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elbanditoroso's avatar

What's the real meaning of "No Trucks" signs?

Asked by elbanditoroso (25515points) December 21st, 2015

I was running an errand over lunch and a couple of questions clicked in my mind. These have to do with “No Trucks” signs.

Sign 1: NO THRU TRUCKS This implies to me that trucks of any size and weight are allowed, but they can’t use that road as a through road—if they’re going to use the road, it’s because they are going to make a delivery somewhere along the way. I imagine that the County wants to discourage through trucks on that road and would prefer them to be on the state-numbered road a mile or two away.

How do they enforce it? Does a policeman follow the truck to see if he really is cutting through?

Sign 2: NO TRUCKS. This seems meaningless to me – you have to allow trucks along the road—garbage trucks, moving trucks, delivery trucks, fire trucks, etc. This simply sign doesn’t make sense. It can’t possibly be enforceable.

Sign 3: NO TRUCKS OVER 26,000 LBS. This is another one that confuses me. Are they saying that there is some bridge or culvert that is so weak that if a 27,000 lb. truck comes through that the road will cave in? If so, how do moving trucks and fire trucks survive?

Or is this a not-very-subtle way of saying “18-wheelers keep out”? And if that’s the case, why not say that?

Curious minds want to know.

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10 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

Out here the “no truck” signs always have a tonnage limit like “No trucks above 15,000 lbs.” And there’s usually a stylized truck with a red line drawn diagonally through it. Some of the signs will just have the lined out drawing in a big circle with “6 tons” underneath the picture.

Cruiser's avatar

No through trucks usually means you won’t be able to get your truck out if you go in usually because there is nowhere to turn around.

No trucks means just that and I have that outside at the entrance to our driveway for employees and customers because our driveway and asphalt parking lot is not meant for heavy truck traffic. I have a reinforced concrete delivery driveway just for semi’s.

No trucks over “X” weight means the road and or bridges on that road are not meant for heavy trucks and may also be a means of keeping trucks off residential roadways. We have a no truck route near my work that is always getting truck drivers $700.00 tickets.

JLeslie's avatar

I like @Cruiser‘s answer.

What’s always tricky to me is do those signs ever mean no pick-up trucks? Or, what if I am driving a pick-up truck with some sort of trailer behind it?

majorrich's avatar

In many cases it has to do with how the road is constructed. Many residential streets have about 8 inches of asphalt over maybe 12 inches of aggregate. Asphalt is, technically speaking a liquid and will deform under certain loads, then it will crack. Cracks are bad because no matter how hard you try to keep water out, it will get in there and tear the road apart through freezing and thawing. I know the road I used to live on had no asphalt at all on it and was merely limestone with tar spread over it, then a thin layer of gravel over that. A steady diet of heavy trucks would (and did) turn the road into a muddy track in very short order.
Some interstate highways, like parts of I-70 were build super tough. Enough to land large aircraft on in the event of an emergency. Obviously any kind of truck would have no problem at all on these routes.
Bridges are a tricky thing. As they age, sometimes their ability to take heavy loads with vibration causes them trouble. They are on a list, and someone checks it twice. Gotta find out in someone important lives close would be nice. Rebuild man is comin’ to townn..
Of course a small diet of fire trucks and heavy trucks can still use these roads as needed, mostly they are out there to prevent a steady flow that can cause trouble and necessitate expensive repairs.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

It means a lot, but trucks that have a definite reason for being there ,like no other way to a certain business are most times exempt from this.
Can be low over head wires, a low underpass, a weak bridge and so on.
and for no other reason they just want to keep heavy truck traffic out of certain areas.

jca's avatar

I live in an area where there are old, historic “parkways” that were built in the 1920’s, when they were one lane and used for cruising. Now those are two lanes and used to commute from the bedroom communities and rural areas to New York City and other cities outside of Manhattan. Now people are going 80 mph on these roads. They have overpasses over them that are not made for tractor trailers. They can barely accommodate a van.

What happens on these parkways is that truckers will use GPS that are made for regular
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jca’s avatar
I live in an area where there are old, historic “parkways” that were built in the 1920’s, when they were one lane and used for cruising. Now those are two lanes and used to commute from the bedroom communities and rural areas to New York City and opeople not trucks. The truck GPS would tell the driver that these parkways are for passenger vehicles only, but the regular GPS has no need to tell such information. The trucks get stuck under the overpasses. This necessitates emergency vehicles coming out to assist, and results in huge traffic jams while the regular traffic gets backed up. The drivers get huge fines but it still happens.

@jLeslie knows, because she is from this area.

ibstubro's avatar

A through truck is one that passes through a town without having an origin or destination in that town. If a truck originates or has a scheduled stop within that town, it would not be affected by a through truck prohibition.

No trucks means no trucks without specific business on that street.

No trucks over ____# is, as @majorrich suggests, primarily to protect the integrity of the road bed itself.

JLeslie's avatar

The parkways in @jca‘s part of NY are narrow and twisty, and many spots you have to go well below 55 and you might have a partition wall right up to the line, no shoulder, and too often the exits and entrances have no merge lane. She’s right that in a regular SUV it’s a little hair raising already if you aren’t careful.

In TN near Memphis, more than once when I lived there a truck that was too tall crashed an overpass bridge. This was in an actual interstate.

majorrich's avatar

@cazzie what a beautiful bridge. At least in the before picture. Using it for my wallpaper for a while. Thanks!

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