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jamesstorm
New Member

3 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2013 :  10:54:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit jamesstorm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone,

I have a 1997 GM Corbeil and I drive in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I started about 3 months ago (soon I get a raise, yay!). I feel very comfortable in my bus except for the tail swing when going around corners. I've included a link to photobucket website of a picture of an intersection. I drew a yellow rectangle on the road for the school bus and pink and rose color smaller rectangles for the cars.

http://s1195.beta.photobucket.com/user/sijdbrandon/media/531px-Street_intersection_diagramsvg_zps78c4f3b8.png.html

In a perfect world that's what the intersection in question would look like. But in my world, the intersection looks more like this:

http://s1195.beta.photobucket.com/user/sijdbrandon/media/realworldintersection_zps6ca0737d.png.html?sort=3&o=0

My questions:

- in the "real world intersection", is it possible to make it around this corner without hitting any cars? even if the lanes are very tight?

- If this was you, would you just take up both lanes to make the corner?

- is it possible to leave no tail swing with such a tight turn?

Thanks

bigredmachine
Senior Member

USA
134 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2013 :  6:42:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
James-
Tail swing is something I looked into when I first started driving (although I've only been driving about 5 months). I read a study done in the late 90s that determined that the average tail swing of a school bus is about 2.5 feet when making the sharpest possible turn. Remember that this will be slightly more with newer chassis such as the International 3300 and Vision, which have tighter turning radius'. I try and give myself 4 feet so I don't have to worry. In your case, I would first make sure that you are as tight to the curb as you can be, ensuring that 4 foot clearance on the side with cars. If you were to measure, I bet you have about 5 feet between your bus and the nearest car. (remember that the mirrors of the car are the widest points.) I would also make the widest possible turn. This would mean the front of your bus is actually in the lane closest to the yellow line. If traffic is light you can always go across the yellow line, (briefly), in order to make a safe turn. You can also allow the cars to the left of you to move through the intersection, and then complete your turn when you know that no one is to your left.
One question that I have for you is what is the curb like at this intersection? I have a situation identical to yours on my daily route, however the curb on the corner of the turn is street level, allowing larger vehicles to cut across the corner for this very purpose. If yours is similar, I would suggest doing the same thing.
Here is the link to the study I read on this topic: http://www.ntl.bts.gov/lib/10000/10600/10694/MBTC1054-1.pdf
The part on tail swing is on page 24 of the document. They refer to it as "kick out effect"
Here is my advice for you..they make a big deal about doing textbook turns, turnarounds, etc in training, but in the real world you don't get any points for style. Your main goal is to not hit anyone or anything. If you have to cross a yellow line or take something slow it will be worth it. You're already a better bus driver for having recognized your route hazards and seeking advice on how to approach them safely.
Let is know if you have any other questions, this forum has died out in recent years so your best bet would be to find various facebook groups.
-Sid

Formerly BlueBirdMan
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C.HARDY
Advanced Member

350 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2013 :  08:13:55 AM  Show Profile  Click to see C.HARDY's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I wouldnt think that smaller bus would be too bad.

"Hardybusman"
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jamesstorm
New Member

3 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2013 :  12:24:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit jamesstorm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the detailed reply bigred:)

That's what I usually do is hug the curb and go as far as possible into the turning lanes and as wide as possible to the yellow line (like you said)to make the turn safely. But sometimes those lanes are sooo tight, like there's only 2-3 feet tops to the next vehicle before making the turn. I definitely can't jump the curb as it a side walk. I just got to remember to go slow and really watch the mirrors during those turns, even if I look like an amateur:/

Hardy, My bus is the longest possible bus available, 12 passenger windows long.

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bigredmachine
Senior Member

USA
134 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2013 :  6:53:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
James- Never worry about looking like an amateur..that's how amateurs (and longtime drivers) get into trouble. Taking it slow and steady is always better than the alternative. If you haven't already, ask other drivers, and even your supervisor, about how to handle that particular turn. They may be able to give you some pointers from personal experience in the area.
Stay safe!
Sid

Formerly BlueBirdMan
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jamesstorm
New Member

3 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2013 :  09:56:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit jamesstorm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have my "S" endorsement coming up at the main office and thought I would ask the trainers and instructors about these concerns.

Thanks again Sid
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Mechan1c
Top Member

USA
686 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2013 :  3:49:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Most of us down here in the states see "GM Corbeil" and probably think Express 3500 w/A-bus body...not a 40-footer. I've never seen a big Corbeil.
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08BBVision
Senior Member

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2013 :  4:21:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit 08BBVision's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ya, that's what I thought of, do you have any photos of your bus?


My School Bus Photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tyler_officer/
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