13’6” Clearance!!!

Topic 28710 | Page 1

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Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

Been wondering about this for awhile so I figured it was time to ask!!!!

If your driving with a standard dry van or reefer trailer and you come upon a 13’6” overpass.... does that mean you are clear to go under it safely? Is that bridge height really 13’7” or 8” meaning 13’6” will fit or is the bridge height actually 13’6” meaning top of your trailer will hit and scrape as you go under?

Just curious because I live in the Philly area and see a lot of overpasses listed at 13’6” As well as many shorter ones which I know could not be driven under

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

I can't speak for the entire nation, but in NYC the bridges are usually 6-12 inches above the clearance signs unless it says "actual clearance". I believe it's to compensate for snow and roadwork, but NYC is weird. For example the max height allowed in city limits is 13'5".

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

If it is showing 13' 6'' you can go through. I have gone under bridges showing 13' 5'' also. I would like to know, if anyone knows, exactly how tall are our trucks and trailers really? I came upon a 13' 4" bridge once and was going to back up and turn around until another semi came by and went under it successfully and yes, companys Qualcomm GPS sent me to all of the aforementioned bridges.. I cautiously and slowly proceeded and came out safely on the other side. Every since I've wondered what the actual height is. I know we are repeatedly told 13' 6" but unless those bridges were marked wrong, we are not actually that tall. Anyone know?

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Joseph D.'s Comment
member avatar

Generally speaking you’ll fit underneath a bridge marked 13’ 6”. But I highly recommend turning on the flashers and taking it nice and slow just to be safe. I have also fit under a 13’5”. Again creeping underneath slowly as possible. I had prior knowledge from another driver that I would fit under this bridge though. Otherwise I’m not exactly sure if I would have tried to make it or not.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

If it is marked 13’6’ then you will fit. They are usually a few inches taller than marked. A standard condo tractor and box trailer loaded are 13’6’. If you want an exact measurement break out a tape, that way you know for sure. I did that on my truck with the stacks to be sure. I go under alot of low loading racks and sure didn’t want to damage one by guessing how tall they are. Came out at 12’4”. Yes I’m short, lol.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Generally speaking you’ll fit underneath a bridge marked 13’ 6”. But I highly recommend turning on the flashers and taking it nice and slow just to be safe. I have also fit under a 13’5”. Again creeping underneath slowly as possible. I had prior knowledge from another driver that I would fit under this bridge though. Otherwise I’m not exactly sure if I would have tried to make it or not.

Dispatch told me about a bridge in Bethpage the first time I went because drivers would always stop and measure holding up traffic or pull on to the side of the road refusing to go forward and backing up isn't an option with doubles.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar
Dispatch told me about a bridge in Bethpage the first time I went because drivers would always stop and measure holding up traffic or pull on to the side of the road refusing to go forward and backing up isn't an option with doubles.

Thats why I'm worried when ever I have to go off route or "urban exploring" as I call it. If your lucky you can break the set and turn it around like that, if your not you have to get a tow to drag you back to safety.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for the clarification! Reason I asked is cause a lot of them I see are on roads that trucks use regularly. I figured the over passes were taller then listed to be on the safe side but just wanted to know for sure!

thank-you.gifsmile.gif

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

States and cities are all different.

Some measurements are allowing for winter snow, some are an actual measurement from the pavement, and others are measured off the curb.

The main takeaway is driver beware. The driver is also responsible for a bridge strike no matter how it was measured (or not), or if it is marked (or not).

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dan F.'s Comment
member avatar

Actually this is because New York City has two different methods of checking Heights, the first being the standard from the road and the other being from the sidewalk or a curb or drainage it can be anywhere from 6 to 18 inches high(I learned this from a driver who used to drive in New York a lot and lived in Jersey)

I can't speak for the entire nation, but in NYC the bridges are usually 6-12 inches above the clearance signs unless it says "actual clearance". I believe it's to compensate for snow and roadwork, but NYC is weird. For example the max height allowed in city limits is 13'5".

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