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Old 12-13-2009, 09:32 PM   #11
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Re: What does your bus really weigh? Building a bridge.

What about bridging it with portable ramps? You say you have a 15' narrow spot, right? I'd bet your bus's wheelbase will be more than 180" if it's a fullsize. Hit Home Depot for a pallet each of concrete blocks and Quikrete, rent a Bobcat, and build a pair of anchors on each side. Each anchor will hold a pair of steel ramps set at the right width for the bus. They won't be LIGHT, but they'll be manageable with some creativity. (Maybe haul them in and out with the Jeep?)

If the wheelbase is longer than the "bridge" (and I suspect it will be), they only need to hold the weight of the heavier axle (almost certainly the rear).
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:49 AM   #12
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Re: What does your bus really weigh? Building a bridge.

I like the A-frame bridge, and I'm thinking about portable ramps to get the Jeep across the narrow spot when it's not high water. The difficult part is that it is illegal to place anything permanently in the creek bed, even on the banks. I can put permanent abutments for the bridge on top of the banks, but not down in them.

I may just get come up with some steel beams that I can drag across the low spot and then move out of the way when I get the Jeep across.

of course, this is all going to have to wait until I can recoup from buying a new (used) engine and having it installed. That really crimps my finances this next semester -- big time.
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:48 PM   #13
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Re: What does your bus really weigh? Building a bridge.

Quote:
The difficult part is that it is illegal to place anything permanently in the creek bed, even on the banks. I can put permanent abutments for the bridge on top of the banks, but not down in them.
How are you at camoflauge? I'm dead serious: make something look like it's been there for 30 years and people will usually assume it has. Plant a bunch of assorted vegetation around your anchors, maybe add some strategic "rust" streaks from any metal parts, hit the blocks with a sandblaster for a nice weathered look...maybe add a couple of (empty) wasp nests to deter close obervation.

Alternately, how close together can you get your abutmants above the banks?

And how deep is the creek?
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:22 AM   #14
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Re: What does your bus really weigh? Building a bridge.

I don't think I could get away with it. The place is remote, but the road is fairly well used, and the entire creek is visible from the road. Everybody who lives in the area knows there's no bridge there. At normal flow, the creek is only about 6" deep and very slow. When it rains for a day, it's about a foot deep and very fast. Every year it floods some, and a couple of years ago, they had a big flood that wiped out a lot of bridges in the area and caused a lot of property damage. Old bridges that had columns extending down into the creek bed were responsible for a lot of the damage and flooding, as they caught debris and trees and created dams --- that lasted until they burst and sent all the water downstream at once. (Then a bunch of local guys went to federal prison for bid-rigging and extortion related to federal clean-up funds.)

So, because of the flooding issues, a removable bridge would work (it would have to come up immediately after I used it), or a bridge above the banks. $$ considerations (especially since I have to buy a new engine for my Jeep) are making me lean toward some kind of metal planking that would support 2 or 3 tons (my Jeep weighs 3,000#). If I can make some kind of simple lift system for them, it shouldn't be too much of a PITA to lower and raise the bridge every time I used it.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:55 PM   #15
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Re: What does your bus really weigh? Building a bridge.

You may want to look at counter weight tech used in drawbridges of the middle ages. Counterweights can be made with almost anything. Your biggest challenge will be creating the anchor points.

Here's a quickie link that might help get you started: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bascule_bridge

And another link: http://books.google.com/books?id=az1...age&q=&f=false
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:05 PM   #16
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Re: What does your bus really weigh? Building a bridge.

Actually, this is something like what I have in mind, only on a much smaller scale.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pe...bridge_new.jpg

It's a rolling bascule bridge. I think I could work something like this with a small electric winch -- solar powered and remote control. But.... it's a long way off.

There's plenty of room on the land side of the creek, but on the road side, there's not much space for putting abutments or anything. I need to take a picture of it to post.

I think that a rolling bridge would be the easiest to operate and keep aligned if the rolling portion of it sat in simple concrete troughs that limited its movement to the necessary rolling motion. The counterweight portion could be designed to act as a stop, or detente, at each end of the arc that the bridge travels through. I'm thinking reinforced concrete for the counterweight and rolling section, and possibly some kind of one ended suspension bridge to carry the roadway.

Here's a rough drawing. The labels read: Concrete counterweight; concrete abutment, I-Beam (span), cross member (support cable attachment point); winch and draw-down cable; and, support cable.

Obviously not to scale, but you get the idea that by lowering down into the creekbed, a shorter span is required than by going straight across the top.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:33 PM   #17
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Re: What does your bus really weigh? Building a bridge.



Pictures of the Actual AVLB:
http://images.google.com/images?hl=e...=&aqi=&start=0
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:51 AM   #18
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Re: What does your bus really weigh? Building a bridge.


Just make the bus amphibious, and you can cross any river in the world!



(The Kinetic Sculpture Racing "Magic Bus" of Port Townsend, Washington.)
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:50 PM   #19
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Re: What does your bus really weigh? Building a bridge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric von Kleist
I don't think I could get away with it. The place is remote, but the road is fairly well used, and the entire creek is visible from the road. Everybody who lives in the area knows there's no bridge there. At normal flow, the creek is only about 6" deep and very slow. When it rains for a day, it's about a foot deep and very fast. Every year it floods some, and a couple of years ago, they had a big flood that wiped out a lot of bridges in the area and caused a lot of property damage. Old bridges that had columns extending down into the creek bed were responsible for a lot of the damage and flooding, as they caught debris and trees and created dams --- that lasted until they burst and sent all the water downstream at once. (Then a bunch of local guys went to federal prison for bid-rigging and extortion related to federal clean-up funds.)

So, because of the flooding issues, a removable bridge would work (it would have to come up immediately after I used it), or a bridge above the banks. $$ considerations (especially since I have to buy a new engine for my Jeep) are making me lean toward some kind of metal planking that would support 2 or 3 tons (my Jeep weighs 3,000#). If I can make some kind of simple lift system for them, it shouldn't be too much of a PITA to lower and raise the bridge every time I used it.
Easy, then: find a big-truck scrapyard & look for a junked car carrier. Grab yourself some ramps!
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