runaway truck ramps

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Mike Tantillo

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Jun 30, 2005, 2:59:06 PM6/30/05
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I've seen a lot of these, and i've often wondered: how often are these
used? What happens when one is used (how long does it take to clear
it? does anything else have to happen besides pulling the truck off
the ramp to make it usable again?)?

John Lansford

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Jun 30, 2005, 3:44:30 PM6/30/05
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"Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>I've seen a lot of these, and i've often wondered: how often are these
>used?

The ones on I-26 north of Asheville are being used about 1-2 times a
month. On I-40 east of Asheville the ones on Black Mountain are
getting used about double that rate.

> What happens when one is used (how long does it take to clear
>it?

Depends on how fast the wrecker can get to the truck and pull it out.
Probably an hour or two if the wrecker leaves immediately and there's
no problem with the truck. The ramps on I-26 are wide enough to take
two trucks if necessary for that reason.

> does anything else have to happen besides pulling the truck off
>the ramp to make it usable again?)?

Depends on what the ramp uses to slow down the truck. If they use pea
gravel, then nothing is needed to get the ramp back in working order
after the truck is pulled out. The ones on I-40 uses sand, however,
which require the sand be graded smooth and then ridges of sand built
on top of it before it can be used again. Often the trucks that use
those ramps have either their suspension destroyed or the load shifts,
making it much harder to recover the vehicle out of the arrestor bed.

John Lansford, PE
--
The unofficial I-26 Construction Webpage:
http://users.vnet.net/lansford/a10/

Craig Zeni

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Jun 30, 2005, 4:22:06 PM6/30/05
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John Lansford wrote:
> "Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>>I've seen a lot of these, and i've often wondered: how often are these
>>used?
>
>
> The ones on I-26 north of Asheville are being used about 1-2 times a
> month. On I-40 east of Asheville the ones on Black Mountain are
> getting used about double that rate.

Holy cow - that's a LOT more than I'd have guessed. Amazing.

How far up the ramps do the trucks go, ie, how much distance does it
take to stop a fully loaded rig?

Archie Leach

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Jun 30, 2005, 7:27:28 PM6/30/05
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On 30 Jun 2005 11:59:06 -0700, in misc.transport.road "Mike Tantillo"
<mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>I've seen a lot of these,

Me too. Very weird to see truck ramps running away like that.

Images of some of them have even ended up on milk cartons.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On Mon, 18 Oct 2004 11:48:18 -0700, Sports Fan
<spo...@fan.home> scribbled:

Anyway.

While scoreboard shows the final outcome of the game,
it certainly doesn't prove that a team was a better
from the other.

Mike Tantillo

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Jun 30, 2005, 9:37:33 PM6/30/05
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Thanks, John.

John Lansford wrote:
> "Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> >I've seen a lot of these, and i've often wondered: how often are these
> >used?
>
> The ones on I-26 north of Asheville are being used about 1-2 times a
> month. On I-40 east of Asheville the ones on Black Mountain are
> getting used about double that rate.
>

Wow, thats much more then I would have guessed.

> > What happens when one is used (how long does it take to clear
> >it?
>
> Depends on how fast the wrecker can get to the truck and pull it out.
> Probably an hour or two if the wrecker leaves immediately and there's
> no problem with the truck. The ramps on I-26 are wide enough to take
> two trucks if necessary for that reason.
>
> > does anything else have to happen besides pulling the truck off
> >the ramp to make it usable again?)?
>
> Depends on what the ramp uses to slow down the truck. If they use pea
> gravel, then nothing is needed to get the ramp back in working order
> after the truck is pulled out. The ones on I-40 uses sand, however,
> which require the sand be graded smooth and then ridges of sand built
> on top of it before it can be used again. Often the trucks that use
> those ramps have either their suspension destroyed or the load shifts,
> making it much harder to recover the vehicle out of the arrestor bed.

Oh well, guess its better to have a live truck driver with a broken
truck then a dead truck driver (and innocent motorists too, likely).
I'm assuming truckers' insurance pays for the repairs to the ramp?

John Lansford

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Jun 30, 2005, 10:44:15 PM6/30/05
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Craig Zeni <Don.Co...@spammers.die> wrote:

>John Lansford wrote:
>> "Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>I've seen a lot of these, and i've often wondered: how often are these
>>>used?
>>
>>
>> The ones on I-26 north of Asheville are being used about 1-2 times a
>> month. On I-40 east of Asheville the ones on Black Mountain are
>> getting used about double that rate.
>
>Holy cow - that's a LOT more than I'd have guessed. Amazing.

I-40's traffic in that area is made up of 30% heavy trucks. It's not
that surprising given the large number of them.

>How far up the ramps do the trucks go, ie, how much distance does it
>take to stop a fully loaded rig?

According to the engineers who oversee I-26, the furthest they've seen
a truck get in one of the ramps is about 200'. The ramps are all way
longer than that though; the southern most ramp is about 1000' long.
The ramp lengths are determined by the maximum expected speed of the
truck (in I-26's case 90mph), the weight of the vehicle (80,000
pounds), the grade of the ramp itself (uphill ramps are shorter) and
the type of material in the arrestor bed.

John Lansford

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Jun 30, 2005, 10:46:38 PM6/30/05
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"Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>> Depends on what the ramp uses to slow down the truck. If they use pea
>> gravel, then nothing is needed to get the ramp back in working order
>> after the truck is pulled out. The ones on I-40 uses sand, however,
>> which require the sand be graded smooth and then ridges of sand built
>> on top of it before it can be used again. Often the trucks that use
>> those ramps have either their suspension destroyed or the load shifts,
>> making it much harder to recover the vehicle out of the arrestor bed.
>
>Oh well, guess its better to have a live truck driver with a broken
>truck then a dead truck driver (and innocent motorists too, likely).
>I'm assuming truckers' insurance pays for the repairs to the ramp?
>

There's little repair work. Typically a half hour's work with a small
bulldozer gets it back ready for the next truck. However, the sand
ramps on I-40 often kill the driver as well as stop the truck. The
deceleration is so great that often the load shifts and smashes right
through the cab, or the vehicle overturns due to the heavy torque on
the front. The sand piles are better than an out of control truck,
but they aren't safe for the truckers.

Scott M. Kozel

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Jun 30, 2005, 11:24:26 PM6/30/05
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John Lansford <jlns...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> "Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > Oh well, guess its better to have a live truck driver with a broken
> > truck then a dead truck driver (and innocent motorists too, likely).
> > I'm assuming truckers' insurance pays for the repairs to the ramp?
>
> There's little repair work. Typically a half hour's work with a small
> bulldozer gets it back ready for the next truck. However, the sand
> ramps on I-40 often kill the driver as well as stop the truck. The
> deceleration is so great that often the load shifts and smashes right
> through the cab, or the vehicle overturns due to the heavy torque on
> the front. The sand piles are better than an out of control truck,
> but they aren't safe for the truckers.

Then utilizing a runaway truck ramp would be an altruistic action on the
part of the trucker, knowing that there is a good possibility that his
life will end then and there (of course the alternative, staying on the
highway and trying to ride it out, is pretty bad also). I suppose that
he could bail out of the cab as the truck is slowing down in the sand.
Any passenger(s) in the truck may see the same fate.

--
Scott M. Kozel Highway and Transportation History Websites
Virginia/Maryland/Washington, D.C. http://www.roadstothefuture.com
Philadelphia and Delaware Valley http://www.pennways.com

Dave

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Jun 30, 2005, 11:28:50 PM6/30/05
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In article <1120157946.6...@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:

I've heard from my trucker friends (but have no personal experience)
that the Runaway truck ramps on I-70 in both Utah and Colorado use pig
gravel and it is so thick it can't be machine graded. Supposedly it has
to be mounded with bulldozers or buckets and fine touched with rakes.
Again, don't know from 1st hand experience.

The only time I've actually 1st hand seen a truck use a ramp is the ramp
in Spotted Wolf Canyon on I-70 in Utah (kinda near Green River), but on
MANY occasions I've left for a weekend trip and the ramp was clean, but
when I returned the ramp had fresh ruts. On the above mentioned ramp as
well I-70 ramps near Richfield UT, Denver CO, and on I-80 near Salt Lake
City.

It's a last resort, as others have stated it will usually ruin the
truck. in addition to what others have stated I've also heard of
truckers getting hurt from the gravel flying everywhere and hitting the
windows and sending shards of glass.

The most extreme set of ruts I saw was on the above mentioned ramp at
spotted wolf canyon. The ruts had run the entire course of the ramp and
actually hit a backstop mound of pig gravel. If that driver walked away
I'd say it would be a miracle.

David, vowing to actually read posts before responding this time =-)

me

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Jul 1, 2005, 1:35:06 AM7/1/05
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"Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1120157946.6...@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

I remember seeing one with a truck on the downslope of Monteagle TN
on EB I-24. This was before they redid it, and the truck ramp was on
the outside (on the opposite side of the road from the mountain), and
the truck was all the way at the end. They've redone all of I-24 in
that area now, changing the curves so they weren't so bad, and redid
the truck ramps so they are between the road and the mountain now.


Eric Opperman

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Jul 1, 2005, 3:10:32 AM7/1/05
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John Lansford wrote:

If sand is that hazardous, are there any plans to convert the ramps to
gravel?

--
Thanks for your time,

Eric Opperman
"Have the opposing team’s ace get the flu every series." -- Steve Stone,
on how the Chicago Cubs can continue to play well

Dick Boyd

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Jul 1, 2005, 6:43:48 AM7/1/05
to

Is there an "autopsy" of incidents where trucks use runaway ramps?
Anything in any "official" report to indicate why the truck had to use
the ramp, or what could have been done to prevent the need to use a
ramp?

Do truckers have to pay to restore the ramps?

What are the preventive measures short of making the road more level?
Tighter inspections of brakes, tires (including tire pressure), and
steering in hilly areas?


If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, for instance, if
the cost to regrade the gravel, downtime on the truck and spoiled load
is about $1,600 is a $100 investment in preventive measures justified?

In some hilly areas I notice signs for truckers like "Let er drift",
"spin er up" along with the signs indicating grade and length of grade.
Signs written in "trucker", not "civil engineer".

John Lansford

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Jul 1, 2005, 7:24:59 AM7/1/05
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Eric Opperman <er...@whopperman.com> wrote:

>John Lansford wrote:
>
>> "Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>>Depends on what the ramp uses to slow down the truck. If they use pea
>>>>gravel, then nothing is needed to get the ramp back in working order
>>>>after the truck is pulled out. The ones on I-40 uses sand, however,
>>>>which require the sand be graded smooth and then ridges of sand built
>>>>on top of it before it can be used again. Often the trucks that use
>>>>those ramps have either their suspension destroyed or the load shifts,
>>>>making it much harder to recover the vehicle out of the arrestor bed.
>>>
>>>Oh well, guess its better to have a live truck driver with a broken
>>>truck then a dead truck driver (and innocent motorists too, likely).
>>>I'm assuming truckers' insurance pays for the repairs to the ramp?
>>>
>>
>> There's little repair work. Typically a half hour's work with a small
>> bulldozer gets it back ready for the next truck. However, the sand
>> ramps on I-40 often kill the driver as well as stop the truck. The
>> deceleration is so great that often the load shifts and smashes right
>> through the cab, or the vehicle overturns due to the heavy torque on
>> the front. The sand piles are better than an out of control truck,
>> but they aren't safe for the truckers.
>
>If sand is that hazardous, are there any plans to convert the ramps to
>gravel?

No, they aren't long enough and there's no room to extend them. Not
all the trucks are damaged by going into them, but every so often one
gets its undercarriage ripped out or the load shifts, especially
things like pipes and logs.

John Lansford

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Jul 1, 2005, 7:33:59 AM7/1/05
to
"Dick Boyd" <dick...@aol.com> wrote:

>
>
>John Lansford wrote:
>> "Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>> >I've seen a lot of these, and i've often wondered: how often are these
>> >used?
>>
>> The ones on I-26 north of Asheville are being used about 1-2 times a
>> month. On I-40 east of Asheville the ones on Black Mountain are
>> getting used about double that rate.
>>
>> > What happens when one is used (how long does it take to clear
>> >it?
>>
>> Depends on how fast the wrecker can get to the truck and pull it out.
>> Probably an hour or two if the wrecker leaves immediately and there's
>> no problem with the truck. The ramps on I-26 are wide enough to take
>> two trucks if necessary for that reason.
>>
>> > does anything else have to happen besides pulling the truck off
>> >the ramp to make it usable again?)?
>>
>> Depends on what the ramp uses to slow down the truck. If they use pea
>> gravel, then nothing is needed to get the ramp back in working order
>> after the truck is pulled out. The ones on I-40 uses sand, however,
>> which require the sand be graded smooth and then ridges of sand built
>> on top of it before it can be used again. Often the trucks that use
>> those ramps have either their suspension destroyed or the load shifts,
>> making it much harder to recover the vehicle out of the arrestor bed.
>>

>Is there an "autopsy" of incidents where trucks use runaway ramps?
>Anything in any "official" report to indicate why the truck had to use
>the ramp, or what could have been done to prevent the need to use a
>ramp?

The reasons are fairly well understood. The truckers fail to put
their vehicles into low gear at the top of the downhill grade, and
burn their brakes out trying to maintain a safe speed as they go
downhill. This despite (on both I-26 and I-40) signs telling them to
do so and truck pullout areas at the top of the grade where they can
inspect their vehicles for defects.

>Do truckers have to pay to restore the ramps?

I believe that they do, but the cost is not that great. The pea gravel
ramps require no maintenance at all. They do of course have to pay
for their own recovery out of the ramp, which is not cheap.

>What are the preventive measures short of making the road more level?
>Tighter inspections of brakes, tires (including tire pressure), and
>steering in hilly areas?

Most of the time it is simple driver error. For whatever reason they
do not put their trucks into low gear before they start going
downhill. Once they get started, often it is way too late to do so
and they have to rely on their brakes to keep moving slowly.

>
>If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, for instance, if
>the cost to regrade the gravel, downtime on the truck and spoiled load
>is about $1,600 is a $100 investment in preventive measures justified?

There's certainly an incentive to the truckers to slow down. I've
seen several horrific crashes on both I-40 and I-24 at Monteagle
Mountain where trucks failed to control their speeds. The escape
ramps are located ahead of sharp curves and bridges that the trucker
may feel he cannot negotiate at the speed he's approaching, or near
the bottom of the grade.

>In some hilly areas I notice signs for truckers like "Let er drift",
>"spin er up" along with the signs indicating grade and length of grade.
>Signs written in "trucker", not "civil engineer".

Both I-26 and I-40 have signs directing truckers to not exceed a
particular speed based on their current weight. There are also signs
telling them to use low gear, stay in the right lane, and if
necessary, pull over on the shoulder to cool their brakes. Signs also
tell them where the escape ramps are and if they are in use.

John Lansford

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Jul 1, 2005, 7:42:23 AM7/1/05
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"me" <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:

>"Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>news:1120157946.6...@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>> I've seen a lot of these, and i've often wondered: how often are these
>> used? What happens when one is used (how long does it take to clear
>> it? does anything else have to happen besides pulling the truck off
>> the ramp to make it usable again?)?
>
>I remember seeing one with a truck on the downslope of Monteagle TN
>on EB I-24. This was before they redid it, and the truck ramp was on
>the outside (on the opposite side of the road from the mountain), and
>the truck was all the way at the end.

We drove on I-24 long before they ever rebuilt it to interstate
standards over Monteagle Mountain; there were only three lanes for
both up and downhill traffic to use. Two lanes were going up, one was
going down on the east side. The shoulders were nonexistant, usually
less than 10' between the travel lane and a vertical rock slope.
Debris from crashes could usually be seen from about halfway down the
grade to the bottom, especially around the curves. One trip I recall
seeing the smashed wreckage from a travel trailer and car flattened
into the rock slope from where a truck tried to go inside a curve and
met someone head on.

Then, after the new WB lanes were added around the other side of the
mountain, they widened and improved the EB lanes dramatically, adding
shoulders, escape ramps and improving the sight distance around the
curves. The ramps may have been short, but they were at least on the
proper side of the road for where the trucks were.

> They've redone all of I-24 in
>that area now, changing the curves so they weren't so bad, and redid
>the truck ramps so they are between the road and the mountain now.
>

Which in my opinion is an extraordinary dangerous situation for
everyone on the road. At the top of the EB I-24 grade on Monteagle
Mountain, the obligatory truck pull off is on the right side of the
interstate, and trucks merging back into the EB traffic are told to
stay in the right hand lane. If an emergency takes place and the
trucker has a runaway vehicle, he must cross all three lanes to use
the escape ramp, endangering everyone on the route to do so.

I would have either put the pulloff at the top of the grade on the
left side and required the truckers to stay to the left going
downhill, or found a way to shift the alignment far enough to the left
to get the escape ramps on the right. I've driven that route often
enough after they rebuilt it to see several locations where that would
have been possible without too much more embankment required.

Dave

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Jul 1, 2005, 11:57:33 AM7/1/05
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Dick Boyd wrote:

> What are the preventive measures short of making the road more level?
> Tighter inspections of brakes, tires (including tire pressure), and
> steering in hilly areas?

According to most truckers I've known if you have a modern rig with all
the newest equipment, it's almost impossible to lose brakes without
making a huge mistake. Almost all of them have a story about hitting a
runaway truck ramp, but it usually starts off, "I screwed up so bad
when..."

The problem is that having the best of the best in your rig is
expensive, so obviously not all trucks can have all the best equipment.
When combined with driver error, the ramps are a great backup device.

I knew that a lot of truckers I've talked to have hit them, but I
didn't realize how often the ramps were used. This is very interesting
stuff...

Dave

Craig Zeni

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Jul 1, 2005, 9:29:08 PM7/1/05
to
John Lansford wrote:
> Craig Zeni <Don.Co...@spammers.die> wrote:
>
>
>>John Lansford wrote:
>>
>>>"Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>I've seen a lot of these, and i've often wondered: how often are these
>>>>used?
>>>
>>>
>>>The ones on I-26 north of Asheville are being used about 1-2 times a
>>>month. On I-40 east of Asheville the ones on Black Mountain are
>>>getting used about double that rate.
>>
>>Holy cow - that's a LOT more than I'd have guessed. Amazing.
>
>
> I-40's traffic in that area is made up of 30% heavy trucks. It's not
> that surprising given the large number of them.

What surprises me is that many truckers would let their rigs get out of
control :)

>
>
>>How far up the ramps do the trucks go, ie, how much distance does it
>>take to stop a fully loaded rig?
>
>
> According to the engineers who oversee I-26, the furthest they've seen
> a truck get in one of the ramps is about 200'. The ramps are all way
> longer than that though; the southern most ramp is about 1000' long.
> The ramp lengths are determined by the maximum expected speed of the
> truck (in I-26's case 90mph), the weight of the vehicle (80,000
> pounds), the grade of the ramp itself (uphill ramps are shorter) and
> the type of material in the arrestor bed.

I bet that it's one hell of a ride for the driver, and one heck of a
spectacle to others that see it...

Craig Zeni

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Jul 1, 2005, 9:33:19 PM7/1/05
to
John Lansford wrote:
>
>
> Both I-26 and I-40 have signs directing truckers to not exceed a
> particular speed based on their current weight. There are also signs
> telling them to use low gear, stay in the right lane, and if
> necessary, pull over on the shoulder to cool their brakes. Signs also
> tell them where the escape ramps are and if they are in use.

I-40 also has the 'speed monitoring' signs with flashing warning lights
if the truckers exceed speed...

This is one of the most interesting threads on MTR that I've read in a
long time...good stuff John.

Craig Zeni

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Jul 1, 2005, 9:39:12 PM7/1/05
to

Mike Tantillo

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Jul 1, 2005, 11:31:39 PM7/1/05
to

Craig Zeni wrote:
> John Lansford wrote:
> >
> >
> > Both I-26 and I-40 have signs directing truckers to not exceed a
> > particular speed based on their current weight. There are also signs
> > telling them to use low gear, stay in the right lane, and if
> > necessary, pull over on the shoulder to cool their brakes. Signs also
> > tell them where the escape ramps are and if they are in use.
>
> I-40 also has the 'speed monitoring' signs with flashing warning lights
> if the truckers exceed speed...
>

Though last weekend, they were all flashing on one of the gantries, and
on the other, they weren't working at all (I figured the speed at which
I approached would have triggered the flashers in my lane and it did
not).

> This is one of the most interesting threads on MTR that I've read in a
> long time...good stuff John.

Yeah, I agree. Thank my mom for starting all of this....last weekend
we were out in western NC and she asked me how often those ramps get
used and how they work when we passed one on US 23 between Franklin and
Dillsboro. I wasn't sure, so I told her i'd post here and find out.

John Lansford

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Jul 2, 2005, 12:03:27 AM7/2/05
to
Craig Zeni <Don.Co...@spammers.die> wrote:

>John Lansford wrote:

>> I-40's traffic in that area is made up of 30% heavy trucks. It's not
>> that surprising given the large number of them.
>
>What surprises me is that many truckers would let their rigs get out of
>control :)

Truckers, just like any other driver category, have both veteran and
inexperienced operators. Plus, a trucker may not be familiar with a
particular route and not realize the grade is too steep to handle with
his brakes until it is too late.

>>
>>
>>>How far up the ramps do the trucks go, ie, how much distance does it
>>>take to stop a fully loaded rig?
>>
>>
>> According to the engineers who oversee I-26, the furthest they've seen
>> a truck get in one of the ramps is about 200'. The ramps are all way
>> longer than that though; the southern most ramp is about 1000' long.
>> The ramp lengths are determined by the maximum expected speed of the
>> truck (in I-26's case 90mph), the weight of the vehicle (80,000
>> pounds), the grade of the ramp itself (uphill ramps are shorter) and
>> the type of material in the arrestor bed.
>
>I bet that it's one hell of a ride for the driver, and one heck of a
>spectacle to others that see it...

The pea gravel beds decelerate the trucks very gradually. That's why
they are so long. The sand pile beds are probably similar to running
off the road, they are so rough on the truck.

John Lansford

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Jul 2, 2005, 12:05:29 AM7/2/05
to
Craig Zeni <Don.Co...@spammers.die> wrote:

>John Lansford wrote:
>>
>>
>> Both I-26 and I-40 have signs directing truckers to not exceed a
>> particular speed based on their current weight. There are also signs
>> telling them to use low gear, stay in the right lane, and if
>> necessary, pull over on the shoulder to cool their brakes. Signs also
>> tell them where the escape ramps are and if they are in use.
>
>I-40 also has the 'speed monitoring' signs with flashing warning lights
>if the truckers exceed speed...

That "speed too fast" sign is for the curve just past the sign,
though, not based on the truck itself. I-40 has some very sharp
curves on it and NCDOT has done everything in their power short of
rebuilding the interstate there to make it as safe as possible.

>This is one of the most interesting threads on MTR that I've read in a
>long time...good stuff John.

Thanks. Escape ramps are a specialty of mine.

John Lansford

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Jul 2, 2005, 12:09:49 AM7/2/05
to
"Mike Tantillo" <mjtan...@yahoo.com> wrote:

The ones on non-interstates get used very infrequently. The one you
mentioned may not get used but once every few months, if that.
Several of the non-interstate ones have to be carefully watched to
make sure grass doesn't start growing in them.

One on US 25 outside of Hot Springs is one of those; the last time I
saw it there was so much grass in it the arrestor bed was getting hard
to see.

There's another one on IIRC US 225 north of Marion that was put in
several years ago parallel to the road. It was only 20' wide,
separated from the road by a concrete barrier, and holds pea gravel in
the arrestor bed. The road was moved into the mountain to make room
for it because the road is on an extremely steep grade and there's a
very sharp curve down at the bottom of the downgrade. Don't know how
many trucks used that road, but the division must have had a problem
there because they spent several million dollars putting the ramp in.

harry k

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Jul 2, 2005, 12:42:45 AM7/2/05
to

>From a lurker: re: short ramps

When the Lewiston hill in Idaho was rebuilt, several escape ramps were
built. They had a problem at the second to last (from the bottom),
Fairly sharp curve, 6.5 to 7% grade, ridge not very high. Put in as
much ramp as they could and buried in pea gravel. Only a few weeks
after the new route opened a steel delivery truck (Stack Steel out of
Spokane IIRC), went up it, cleared the top and impacted on the opposite
face of the ravine. Driver died of course as the load went through the
cab. No options for fixing it other than the obvious. Same ramp but
now terminates in a high pea gravel barrier. This was in the low/mid
80s as near as I redcall. Haven't heard of any more use of the ramp
since. That grade is 6 miles long posted 6% for first 3, 7% bottom 3.

Harry K

Dick Boyd

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Jul 2, 2005, 3:18:03 PM7/2/05
to
Mike Tantillo wrote:
> I've seen a lot of these, and I've often wondered: how often are these

> used? What happens when one is used (how long does it take to clear
> it? does anything else have to happen besides pulling the truck off
> the ramp to make it usable again?)?

Thanks for the topic. Associated with runaway truck ramps is aircraft
runway over runs. Aircraft have the same problem of not being able to
stop in the available distance. Landing long, landing fast, wet runways
contribute to over run.

Much of Tom Yager's NASA research on runway friction is directly
applicable to highways.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0UBT/is_42_14/ai_66162932

One means for safely stopping overruns is the Emergency Materials
Arresting System (EMAS). The soft-ground technology is "cellular
concrete" - a kind of soft spot - used to stop aircraft within 300-500
feet while traveling at speeds of up to 100 knots. EMAS is used at
airports that don't have the end-of- runway 1,000-foot safety buffer
zone. After two successful FAA tests, an Advisory Circular was released
in August 1998 that led to the first prototype Foamcrete installation
at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport.

A disadvantage is that EMAS is destroyed if used and has to be rebuilt.

DYM

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Jul 20, 2005, 8:21:59 PM7/20/05
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John Lansford <jlns...@bellsouth.net> wrote in
news:5h4cc1hndr710qi7g...@4ax.com:

I do remember my instructor drilling into us the importance of down grade
procedures and that they must be followed religously. "Other wise you
will find yourself in a situation where you need to look outside the
truck to stop it."

We don't have the hills you have there, here in Allentown, but I still
down shift even when driving an automatic transmission.

Doug

Jay Maynard

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Jul 20, 2005, 8:33:12 PM7/20/05
to
On 2005-07-21, DYM <dym...@verizon.net> wrote:
> We don't have the hills you have there, here in Allentown

"It was just after dark when the truck started down
The hill that leads into Scranton, Pennsylvania..."

You've got enough, thank you.

DYM

unread,
Jul 23, 2005, 12:14:48 PM7/23/05
to
Jay Maynard <jmay...@thebrain.conmicro.cx> wrote in
news:slrnddtra4....@thebrain.conmicro.cx:

Yeah, there are hills. But we haven't got anything on WV & the Carolinas.

Anyway, you better believe I'm in a lower gear going down PA 378 into
Bethelehem, and PA 145 into Allentown. Snub braking all the way.

Doug

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