Thursday, October 6, 2011

Management Measures Trucks

23, 7, 4, 13, 1, 1, 13, 0, 14, 27, 3, 38, 3, 4, 13, 7, 38, 40, 1, 17, 15, 11, 2, 3, 2, 13, 2, 21, 11, 4, 4, 7, 6, 14, 1, 4, 1, 2, 3, 13, 10, 10, 16, 2, 24, 23, 4, 3, 1, 8, 23, 16, 2.

Visit for this image! ManagementMeasuresTrucks_HPIM3968.JPG

I’m sitting in a lawn chair out back of The Hampton Inn in Painted Post, NY state; right by exit 43.

Through a gap in the hedge I watch the traffic roar by at 6 p.m. Thursday August 25th 2011.

There’s a silence, then a growing roar as a semi-trailer approaches, flashes past me, and disappears up or down the highway. Cars and FedEx vans scoot by in the turbulence. Silence descends for another ten seconds.

I decide to log how many cars are on the highway compared to trucks.

The figures above represent the count of smaller vehicles between each prime mover. Thus, a large truck passed, then 23 cars went by before the next truck, then 7 cars went by before the next truck, and so on.

Now I need to be more precise in my definitions:

I’m counting engines-under-power. It isn’t a car or a truck if it is piggy-backed on a truck, or towed behind a camper-van or RV. Only vehicles that are supplying motive power are counted.

I define a “truck” as “any powered vehicle capable of towing a load of 53-feet or more”, so most of the heavy 18-wheelers are trucks. I include an empty flat-bed looking for a back-hoe as a load, and I include a couple of bob-tails looking for trailers to hitch up.

At 6 p.m. Thursday evening, one in ten vehicles is a truck, on this stretch of Highway 86.

If I include commercial vehicles, like the FedEx van or the plumbers utility, it’s more like 20%.

I suspect that late at night, around 2 a.m., the ratio is closer to 50%, for Highways 86/17 are an alternate route to the big I-90 toll road that runs across New York state from east to West.

Nonetheless, at this time of this day, 10% of traffic is trucks, bringing your cereal to your breakfast table.


In the image above, taken the following misty morning, 3 non-trucks have appeared between the incidents of two trucks heading westbound up the hill.

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