortably to either side on the curves on this route at anywhere near the speed limit. Other trucks are passing me like I'm standing still on nearly every curve. And there are only 14 feet of straight roads in West Virginia. Am I being overly cautious? Should I expect a certain amount of lean into a curve and then for the truck to settle in? This is something I was never taught to expect. Looking in the mirror I am not observing the trailer leaning as if it is trying to overturn. Hopefully some of you can offer a little insight from my Reader's Digest version here. Thanks!

Super Singles:

A single, wide wheel substituted for a tandem (two wheel) assembly. The main benefit of a super single is a reduction in weight and lower rolling resistance which provide better fuel economy. The disadvantage is the lack of tire redundancy (or a 'backup tire' in case of a blowout) from which tandem wheels benefit. A tire blowout is more dangerous with a super single and can not be driven on.


A refrigerated trailer.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

I say whatever you feel comfortable taking it at. Being that your that heavy you should definitely take the curves and the downgrades slower. Better safe than sorry if anything you will get a feel for it over time.

Susan D. 's Comment
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Absolutely not being too cautious. In fact, my companies policy is to take ramps at half the posted speed and curves 10 mph BELOW any posted (im talking yellow warning speeds). We haul a lot of unstable freight, tall paper rolls, forklifts, beverages, liquid totes, etc.

Yes drivers fly past me around those curves also. Its their (bad) choice. EVERY truck Ive seen on their side or over a guardrail has been "one of those" drivers.

You can go down or around too slow as many times as you want. You can only go too fast once.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Isaac H.'s Comment
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If your talking about that turnpike i take that 3 times a week back and forth. It's nasty.

I ALWAYS do the posted speed limit on there. I don't care who flies by me. I've already experienced one wreck so bad that traffic was stopped for 6 hours both ways and it's not even winter yet.

There's only one turn that i take slower than the speed limit and that's going East bound between the toll plazas where your going down the mountain and it slows down to 55 around a hair pin turn because i took it once in the rain and lost control for a split second even doing the suggested speed limit so now i put my flashers on when i get there.

I'm not sure about the lean of the trailer but i feel your pain on that stretch of road.

Tractor Man's Comment
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I go around curves and off ramps like a little old lady. Can't be too cautious in my opinion!

Steve L.'s Comment
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I have run that route many times in the past two years and agree with the others. Let 'em pass ya. I only ever pass anyone in WVA when I'm empty and even then it's only on the stretches that don't prohibit trucks in the left lane.

When I was training, I was told I-40 through the Gorge was bad, but I think WVA is worse.

Be safe!

Susan D. 's Comment
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West VA is much worse than i40 gorge! I drive like an ole woman too.. Oh wait, I forgot! I am an ole woman lol.

Kanelin's Comment
member avatar

I came down cabbage at a blazing 16 mph the other night. Got my doors blown off by several trucks, but I don't care! Same thing in Idaho and west Montana on I90. Several 20-25 mph downgrades. I just waved as they drove by, thinking "Go ahead on there, supertrucker!"

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

A technique I worked out I call Driving With No Arms, and it works great in keeping the shiny side up.

Sure you hold onto the steering wheel to keep on the road. But when you start a turn, relax your shoulders and arms - do not hold the steering wheel to keep from falling out of the drivers seat.

Your body will move sideways, just like those potatoes in back will push against the side of the trailer. You'll really feel like a piece of freight, and you will show down accordingly. This works on mountain roads and freeway ramps.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Phoenix's Comment
member avatar

Not sure if this is similar to what Errol means, but I take the curves as fast as I can without lateral movement...if I'm leaning in a curve, I'm taking it too fast. Those posted limits aren't meant for us unless they specify truck speed limit. Like Sue's, our company policy is ramps at half the posted speed. I don't recall anything said about curves though.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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