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An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...
2

An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

(OP)
I suspect that this could also be responsible for some other recent run-ins with large trucks crashing into low bridges:

Historic covered bridges are under threat by truck drivers relying on GPS meant for cars

https://apnews.com/article/covered-bridges-gps-tru...

An excerpt from the above item:

One of Vermont’s historic covered bridges has fallen under threat from modern technology.

Box truck drivers relying on GPS continually crash through Lyndon’s 140-year-old Miller’s Run bridge despite signs, including a flashing one, to deter vehicles that are too tall or too heavy from crossing. Drivers can face a fine of $5,000 from the town, plus state penalties.

Still, the bridge keeps getting whacked.

“GPS is the most general excuse that is given by drivers that do hit the bridge,” said Justin Smith, Lyndon’s municipal administrator. He says the real problem is lack of common sense.

The bridge, built in 1878 and renovated in 1995, lies on a short cut motorists use to avoid downtown Lyndonville. The community, which has five historic covered bridges, including two that are in use, calls itself the “Covered Bridge Capital of the NEK,” short for Northeast Kingdom area.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

My commercial quality Garmin GPS allowed me to enter the height and length of my truck and whether I was pulling a trailer.
You get what you pay for and I guess some truckers aren't paying enough for a commercial quality GPS.

--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

Quote:

You get what you pay for and I guess some truckers aren't paying enough for a commercial quality GPS.

I think that presumes that they even pay attention; some don't even pay attention to street signs, ala the infamous bridge that keeps shearing the tops of trucks that ignore the warning signs and flashing lights.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

The 11 foot 8 bridge. Maybe the covered bridges need something like this or pop up bollard posts to stop over-height trucks.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

In parking garages they hang a bar from chains at the clearance height of the bridge. It works well. I've been stopped by one once.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

The 11 foot 8 (now 11 foot 8 + 8) bridge has multiple signs, a traffic controller that is attached to height monitor to cause a red signal, and a giant flashing sign spelling out what to do, before the crash beam marked with the clearance height.

It was not enough to stop them all.

The 11 foot 8 barricade prevented the bridge (almost always) from being hit, but more than one of these small bridges have had some moron run an overweight load into collapsing them.

For a tunnel in Australia, they too put up a swinging bar. Trucks would hit that, tear it loose, and proceed to get jammed into the tunnel entrance. Since it was underground and dark inside they could use a one-of-a-kind water spray curtain with a "STOP" projected on it. It helped, but so did huge, much publicized fines.

A lot of collisions, at least for 11 foot 8, were rental equipment, much from out of town.

I recall there is also a low bridge near MIT that gets slammed every Fall as freshmen and their parents bring truckloads of furniture to the campus. Unfortunately, unlike 11 foot 8, no one lives close enough to put up cameras.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

You guys in the up in the land of "states which are somewhat united" have your 11 foot 8 bridge.

Down south in Kangaroo Land we have one that is much more entertaining which is 9 feet 10 in the middle of our second largest city.

The popularity of it amongst trucks and even busses has risen so much that it also has its own website and a countdown of days when it doesn't get hit.

How Many Days Since Montague Street Bridge Has Been Hit?

Montague Street Bridge Wiki

And in true Aussie fashion we have our own beer:


And the Road Minister also commented on it in a particularly blunt Aussie fashion:


Some fun videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR7NivKqfzo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaUo1KXIU1k

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

11 foot 8 is not the shortest bridge in the US, just one with cameras, microphones, and video recording.

The beauty of 11 foot 8 are the videos. The variety and anticipation. Will the truck driver gun it through a red light? Will they try to make their truck crouch down by going more slowly? Will the recently retired RV owners realize that the A/C units on the roof are taller than the top of the RV body? How smooth an aluminum curl will be stripped from a rental van or will it be peeled like a can of sardines? Will the guys in the military be cleaning latrines for the remainder of their service?

Edge of the seat when a new one pops up.


I do admire the volume business the 3m clearance produces. The glass truck - Chef's kiss.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

Quote (3DDave)

11 foot 8 is not the shortest bridge in the US, just one with cameras, microphones, and video recording.
Yeah I don't know why we a local business hasn't set up cameras on the Montague Bridge. Given the frequency of hits they might be able to make a tidy profit on their Youtube account and from media companies.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

Quote (3DDave)

I recall there is also a low bridge near MIT that gets slammed every Fall as freshmen and their parents bring truckloads of furniture to the campus. Unfortunately, unlike 11 foot 8, no one lives close enough to put up cameras.

It's not a low bridge, it's a major car-only thoroughfare, on the Boston side of the river. Hitting the overpasses on Storrow Drive has its own verb, storrowing, and while more frequent in September due to the zillions of colleges in the area, it happens year round despite plenty of signs.

The main cause seems to be commercial and rental vehicles whose owners are too cheap to pay for truck GPS.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

How is this for low access? 1.75m or 5 foot 9".

I'd have to duck just to walk into that underground parking.

This is a block of apartments, so private access but to a 20 or so condos. But still, it is ridiculous. I can only presume there was some screwup by the architects/engineers regarding services clearance (I'm guessing fire sprinkers.)

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

That's even lower than the bottom of a door, which means that if you're 6-ft or taller, you'd likely get beaned by something if you're not paying attention to where you're walking inside. That sounds like a recipe for disaster and lawsuits.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

I was driving an SUV with a roof rack.
Going into an underground car park, I was careful that I had clearance below the swinging bar.
I was leaving when i heard a clink overhead, followed by the his of escaping air.
Opps, dry sprinkler system.
I immediately went back to the entrance and took a picture of my SUV under the swinging bar, with clearance.
I went to the desk and showed them the picture.
Their main concern was if my vehicle was damaged and if I was going to take action against them.
I guess that I wasn't the first to hit that sprinkler.

--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

I had a project last year assessing and designing repairs for a bank drive-through - somebody tried to take a 26' UHaul under it. In the middle of the night. In their frustration of not getting through the first time, they decided to try again, but faster. Still didn't fit. So then they gave up and went around. Well...they tried to go around. A 26' long box doesn't handle like a Civic, so they caught the back corner of the canopy as they cut the corner waaayyy too early. In their confusion, they gunned it and burried the edge of that canopy about 4 feet into the side of the truck. And there it stayed until the police arrived.

You can't prevent stupid with a sign. For something that is irreplaceable like these bridges, I think a large barrier is certainly called for.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

It is not feasible to put a physical barrier on every bridge.

In my area if you haul over a certain size (width or height) you need a permit.

Dont try and 'solve' this unsolvable issue. It keeps us employed after all :)

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

They've tried this in the UK, but not everyone knows what it means....

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

Quote (IRStuff)

That's even lower than the bottom of a door

My guess is that there's a steep ramp involved and they've had problems with long-wheelbase vehicles. Less of an issue for short-wheelbase pedestrians.

A.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

The biggest issue with low bridges stateside is that they're lucrative for municipalities. The usual scam is to place signs where they're either not visible or beyond the point of being effective so the politicians can blame drivers while benefiting from the revenue. Box trucks are amazingly standardized, typically ~33k GVW chassis derated to 26k so its stable with plenty of overload capacity for safety, and standard box typically 26' long x 12' high. Looking at the pics in the article, the bridge clearance looks pretty close to the trucks' height, makes you wonder why the muni who rebuilt it multiple times didnt raise it a bit.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

Quote:

typically ~33k GVW chassis derated to 26k
The dividing line between bog trucks and little trucks is set at 26,000 or 26,500 lbs. GVW depending on the state.
A new set of compliance issues kick in if the truck is registered for over 26,000 lbs. GVW.

--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

Quote (human909)

And in true Aussie fashion we have our own beer:

Mate, who makes this beer? I need to get hold of some!
Good Old Montague St Bridge has claimed so many victims.......

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

Below seems to be a very common occurrence in Vancouver. No amount of signage can fix this problem.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

That sort of impact is because there is some failure in the hydraulics or the operator securing them, not because the bridge was too low.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

True, a bit off topic. These are usually the operator forgetting, but I digress.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

The driver dumps his load, slams the valve control handle to the down position and drives away.
It takes awhile for those boxes to come down.
The three most common issues:
1. Something jams the valve handle (often a rod with a loop on the end protruding up through the floor of the cab)and it doesnot fully open.
2. The last route had no overhead obstructions. this route leads under the overpass and the driver arrives before the box is fully down.
3. It is an unexpectedly cold day and the viscosity of the hydraulic oil has increased and the lowering time is much longer than it was yesterday.
I remember cutting our hydraulic fluid with diesel fuel so as to get much smaller boxes to lower in a reasonable time in cold weather. (A lot of diesel fuel!)

--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

Usually it's because they forget to disengage the PTO. The bed is down when the leave the site but it slowly rises while driving due to leakage past the control valve.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

The best part is using wirecutters on the alarm wiring to keep it from making that racket when the truck is out of park.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

At least it is a bridge, and not power lines. With power lines, it sometime will blowup the truck tires, and mess with the electronics.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

I've been wondering for years if there isnt a hidden nuance in FMVSS applicable to this situation, but admittedly I've never taken the time to read/consider further. Some PTOs are thoroughly integrated for safety - engage the PTO and it causes a fixed high-idle, touch the gas, brake, or clutch and PTO is disengaged automatically. Most PTOs tho are still dumb systems, you can drive away with them engaged so its easy for dump beds to raise without the driver noticing. Similarly, some dump beds have locking pins while others dont. As a wrecker operator and farm and log truck driver in my youth, I occasionally drove a dump or rolloff truck/trailer and always used the locking pins bc I felt they limited bounce and stiffened the chassis, but believe most professional drivers dont. Regardless, it seems like we have the technology but simply dont use it and the dump-bridge issue remains common.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

The 11'-8" bridge is in my neck of the woods. I have been a few cars behind an RV who decided they did not want their A/C unit anymore.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

So is there a GPS setting for larger vehicles?
Anyone see the news about Google earth driver in a high speed chase?

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

A setting? On high end, stand alone models yes, there is. You can set parameters for your vehicle so it won't take you where you don't have enough overhead clearance, turns are too tight, etc. So, in theory, it shouldn't take a tour bus under the can opener or around really tight switch backs. Google maps has no such setting. But then again, it's a 'free' service.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

Is that why UPS keeps driving up to the gate on a private road, and getting mad because they have to take another route? Maybe if they kept notes on the areas they serve that would not happen.
As far as motor homes, they deserve all the fines, fees, and AC removals, as so many don't know there own vehicles.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

Totally agree on the RV front. I have a small pop up I tow, and I have to be extra mindful even with that. The idiocy of some of the people I see pulling large travel trailers really bugs me. Especially the folks pulling a fully loaded three axle toy hauler with a Kia because the "tow capacity" is 5,000lbs and the 'dry weight' of the camper is 4980lbs...

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

I'll never forget the day my (ex) wife called me urgently to ask how tall our pickup truck and her new horse trailer is. "Is it taller than <insert number>?".

This horse trailer, of which I was excluded from selection, delivery, or financials.

You can't fix stupid. If you're lucky, divorce is an option.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

I think just about every Walmart sells measuring tape. Just in case anyone asks.

That said, there are a few people who should not have those.
We had an incident a few months ago where someone was measuring things in a substation with a metal measuring tape. He lived through the event, but it should not have happened (I was not there at the time, but what about the people that were).

It is like when I was younger you could find torque wrenches, but now you can't.
It is now hard to find tire pressure gages.

RE: An unintended consequence of using GPS is threatening Vermont's historic covered bridges...

Quote:

It is like when I was younger you could find torque wrenches, but now you can't.

HD torque wrench 11 results

HD tire pressure gauge 30 results

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

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