Under the Big Top

| July 10, 2001

Drivers get three sets of arrows along the road warning them a turn is coming up. First, the drivers see one arrow pointing in the direction of the turn. Approximately one half mile from the turn, two arrows are placed signaling the turn. At the actual turn, three arrows are placed pointing in the direction of the turn. After completing the turn, drivers see one arrow pointing straight up, signaling they’ve successfully made the turn.

“The last is a confidence arrow,” Beckett says.

As the drivers approach a bumpy railroad crossing or road, they’ll see up to three arrows pointing down. The number of arrows used depends on how rough the road or railroad crossing is.

“These arrows mean to slow down,” Beckett says. “If it’s an extremely rough road or railroad crossing they need to slow to almost a crawl so the animals won’t be shaken up. Logistics is important to our show.”

The drivers have the same responsibilities as other over-the-road drivers and keep daily logbooks. Parking is done by hand signals, and directions aren’t yelled out. For the circus drivers, the signal most drivers see from the public urging them to blow the air horn means the ground is soft.

“The drivers don’t look in the mirror,” Beckett says. “They’re good enough to back a semi up in the dark within inches of another vehicle. If I mess up with the directions, they know what to do.”

In the event of severe weather with high winds, the big top is attached to the semi. The tent is down, and the equipment is loaded within 50 minutes after the last show. Last year the staff broke its record time. There was a tornado warning, and the show was loaded in 45 minutes.

Under the Big Top

| July 10, 2001

Drivers get three sets of arrows along the road warning them a turn is coming up. First, the drivers see one arrow pointing in the direction of the turn. Approximately one half mile from the turn, two arrows are placed signaling the turn. At the actual turn, three arrows are placed pointing in the direction of the turn. After completing the turn, drivers see one arrow pointing straight up, signaling they’ve successfully made the turn.

“The last is a confidence arrow,” Beckett says.

As the drivers approach a bumpy railroad crossing or road, they’ll see up to three arrows pointing down. The number of arrows used depends on how rough the road or railroad crossing is.

“These arrows mean to slow down,” Beckett says. “If it’s an extremely rough road or railroad crossing they need to slow to almost a crawl so the animals won’t be shaken up. Logistics is important to our show.”

The drivers have the same responsibilities as other over-the-road drivers and keep daily logbooks. Parking is done by hand signals, and directions aren’t yelled out. For the circus drivers, the signal most drivers see from the public urging them to blow the air horn means the ground is soft.

“The drivers don’t look in the mirror,” Beckett says. “They’re good enough to back a semi up in the dark within inches of another vehicle. If I mess up with the directions, they know what to do.”

In the event of severe weather with high winds, the big top is attached to the semi. The tent is down, and the equipment is loaded within 50 minutes after the last show. Last year the staff broke its record time. There was a tornado warning, and the show was loaded in 45 minutes.

Comments are closed.

OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.