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Title: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: johns4104s on August 23, 2009, 09:24:46 AM
I was and still am nervous about changing Lanes in heavy traffic, its not bad going slow, but in large cities when the traffic is going 45 to 60 mph it can be difficult getting someone to let you in.
In my 4104 days I fixed this with mounting a Large truck fender Multiple bulb turn light up front on each side of the coach. It pretty much worked everytime, people would stay away and let you in cause it was so bright.
I was looking for something similar to attach lots of them down both sides and on the trailer. Any ideas?

Thanks

John


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: josephgranzier on August 23, 2009, 09:36:25 AM
I find in my box truck , that a combination of turn signal and slight movement towards the lane - gives them the idea I 'm moving over .
turn signal , fake the lane change , watch them slow down and give you room. ;)
Baltimore / Washington beltway traffic revivals L.A.


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: cody on August 23, 2009, 09:39:21 AM
If that doesn't work, the white knuckles and insane laugh works for me lol.


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: belfert on August 23, 2009, 09:53:52 AM
My bus came with combination turn/marker lights on each side.  These seem to be enough to cause vehicles to leave space especially if you start moving over a little bit.


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: luvrbus on August 23, 2009, 10:10:55 AM
John, 2 other systems you can use are the side mounted cameras for your backup system or the radar like Greyhound uses.
Your bigger they will yield when you keep moving over.   




good luck


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Lin on August 23, 2009, 11:42:44 AM
I wonder whether an audible signal would help.  Something like a really loud back-up alarm that pulsed along with the lights.


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: luvrbus on August 23, 2009, 11:57:23 AM
John, when I drive through a large metro area like Houston,Dallas or Phoenix I choose the middle lane very seldom do you need to change lanes   


good luck


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: lostagain on August 23, 2009, 12:22:30 PM
Driving bus in the '70s, people backed off to let you in when you put your signal on. Now they accelerate to keep you off. I find you just have to put your signal on and force your way in, like everybody else...

JC


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Van on August 23, 2009, 01:17:26 PM
As Sean was leaving Boulder City yesterday ,by the way thanks Sean for a wonderful tour of Odyssey,we had Cheryl and I had a great time,Oh ! Sean was merging back onto the road way across the damn and a car purposly would not let him in and eventualy cut him off at the last minute after almost wrecking his car into the median,If you can't see a bus trying to merge in front of you,biggest bulb in the world wouldn't help,Nice goin by the way Sean ,handled like a true professional ;D 


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Airbag on August 23, 2009, 01:23:53 PM
 ;D ;D ;D ;D

(http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k249/skywords/bus%20ac/000_0225.jpg)

 ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Lin on August 23, 2009, 01:26:35 PM
Airbag,
     Do you have them on the other side too?


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Dreamscape on August 23, 2009, 01:27:34 PM
I've had experience in LA I-5 traffic, Phoenix and Dallas. I'm with Clifford. I choose the second lane from the far left to get through town, if I have to exit, I put on my blinkers way ahead of time, and look in my mirrors and edge my way in. If they're smart they'll slow down and let you in, if they're dumb move anyway! ;D I'll also try to follow truckers, they seem to know which lane to be in most of the time, when going through unfamiliar territory for me.

I do like idea of side camera's though, might make for a safer lane change.

I hate driving in large cities period!

Paul


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Airbag on August 23, 2009, 01:51:41 PM
Airbag,
     Do you have them on the other side too?

Not yet but I am thinking of a spot for them, have not decided, they do get peoples attention just a little toot will do ya.


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: loosenut on August 23, 2009, 03:28:43 PM
I start easing then I close my eyes.  It is way less scary than watching people flashing their lights and swerving out of the way.  So far 4,000ish miles into the bus thing it has worked very well.

Mike


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: mikeH8H-649 on August 23, 2009, 03:37:14 PM
In a truck or bus a turn signal is not a question it is a statement.   Mike


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Gary LaBombard on August 23, 2009, 04:03:23 PM
I wasn't going to really say this until I did it but I am really seriously thinking of purchasing those large round turn signals used on the back of school buses that have the large arrows.  since I have made so many changes in my bus I was going to put left and right turn signals
 on the back of coarse, up near the top that would be visible to all long distances behind me but everyone would not question my intention to change lanes.  The signals would come on the same time as the normal Eagle turn signals. 

I know you guys with all these beautiful caps etc. on your conversions would not think of doing such a scarring thing to your beautiful buses but this is just me and my intention.  I now have a RV with a sign in the back that many truckers use and it says in a bright yellow shield with black letters, (IF YOU CAN'T SEE MY MIRRORS, I CAN'T SEE YOU).  I actually stole this idea from a RV I saw on our first trip to Arcadia and said to myself, Self, that is a great idea.  Now in my travels I have noticed that everyone stays further back from me most of the time, especially if I am towing our toad.

Our bus will never be a real show bus in centerfolds of magazines I know. But I Like the idea of being as safe as I can be for my family especially being an amateur using a bus as much as we hope to soon.  I don't plan to remove my original Eagle back cap but instead cut holes in it for a mounting fixture for the arrow type turn signals I mention above to mount.   Please don't laugh, oh go ahead, have a good one on me. Thats my plan and I am planning to stick to it. LOL.
Gary


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: mikelutestanski on August 23, 2009, 05:42:48 PM
Hello  After Kansas city St louis nashville and chattanooga and minn ST paul I have figured out that size matters.  If you give an inch they walk over you.. AT times when I put my signal on the guys behind would jump out like rabbits and try to pass.   However when the cars were beside me and the side turn signal came on the drivers got nervous  and usually backed off.
     In some cities the worse problem is the onramp traffic  where they get on and 2 exits later get off.. They come on trying to play chicken and expect you to slow down.   I usuallly did until I was boxed in with big trucks and we then preceeded to go and they had to stop. After that I stayed in my lane and if possible moved over ..
   I hit rain in ST louis and Kansas city and the going was very tough.  4 lanes each way ANd in front of me was a car going from 30 to 50 depending on the traffic on either side of him.  I could not pass so we toughed it out for 25 miles before we could get by. That was around ST Louis  70 and 270 and 55
    I Have learned that for me slower is better because I have to  be able to stop my rig safely.   THe sad part is when you slow down people dive in front of you and you have to slow down more but so be it..
     FWIW     regards and happy busssin  mike
       


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Ed Hackenbruch on August 23, 2009, 06:36:56 PM
Gary i kinda had the same idea for my 5A,  but i was gonna use the lenses off of an old Flx. :)


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: John316 on August 23, 2009, 06:42:08 PM
Awww, come on Mike. Kansas city is a cake walk ;D. St. Louis can be a little different (especially going all the way through on 70), for the first couple of times.

The worst part about Midwest drivers (something that we appreciated in NY drivers), is Midwest drivers come to the end of an on ramp, and step on the wrong pedal. You guessed it. They step on the brake at the end of the ramp! They should take some lessons from the NY drivers. They know how to merge! Texans know how to merge too. Close your eyes, and hope ;D.

I guess it is all what you are used too. How did you go through KC? We do it all the time, so I guess coming through on the first time, would a little harder.

God bless,

John


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: plyonsMC9 on August 23, 2009, 07:11:24 PM
It is the 2nd lane over usually for us, and I use a 5" Convex Round Stainless Steel Side Mirror in addition to regular side mirrors.  A lot of times I also have been helped by truckers when I need to pull over a lane.  And actually haven't had too much trouble w/ drivers trying to keep us out of a lane.  Pretty rare actually.  And we've put in a fair amount of miles across the country.  We just have the usual MC9 side blinkers.  And yes it does indeed seem to make the drivers nervous when they see the side blinker come on and they are in the lane.   ;D 

Kind Regards, Phil


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: WEC4104 on August 23, 2009, 07:25:22 PM
I think the size, quantity, and shape of the blinkers have little bearing on the lane change situation.  Impatient or oblivious drivers are really going to be affected by your signals if you make more/large signals.

I think mirrors are key.  If you know exactly where you are in relation to surrounding traffic, it gives you more options.

I try to be polite and give ample time when I signal.  More often than not, I'm just trying to merge on a highway or get off. It's not like I'm trying to race them to their destination.  However, when all else fails, and I've had my signal on for 7-10 seconds, and the guy in his fancy new car is getting more in my way instead of allowing room, I start to move over.   The guy knows full well I want to change lanes and I have yet to find a guy who will put his car up against a 50 year old bus.


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: buswarrior on August 23, 2009, 09:01:44 PM
In a truck or bus a turn signal is not a question it is a statement.   Mike

Thank you Mike!

In all my years of driving and reading about driving, this is the best way I've seen it described.

I might add in the concept of "polite statement", never the less, we're coming over, sorry and all that, but we're coming over.

After all, who stands in the way of a walking elephant?

happy coaching!
buswarrior


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: John316 on August 23, 2009, 09:04:08 PM
Where can a thousand pound gorilla sit in a movie theater? Anywhere he pleases!

Same, in a way with the bus. Obviously as much warning as possible, and slow lane changes. We have noticed that people give a bus much more space then they did with the van and trailer (even though are about the same length).

God bless,

John


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Iceni John on August 23, 2009, 10:49:58 PM
Airbag has the right idea, but I'm thinking of going one step further.   When I buy some good air horns for the roof, I will demote my present air horn that's underneath the front and instead put it near the door, pointing out to the right.   If some moron tries to pass me on my right when I have my right turn signal on, a quick toot just as they are level with the horn should wake them up.   My pet peeve is when I am making a tight right turn that requires me to use the next lane over to avoid clipping the kerb, and with my right turn indicator on some mouth breather still thinks he can squeeze by.   And remember, my Crown is still bright yellow!   (Do these idiots try that with real school buses full of children?)

Toot toot, John


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: BG6 on August 24, 2009, 05:39:31 AM
Part of my intended marking scheme for the MCI is to put this on the rear:

<-- EL PASO                                         EL CRUNCHO -->


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: FloridaCliff on August 24, 2009, 05:58:50 AM
I am also a "put on the turn signal" and start to lean on the side you want to move too.

I have seldom, not had them slow down or speed up quickly.

I will say that having the GPS has dropped my need to do this down to almost zero, as I now know about crazy "Center lane" exits and other weird changes in advance.

One of my pet peeves is lousy signage by the DOT.  On a busy and multi-lane highway, I am always in appreciation for the arrows that let you know you will be in the correct lane when the road splits.

Cliff

 


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: FloridaCliff on August 24, 2009, 05:59:59 AM
Part of my intended marking scheme for the MCI is to put this on the rear:

<-- EL PASO                                         EL CRUNCHO -->


Now thats a keeper......LOL...... ;D


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: JackConrad on August 24, 2009, 06:02:18 AM
 My pet peeve is when I am making a tight right turn that requires me to use the next lane over to avoid clipping the kerb, and with my right turn indicator on some mouth breather still thinks he can squeeze by.  
Toot toot, John

When I have to use part of the left lane to make a right turn, I try to not leave enough room for a car to fit between the bus & curb.  I still watch for idiots on motorcycles though.  Jack


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Airbag on August 24, 2009, 06:03:46 AM
Airbag has the right idea, but I'm thinking of going one step further.   When I buy some good air horns for the roof, I will demote my present air horn that's underneath the front and instead put it near the door, pointing out to the right.   If some moron tries to pass me on my right when I have my right turn signal on, a quick toot just as they are level with the horn should wake them up.   My pet peeve is when I am making a tight right turn that requires me to use the next lane over to avoid clipping the kerb, and with my right turn indicator on some mouth breather still thinks he can squeeze by.   And remember, my Crown is still bright yellow!   (Do these idiots try that with real school buses full of children?)

Toot toot, John
During my two year run as a school bus driver I can assure you the American driving public will do almost anything to pass a school bus including running over children. I have had many people run my stop sign but that is another subject sort of.
When making  right turns always take both lanes, in other words put the white line of the turn lane under the center of the bus making it impossible to pass on your right but watch some idiot on a motorcycle or bicycle will put themselves in harms way. Jack we posted the same info at the same time  :D


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: JackConrad on August 24, 2009, 06:07:45 AM
Jack we posted the same info at the same time  :D

Hmmmmm!  Great minds think alike?  LOL


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Airbag on August 24, 2009, 06:30:42 AM
Jack we posted the same info at the same time  :D

Hmmmmm!  Great minds think alike?  LOL

Diddo

The worst day of school bus driving I ever had: I was picking up about fifteen elementary kids most were not even as tall as a bus wheel, I made the mistake of leaving too much room between the curb and the door. I just stopped mind you my bus had a manual door so I can throw the lights and stop sign before coming to a stop just by taking the door handle just off the over center. Just when I came to a stop a car passed between me and the kids on the curb at a high rate of speed. Luckily no kids got hit, now here's the really sad part. As I was pulling away from the stop and over the radio a fellow driver Kelly started screaming for the EMT's you see he was picking up elementary and a prison guard had fallen asleep and hit him in the right rear corner of his bus and veered to the right running over his kids throwing them into the air like bowling pins. One little girl was in my son's first grade class and got broken up very badly, she recovered mostly but hearing the screaming of Kelly on the radio knowing what just happened made me cry the rest of the day.


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: RickB on August 24, 2009, 06:41:21 AM
Wifey and I and the kids are on our way home from Rochester MN taking the "scenic" route along the river and there were 5-6 short major pulls along the way I cleared most of them at 25mph and altough it was Sunday and all the convertibles had their tops down and everyone was out for a relaxing afternoon drive. The guy directly behind me in a Dodge diesel truck pulling a trailer full of, you guessed it, junk (scrap metal, corrugated roofing etc) was so close to my bumper when I looked at the reflection in the mirror he seemed to be attached! so I can't pull over and let anybody around. Keep in mind the speed limit was 55 and we are doing 65 anywhere but in the hills. Anyway the guy in the truck pulls out to pass in the double yellow zone and 4 other cars do so as well. The problem was there were a bunch of bikers coming the other way and they actually forced them off the road and gave them and us the finger as they all went by. Fast forward:

Next town main street Prescott WI and the bikers (who had turned around and passed in a civilized manner) are having a (conversation ahem...) with all the jerks who couldn't wait to....

You guessed it again... Belly up to the bar and have a few more cocktails.

All for a beer. I hope they learned a lesson, it sure looked like they were about to.

What the heck is going on in the world when people swerve and jump in front of us or cut us off just so they can sit in their Honda Civic three feet ahead of us at the next stoplight??? I thought our brains were equipped to be able to use reason as a tool when making decisions.

I've been told that the prefrontal cortex (which science says contains our ability to reason consequences to our actions) doesn't devleop fully in our skulls until our late twenties and in some folks until their mid thirties.

Wow, that explains alot!!!

The world is in such a hurry... Time sure isn't.

Rick


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: trucktramp on August 24, 2009, 06:58:56 AM
Changing lanes in a large vehicle in heavy traffic is actually simple if you remember one simple rule:  The Law of the Biggest Bumper.  This law states that he who has the biggest bumper has the right of way.  Just ask any driver of a large commercial vehicle (semi truck, bus, etc) how to change lanes and he/she will tell you to turn your signal on and start to move.  Traffic will speed up/slow down/move over to let you in.  In very heavy traffic, when there is a line of cars, look for an opening that you can use but do not signal early because that opening will go away since everyone will mash on the throttle so they don't have to be behind you.  If there is no hole, then just pick out the person to  move over in front of and just do it.  I can tell you that I have done this for many years in most major cities and never had any accidents this way.  Now for people that like to sneak beside you when making a right turn...that's a different story.  Having run over a couple cars with trailers I can tell you that you must block both lanes so that no one can get beside you (sometimes easier said than done).  You have the right of way here but I always check that right side mirror last just before making that turn to avoid the idiots out there.  Good Luck.


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Busted Knuckle on August 24, 2009, 07:02:51 AM
What? A problem changing lanes in a bus? A problem masking turns in a bus?
Oh, please say it ain't so! Ya gotta be kid'n me, problems really?

Oh OK maybe just once                                                          about every 15 mins or so! ;D

No really I don't usually change lanes that often. But I have noticed that when I signal they like to  keep coming past me unless I do it NY style 1/2 blink and start coming over! (no seriously I wait at least 1 full blink first! ;D )
I have had so many times when people just keep running up beside me or slow down when I do that anymore I just wait until I have been signaling for 1-2 mins then times up, look out big bus is coming into that lane like it or not! (I get called in on to the company 3 times to 1 of any of our other drivers! & really don't care!  It's especially fun when the calls are forwarded to my cell phone and I ask "Oh you must be that dumb SOB in such & such car? I usually hear a faint click and dead tone after that)

Now one other thing I have noticed lately the nicer the bus the worse the problem is! I can go out in one of our older buses that ain't a beauty queen and NOBODY challenges me, but let me be in one of the new buses and they try me all the time! (I think they think he ain't gonna take a chance on scratching that nice bus!)
;D  BK  ;D


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Sojourner on August 24, 2009, 10:12:59 AM
Part of my intended marking scheme for the MCI is to put this on the rear:

<-- EL PASO                                         EL CRUNCHO -->

That could be inserted into the bus magazine as “The Favorite Post of the Month”!

No traveling with bus unless you did your homework with a plan and always plan with what if situation gets heaver traffic on thorough way. Have a hard copy of a city map with the short dab of hi-liter color marked of all the approve exit in case you need to by pass the bumper traffic.

Never turn on the turn signal until you are steering into an opening.

The bigger the turn signal liter, the more they try to speed by and along with the followers. They usually honor yellow school buses because they think you have no load of school children in yours.

It good to have a GPS/sound and traffic reports if equips.

About the air horn…it is more effective to mount them right/front/side and aiming rear ward instead aiming forward to get their attentions. Even the hard of hearing driver like me will notice it.

I have only travel with Sojourner from Banger, Maine to California, from Michigan to Florida with just over 7000 miles in the late 1990’s. Many of you have traveled more but this what I have learned so far. Of course always to be about 6 ft but no more from the curb before making right turn and watch out for motor cycle and bike with your right trusty mirror.

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Len Silva on August 24, 2009, 12:07:28 PM
I rarely have a problem driving solo, just stay with the trucks.  Generally a trucker will let you in if you are changing lanes.

My biggest problem comes with having a toad.  I'm not as sure about when I have cleared the vehicle I'm passing.  Even with my turn signal on, if I leave too big a hole, some fool will jump in and try to pass me on the right.  They usually end up driving in the break down lane and telling me that I am number one.


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: larryh on August 26, 2009, 11:01:57 AM
Never did seem to have much trouble just turn on signal and count to 5 then move over LOL


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: John316 on August 26, 2009, 03:32:56 PM
Larry,

What is it!?!? I always wonder what they carry, whenever I see one on the highway.

God bless,

John


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Dreamscape on August 26, 2009, 05:28:13 PM
They just moved a 500 ton generator similar to that here in Abilene TX. Tore up some of Hwy 277 in the process!

Paul


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: larryh on August 27, 2009, 08:34:26 PM
Larry,

What is it!?!? I always wonder what they carry, whenever I see one on the highway.

God bless,

John

John that particular load is a transformer total weight 519,000 lb 25 ft wide 247 feet long and 38 total axles 242 tires three tractors the one I drive the three with up front and the 2 pushers in back 545 hp eachget abt 2.5 mpg and lots of escort vehicles.


Title: Re: Changing Lanes in Heavy traffic.
Post by: Dreamscape on August 27, 2009, 08:37:15 PM
Larry, Maybe it was a transformer that was moved here. I didn't see it, just heard about it on the news. It sure was one big sucker!

Paul