Truck-Driving Tips To Tackle Low Bridges

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

A truck driver involved in a low bridge crash is bound to lose their job and undergo prosecution, besides causing havoc and inconvenience to the bridge, vehicle, truck owner and the railway track. The truck owner also risks losing their operator’s licence. All the costs relating to bridge examination, damage repair, vehicle recovery, train services delays, etc. must also be borne by the vehicle owner.  This article will provide some tips to help you prevent this kind of accident from happening to you.

Read Bridge Signs

Most low bridges have signs indicating bridge dimensions and the vehicle height restrictions. Generally, bridges with a clearance lesser than 5 meters or 16 feet 6 inches are marked. The numbers are mostly expressed in both imperial and metric units. If you underwent a theory assessment during your truck licence test, you learned how to decode these signs.

To ensure truck height compliance with bridge measurements, know your overall vehicle height, which is usually displayed in the truck manual or within the cab. The height of the truck can be lowered by adjusting the fifth wheel or via reloading or unloading the trailer. This is a quick tip to implement if you believe your truck can move through safely if it loses a few inches in height.

Avoid Narrow Lanes

When you are on the road driving a heavy goods vehicle, tread along on the freeways or avoid narrow lanes. Low bridges are generally built over tapered roads. Therefore, avoid shortcuts and continue with the usual routes, so that the probability of encountering a low bridge goes down considerably. If you have no option but to move along unconventional routes, keep a watch for the signs.

Most roads with low bridges have precautionary signs quite a few kilometers ahead of the bridge, so that larger vehicles can practice caution and take a diversion before approaching the overpass and getting deadlocked.

Arch Bridge Driving

When confronting an arch bridge, drive through the center of the road as the curved edges could be lower than your truck height, even if the actual bridge is taller than the vehicle. Generally, these arch bridges have signs inscribed, indicating drivers to use the mid-portion of the road. Make sure your truck’s presence is observed by other approaching vehicles and motorists on the road, and horn continuously while slowly moving through the bridge.

In case of a collision, don’t try moving the vehicle. Call the police or your owner, if it’s not your vehicle. Report the matter to the railway authorities so that the trains supposed to take the bridge are stopped. Keep the general public away and don’t let them near the vehicle, for a sudden explosion cannot be ruled out.

You can find out more by contacting a truck licence training program, such as Alltrans Training Services.

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