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(Boing Boing)   Driving through floodwaters, semi-truck edition   (boingboing.net) divider line
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3323 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Aug 2021 at 4:35 PM (17 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-08-02 4:19:58 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size

*record scratch*
"So you're probably wondering how I ended up here"
 
2021-08-02 4:33:25 PM  
"Uh, Boss? The shipment is gonna be a little late."
 
2021-08-02 4:34:13 PM  
I imagine he thought his rig was too heavy to be pushed around by the water. I suppose someone rescued the moron?
 
2021-08-02 4:37:37 PM  
So, now road crew has a flooded road to deal with and an environmental spill, thanks trucker man.
 
2021-08-02 4:41:18 PM  
The water wasn't too high or fast to be crossed. It was, however, deep enough to obscure the exact location of  the road. The truck overturned because it was driven into the ditch.
 
2021-08-02 4:41:21 PM  
The problem he ran into was that he was watching the water, not the road ahead and simply went to the right.

If you watch the water, you tend to unconsciously steer in the direction of the water flow, because you're not used to seeing the surface move in relation to the roadway. Next thing you know, you're in the ditch. You have to watch a point on the horizon or a marker next to the road for distance. The water always lies.

Also, just don't drive across a flooded roadway. Idiots.
Looks like AZ, which has an idiot driver law for just such a reason.
 
2021-08-02 4:45:58 PM  
'Breaker 1-9 This here's the Rubber Duck.'

'Actually cancel that this here's the dumb f**k'
 
2021-08-02 4:47:35 PM  
Surefire way to lose your stupid job.
 
2021-08-02 4:48:22 PM  
To get to the other side.
 
2021-08-02 4:50:35 PM  
Great driving.
 
2021-08-02 4:51:10 PM  

logieal: The problem he ran into was that he was watching the water, not the road ahead and simply went to the right.

If you watch the water, you tend to unconsciously steer in the direction of the water flow, because you're not used to seeing the surface move in relation to the roadway. Next thing you know, you're in the ditch. You have to watch a point on the horizon or a marker next to the road for distance. The water always lies.

Also, just don't drive across a flooded roadway. Idiots.
Looks like AZ, which has an idiot driver law for just such a reason.


The idiot driver only applies if said idiot drives around barricades first.
 
2021-08-02 4:51:31 PM  
Awwwww he taught his truck to roll over - once.
 
2021-08-02 4:53:40 PM  
Did anyone on scene happen to jot down the "How's My Driving" 800# from the back of the trailer?
 
2021-08-02 4:55:30 PM  
Not a semi-submersible.....
 
2021-08-02 4:55:31 PM  

OK So Amuse Me: I imagine he thought his rig was too heavy to be pushed around by the water. I suppose someone rescued the moron?


The water didn't push him though. He just drove off the side of the road. (seems to me)
 
2021-08-02 4:56:44 PM  
i.ebayimg.comView Full Size
 
2021-08-02 4:57:43 PM  

JesseL: logieal: The problem he ran into was that he was watching the water, not the road ahead and simply went to the right.

If you watch the water, you tend to unconsciously steer in the direction of the water flow, because you're not used to seeing the surface move in relation to the roadway. Next thing you know, you're in the ditch. You have to watch a point on the horizon or a marker next to the road for distance. The water always lies.

Also, just don't drive across a flooded roadway. Idiots.
Looks like AZ, which has an idiot driver law for just such a reason.

The idiot driver only applies if said idiot drives around barricades first.


Well, if not that law, then I'm sure since it's a commercial vehicle, that there will be finding out due to his farking around.

/Lived in AZ when they first enacted that law
//Never want to live there again
///The heat fries people's heads there
 
2021-08-02 4:59:24 PM  
i.pinimg.comView Full Size
 
2021-08-02 5:01:55 PM  

SpectroBoy: OK So Amuse Me: I imagine he thought his rig was too heavy to be pushed around by the water. I suppose someone rescued the moron?

The water didn't push him though. He just drove off the side of the road. (seems to me)


Yep. He would have made it just fine if he had, you know, stayed on the freaking road.
 
2021-08-02 5:02:33 PM  

rv4-farker: The water wasn't too high or fast to be crossed. It was, however, deep enough to obscure the exact location of  the road. The truck overturned because it was driven into the ditch.


You really don't know what your are talking about.

1. A cubic meter of water weighs over a tonne. That water is running fast enough that there is likely more than a cubic meter of water hitting each tire on the upstream side every second.

2. All the power is in the front because well it's a truck. No matter how much power the driver applies the trailer is still going to jack-knife because of the volume of water hitting the tires on the trailer.

3. The trailer weighs more than the cab. When the trailer goes which it does it is going to take the cab with it.

It doesn't matter how far upstream he points the tires on the cab. The trailer is always going to get spun around and take the cab with it.
 
2021-08-02 5:05:20 PM  
except that's not what happened. His wheels never turned to the left, in fact I saw them consistently steer right. The water didn't push him off the road, he just didn't stay on the road.

Charles.
 
2021-08-02 5:06:33 PM  

logieal: The problem he ran into was that he was watching the water, not the road ahead and simply went to the right.


So what you're saying is, "WHY DID HE TURN!?!"
 
2021-08-02 5:08:45 PM  
Where was the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!
 
2021-08-02 5:16:09 PM  
The air-filled tires will act like pontoons, allowing me to float on down the road....like river rafting!!!  This is gonna be sooo cool!!!
 
2021-08-02 5:20:44 PM  
I know from a client that the tank is $100k, the truck is $150k. I guess they might be able to get about half that back. My guess is $125k damage.  Anyone else want a swing at how expensive a mistake this was?
 
2021-08-02 5:21:59 PM  
He was going good until he wasn't
 
2021-08-02 5:25:03 PM  

taintbaggins: rv4-farker: The water wasn't too high or fast to be crossed. It was, however, deep enough to obscure the exact location of  the road. The truck overturned because it was driven into the ditch.

You really don't know what your are talking about.

1. A cubic meter of water weighs over a tonne. That water is running fast enough that there is likely more than a cubic meter of water hitting each tire on the upstream side every second.

2. All the power is in the front because well it's a truck. No matter how much power the driver applies the trailer is still going to jack-knife because of the volume of water hitting the tires on the trailer.

3. The trailer weighs more than the cab. When the trailer goes which it does it is going to take the cab with it.

It doesn't matter how far upstream he points the tires on the cab. The trailer is always going to get spun around and take the cab with it.


Oh, the irony.
 
2021-08-02 5:26:48 PM  
Why does it seem like they always assign the stupidest drivers to tankers and other hazardous material hauling. Give those people box trailers hauling paper towels or cotton cloths or something that makes cleanup easy when they wreck.
 
2021-08-02 5:27:37 PM  

Bad Dad Why: I know from a client that the tank is $100k, the truck is $150k. I guess they might be able to get about half that back. My guess is $125k damage.  Anyone else want a swing at how expensive a mistake this was?


If it turns into a hazmat incident, my guess is the damage to the truck & trailer is trivial in the overall cost.
 
2021-08-02 5:32:19 PM  
DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP
 
2021-08-02 5:47:02 PM  

Bad Dad Why: I know from a client that the tank is $100k, the truck is $150k. I guess they might be able to get about half that back. My guess is $125k damage.  Anyone else want a swing at how expensive a mistake this was?


Also factor in the cost of the probable total loss of the product in the tanks (which is probably gasoline or diesel).
 
2021-08-02 5:49:24 PM  
That thing really whipped the cab when it went over. Must have been very exciting.
 
2021-08-02 5:57:15 PM  

rv4-farker: The water wasn't too high or fast to be crossed. It was, however, deep enough to obscure the exact location of  the road. The truck overturned because it was driven into the ditch.


nope.  you can see the point where the tires started hydroplaning.  once they lost contact with the road , it was over.

tire treads can only push so much water out of the way, unless you have specially designed tires like big knobby 4x4 tires.

water doesnt compress.
 
2021-08-02 5:59:47 PM  

SpectroBoy: OK So Amuse Me: I imagine he thought his rig was too heavy to be pushed around by the water. I suppose someone rescued the moron?

The water didn't push him though. He just drove off the side of the road. (seems to me)


This driver seems to be "unencumbered by the thought process", as The Car Talk Guys would say.  Why wouldn't you start your crossing by moving to the upstream side of the road?
 
2021-08-02 6:02:20 PM  

Geotpf: Bad Dad Why: I know from a client that the tank is $100k, the truck is $150k. I guess they might be able to get about half that back. My guess is $125k damage.  Anyone else want a swing at how expensive a mistake this was?

Also factor in the cost of the probable total loss of the product in the tanks (which is probably gasoline or diesel).


No, that's not a fuel tanker (it's round, not elliptical in cross-section). Looks more like a milk or other food-grade product tanker, because there is no overturn protection around the dome lid in the center top.
 
2021-08-02 6:11:51 PM  
He'll have a new job at Swift within days.
 
2021-08-02 6:41:45 PM  
Driver got confused by the water flowing sideways and drifted right.
You can see the more laminar flow of the water over the intact road surface to his left.
The truck was not going fast enough to hydroplane. Tire type played no role.
The tank is not a hazmat container, as it doesn't have hazmat placards on it. These are required on all four sides of the tank or vehicle. Likely a water tank or food/animal grade swill of some kind.
The cross sectional shape of a tank doesn't determine if it's a fuel tank.

Trucks are extremely sensitive to grade and other forces. The combination of road crown and water flow might have been enough to confuse Cletus and the slope of the road, for which Cletus didn't compensate made the trailer drift. The trailer would have crabbed to the right. The air brakes played no role. The trailer looks mostly empty and is much lighter than the tractor, but had enough leverage on the kingpin to pull the tractor over. There was no jackknifing in play here. Swift will hire him after some time has passed.

/Class A commercial driver
//Hazmat endorsement
///Tanker endorsement
 
TWX
2021-08-02 6:52:23 PM  

the voice of raisin: rv4-farker: The water wasn't too high or fast to be crossed. It was, however, deep enough to obscure the exact location of  the road. The truck overturned because it was driven into the ditch.

nope.  you can see the point where the tires started hydroplaning.  once they lost contact with the road , it was over.

tire treads can only push so much water out of the way, unless you have specially designed tires like big knobby 4x4 tires.

water doesnt compress.


If you open it on the wretched hive of scum and villiany that is reddit and look at the video fullscreen, he was in trouble well before he hit the fast-moving part of the water.  He was already close to the shoulder of the road before he hit the fast stuff.

It's almost like he had no idea how crossing a flow works, and steered to go with the flow instead of steering to go against it.  The tractor-part left the road first, it wasn't dragged by the trailer.  If he had aimed to use the opposing lane (presuming this is a two-lane road) he may well have still dealt with the current trying to steer him but he might've made it.
 
2021-08-02 7:24:17 PM  

TWX: the voice of raisin: rv4-farker: The water wasn't too high or fast to be crossed. It was, however, deep enough to obscure the exact location of  the road. The truck overturned because it was driven into the ditch.

nope.  you can see the point where the tires started hydroplaning.  once they lost contact with the road , it was over.

tire treads can only push so much water out of the way, unless you have specially designed tires like big knobby 4x4 tires.

water doesnt compress.

If you open it on the wretched hive of scum and villiany that is reddit and look at the video fullscreen, he was in trouble well before he hit the fast-moving part of the water.  He was already close to the shoulder of the road before he hit the fast stuff.

It's almost like he had no idea how crossing a flow works, and steered to go with the flow instead of steering to go against it.  The tractor-part left the road first, it wasn't dragged by the trailer.  If he had aimed to use the opposing lane (presuming this is a two-lane road) he may well have still dealt with the current trying to steer him but he might've made it.


if you look closer, you'll see that the "power wheels" under the fifth wheel were what dragged the whole truck off the road.  they started hydroplaning and the driver panicked.

they might have made it if:
* they aimed for the oncoming lane to try to buy time to regain contact with the road
* they drove slow enough to give the tires time to clear the water underneath them.
* as soon as the power wheels started hydroplaning, the driver let off the accelerator.

the "power wheels" are always more likely to get into trouble first because once they start hydroplaning, they'll spin quicker, drawing more water underneath them, whereas unpowered wheels will just stop rolling and the water will start to clear (assuming you're not floating by that point).

someone who knows more about fluid dynamics could probably explain better.

this is a scenario where AWD would be better than 4WD as AWD switches which wheel gets power based on traction, whereas 4WD would just lose traction to all 4 wheels.
 
2021-08-02 8:20:19 PM  

the voice of raisin: TWX: the voice of raisin: rv4-farker: The water wasn't too high or fast to be crossed. It was, however, deep enough to obscure the exact location of  the road. The truck overturned because it was driven into the ditch.

nope.  you can see the point where the tires started hydroplaning.  once they lost contact with the road , it was over.

tire treads can only push so much water out of the way, unless you have specially designed tires like big knobby 4x4 tires.

water doesnt compress.

If you open it on the wretched hive of scum and villiany that is reddit and look at the video fullscreen, he was in trouble well before he hit the fast-moving part of the water.  He was already close to the shoulder of the road before he hit the fast stuff.

It's almost like he had no idea how crossing a flow works, and steered to go with the flow instead of steering to go against it.  The tractor-part left the road first, it wasn't dragged by the trailer.  If he had aimed to use the opposing lane (presuming this is a two-lane road) he may well have still dealt with the current trying to steer him but he might've made it.

if you look closer, you'll see that the "power wheels" under the fifth wheel were what dragged the whole truck off the road.  they started hydroplaning and the driver panicked.

they might have made it if:
* they aimed for the oncoming lane to try to buy time to regain contact with the road
* they drove slow enough to give the tires time to clear the water underneath them.
* as soon as the power wheels started hydroplaning, the driver let off the accelerator.

the "power wheels" are always more likely to get into trouble first because once they start hydroplaning, they'll spin quicker, drawing more water underneath them, whereas unpowered wheels will just stop rolling and the water will start to clear (assuming you're not floating by that point).

someone who knows more about fluid dynamics could probably explain better.

this is a scenario where AWD would be better ...


I see all the experienced Fark Class A truck drivers are jumping in.
No, there was no hydroplaning at all.
The driver didn't compensate for either the force of the water or the visual confusion of the passing water and drove the truck off the shoulder embankment, shallow as that angle was, and laid the combination over.
On a tractor in normal drive mode, only the rear set of wheels are driving the vehicle. Driver may have engaged the differential lock, but it didn't matter in this case, since the driver didn't steer toward the laminar flow of water that indicated road surface beneath the water, but off to the side.
In the end, the driver steered wrong and physical forces finished his day for him. He lost his agency when the tank trailer, lightly loaded (else it wouldn't have angled like that), started to tip.
 
2021-08-02 8:20:56 PM  
Jesus Christ on a saltine cracker...

He didn't "hydroplane" because he was going too slow for that, his trailer didn't pull him off because it stayed in alignment with the tractor throughout until it rolled over.

He drove off the road.

Depending on what he was hauling (no placards showing so it wasn't fuel or chemicals) the load could have been worth as much as the rig. None of it is worth much now.

No matter the reason, sandstorm, snow, fog, water or swarms of locusts, if you are having to guess where the road is you should be guessing while sitting still.
 
2021-08-02 8:23:41 PM  
Also, he might have been avoiding the submerged tree branch to his left. We can see if it extended out onto the road under water and he might have been able to see that.
 
2021-08-02 8:26:30 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: Also, he might have been avoiding the submerged tree branch to his left. We can see if it extended out onto the road under water and he might have been able to see that.


You can see where the edge of the road is, it's where the smooth flow ends. He was even getting away with having his off tires on the shoulder for about a truck length but kept heading right.
 
2021-08-02 8:28:57 PM  

Jeff5: Jesus Christ on a saltine cracker...

He didn't "hydroplane" because he was going too slow for that, his trailer didn't pull him off because it stayed in alignment with the tractor throughout until it rolled over.

He drove off the road.

Depending on what he was hauling (no placards showing so it wasn't fuel or chemicals) the load could have been worth as much as the rig. None of it is worth much now.

No matter the reason, sandstorm, snow, fog, water or swarms of locusts, if you are having to guess where the road is you should be guessing while sitting still.


I'm betting the trailer crabbed a bit due to the road crowning. But that would have been just another scary bit of visual input in a smorgasbord of scary visual information Driver was getting.
Best to just park the rig, always.

/I won't digress into a sidebar on trailer behavior on slopes and grades, possibly with running water acting as an external force.
 
2021-08-02 8:30:36 PM  

Jeff5: HotIgneous Intruder: Also, he might have been avoiding the submerged tree branch to his left. We can see if it extended out onto the road under water and he might have been able to see that.

You can see where the edge of the road is, it's where the smooth flow ends. He was even getting away with having his off tires on the shoulder for about a truck length but kept heading right.


That's why I'm thinking the dynamics of the situation created unusual forces that were outside of driver's envelope of experience. You only get a chance to screw up something like this once.
 
2021-08-02 8:32:08 PM  
I'm thinking his mistake was drifting right to avoid the submerged log or branch. The shoulder embankment reached out and grabbed him.
 
2021-08-02 8:35:00 PM  
Why did this semi-truck driver decide to drive into flood waters?


Amphetamines
 
2021-08-02 8:36:38 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: Jeff5: HotIgneous Intruder: Also, he might have been avoiding the submerged tree branch to his left. We can see if it extended out onto the road under water and he might have been able to see that.

You can see where the edge of the road is, it's where the smooth flow ends. He was even getting away with having his off tires on the shoulder for about a truck length but kept heading right.

That's why I'm thinking the dynamics of the situation created unusual forces that were outside of driver's envelope of experience. You only get a chance to screw up something like this once.


In something over 4 million miles over 30 years I've screwed up most of the ways you can and still recover control, steered one a mile-and-a-half on black ice in Wyoming once using the engine brake to dodge stalled cars and trucks on I-80. I've had to cross deeper, faster water that this video BUT the edge of the road was clearly marked with poles. Until the water can push against the chassis and body it's not a big problem.
 
TWX
2021-08-02 8:49:03 PM  

the voice of raisin: this is a scenario where AWD would be better than 4WD as AWD switches which wheel gets power based on traction, whereas 4WD would just lose traction to all 4 wheels.


You are basically completely wrong about AWD in the vast majority of applications.

Most vehicles have open differentials.  This means that with equal application of torque, when one wheel loses traction and thus loses torque, the wheel that continues to have traction also loses torque.  Rotation is applied to the wheel that is tractionless.  Some vehicles even have an open center differential at the transfer case, meaning that literally one wheel of the whole system losing traction can result in a complete loss of forward momentum.

Even some technologies that are designed to limit slip might fail with a complete loss of traction.  electronic traction control systems that use tone-ring sensors at the wheels to detect excessive wheelspin will often dumbly apply brakes across more than just a controlled, light touch on the offending wheel, which effectively stalls the vehicle.  Torsen/Helical type differentials that are meant to limit slip for applications where all wheels remain in contact with the ground may fail is the traction difference between two wheels on a given axle becomes too extreme and thus act like an open differential.

Clutch-type or cone-type limited slip differentials might manage to avoid this in low-power applications where the fiction mechanism isn't overcome by input power, but if someone applies too much power to even a fiction-type LSD then one will overcome that limit-slip function and result in wheelspin.  Some vehicles may have more intelligent AWD control systems that do a better job of avoiding stalling the vehicle when trying to limit spin but there are limits on what those systems can do road-speeds compared to offroad-speeds.
 
2021-08-02 9:06:02 PM  

stuhayes2010: So, now road crew has a flooded road to deal with and an environmental spill, thanks trucker man.


Maybe the tank was filled with water.
 
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