Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
trucking, transportation, cab, trailer, bogies, design
Growing up in Maine, the trucking industry is an ever-present part of life. With a very sparse, lightly used rail system, almost all of the raw materials and goods that enter and leave the state do so by truck. Truckers in Maine are constantly challenged by Maine’s roads, which can often be difficult or even treacherous to navigate. The rough logging roads near Jackman or Millinocket, or the sharp ninety degree turns near the Portland oil docks, can ruin a trucker’s day, or even worse, cause an accident. For example, there is a tiny four-way intersection on Broadway in South Portland, where full-length oil semi-trucks have to turn ninety degrees as they leave the massive oil storage tanks at the docks. Broadway is a very busy road; as soon as the trucks get the signal to turn, there are lines of cars stopped at the light. The trucks have to turn wide, right into the stopped line of cars. This means the cars then have to coordinate and back up to allow the truck to turn. After much confusion and after the light has turned green, then red, then green again about ten times with the trailer completely cutting off the intersection, the truck can move on. The same thing happens along the backroads of Millinocket. When trucks come off the logging roads they usually have to turn ninety degrees onto the main road. This is tricky to do at best, and dangerous at worst. The roads usually aren’t wide enough for the truck to turn onto them without going over the other side. If the logging companies don’t build pulloffs on the side of the road for the trucks to run through, then eventually a trucker is going to try to turn on to the main road and end up in the ditch on the other side, with the trailer completely blocking the way until the truck can be moved.
Dodd, Conor H., "Design and Testing of an Automated SemiÂ]Trailer Control System" (2011). Honors Theses. 967.