New version of Toledo Talk

    July 28, 2007

Mayor proposes 3-trailer rigs on busy Reynolds Road - In King Carty's latest blunder, he is proposing allowing triple trailers - 'tri-bottom rigs' - on Toledo's Reynolds Road.

At first glance, it seems like a good incentive to keep money in Toledo, but what is the 'ultimate price'?

According the the King's Chief of Staff, Bob Reinbolt:
"Mr. Reinbolt said allowing a truck tractor to tow three trailers on Reynolds would not create a weight problem but could pose safety concerns. {emphasis mine}

How may lives is FedEx worth?

Disengage mouth before engaging brain, Carty!

posted by Plantman to politics at 8:03 A.M. EST     (27 Comments)

Comments ...

People, sign the recall.
posted by billy at 08:27 A.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

I would guess (not having weighed them myself) that a triple would weigh less than 3 individual trucks, as you would be minus the weight of 2 cabs.

As for safety, what is the issue? How is a triple rig any more of a safety issue than a motorcycle? Don't we, as drivers, need to be aware of the vehicles around us? I don't understand the issue...

I can see where the timing of lights might be a point to consider - or even the number of lights as you travel in front of the mall...

But if someone can explain, I'd appreciate it.

posted by MaggieThurber at 09:00 A.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

This is the intellect Carty utilizes after he realizes the magnitude of his blunder.

Those 3-trailer semi's carry more weight. Too much weight to be utilized through a commercial/residential area, which is what is passed through to get to the Turnpike. Those "trucks" are basically 1 and 1/4 of a normal loaded semi.

Speed Limit is based on the heaviest posted gross weight to safely transverse the road, and this "exemption" throws safety to the wind.

Gonna need a hundred extra feet of stopping space with a rig that big at speed limit.

posted by BrianInFlorida at 09:32 A.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

Maggie, it's one thing to have "weight per axle" compared to "weight towed by tractor".

Much lighter for the wheels, but a bit of strain, if any, to the truck to haul it.

It's not damage to the road as it is for junior pulling a California Stop out of a sports store into a path of one of these things.

posted by BrianInFlorida at 09:35 A.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

Hmm...solve the issue...

Have FedEx go just north of the airport on the plot of land next to the turnpike. Keeps the jobs in Lucas County...and Toledo will still gain some benefit.

Granted they may want to go in and annex the airport and land around it, but I honestly can't say I trust the city of Toledo with managing that area out there.

posted by JustaSooner at 10:05 A.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

Maggie (and all) weight is not that big of an issue (mostly packages & parcel freight). The logic in pulling multiple trailers is increased volume, asset utilization (trucks in revenue service/decrease number of trucks needed, and reduced fuel costs), and overall efficiency/speed in the transportation piece of the supply chain.
JustaSooner - I heard rumors (yrs. ago)that Fed Ex had optioned a big piece of land near Toledo Express...guess not?

posted by justareviewer at 10:22 A.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

Last Wednesday the 25th I got behind a triple trailer FED EX as it exited the terminal yard on Reynolds and then got on the turnpike in Maumee. I was right behid it going to Cleveland. It's already happening.
posted by holland at 11:42 A.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

Oh, the horror!

Would somebody think of the children?

posted by charlatan at 11:50 A.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

Carty is wrong. By allowing the three-trailers, Carty is endangering the citizens of Toledo.

Of course, if he didn't allow them, he would not be doing his job of attracting and retaining business in Toledo, and therefor still wrong. (but since he didn't say this, this must be right)

Let's face it. Carty is a fundamentally evil man. Thank God he is around. Otherwise we couldn't base our own opinions on contradicting his.

posted by thetoledowire_com at 12:11 P.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

If the FedEx triple trailer my husband and I both saw on Reynolds Rd. Wednesday the 25th was not an aberration, but now an ongoing operational policy, then a good newspaper reporter ought to able to document it fairly easily just by parking in the nearest public parking lot. Is there a good reporter or newspaper around here that monitors Toledo Talk?
posted by holland at 12:18 P.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

The safety argument is one of the most abused arguments out there. There are a lot of things that may not be the safest thing in the world, but the benefits of that activity or practice far outweigh the potential negatives. I can't believe that adding a third trailer is going to make Reynolds Road Death Valley. In fact, I would be willing to bet that some of the tanker trucks out there weigh 2-3x as much as these triple trailer trucks.

I fully support Carty in changing this law to help keep FedEx here (although I'm not worried if they move to Perrysburg either).

posted by HeyHey at 07:13 P.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

"The safety argument is one of the most abused arguments out there. There are a lot of things that may not be the safest thing in the world..."

WOW! It's attitudes like that which brought children to work in factories just over 100 years ago. Or, how about the Triangle fire? Check out this link if you're unfamiliar.

Safety is not just an "abused argument", it is a means of protecting the people. If a government can't protect the people we must ask, what do we need a government for?

posted by BKerr at 11:11 P.M. EST on Sat Jul 28, 2007     #

"...but the benefits of that activity or practice far outweigh the potential negatives..."

Kinda what Ford said about the gas tank problem with the Pinto years ago. Hit them puppies in the rear end and POOF! SOOT!

It's not about the weight, it's about having physical control of these rigs.

posted by Plantman at 07:05 A.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

Who on this board is a truck safety expert? Who here has seen the safety statistics on 3-trailers on city roads? No one. Everyone is ignorant on this issue yet everyone has an opinion. This argument boils down to "I like Carty" or "I don't like Carty". Why don't we make our judgments based on the facts of the issue and what it means to our city, rather than use it as a referendum on a single personality?
posted by thetoledowire_com at 09:49 A.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

Seems like the more important thing is to make sure the Fedex drivers obey the speed limits.

The only thing I don't like about the triple trailers is out on the highway the seem to wander a lot. I don't see that being an issue on Reynolds road.

posted by JeepMaker at 10:38 A.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

Toledowire_com raised a good point. Here is one link showing the low incidence of actual accidents involving triples,
posted by oldsendbrdy at 11:01 A.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

And here is the opposing view from a coalition opposing big trucks, Since these triple-trailers aren't allowed on "national highways", and Toledo's mayor has seen fit to permit them locally anyone (any lawyers out there) know what our city's "exposure" would be in the case of an accident involving, say, a family of four in which the breadwinner (35-40) is killed, along with a kid (say 10), and the eight year becomes a quadriplegic with a mother severly disabled from the accident. Let's say the breadwinner's annual income was $60,000 a year, and the mother pulled in an extra $30,000. I know the woman would probably go after FedEx, but what is Toledo's "exposure" in an accident like this?

How many millions is the lawyer representing the mother likely to go for? Will Carty be the cold-hearted bastard we need, or is he likely to give away the coffers while blubbering for forgiveness. Who would stop him?

posted by oldsendbrdy at 11:14 A.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

This is what I pulled of the first link about numbers involved. "From 1991 to 2001, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased from 4,347 to 4,793-up 10%." Since the number of those involving triples was only .5% it would seem to indicate that only about 24 triple-trailers were involved in fatal crashes nationwide in the U.S. in 2001. Of course, will Toledo have a lot more vehicles because of the congestion of triples leaving the terminal for the Turnpike, and vice versa.
posted by oldsendbrdy at 12:30 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

Right or wrong, the Carty Administration - namely his Chief of Staff stated that the triples "...could pose safety concerns."

So, I guess now the question is Was Carty's COS correct in saying that there are some safety issures, or did the Administration NOT research this carefully.

posted by Plantman at 01:50 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

I'm thinking some people need to take a trip down Reynolds Road from Angola to the Turnpike and grasp how many opportunities a 3-trailer has in stopping distance with all those commercial accesses doing the posted 45 mph speed limit.

Could you imagine the traffic of a truck driving less than speed limit to compensate for stopping distance? On Reynolds Road?

I'm so all for FedEx staying in Toledo, but there has to be a safer option.

posted by BrianInFlorida at 02:30 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

BrianInFlorida, this is what this NY CDL manual has to say about "following distance" for speed,, cdl10sec07.
"Remember the one plus one second rule for following other vehicles. Allow one second for each 10 feet of your vehicle's length. Plus, add one second when you travel 40 or more MPH. A 100 foot long combination vehicle traveling at 35 MPH would need 10 seconds of following distance. At 45 MPH the same vehicle would need 11 seconds." It will be interesting to see if our "courteous" Toledo drivers will allow the driver of that semi with three trailers to maintain that "following distance."

posted by oldsendbrdy at 03:45 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

BrianInFlorida I was behind a FedEx triple on Reynolds Rd last Wednesday at about 11:45 am. It was like being behind a train!
posted by holland at 07:59 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

WOW! It's attitudes like that which brought children to work in factories just over 100 years ago.

I'm sitting here hoping you're joking, but I think you're actually serious. If you can't see the absurdity of your statement then you have no hope. How you equate three trailer semis to the child labor and unsafe work conditions of early 20th century factories is beyond me.

So, in hopes of having you understand, I'll spell it out. Everything in life has an inherent risk. Driving to school, to work, or to church all have risks. Having construction companies build buildings has risks. Flying in a plane has risks. Drinking and driving has risks. Shooting up heroin has risks. Driving three tailer semis on Reynolds Road has risks. The task of responsible and objective people is to weight the potential benefits with the potential harm and come to a conlusion that will lead to an overall better life for most people.

Driving to work, school, church: Worth the risks because these activities are one of the staples of life.

Shooting up heroin: Not worth the risks. Nothing good comes of it and many bad things can come from it.

Flying in a plane: Worth it. The negatives are so rare that the positives easily outweigh them.

Driving three trailer semis on Reynolds: Probably worth it (contingent upon a safety analysis by qualified individuals). The jobs that could be saved for the city of Toledo will lead to a healthier economy and stronger city at a cost of, most likely, a relatively minor increase in the risk for automobile accidents/injuries/deaths.

If you want to get into a risk/benefit analysis then fine. You can do that and I won't complain one bit. But to say something as absurd as you did is intellectually dishonest. The "do it for the children" argument is correctly used sometimes, but many more times it is an overreaction by highly emotional people with no concept of risk analysis.

This argument boils down to "I like Carty" or "I don't like Carty".

Not really. I can't stand Carty on the whole, but I like the decision to at least investigate allowing three trailer semis to operate on Reynolds Road.

posted by HeyHey at 10:25 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

I really am not interested in the "do it for the children argument" myself, but I am interested in the "suing Toledo into bankruptcy" argument if we're party to a lawsuit because our mayor decided to offer a deal that other levels of government don't usually take part in.

Maybe our city's insurance will cover our exposure, but our esteemed mayor has jumped in with both feet again. Hope the legal department had a chance to review his offer before he made it.

posted by oldsendbrdy at 10:53 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

As for employment at the FedEx my niece works there for 3-4 hours per night (along with others). She has done this for several years. She appreciates the paycheck but FedEx isn't interested in "full-time" workers if they can be avoided because there are requirements for overtime, and benefits then. So 600 employees probably translates into less than 200 full-time jobs.
posted by oldsendbrdy at 10:57 P.M. EST on Sun Jul 29, 2007     #

How you equate three trailer semis to the child labor and unsafe work conditions of early 20th century factories is beyond me.

HeyHey perhaps I misunderstood your statement, "The safety argument is one of the most abused arguments out there."

The way I understood that was "safety doesn't matter, it's not like Reynolds Road will become Death Valley" to which I replied that indeed safety does matter. I was not equating three trailer semis to child labor. Rather, I was equating "safety doesn't matter" to "safety doesn't matter". And my point is that safety does matter - always and regardless of the severity of the situation safety should always be taken into consideration.

My point was simply that we should indeed weigh the cost of potential safety issues before jumping in head first and allowing these rigs to use roadways generally off limits to such vehicles.

posted by BKerr at 06:25 A.M. EST on Mon Jul 30, 2007     #

As a polilce officer that patrols on Reynold's Road, I have no problem with triple trailers. Semi drivers are actually some of the safest drivers on the raod. For the short distance they will be traveling, this will not pose a problem.

The only problem will be the person in too big of a hurry that needs to cut in front of the big rig. That is what causes the most accidents!

posted by Gudshot at 07:24 P.M. EST on Mon Jul 30, 2007     #

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