On Sat, 12 Jul 2014 06:36:30 -0700 (PDT), firstname.lastname@example.org
Likely both rather regional in use. In brittish slang "pisscutter"
denotes "not up to much"
A small airplane or land vehicle (car, truck) that appears to be
wholly inadequate for the task of transporting passengers, or even the
driver for that matter.
Mike: You drove all the way from Minnesota in this puddle jumper?
You're braver than I thought."
Tony Hwang wrote, on Sat, 12 Jul 2014 11:28:05 -0600:
At that time in the morning (8am on a Thursday), I doubt anyone was
speeding, simply because it's a two-lane road (each side) which is
windy and steep (6% grade, for about 3 or 4 very curvy miles).
The trucker was on the last of those five curvy miles, where cars in
front on a curve (threre are no straight sections of this road)
apparently were stopped (usually that's due to someone in
the left lane trying to get over to the right lane for the next
exit, but in traffic, they have to go SLOWER than the right lane
in order to cut into the right lane - but I don't know why the
cars were stopped).
Whether or not he checked the brakes isn't yet in the newspaper
record as far as I can tell.
Here's the latest on that from the CHP:
Tony Hwang wrote, on Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:05:20 -0600:
I've seen runaway lanes on interstates, but this highway is so curvy I suspect
there is not a single straight section in the entire length of the downhill
this trucker was traveling (northbound, Highway 17, at Bear Creek Road).
This article says the grade is 6%, so I don't know how steep that is
but I know the road is very curvy and only two lanes, with a Jersey barrier
in the middle most of the way.
It's 6% for about 3 or 4 miles, so, the trucker would have tested his brakes
3 or 4 miles prior anyway.
He is quoted in that article as saying:
"It wasn't decreasing speed. It kept going up 'cause it was,
like, too steep for me," Rabinderbal Singh told KTVU.
The truck's brakes were ineffective and only emitted smoke, he said.
Though he has just under three months' experience driving such a vehicle,
Singh told the station he followed his training and swerved into the
guardrail to try to stop the descending rig."
As for safety checks (whatever that includes), the article says:
"Surinderpal Singh, the owner of SBT Trucking -- which consists only of
the truck, himself and the driver (to whom he is not related) -- told
KTVU a safety check was conducted on the truck the morning of the crash,
and that it was inspected by the CHP two weeks ago."
made headlines across the nation in 1903. Steep grade, 3 miles, tight
curves. The company said he was speeding. Witnesses disagreed.
The company had changed to Westinghouse brakes for safety, but nobody
told Broady the fatal difference: they wouldn't recharge unless he let
them off completely. He set them for a smooth, safe descent and lost
his air before he got to the bottom. If he'd known, he could have
gotten his brakes back by letting them up for a few seconds.
It used to be that if a grade was too long and steep for a truck's
brakes, the engine could be used to retard the speed. Is that still
true for all trucks?
Failure to control a vehicle isn't necessarily negligence. It might not
even be culpable.
> and failure to yield to a stopped vehicle.
Failure to yield to a stopped vehicle might only be an infraction of the
> CA law may vary.
It certainly varies from your conception of it.
Tony Hwang wrote, on Sat, 12 Jul 2014 11:29:23 -0600:
Paste this into maps.google.com to see where the accident was:
The highway is the main corridor between the quaint 60's town of
Santa Cruz California and the bustling tech mecca of San Jose,
and the papers all said it carries 54,000 vehicles a day (so
presumably that's roughly around 25K commuters a day).
It's curvy. There isn't a single straight section that I know of
in the 3 or 4 miles down the hill from about 3,000 feet to about
sea level in San Jose except just after where the truck crashed
(so it never got to the straight section).
It's only two lanes on each side, separated by a Jersey barrier.
I'm told (but do not know for a fact) that the townsfolk in Santa
Cruz don't want a "real" interstate to connect the two towns
because then they'll just be a suburb of San Jose, and we already
have a half dozen of those which turn into your classic crappy
So, Santa Cruz, I'm told, doesn't want the highway modernized
because they want to keep their small beach town flavor.
I don't know how true that is, but the point is that there are
no runaway lanes on this road, and, I suspect there's no straight
place to put them.
The truck crashed almost exactly on the San Andreas fault
line, which is where the only straight section is (as the road
crosses from one continent to the other, there is a flat valley
floor of crushed rock, which is just after where the truck
The fault line is about 1/2 mile wide, and that's the only
straight part of the road, but the truck never made it to
there, but stopped a few hundred yards short of that straight
Point is, there certainly are no runaway lanes, but, I don't
think there is any room for them either.
trader_4 wrote, on Sat, 12 Jul 2014 05:38:06 -0700:
This article says everyone saw smoke coming from the truck's brakes.
What does that tell us about what was happening with respect to friction?
Smoke from brakes means the brakes are failing, the brake material
starts to heat up which causes gases from the binder materials to come
to the surface, Those build up between the shoes and drums and act like
lubricant. The friction starts to drop BUT the friction is still enough
to cause heat that can ignite the grease and rubber components in the
Just like holding the brakes in a car. Both cause brake fade.
The problem then becomes, can you let off the brakes and let them cool,
as well as did the shoes get hot enough that it glazed the shoes and
drums. If that happens you lose a LOT of braking ability.
On Sat, 12 Jul 2014 09:03:59 +0000 (UTC), Jesse Davis
In this particular situation, with the smoking brakes, the problem was
the overheated brakes. He didn't even have enough braking power to
overcome the 6% downgrade. You could say in the simplest terms that
he would only need 0.06 coefficient of friction and didn't even have
that so his speed was increasing instead of decreasing.
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