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red tractor fever

Road Construction

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Rolled up on some a few days ago. Pilot car is running east and west. We're facing north at  T intersection wanting to go east. The guy controlling the intersection comes up. I greet him with a "Hey buddy, what's going on?" Just my nature. The guy smiles and says, " Your the cheeriest person I've seen all day. " It sounded like everyone else wasn't so nice. 

I must be wired different. Don't see the point in being rude to the flagger. Sure it's a inconvenience but it's usually nice when their done.

 

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I always try to talk to them if you were standing there all day wouldn’t you like a hi how’s it going

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The problem with road construction now a days is that ALMOST every one will have you wait for a pilot car, or wait for the light to change.

I've been stuck in line waiting for a pilot car when the construction zone is only a couple of hundred feet long, on a straight section of road, but the GD stop lights are far worse.

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They are finally done with a 24 mile stretch right through our farm area. Waited a lot at   Flag cars. One young lady was working on summer break from college. Another lady worked and helped family farm . Another chatty lady worked for paving company. Thank god they are done now. Must be different up here one of the ladies said older people especially were giving her cookies, drinks and fruit even my buddies dad was taking one of the flaggers our for dinner on Thursday nights. He was 85 she is 37.

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came across the same situation in Montana headed back with a load one hot summer day. lady flag-er looked beat . I reached over to the cooler and pulled out a Pepsi and a beer. She said she rather of had the ice cold beer ,but better take the Pepsi .  

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33 minutes ago, Art From DeLeon said:

The problem with road construction now a days is that ALMOST every one will have you wait for a pilot car, or wait for the light to change.

I've been stuck in line waiting for a pilot car when the construction zone is only a couple of hundred feet long, on a straight section of road, but the GD stop lights are far worse.

Used to be you could leaves section of road open with a few cones and people used common sense to keep things moving, not a real common virtue today, and when it goes awry they call a lawyer 

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So I'm driving down the road one day and come up on "slow down, road construction ahead", stop in a line of cars and wait for the pilot car. It finally comes from the other way and we get to go. As I'm driving I notice there is no construction equipment, state pickups or anything on the side of the road. We went maybe a mile where the pilot car pulled off at the next flagger and went on our way. So, we got a complete flagger/pilot car set up with absolutely no road construction crew! So, was this flagger/pilot car school? Did these people screw up at their last assignment and were banished to middle of nowhere highway 83 in some sort of purgatory? Somewhere was there a road construction crew w/o a flagger crew? The next day they were gone with no sign they had ever been there. Am I not getting enough sleep? Anyway, I agree with those above, if I'm first in line, I will visit with them and offer a bottle of water or coffee. Met some really nice people and I would not want their job!

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A small hardly used pat of my job.  I've had people ask me "how Da#n stupid are you people?' as well as other "colorful" suggestions.   know many who think it's an easy job that they'd "love to get paid to do."  I ask them if they want to stand on amesite in the same spot for 8 hours on a 90+ degree day?  They're tune usually changes quick.

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Seems to be a trend last couple of years around here to close the whole road instead of leaving one lane open. Can think of a bridge project or 2 and the back way into town is completly closed right now. Not sure what is up with this but damn inconvenient if you didnt know or forgot it was taking place.

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Couple of things at play here the most significant one being this little thing called liability. Heck one guy up here was on a road that they were putting down oil and gravel.  He got impatient drove around some cones and  splashed some oil onto his nearly new car. Then he spent the better part of 2 weeks trying to find a lawyer to take his case. He wanted to sue the state, county and the company doing the work.

But you let there be an accident because there are no flaggers/pilot cars. Lawyers will be lining up for days!

Don't matter how it use to be. Lot more cars on the road today too.

Now if it's your local area you should know when the roads are going to be closed. So if there is an alternate route, even if it's longer, and you want to whine about how long you sat in line........well that's yer own fault. Most of the people I know who do that have ample money......they just want something to whine about. If I'm going to take a trip I can look up construction on the puter......and route myself around it!

 

Rick

 

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When I was about 18 or 19 was working on US-131 on the south side of Big Rapids.  When it was my turn to flag I loved it.  Saw a lot (and ended up dating a few) good looking women and talked briefly w/ many nice people and saw a lot of strange stuff (eg - a goat in the passenger seat of a VW Beetle).

So one day I flip from SLOW to STOP and the guy in the first car stopped came UN-GLUED!  He began screaming about why did I stop him, did I know he was a very important man, he'll have my job, ya da, ya da.  At first I was nice but as his rant went on I found it funny and began laughing at him.  Well! he wasn't going to stand for that and he gets out of his car and starts my way.  I was preparing for a fight when next thing I know Gabby running the 235 notices what's going on the swings around and starts banging the bucket on the pavement.  Gabby yells to the guy that he better get his azz back in that car before he and the car get flattened.

The guy sizes up the situation and gets back in his car and sits there steaming until the on-coming traffic has cleared.  I keep the STOP side facing him for a few extra seconds and then flip it to SLOW.  He starts off and I'm chuckling at him and give the old "Bye Bye!" wave.

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I've been around a lot of road construction here in SE Penna but I'm not familiar with the term 'pilot car'. From the way it is used here I'm guessing it's a car that leads you through the construction zone.  

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4 minutes ago, Dave Downs said:

I've been around a lot of road construction here in SE Penna but I'm not familiar with the term 'pilot car'. From the way it is used here I'm guessing it's a car that leads you through the construction zone.  

Pilot vehicles are used more often today for zones that are relatively long.  When I was involved if the work area was lengthy it was only walkie-talkies.  If shorter it was line of sight from one flagman to the other w/out walkie-talkies.

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31 minutes ago, Dave Downs said:

I've been around a lot of road construction here in SE Penna but I'm not familiar with the term 'pilot car'. From the way it is used here I'm guessing it's a car that leads you through the construction zone.  

I’m in south east pa too. No clue about this pilot car.  Never heard of it. Just a flagger at each end. Now penndot doesn’t even use their own flaggers much. There’s a company called flagger force  that seems to do most of it.  Are people really that dumb they need a car to follow.  Just don’t drive thru the cones into a ditch and you’ll be alright

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Penndot uses pilot cars here in district 3 all the time.  Maybe the district you guys are in does not use them so much. I thought it was standard practice for them anymore.

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When I was the first time in de USA and I saw someone with a flag on a construction area, I really had to look 2 times. In Belgium they put temporarily traffic lights. It's something I've noticed several times that there are more low payed jobs in the US that doesn't excist in Europe.

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before my Dad retired because of health he took a job flagging for a construction co. and they were cutting a hill side for fill dirt with pans big motorized one's and this woman every evening before quitting time would not stop for either flagger on either end of construction zone as she would go one way and in a few minuets would go back the other way until a drag pan stopped her as the operator came off the high bank of the road in 3rd gear running over her and her car she's now quadriplegic! no matter how big of a hammer ya use ya can't pound common sense  into stupid people during trial Dad was called to the stand twice to testify turns out she didn't get a penny and her car insurance didn't payoff either russ    

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'Tilla's story of the guy in the excavator reminded me of one of my own. Was replacing a culvert on a well-used shortcut between two major roads, big "ROAD CLOSED'  'BRIDGE OUT' signs on either end. 12' wide 10' deep cut clear across the road. Guy comes flying over the hill, skids to a stop almost hitting the crane sitting in the middle of the road. Gets out of his car, runs towards me yelling and screaming like a maniac. Gets in my face then abruptly stops, runs back to his car, slams it in reverse spinning tires back up the hill. Puzzled, I turn around to see two of my laborers, both very big and very black, standing behind me, arms crossed!

As for Flagger Force, my experience has been that the average traffic cone is smarter than the average Flagger Force employee.

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Around here if the flagger makes a complaint you either get a ticket in the mail, or if it was more serious they will press charges.  Happens a lot

 

2 minutes ago, Dave Downs said:

As for Flagger Force, my experience has been that the average traffic cone is smarter than the average Flagger Force employee.

Sometimes we end up working along the road, and need flaggers, let’s just say we don’t chose the welders

 

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Two of my friends is were hit by drivers while flagging, both injured and off work busted up pretty good.  One guy 6'2 and near 300lb dressed in flor yellow safety gear head to toe, lady said she didn't see him standing in middle of road holding stop sign.  

Couple girls flagged on another job with us, mail man which I happened to know would cuss them out regularly.  After they told me about it I never saw him again, which was a good thing for him.

Cops especially on state jobs have been very good to our flaggers and workers, hassle us and they will get you.

Working on highways with traffic zipping by at arm's length is unnerving, inside a machine ain't much better .

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7 minutes ago, Dave Downs said:

'As for Flagger Force, my experience has been that the average traffic cone is smarter than the average Flagger Force employee.

Them and we have a company here called "Traffic Plan".  They are a joke. I don't believe they send them to a Penndot approved flagger training. I would be surprised if a lot of them had their certification.  Makes me cringe all the things I see them doing wrong that endanger themselves and the motoring public.

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 here on a major job they will use a pilot car it allows machines to run. Right up till the line gets there in the traffic lane if needed....

Some places I've seen the road route change alot in a day so I see the neeed for a pilot car.

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If you're a flag man the safest place to be is at your house in bed.  I just hate flagging luckily I don't have to do it very often, it's much safer to be in the equipment.  The flagging school is just as bad to be in.

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Here in the construction season the flaggers actually make some serious money.. they were talking 23 an hour plus benefits. Avg of 7O hrs a week. But winter time they need to find another job. 

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The biggest thing you have to remember as a flagger is to use more then one finger or people find it mean or rude, really!  I guess they wouldn't like the finger I'd like to use.

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