AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...  (Read 21835 times)

hbelkins

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 18484
  • It is well, it is well, with my soul.

  • Age: 61
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Last Login: Today at 02:30:33 PM
    • Millennium Highway
Logged


Government would be tolerable if not for politicians and bureaucrats.

AZDude

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 232
  • Last Login: October 07, 2020, 04:03:48 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2011, 12:33:43 AM »

Wow! 
Logged

cjk374

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2322
  • The road less travelled is well worn under my feet

  • Age: 49
  • Location: Simsboro, LA
  • Last Login: January 31, 2023, 06:07:14 AM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2011, 10:33:00 AM »

If you scroll down, there is a section for historic pictures of other truck/bridge mishaps.  The 1st pic has US 15 BUS/US 501 BUS signs from 1966.  Check out the font used to make 501 fit in a 2dius.    :clap:
Logged
Runnin' roads and polishin' rails.

texaskdog

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3558
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Kyle, TX
  • Last Login: January 31, 2023, 03:42:32 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2011, 10:40:15 AM »

Well I just watched Ice Road Truckers where they should have been 6 inches too high and went right under, and not very slowly either. 
Logged

1995hoo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 15027
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Last Login: Today at 08:25:47 AM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2011, 11:51:59 AM »

I've seen a lot of trucks crashed into this one in Charlottesville over the years. 10-foot clearance, and they even having a warning bell (note the horn-type speaker to the right) and a flashing light, both of which are activated by the approach of tall vehicles, yet truck drivers run into it anyway.

http://maps.google.com/?ll=38.034234,-78.500007&spn=0.006448,0.016512&z=17&layer=c&cbll=38.034119,-78.4998&panoid=pn7PAcj_TZf3gh-nzhbwVw&cbp=12,109.79,,0,-7.72


I should be able to picture that bridge in Durham from my three years living there, but I guess it never made much of an impression on me. It's right around the corner from several pubs we frequented.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 11:54:19 AM by 1995hoo »
Logged
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Duke87

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5856
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Stamford, CT
  • Last Login: January 31, 2023, 08:47:03 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2011, 08:34:34 PM »

Two men in a truck come up on a sign that says LOW CLEARANCE - NO VEHICLES OVER 10' 6". They stop, get out, and measure the height of their truck. After careful study, they determine that it's 11 feet tall. They glance at the truck, then at each other. Then one then says to the other, "well.... I don't see any cops around. Let's go for it."
Logged
If you always take the same road, you will never see anything new.

xcellntbuy

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 806
  • Location: Milledgeville, GA, the Antebellum capital (1804-1868)
  • Last Login: April 05, 2022, 10:57:44 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2011, 09:11:22 PM »

Incredible.  What would happen to these people who rent the box trucks? :hmmm:
Logged

SidS1045

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 928
  • Age: 72
  • Location: Stoneham MA
  • Last Login: Today at 11:47:24 AM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2011, 10:58:19 PM »

The 9'-6" clearance for the Massachusetts Avenue underpass on Memorial Drive in Cambridge MA is always good for at least two or three rental trucks getting stuck and damaged every September, when kids go off to college.  Some of the local radio stations take bets on when the first one will be, and there's always a winner.  The underpass is guarded by multiple flashing lights and signs and low-hanging chains to warn drivers, but every year one or more morons ignore all the warnings.
Logged
"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." - Edward R. Murrow

burgess87

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 176
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Lyndonville, NY
  • Last Login: January 23, 2023, 01:44:57 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2011, 11:33:21 PM »



Or, the Texas version (in what looks to be orange Clearview, no less):

Logged

Kacie Jane

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Kent, WA
  • Last Login: February 01, 2020, 10:04:51 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 09:56:03 PM »

Just watched what I guess is the main video off that 11'8" site, and what baffles is me is the trucks that have apparently seen the flashing lights and have slowed to like 5 MPH, but still proceed through (literally through) the bridge at low speed. Just wanted to see what would happen I guess?
Logged

NE2

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 14358
  • fuck

  • Age: 14
  • Location: central Florida
  • Last Login: Today at 04:33:02 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2011, 10:39:39 PM »

It's the relativistic effect. Things expand when they go faster.
Logged
pre-1945 Florida route log

I accept and respect your identity as long as it's not dumb shit like "identifying as a vaccinated attack helicopter".

I agree to indemnify Belkin against unauthorized use of its MiniVak vacuum.

deathtopumpkins

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2419
  • Location: Southern NH
  • Last Login: November 14, 2022, 07:19:58 AM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 11:36:23 PM »

The 9'-6" clearance for the Massachusetts Avenue underpass on Memorial Drive in Cambridge MA is always good for at least two or three rental trucks getting stuck and damaged every September, when kids go off to college.  Some of the local radio stations take bets on when the first one will be, and there's always a winner.  The underpass is guarded by multiple flashing lights and signs and low-hanging chains to warn drivers, but every year one or more morons ignore all the warnings.

I had forgotten about all those. Several underpasses on both Memorial Drive and Storrow Drive have very low clearances.

Here's an example of the warning signage:

(from flickr)

I presume the hanging CARS ONLY signs act as telltales to represent the actual clearance.
Logged
Disclaimer: All posts represent my personal opinions and not those of my employer.

Clinched Highways | Counties Visited

agentsteel53

  • invisible hand
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 15374
  • long live button copy!

  • Age: 41
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Last Login: November 21, 2016, 09:58:39 AM
    • AARoads Shield Gallery
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 12:00:10 AM »

I presume the hanging CARS ONLY signs act as telltales to represent the actual clearance.

you are correct.  they are at 9' 6".  their mounting on chains gives them the ability to give your overheight vehicle an impressive WHOMP! and then return to duty seconds later, not significantly damaged, in case you've got two maroons coming in close proximity.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 12:05:42 AM by agentsteel53 »
Logged
live from sunny San Diego.

http://shields.aaroads.com

jake@aaroads.com

US71

  • Road Scholar , Master of Snark
  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 11835
  • Mad man with a camera

  • Age: 63
  • Location: On the road again
  • Last Login: Today at 04:41:00 PM
    • The Road Less Taken
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2011, 08:49:29 AM »

Incredible.  What would happen to these people who rent the box trucks? :hmmm:

Hopefully, they have insurance.

I'm wondering how long it took the RV driver to find his accident (can you call ignorance an "accident" or merely "stupidity")
Logged
Like Alice I Try To Believe Three Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Sykotyk

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 874
  • Last Login: December 12, 2022, 11:44:46 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2011, 07:56:40 PM »

They can be cited for failure to obey a traffic control device, wreckless driving, etc. The problem is non-commercial drivers are oblivious that their vehicles could possibly hit anything, so when they get in one of those big-box rental trucks, they don't even consider clearance signs. It's just not something you would notice. Until the top of the truck gets ripped open like a sardine can.
Logged

vdeane

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13529
  • Age: 31
  • Location: The 518
  • Last Login: Today at 01:10:01 PM
    • New York State Roads
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2011, 12:22:13 PM »

wreckless driving
I know we have some stupid laws, but I'm pretty sure that making it mandatory for people to total their cars is not one of them.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

mtantillo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 580
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Last Login: August 27, 2022, 03:19:05 AM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2011, 01:04:54 PM »

I've seen a lot of trucks crashed into this one in Charlottesville over the years. 10-foot clearance, and they even having a warning bell (note the horn-type speaker to the right) and a flashing light, both of which are activated by the approach of tall vehicles, yet truck drivers run into it anyway.

http://maps.google.com/?ll=38.034234,-78.500007&spn=0.006448,0.016512&z=17&layer=c&cbll=38.034119,-78.4998&panoid=pn7PAcj_TZf3gh-nzhbwVw&cbp=12,109.79,,0,-7.72


I should be able to picture that bridge in Durham from my three years living there, but I guess it never made much of an impression on me. It's right around the corner from several pubs we frequented.

I've seen a few hits at the McCormack Road/Emmet Street bridge in Charlottesville as well. 
Logged

1995hoo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 15027
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Last Login: Today at 08:25:47 AM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2011, 01:47:48 PM »

I've seen a few hits at the McCormack Road/Emmet Street bridge in Charlottesville as well. 

Yes, indeed. I remember the time we ran a photo of such a truck on the front page of the Cavalier Daily because the top of the truck had been torn off by the bridge.

Whenever I've rented a Penske truck for moving, the height of the truck in both feet and metres is marked on the side of the truck so that you see it every time you check your mirrors. Is this not standard on tractor-trailers? It seems like a simple precaution!
Logged
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

roadfro

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4614
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Reno, NV
  • Last Login: January 31, 2023, 10:45:04 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2011, 05:29:02 PM »

^ It may not be a standard marking on tractor trailers, but I'm fairly certain tractor trailers are a standard height that most regular truckers should know...
Logged
Roadfro - AARoads Pacific Southwest moderator since 2010, Nevada roadgeek since 1983.

The Premier

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 509
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Akron-Canton (Portage Co.), Ohio
  • Last Login: December 31, 2020, 12:13:55 AM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2011, 09:45:29 PM »

BTW, what is the average height of a semi truck with a tractor trailer? :hmmm:
Logged
Alex P. Dent

allniter89

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 685
  • siss boom baa... rotflmao!

  • Age: 69
  • Location: Metropolis, IL
  • Last Login: July 25, 2022, 04:30:47 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2011, 10:12:11 PM »

BTW, what is the average height of a semi truck with a tractor trailer? :hmmm:
!3' 6" height, 53' length, 102" width for a standard dry van (like WalMart trucks)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 10:14:30 PM by allniter89 »
Logged
BUY AMERICAN MADE.
SPEED SAFELY.

Hot Rod Hootenanny

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2602
  • Your roadmeet didn't happen, if I was not there.

  • Age: 48
  • Location: Middle of Nowhere, Ohio
  • Last Login: Today at 01:41:16 AM
    • 20th Century roadfan material
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2011, 11:54:59 PM »

Meanwhile over here in Ohio...
http://www2.nbc4i.com/news/2011/jul/12/6/girls-gone-wild-tour-bus-damaged-can-opener-ar-605863/
P.S. I don't recall anyone calling this bridge the "can opener" prior to this year.
Logged
Less important than dead cats.

Sykotyk

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 874
  • Last Login: December 12, 2022, 11:44:46 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2011, 10:17:55 PM »

wreckless driving
I know we have some stupid laws, but I'm pretty sure that making it mandatory for people to total their cars is not one of them.

I have to ask exactly where you got the implication that wreckless driving would be for avoiding hitting the bridge. It'd be the safe, smart thing to do to avoid hitting the obstruction. It would be wreckless driving because they obviously ignored any and all warning signs about the impending trouble. In addition, they were driving a vehicle, then, that they did not know the dimensions, limitation, or constraints it imposed. Being that they were just driving along like they did in the 5' tall sedan.

As for average height of truck, that'd be hard to say. Anything over 26,000 pounds qualifies to the government as a 'truck'. As for tractor-trailers, the national maximum before needing a permit for a single trailer is 13'6 tall, 102" wide, 73' long combined. That's on STAA routes (mainly non-exempt interstates, and any approved road in any state). Each state, then, has their own limits and exceptions. Some allow long doubles, some allow triples. Some allow longer trailers. Some allow higher weights. Some allow taller trailers (Kansas is 14' before you need a permit, for instance). Most western states have a 48' trailer limit except on STAA routes (and normal access to/from). Some states have limits on kingpin to rear axle distance. California being the stickler with any trailer longer than 48' requiring a 40' kingpin to rear-axle setting on ANY road in the state.

Michigan allows the 'Michigan sleds' with 160,000 lb limits on what seems like an eight axle trailer. Washington and Oregon (I believe) allow 57' trailers with 3 or 4 axles. Most mountain states out west allow "Rocky Mountain Doubles", that being a moderate length trailer (approx 30' or so) followed by a long dolly and a short pup trailer (26' or less) to handle tighter mountain roads where a 40'+ trailer just can't maneuver.

As for height, there really isn't a standard height in the country. The interstates were built to generally handle 13'6 (except the tunnels on the east coast, namely New York and Norfolk), otherwise 13'6 fits everywhere. And that's what the manufacturers have decided as the defacto standard limit. But each state can set their own standard higher before requiring a special permit.
Logged

agentsteel53

  • invisible hand
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 15374
  • long live button copy!

  • Age: 41
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Last Login: November 21, 2016, 09:58:39 AM
    • AARoads Shield Gallery
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2011, 10:25:13 PM »

wreckless driving
I know we have some stupid laws, but I'm pretty sure that making it mandatory for people to total their cars is not one of them.
tl;dr

you made a typo!  :-D
Logged
live from sunny San Diego.

http://shields.aaroads.com

jake@aaroads.com

apeman33

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 328
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Garden City, KS
  • Last Login: August 10, 2022, 11:50:13 PM
Re: Those "low clearance" signs are there for a reason...
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2011, 10:34:05 PM »

wreckless driving
I know we have some stupid laws, but I'm pretty sure that making it mandatory for people to total their cars is not one of them.

I have to ask exactly where you got the implication that wreckless driving would be for avoiding hitting the bridge.  <SNIP>

It's "reckless". "Wreckless" would actually be the opposite of "wrecked."
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.