Tuesday, 3 April 2007
|1006 - One spot I wouldn't want to meet a trucker|
US 129 on the Tennessee-North Carolina state line, through Deals Gap, is known as the Tail of the Dragon. It looks like a fun drive for motorcycle or sports car. Unfortunately, it also appears to be used by truckers who don't know any better, and the results are sometimes less than wonderful...
current mood: calm
current music: The Allman Brothers Band - Midnight Rider
Been there, Drove that, with a full load, and lived to tell about it.
It's all about speed control.
I believe it. Question is: would you do it again, or pick another route?
That depends on a few factors:
1. Where the load originated.
2. The destination of the load.
3. The weight and CoG of the load.
4. Where the trailer tandems are positioned to get a legal weight distribution.
5. How ballsy I'm feeling that day.
The Tail of the Dragon is a tight road with many turns, switchbacks, and other hazards. It's also not the worst US highway in the country for those hazards. US250 in WV (south of I-80) is worse, by far, than the Dragon.. it's just less traveled.
Having said that... many of the accidents I saw on that webpage could have been avoided if the other vehicles were paying attention. Trucks don't necessarily have the right of way, but if a truck is in the middle of a turn like that, the trailer is GOING to take a tighter path than the tractor is, because of the physics of the situation. People need to realize this, and plan accordingly. Stopping for 30 seconds to avoid being towed seems to be a good tradeoff, if you ask me.