garbage trucks

140 viewsEngineeringOther

I was driving today and stopped at a stop sign waiting for a garbage truck to pass, but then it turned on its blinker and turned right. I noticed that both the passenger AND driver side had steering wheels and both were turning their steering wheels. How does that work???

In: Engineering

8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

In Germany, driving schools have cars where the instructor has their own set of pedals and the two sets are mechanically linked. Even [a second steering wheel](https://www.abendblatt.de/region/kreis-lauenburg/geesthacht/article232575611/Ein-eigenes-Lenkrad-fuer-den-Beifahrer.html) can exist, although that’s not typical. I don’t know about your garbage truck, but I guess it’s similar for its steering wheel. Linking two wheels to move in the same way is pretty easy to do.

Anonymous 0 Comments

[deleted]

Anonymous 0 Comments

From my understanding, the duel steering and duel peddles are for specific circumstances like one way streets and such.

Our garbage trucks in Australia are all like this per standard. I assume it’s so the driver can change seats and have better visibility on the other side when it’s necessary.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I have to admit I have not seen this on garbage trucks. But I assume it is a rear axle steering system. This have been used on fire ladder trucks and on special long cargo trucks. By steering the rear axle it is possible for longer trucks to take tighter corners. Some of these systems are automatic and quite common but manual systems are better as you can actively avoid obstacles with the rear. But the addition of another steering control is usually too much for a single driver so these have a second driver in the rear acting as a tiller man.

I assume that the garbage truck might have some issues with manoeuvrability in tight street among parked cars. In addition to being able to take tighter corners that normal trucks can not they can also crab walk making it easier to get into a curb. Garbage trucks usually does not have room in the back for a tiller so they have probably mounted it remotely in the passenger seat. Garbage collectors usually work in pairs so one can be driving the truck while the other can be working outside, this setup allows the second employee to sit in the passenger seat and help control the truck or they can lock the steering and go outside. Quite a smart setup which makes me wonder why I have not seen it before.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I worked with city garbage and recycling years ago, and the drivers used the steering interchangeably based on which side of the road they were collecting on, so they didn’t have to move as much to either get to the street or be able to access the side controls.

It might not seem like it’s very far, but when you need to get out of the truck 400 times a day it really adds up.

Anonymous 0 Comments

My son is a garbage man and has worked for many years driving a variety of trash related vehicles.

For safety reasons, they use the left side when driving into main streets etc, while in urban neighborhoods they use the right side drive. This gives better visibility to objects on the right side of the vehicle.

What you saw was a helper and a driver both in the vehicle. If it was a major street the person on the left was driving the vehicle and the helper was driving along.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They use the right hand drive when they are loading with the hydraulic arm in congested areas. They get better visibility being closer to the side they need to “hit the mark” to pick up the bin without missing and making a mess to clean up.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If the driver doesn’t have a helper and has to hop out to empty cans this allows driving from the curb side and not jumping out into traffic at every stop.