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Where are Chevrons in the MUTCD?

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  • Where are Chevrons in the MUTCD?

    Received a question from a Georgia firefighter who was having trouble finding reference to the chevron pattern for the rear of fire apparatus listed or even mentioned in the higheay standard, MUTCD.

    Question--
    I trying to find official references for the color and size of chevron markings on fire apparatus. Your article , and others, refer to MUTCD Sections 6F.57. Searching this ref on the internet leads me to a section on High Level Warning Devices (Flag Trees). Can you point me in the correct direction?

    Reply--
    Doesn't exist under the category of 'chevron' in any highway standard. DOT only recognizes what they call 'vertical panels'. They are referenced in the MUTCD 2003 Edition, Revision 1, Chapter 6F.

    We, the fire service, have adopted the protocols brought to the US by Chief Bill Peterson, formerly of Plano TX FD. His department was the first in this country to put chevrons on fire and medical vehicles.

    MUTCD Chapter 6F. Temporary Traffic Control Zone Devices Standard:

    Vertical panels (see Figure 6F-7, Sheet 1 of 2) shall be 200 to 300 mm (8 to 12 in) in width and at least 600 mm (24 in) in height. They shall have orange and white diagonal stripes and be retroreflectorized.

    Vertical panels shall be mounted with the top a minimum of 900 mm (36 in) above the roadway. Where the height of the vertical panel itself is 900 mm (36 in) or greater, a panel stripe width of 150 mm (6 in) shall be used.

    Option:
    Where the height of the vertical panel itself is less than 900 mm (36 in), a panel stripe width of 100 mm (4 in) may be used.

    Standard:
    Markings for vertical panels shall be alternating orange and white retroreflective stripes, sloping downward at an angle of 45 degrees in the direction vehicular traffic is to pass. Vertical panels used on freeways, expressways, and other high-speed roadways shall have a minimum of 169,000 mm2 (270 in2) retroreflective area facing vehicular traffic.

    Option:
    Where space is limited, vertical panels may be used to channelize vehicular traffic, divide opposing lanes, or replace barricades.

    Now, put all that away. Here's the nuts and bolts for US Fire Service chevrons...

    The back of the apparatus shall have a barricade pattern with 6” red stripes on a lime-yellow background. The back of the apparatus that will have the barricade pattern shall be smooth aluminum painted red to match the vehicle. The lime-yellow sheets go on the red painted surface, and the 6” red stripes go over the lime-yellow.

    Contact for 3M Lime-Yellow: Rollie Bible, 3M Traffic Control Materials Division, St. Paul MN, 651-733-3590. Specs for the barricade pattern materials are as follows.

    Lime-yellow background material:"3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG3 Fluorescent Yellow Green Sheeting 4083" (Pronounced "D-G-Cubed")

    Red 6-inch diagonal stripes: Scotchlite Electronic Cutable Film – 1172 – Red.

    Optional treatments for the rear barricade pattern: 1160 Protective Overlay Film. (This is like putting Teflon over the reflective film; it makes it easier to clean.) 880i (ink) clear edge seal. (This keeps dirt out of the first row of cells at the edge of the sheeting.)

    3M Contact Person:

    Rollie Bible
    3M Traffic Safety Systems
    Research Specialist
    3M Center, Bldg 235-3B-55
    Saint Paul, MN 55144-1000
    Office (651) 733-3590
    Cellular (612) 695-5230
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  • #2
    Standard:
    Markings for vertical panels shall be alternating orange and white retroreflective stripes, sloping downward at an angle of 45 degrees in the direction vehicular traffic is to pass.


    Which can't be done unless they're on panels you can flip over.

    I don't terribly mind the Chevrons, but I personally wouldn't city MUTCD as the source of the standard -- because now you've set yourself up to being held to that standard even if you don't follow it. "How did you hit the telephone pole?" "I saw vertical panels that indicated I could go left or right, and I chose right."

    Vertical Panels under MUTCD are meant for places like bridge abutments or the ends of jersey barriers, not as a standard for fire apparatus.

    And I'd much rather, if it ever came down to it, defend the markings on the back of the truck as simply a reflective pattern designed to attract attention then specifically as a traffic control device.

    MUTCD 6I is the standard to be most concerned about for emergency responders, and it's pretty easy going. I suppose if you really wanted to over-regulate yourself, you can argue details like hydrant drills would count as temporary work zones with their more stringent signage requirements.

    http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2003r1/Ch6I.pdf 6I is short and sweet, and not that onerous. Most of it comes down to use what you have on hand for minor / moderate incidents, and call in the highway department for long duration incidents.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yep,Cities downsizing,companies shrinking,now the Gov wants us to put out cones and signs. Just a little more Gov mandated(unfunded)stupidity.I'll leave this guy bleeding and jump right onto that.Chevrons can be a good idea but getting rid of stupidity and the lost sheep syndrome might be an even better start.3M does make some marvelous products for the job however. T.C.

      Comment

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