11 feet 8 inches

A train trestle in Durham, NC has a clearance of 11’8″.

The typical height of a large rental truck ranges from 11’6″ (don’t bounce!) to 13’6″.

How often do you think about clearance when driving? Do you think you could adjust to thinking about it 100% of the time in your rental truck?

I’ve seen parking garages that have a hanging bar well before the low ceiling to notify drivers that they are not going to make it. The bar, on chains, will bang the front of the truck but not peel the top off as the bridge does. The trucks in this video are going to quickly, this warning would have to come well before they crossed the intersection. This solution probably has problems too. I’m sure there would be drivers who were planning to turn before the bridge that get mad that a bar hit their truck. Also, getting someone to pay for and maintain the bar might be difficult as the trestle owners want to blame the drivers (and so do other drivers, if you read the comments on the video.)

More video and information is availible at 11foot8.com. Videos copyright Jürgen Henn – 11foot8.com.

5 thoughts on “11 feet 8 inches”

  1. Here’s a situation that is crying out for someone to dig up the road and lower the approaches to increase the clearance. An expensive option, certainly, but one which would not rely upon fallible human performance to avoid a collision.

  2. If you watch the videos (like I did – over and over and over again), it appears that the city took a higher tech approach – there must be an optical or ultrasonic sesnors before the bridge that triggers the warning lights. The website operator highlights a few times where the warning lights did not go on, and the truck was only clipped (as opposed to a full on peel)… which probably means that the sensors aren’t properly aligned or have a significant margin of error.

    1. Yeah, an engineering friend of mine suggested a laser system to warn over height vehicles, but the hard part seems to be getting a warning to them in time. I guess solving that is our job. 🙂

Comments are closed.