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Old 01-14-2013, 09:45 PM   #15
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The only complaint I have about handling is when you get too close to the rear end of a semi at highway speeds— which generally happens to me only when one passes me and cuts back into my lane too close ahead of me. I am required to take defensive driving classes every three years for work, and some of the lessons have finally sunk in, so I tend to maintain a good following distance whenever I can. Anyway, if you get caught in a semi's slipstream, there is an odd "shimmy" that goes away as soon as you back off a little.

Three seconds separation is the recommendation. Yours truly would make that a mandatory four seconds.

And take an old trucker trick to get them around you faster: As soon as you see the truck start to pull out, come off your travel speed by at least 7-mph . . and then g-en-t-l-y give the throttle some pressure to start to re-gain speed. But not till he's well around you and back in Lane Two.

Shorten the distance and the time. And have positive throttle pressure as the event is occurring. But at a lower speed than the target. (This works even better when towing).

And keep your headlights on at all times. The trucker may come back in closer than you want, but the headlights will help give him a better "picture" of the space between you both.

The proper following distance is never closer than being able to see the mirrors on both sides of the big truck. Any closer is too close.

The wind-handling problem is the lack of a boat-tail or other aero device to slipstream that very tall, flat rear. There are those who'd recommend vortex generators (but real proof is lacking past anecdote). Still, I'd try them . . the truckers say that they keep the mirrors cleaner and that the tail of the trailer is less likely to move around.

Airtab

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:26 AM   #16
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Three seconds separation is the recommendation. Yours truly would make that a mandatory four seconds.
You're preaching to the choir. My mandatory every-three-years NTSI-approved Defensive Driving Course (the Army Traffic Safety Program) calls for minimum 4 second following distance, +1 second for each adverse condition (+1 for darkness, +1 for wet pavement, +1 for rain or fog, so at night in a rainstorm it's a whopping seven seconds following distance).

Maintaining that much following distance can be all but impossible on a busy highway with other drivers who lack the same training, but it's easier if you also drop your speed by 5mph for each adverse condition, so if the speed limit is 70, driving at night in the rain you would do 55 mph. If everyone ahead of you is pulling even farther ahead, maintaining a long following distance is easy.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:34 AM   #17
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Well, there goes my "Save fuel by drafting" plan!

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Old 01-15-2013, 07:02 AM   #18
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Well, there goes my "Save fuel by drafting" plan!

Funny you should say thatů I've noticed that people seldom want to tuck in behind me and take advantage of my slipstream when I'm driving my Interstate. Could be that an Interstate has an even more turbulent wake than a semi?
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:00 AM   #19
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Funny you should say that… I've noticed that people seldom want to tuck in behind me and take advantage of my slipstream when I'm driving my Interstate. Could be that an Interstate has an even more turbulent wake than a semi?
Hmm.....that could be interesting. That could really change up caravans. Everyone get in line, we'll have a convoy an all get 20+ mpg!

There should be a smiley waving a big sarcasm flag option here.

I have noticed people get behind me on the interstate when I'm driving the work van pulling a 14' box trailer and I perceive to get better mileage. I never check it, though. Maybe one day I should.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:33 PM   #20
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I have noticed people get behind me on the interstate when I'm driving the work van pulling a 14' box trailer and I perceive to get better mileage. I never check it, though. Maybe one day I should.
According to the Car Talk guys (actually, a physicist that they know), you should get better mileage with someone following you - the reason is that the turbulent air behind your trailer that would normally be slowing you down is now behind the vehicle following you. So both vehicles get an improvement in mileage, although the bigger improvement is for the following vehicle.

Sounds like a job for Mythbusters. Too bad they didn't test it when they tested the drafting myth.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:13 PM   #21
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Drafting another vehicle is not ever a good idea. Too confining for vision, too close for braking. The mpg gain is just way too small.

You're preaching to the choir. My mandatory every-three-years NTSI-approved Defensive Driving Course (the Army Traffic Safety Program) calls for minimum 4 second following distance, +1 second for each adverse condition (+1 for darkness, +1 for wet pavement, +1 for rain or fog, so at night in a rainstorm it's a whopping seven seconds following distance).

Maintaining that much following distance can be all but impossible on a busy highway with other drivers who lack the same training, but it's easier if you also drop your speed by 5mph for each adverse condition, so if the speed limit is 70, driving at night in the rain you would do 55 mph. If everyone ahead of you is pulling even farther ahead, maintaining a long following distance is easy.
]

Yeah, on the whole this is a low IQ country. They'll drive on each others tail without regard to conditions. Any road, any state. This is why I find 4-seconds workable (and appreciate the insights via training as it can be applied) given a good set of mirrors to watch for overtaking traffic.

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Old 01-16-2013, 07:02 AM   #22
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Yeah, on the whole this is a low IQ country. They'll drive on each others tail without regard to conditions. Any road, any state.
Yep. Highway math. As if 70mph right on someone's bumper is somehow faster than 70mph with a four-second following distance.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:20 AM   #23
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It's the same as pushing the elevator button 126 times after it's already lit up! It DOES make it faster.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:33 PM   #24
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I recall from my early driver's training to allow one car length for every 10 mph. When I tried that at 60 mph, six cars passed and filled the void.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:05 PM   #25
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I recall from my early driver's training to allow one car length for every 10 mph. When I tried that at 60 mph, six cars passed and filled the void.
Actually that was 1 vehicle length for every 10 mph so a tractor trailer should to allow 1 tractor trailer length back for every 10 mph which would help since tractor trailers take so much more distance to stop.

The really scary part is that so many people think a tractor trailer can stop quicker then a sports car.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:10 PM   #26
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The really scary part is that so many people think a tractor trailer can stop quicker then a sports car.
No. The scary part is they think an Airstream Interstate can stop faster than a sports car!
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:49 PM   #27
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I recall from my early driver's training to allow one car length for every 10 mph. When I tried that at 60 mph, six cars passed and filled the void.
Hi, this is what I was taught too, but it would never happen here. Now if there is half a space people cut in.
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