Radius for a u-turn for a 75' tractor trailer

Discussion in 'Questions To Truckers From The General Public' started by bkuehne, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. bkuehne

    bkuehne Bobtail Member

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Glen Arm, Maryland
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    How wide of a space does it take for a 75' tractor trailer to make a u-turn? Thanks
     
  2. witchwaywest

    witchwaywest Medium Load Member

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    Dec 8, 2007
    Monroe New York
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    I worked in the city operation of LTL carrier for many years.Pulling U-turns was very common every day.It might have been in a parking lot or on a road.We used 28' and 48' trailers.If I was using a 28' trailer,I would need a width of area of 34'.This takes into account the trailer overhang beyond the rear tandems and the trailer bulkhead jutting out while making the U-turn.My rear trailer axle was fixed at close to the trailer door so I did not worry about trailer overhang but still concerned about the trailer bulkhead as it came around.So for the 28' trailer I added 2' for bulkhead and 2' for the rear of the trailer.Now a 48' trailer is going to be different depending on where you have slid your rear tandems.If you slid your tandems all the way forward ,you might now think you have reduced your turning radius.You did,but you did not reduce the length of trailer.If you are in a tight spot,trees and light poles,among other things,don't forget the bulkhead extending out and the rear of the trailer overhang doing the same.I had friends do great U-turns.Sure they did great U-turns but forgot about the bulkhead and trailer overhang.They took out signs,light poles and trees.So for the most part take the trailer length and add a few feet for the front and a few feet for the back when doing a U-turn.It may take the tractor a few pull ups and backups but once your at a right angle with the trailer you will have the most tight turning radius you can get.When in doubt,just back out or just call your Mom or the wife.Works for me.
     
  3. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    It all depends on the tractor the trailers and where the axles are. I could turn a 105' set of triples around where you'd get a semi stuck. Same goes for a truck and trailer. Best thing to do is go to an open area and check it out and not take the word from another driver since there's so many varibles..
     
  4. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    Sorry I didn't mean anything against witchwatwest. That was all good advice. But I still believe it's best to take another driver or friend and see for yourself.
     
  5. Big Don

    Big Don "Old Fart"

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    Actually, I liked the advice about calling your wife. If your's is like mine is, she knows EVERYTHING.:biggrin_25512::biggrin_255:
     
  6. Chillwag

    Chillwag Light Load Member

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    Nov 9, 2006
    Vancouver, Wa
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    If you are talking about a long haul tractor with a 53' trailer to do a u-turn without stopping you need about 5 lanes of 14' wide road, no traffic and a bottle of antacid. the minimum turning aria can vary with the drivers skill and mood, the trailer axle setting, and how much clear ariathe trailer has to swing over. Also it should be noted that some times to do a U-turn it is more practical to do a K-turn. A K-turn is simply a left turn onto a side street. Stop. Then back acrost the street you started on to make a left and go back the way you came. Note the worst part of this turn is the staight line backing because you are crossing a street that you are 75-80' away from when you look both ways.
     
    Shardrk Thanks this.
  7. notarps4me

    notarps4me Road Train Member

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    Unless you got a loaded spread axle, throw a couple more football fields into that equation.....:biggrin_2559:
     
  8. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

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    If you get a chance to see a truck and trailer or a set of triples count the pivot points and you'll know what I'm talking about.
     
  9. Hammer166

    Hammer166 Crusty Information Officer

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    Please click one of the Quick Reply icons in the posts above to activate Quick Reply.
     
  10. roadkill4512

    roadkill4512 Medium Load Member

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    May 9, 2008
    Lancaster,PA
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    I'd say I need about 70' to u-turn my 75' combination.

    You may be surprised that even without the trailer it requires the same 70' to u-turn my 28' tractor.
     
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