Re: 84 Thomas - The Yankeflyer
Hey everybody - there is something that Ive been meaning to address in this forum for awhile and now is a good time-
It's about the coefficient of friction -- remember that Harry Chapin song about 30,000 lbs. of bananas, well anyway - there's more than a few people with CDLs they can probably speak on the subject as well as I and though I do not have a CDL. I am a locomotive engineer now retired and know a little bit about hauling tonnage. On the railroad the joke is, uphill slow -- downhill fast -- tonnage first and safety last. Not that we really felt that way and sometimes in spite of our best efforts we would still run into each other.
Of course the train crashing into another train is a big old nasty mess, which brings me to the point, when your on the road, the 40 footers are around the 11 ton -- 20,000 plus pounds and although we have great brakes on these buses, depending on the grade and whether or not you're ascending or descending the stopping distance will vary with the circumstances and needs to be on your mind as much as a sport plane pilot needs to always keep an eye towards an emergency landing spot , should the engine quit.
If you use anything to keep the throttle locked in a position, your setting yourself up for disaster. Most of us have a minimal experience driving this tonnage around and I know I personally can't imagine having to drive without my cruise control on my car and we all know how annoying it is when we run into that person in traffic that won't adjust their speed when passing and using the cruise control.
I don't remember who it was, but the story went something like this, they had the throttle locked and when traffic ahead became congested and went from 70 mph to 5 mph he had to take to the median to avoid running into the traffic ahead. We all know that under those circumstances and if there were fatalities involved, the government state or federal will be all over the skoolie.
One spectacular incident will have the authorities and the press putting all our projects under a microscope.
If you have any kind of the throttle lock on your bus disable it and at the very least do not use it. I know my right foot and leg got so tired the last time I made a long trip but I made my self pullover and rest and walk it off.
Yes the big semis out on Highway do have cruise control but on most - as I understand it these days - is automatically disabled when you turn on your headlights. There are so many variables when you have that much tonnage going down the road highway speeds. Small cars are completely defenseless in the event of a crash and if there were children involved, what you all know what I mean. Be safe, plan ahead and don't let yourself get too tired while driving.