Buttonhook right-hand turns

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by expedite_it, Sep 27, 2022.

  1. expedite_it

    expedite_it Heavy Load Member

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    buttonhook 2.jpg The situation that happened that inspired me to make this thread occurred when a woman flipped me the bird as I was completing a buttonhook right-hand turn. I posted about this on the thread "Most insulting thing another driver can do". I thought more about this and decided this issue ought to have its own thread. The "Most insulting thing another driver can do" thread is not about buttonhook turns.

    The other day I had to make a right hand turn at a four street intersection with traffic lights. Immediately before I made the buttonhook turn, I was driving on Elm Street. The road I was turning right on to is Oak Street. Oak Street is a two-way street with just one lane for the oncoming traffic and just one lane for people going the other direction. Before I made the right hand turn, there was a yellow car on Oak Street, and this yellow car was stuck at a red light. So I had to buttonhook the right hand turn. The CDL Manuals for all the states of the USA say that the proper thing to do in this situation is to make a buttonhook turn. So I swung far forward and then swung my truck to the right and stopped in front of the car. The lady in the car would not back up at first. So I honked the air horn. It was crystal clear that there was no other way for me to make this turn except to buttonhook in to the lane her car was in. Finally, the lady backed her yellow car up about 20 feet so I could make the turn. As I was driving by her, I was going to wave to signify "thank you for backing up". I looked at the lady, and she flipped me the bird!


    The drawing in the photograph above reflects the situation right when I blew the air horn at the lady in the yellow car. But let's back up a little bit.

    Let me discuss the situation as I approached the intersection BEFORE my trucked reached the spot my tractor-trailer was in in the drawing. As I approached the intersection on Elm Street, my tractor-trailer had about ten vehicles behind it. The yellow car on Oak Street had no vehicles behind it. I decided to pull far forward and then pull in front of the yellow car as depicted in the drawing. I will write my thought process to do this in green font. My thought process in doing this was something like the following: I have ten vehicles behind me. The yellow car has no vehicles behind it. I should pull in front of the yellow car and have the yellow car move out of the way. That's just common sense because the yellow car has no vehicles behind it, and it's a lot easier to maneuver a little car around out of the way than to maneuver this giant tractor-trailer.

    I discussed this on the "Most Insulting Thing another driver can do to you" thread (even though it was hijacking the thread). Other people on the "most insulting thing" thread said that I did wrong when I buttonhooked the right turn in the incident portrayed in the above drawing because the yellow car had the right of way.

    When I approached the intersection of Oak Street and Elm Street, should I have just stopped my tractor-trailer on Elm Street and waited until the yellow car passed and there was no oncoming traffic on Oak Street before I made my buttonhook right-hand turn?


    What would you have done?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2022
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  3. Munch75

    Munch75 Light Load Member

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    Traffic lights? Stop signs?

    I have dealt with similar situations myself. Most 4 wheeler drivers will back up, even LEO's. For those that don't I will assess the situation. IF it seems like in most major cities where a bulk of the citizenry is only concerned for their own time and phones I will move forward and force them to figure it out. In the country side, I wait it out.
    Had one lady at a Tractor Supply pull up to an entrance that I had to use as I was approaching. I waited for traffic to clear and signaled for her to go a couple of times when I saw that there was an opening for her to safely do so. That's when it became apparent that she either married into the country life, or, was out finding certain things for her themed soiree in midtown somewhere. She just sat and stared at me the whole time. So, I proceeded forward and nosed up to her. She finally got the notion that she missed her chance and the look on my face told her there was no way in hell I was backing up. She finally reversed and went to the other exit. Some people either just don't know but most just don't care.

    As a driver your only concern is safety for you and the public. Not whether or not they are annoyed enough to flip you off. Just take it as her signaling to you her max IQ. Just wave, smile and proceed.
     
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  4. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

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    Depends. Little to no oncoming traffic I’d probably be swinging wide to the left before turning right regardless of what the manual says. But you’re the only one that was there and know what the actual intersection looks like. Different intersections and going to require different approaches for right turns.
     
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  5. Kshaw0960

    Kshaw0960 Road Train Member

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    I drive a 379 Pete with a dry van. What I do on right handlers like that, is stop at the light 30-50’ back. Room for 2-3 cars. When light turns green, or red if it’s clear, I turn left onto the oncoming lane and still do a button hook as well.

    This is generally frowned upon and they only want you to do a button hook turn but I do what must be done to avoid damage on tight turns. It is what it is.
     
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  6. expedite_it

    expedite_it Heavy Load Member

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    As I made the right hand turn, I had a green light on Elm Street. The yellow car on Oak Street had a red light.
     
  7. expedite_it

    expedite_it Heavy Load Member

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    What if jug handling the turn is not adequate? What if the turn has to be both jug handled and buttonhooked?
     
  8. expedite_it

    expedite_it Heavy Load Member

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    So all that you wrote above is to say that you jug handle the turn as well as button hooking it. Fine.

    But you did not address the issue that is at the heart of this thread. If you have a green light, would you stop your truck until the road you are going to turn right onto is clear of traffic?

    If you think your post implied the answer, I need you to explicitly spell it out for me please.
     
  9. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

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    Then that’s what you do. No two right turns are exactly the same. There’s no one size fits all for every right turn.
     
  10. expedite_it

    expedite_it Heavy Load Member

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    Yeah I knew all that before I created the thread.

    This thread is not about to jug handle or not to jug handle. This thread is about "would you wait until the street that you are going to turn right onto is clear, or would you pull in front of the vehicles on the street you are going to turn on to and expect them to back up?"

    In other words, when you had a green light on Elm Street, would you stop your truck on Elm Street until Oak street is clear, or would you pull in front of the yellow car on Oak street and expect the yellow car to back up?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2022
  11. expedite_it

    expedite_it Heavy Load Member

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    With the benefit of hindsight, if the yellow car on Oak Street was a police car, I think the cop might have given me a ticket.
     
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