Empty Sets and Wind Speed

Discussion in 'LTL and Local Delivery Trucking Forum' started by PHX, Nov 16, 2022.

  1. PHX

    PHX Bobtail Member

    May 15, 2014
    A question for all you guys who work/have worked at a terminal or had a meet with a driver from a terminal that skews way more inbound than outbound. At what point do you start worrying about crosswinds? I had to take an empty set over Chiriaco Summit last night heading to Indio and there was a bit of puckering because of strong winds in otherwise dry conditions with good traction.. But then I thought about those poor souls who work out of WY or Fargo and felt like a bit of a wuss for being worried. At what wind speed do you start worrying?
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  3. Metalicious

    Metalicious Medium Load Member

    Sep 27, 2015
    Call me a wuss too. When I am driving if I look in my side mirror and can't see my rear marker light, I am usually stopping either for the night or a short while to see if the wind dies down.
  4. Another Canadian driver

    Another Canadian driver Road Train Member

    Nov 14, 2021
    You are not a WUSS.
    California has some really bad spots on I-10 around Indio.
    They have wind farms over there due to the strong winds presence.
    There are bad spots also going North on US-395 toward Bishop.
    Your best bet is to slow down and put your 'hazard lights' ON to signal your reduced speed to maniacs driving cars or motor bikes around you at speeds over 70 MPH.
    You should pay attention when you go under interstate overpasses and anticipate wind gusts once crossing back in the open again.
    You are at risk of roll-over if the road is dry and traction is normal.
    You are at risk of jacknife if the road is icy and traction is reduced.
    Your speed should be no more than 50% of the posted speed limit
    when the driving conditions involve at least 2 mitigating risk factors:
    Ice and crosswinds, Ice and fog, rain and excessive water on road surface.
    Include night time as an additional mitigating risk factor as well.
    Include the type of trailer/load as a mitigating risk factor too.
    Cement trucks/tanker with liquid loads/log trucks/high cube loaded sea containers are really prone to rollover.
    Protecting your life/CDL/driving record/shipper's freight and your Carrier reputation should be your first priority.
    Be safe out there.

    I would be afraid, very afraid of wind gusts.
  5. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    South west Missouri
    We pulled many sets from SLC to DEN dead empty when we pulled doubles - it's not in the least bit funny.

    You have to be pretty vigilant, and make your own comfort level decision to pull over when it gets rough. Jackknife it in reverse if you do park to form more angles if you have the room to do so, form a S shape if at all possible - I've seen straight line winds take 53' vans and sets over while parked.
  6. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    South west Missouri
    ODFL policy at the time was instant termination for the "THREE R's". Rear end. Rollover. Roll away.

    Make good decisions out there.
  7. Arctic_fox

    Arctic_fox Experienced mx13 execrator

    Sep 16, 2016
    No hard and fast rule. Basically you get a feel for it and if your gut says nope you park. id imagine most companys would much rather an inexperinced driver was a bit over cautious then rolled one of their rigs.

    That said i always found that 40 sustained was my hard limit in a light or empty dry van. And around 50 was my hard limit. Also any time i saw gusts much above 60 i put er down till it died down. 5 years as a team on the slc to omaha run with my dad. One of the only teams to never roll a rig. Many of the others would push through and find that one big 75+ gust then bye bye.
  8. FLHT

    FLHT Medium Load Member

    Aug 2, 2014
    A few years ago on I-15 around Farmington Ut the wind blew some Railroad box cars off the tracks.
    Trucks and attached trailers were flying .
  9. Digman943

    Digman943 Medium Load Member

    Mar 17, 2016
    It’s never fun. But I think an empty van is worse. Pulled a empty from Omaha back to Chicago. That sucked, the winds are not as bad on 80 in Iowa but it was rough.
  10. beastr123

    beastr123 Road Train Member

    Jan 2, 2014
    Moose Jaw SK CAN
    I had 45 years OTR and never off the road unless intentionally.
    I did get the side wind gust/icy road/empty trailer lesson in my first year OTR and even though I did not ditch or roll to this day I am surprised I made it without damage.
    I did learn quickly to read the road and wind at all times and to drop my speed at night to not overdrive my headlights especially when ice could be present.
  11. PHX

    PHX Bobtail Member

    May 15, 2014
    You can definitely feel the van more and the additional surface area definitely makes getting blown over more risky, but what worries me about a light set, especially an empty back box, is that you can't feel what the back box is doing because there's a couple of degrees of separation between it and the truck. At least with a 53 the force on the trailer is getting transmitted to the cab directly.
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