Put Flashlight On Trailer Tandems?

Topic 30366 | Page 1

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Lukas M.'s Comment
member avatar

Can I legally rig up a flashlight that shines on my tandems at night so I can see when to turn? Holy crap I always run outta room and i gotta make people back up and then they get mad and stuff.

I do fine in the day but when that sun goes down it's a nightmare :(

And then theres the miles and miles of the Jersey walls of death and theres no room at all. Luckily I discovered that the side marker light reflects just enough to see the tandems but when I'm at a dark intersection i cant see ****.

Holy crap how do yall do it what am I missing? It's all i can do to keep up a legal speed in these construction zones. Everyone else is blasting by at mach 3 and I feel like I'm holding on for dear life because the tractor catches every little rut in the road.

Texas is the worst :(

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

No you could not legally rig up a light. You will learn to feel it. Be care go slow. If you have to, turn on your flashers and GOAL.

In work zones drive the speed limit for the work zone or a bit slower. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing. We deal with this every day. Here's an example; yesterday, I was in a work zone where it was 55 mph, trucks use left lane. I was following the rules and trucks were blowing by me on the right. I just assume they can't read. If they could they would follow the rules.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

As far as the turns at night, my recommendation is for you to pay attention during the daylight to where your tractor is in relation to the intersection when you start to turn to clear your tandems and remember remember remember that distance, length and width so you can just repeat it at night. With experience you will learn not to start your turn by where your tandems are but where your tractor is. The only thing about a turn is different is where your tandems are, farther back you start the turn later farther forward you can start earlier. So, remember where you are when you turn in the daytime and remember it for turning at night. It's always better to take more room than you need than to cut it short and clip something or have to back up.

In construction zones with jersey walls...angle your mirror where you can see where the trailer tires are in location to the wall, practice staying close enough where you are close enough that you are not crowding the center line obstructing the traffic flow but not hitting the wall either. If other people cannot pass because you are scared of the wall hence riding the center line, you could get a ticket for obstructing traffic. With experience theres no reason you cant eventually drive mere inches from the wall safely if you're paying close attention to everything going on around you.

It all gets easier with time and repetition but you need to be able to clear an intersection at night without having to back up or hit something. Work on this as much as you can. I dont pay attention to where my tandems are when I make a turn as in I dont start my turn after my tandems hit a certain point, I pay attention to where my tractor is and watch in the mirror to make sure the trailer clears because I know at a certain point, if I turn here I will clear. I'm assuming everyone does it like this? Maybe we all have different techniques to help us.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Every van, refer, and flatbed I've seen has a red marker light on the very tail end edge of the trailer, usually visible from the left or right mirror. If you cannot see the far end of the trailer from 60' distant, adjust your mirrors.

's Comment
member avatar

One of the things I usually do if there's no other traffic at an intersection is I'll just use all the available space (ie center turn lane), even if I don't necessarily need to. Hey, everyone else does it, might as well join the club.

Also started running nights when I can, less stressful that way. Plus I'm all but guaranteed a parking space when I shut down for the day.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Don't worry about what other drivers are doing. The speed limit is just that. The LIMIT. You may upset the drivers held up by you driving what you feel is safe but they'll likely blow past you once you're out of the zone anyways and you won't see them again. I had another driver start swearing at me because I didn't get out of his way (I was doing 70 passing a 65 mph truck). I refuse to cut other vehicles off because someone else wants to speed. "You're F****** clear move over" was one of the nicer things he said to me.

Regarding your turns just hang in there and take your time. You're still new to this and you'll get the hang of it. It really will just become 2nd nature knowing when to turn visualizing where your trailer will be.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jason's Comment
member avatar

There has been some good sound advice given, I can’t add much more besides it becomes muscle memory for the most part, everything will become natural and second nature. Slow and steady wins the race, take your time and be safe doing so. Your speed is your speed and your comfort level is your comfort level. The safer you can be and by taking your time, in turn the more valuable you will become in the industry

David W.'s Comment
member avatar

Just invest in a head lamp

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

All solid advice. I used to pucker really badly going through tight lanes like that. Id look over and my trainer wouldnt have a care in the world. For some reason he seemed to trust me with his life and his truck and my life. If you went through it and didnt get scared and stressed, then that would be concerning.

One thing I do is check my mirror on my left if the jersey barrier is on the right. I can tell by how far i am from the left line as to how close I am on the right, I also dont want to target fixate over to the barriers. I also remember to look up and way ahead. I noticed that if I dont remember that, over time, most peoples vision will gradually fall to whats right in front of them. When you look up, far ahead, your mind will automatically process whats close to you as you have already seen it, you just dont know that you have.

I dont care if Im going slower than everyone else through the zones. Is what it is. But it will be come comfortable the more you do it, one of those times all of the sudden, youll be going through it and realize that it doesnt bother you so much any more, but youre still paying attention to it and not complacent.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Just invest in a head lamp

Wouldn't the 'reflection' looking in the mirror(s) impede the purpose?!?

Just wondering, tbh~

~ Anne ~

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