Travelling speed

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Travelling speed

Postby Rusape » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:56 am

How fast do you travel? Is speed ever a major consideration in your planning? Does anyone in a truck ever travel at 110kph where safe to do so?

Now I'm used to driving at 110kph - 130kph on roads that allow those speeds. Obviously this hasn't been in a 14t truck.

I'm cognisant that I have to re-educate myself on a different style of travel in a large truck, but I am curious to enquire...

Do truck-driving overlanders, travel at lower speeds because they have time the to travel and don't feel the need to go faster; is it a fuel economy/cost decision; do they feel the vehicle is incapable or unsuitable to sustain higher speeds? Does it become too uncomfortable and noisy at more than 85kph? Does having a big box on the back make it an unstable and horrid experience?

When travelling I often enjoy trundling along, but frequently it isn't just about the journey. The tedious and endlessly straight roads in Northern Cape /Namibia/Botswana, where there is little to see, it's more about getting to a destination, or indeed just covering the monotonous mileage. What about wearisome motorway travel ?

My motorcaravan will be capable of maintaining 110kph easily, so do I have a rude awakening ahead?

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Re: Travelling speed

Postby jonbull » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:15 am

Rusape wrote:
My motorcaravan will be capable of maintaining 110kph easily, so do I have a rude awakening ahead?

I don't know about "rude awakening, but I think you'll have some big fuel bills........ :D :D

I find that in any of my trucks, there reaches a speed where the fuel consumption figures fall of a cliff............ :shock:

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Re: Travelling speed

Postby crinklystarfish » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:30 am

A very quick response is that most truck-based overlanding vehicles are a distinct handful at higher speeds. Even a humble 40 mph on a straight but bumpy road can be a white-knuckle experience.

One chap that used to post on here expressed a desire to upgrade power of his ex-army truck during the build process. He then passed his LGV test, drove it on UK roads and basically quickly realised it was plenty fast enough, in spite of its relatively anaemic power. He did go on to upgrade but only to help on hills etc, not to increase speed.

That said, such speeds on such roads will undoubtedly be very different experience with the sophisticated suspension in your MAN. I dare say 40mph will feel well under control and pedestrian.

Across the EU at least, larger vehicles are subject to speed limiter legislation (not sure how your MAN currently gets round that one) and the requirement for the fitment of limiters reflects that high speed and larger vehicles are recognised by legislators as a distinct hazard.

More to follow...

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Re: Travelling speed

Postby NeilandPat » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:32 pm

My truck will sit at 65 to 70 mph all day.

However, i sit on the motorway at between 50 to 55 mph. The truck is very happy at this speed and is only at about 2000 to 2200 rpm and very quiet. We regularly listen to music from the phone at this speed.

To be honest i really dont ever feel like going faster.

My view isxat a lower speen you can actually enjoy the journey more knowing that the stresses on the vehicle ate a minimum and your fuel consumption is at a maximum.

On windy passes I probably average about 10 to 15 mph bearingbin mind that it takes just as long to come down them as it does to go up them.

For us life feels better going a bit slower, the journey is a big part of the experience, why rush it.

Thats my take


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Re: Travelling speed

Postby seadog1 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:49 pm

Hi , we have just fitted the 14Rx20 wheels to ours so she will cruise happy at 56mph in line with most uk trucks so not forming a line behind and the fuel economy will be at its best .
But as well as that I really enjoy that speed , you have time to take in the view and chill a bit , we intend to go full time so the amount of miles will rack up , if your not enjoying the driving then whats the point ?

just my feelings on it :D

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Re: Travelling speed

Postby crinklystarfish » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:12 pm

For us, bumbling is definitely where a good deal of the enjoyment lies in the whole overlanding process and slow speeds on back roads / trails is what we aim for by default. Anywhere between 10 and 40 mph serves well in these conditions, depending on the trail conditions and levels of landscape / natural history / cultural interest.

As has been identified, the faster you go, then greater is the danger, stress, noise, fuel consumption, wear and tear, and so on.

That said, most trips invariably throw up long tracts of autoroute / trunk roads that are primarily pretty dull and - however it's stacked - basically a means to an end. On these sections, we generally cruise at about 48-50 to minimise the negatives outlined above. Sometimes - if it's busy and to keep up with the flow of truck-traffic - we'll increase cruising speed to the EU harmonised 90kph/56mph, I don't enjoy it though. In our old truck, 56mph definitely requires increased concentration.

Upwards of 60mph in ours; basically a fairly crudely engineered, 23 year old ex-military truck in more or less standard trim starts to become more lottery than fun.

And therein lies the rub. The upper cruising speed on days when you just need to cover ground - for me anyway - should arguably be dictated by the capability of truck and driver rather than a simple arbitrary figure. If the truck will safely and comfortably do the speed limit applicable to it (for eg 70mph on motorways for a 'motorcaravan' in the UK), then why not. On the other hand, if it starts to shake, bounce around and is through the meat of it's power curve at 50mph, then going any faster may mean you're heading for the ditch or a scrapyard.

For the record, m'lud, as unavoidable as they are, I don't like 'ground-covering' days and try to minimise them as much as possible.

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Re: Travelling speed

Postby ClivePhoto » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:30 pm

My DAF will cruise at 50 mph though it's around 2500rpm, the start of the red line, at this speed. I'd like to be able to cruise at 50 closer to 2,000 rpm.

I like not having to worry about overtaking anything, let them worry about overtaking me. Also being so high up you get to see over hedges and fences so the journey is far more interesting than in a car. Bumbling along is relaxing, I just don't go anywhere I have to hustle to in a hurry. Another great thing about the truck is it doesn't matter if you have to take 2 days for a trip everyone else can do in 1. Just another interesting place to stay over for the night.

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