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Old 03-15-2010, 08:34 AM
 
31 posts, read 82,557 times
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Hi - We are planning our move from Milwaukee, WI to Sierra Vista, AZ. Since we are taking our Dodge Ram and having a friend drive ta Penske moving truck, we are trying to figure out our route and cost of tolls.

I couldn't find a toll calculator that would calulate from point A to B, just by every entrance and exit for every freeway and that seemed way too complicated to deal with.

We've made the trip before going through IL, MO, OK, TX and NM, but didn't add up what the costs were.

Google maps gives the option of "Avoiding Tollways", and that route goes through IA, NE, CO and NM but I afraid going through alot of towns and stops would be hard for the 2 trucks to stay together.

Does anybody know of any kind of tollway calculator that would be easier to use? And has anybody ever taken the route I mentioned (WI, IA, NE, CO, NM & AZ)? If so, what would it be like the beginning of April - especially through the mountains in CO?

I know if I can get an answer anywhere, it would be on this forum where there are so many knowledgable and helpful people! Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Crew Chief; 03-16-2010 at 10:49 AM.. Reason: Changed Nebraska's state abbreviation to the correct "NE"
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,241,442 times
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The only real toll killers on your route is the Kansas and Oklahoma sections. The easiest way to avoid them is to take US-50 from Emporia to Newton, Kansas. It will add maybe 30 miles to the total distance, and its only 70 miles on the two-lane US-50 through a couple of small towns. Or, you can take I-540 from Joplin MO to Fort Smith AR, maybe about 40 extra miles, but no toll. You could also avoid those toll turnpikes by taking the Memphis-Dallas-El Paso route, but that would add some miles.

Starting out, take I-43 and I-39, which is free except for a short toll section Beloit to Rockford. That will avoid Chicago tolls.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:12 AM
 
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Headin4AZ, As a long haul trucker, I've been on pretty much every interstate in the country. And a fair amount of U.S. and state highways, too. Which sometimes can be just as good a route as the interstate (and shorter,too!)

- I honestly was never concerned about tolls. My company paid 'em via a transponder in the truck, so I never paid attention; sorry.

- If you take the IA, NE, CO, NM route, my personal favorite way to avoid Denver was (at Julesburg, NE on I-80) Take U.S. 385 South to I-70 West, then take U.S. 24 over to I-25 South. Eastern CO is fairly flat; most the mountains are West of I-25 (Southern CO gets a little hilly on I-25...)

- Only one other piece of advice, if I may; PLEASE don't lose your 'situational awareness" while trying not to lose sight of the rear of the other vehicle you are following. Nothing personal, but I've seen plenty of cases where the driver of the following vehicle could NOT focus on anything but the rear door of the rental truck. It's still important to be aware of what's going on around you on the road. Especially with a larger vehicle than you're normally accustomed to.

- Have a safe trip, relax and enjoy the ride!
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:56 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,983,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
- Only one other piece of advice, if I may; PLEASE don't lose your 'situational awareness" while trying not to lose sight of the rear of the other vehicle you are following. Nothing personal, but I've seen plenty of cases where the driver of the following vehicle could NOT focus on anything but the rear door of the rental truck. It's still important to be aware of what's going on around you on the road. Especially with a larger vehicle than you're normally accustomed to.
Personally, I think it is NOT such a good idea to do the "convoy" thing. The lead car always has to be looking for the follower. The follower usually has to speed like crazy to keep up with the lead vehicle. Either way, like Crew Chief points out, it is easy to forget about the rest of the drivers out there.

What I recommend that you do is to set up stopping points every 50-75 miles and the lead car stops and waits for the follower to catch up. Also, I would like to have a cell phone is each vehicle in case there are issues that pop up along the road. It is really helpful if you have the push-to-talk feature on your phone.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:47 PM
 
31 posts, read 82,557 times
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Thanks for all the advice. We do plan on taking walkie-talkies and cell phones so we don't have to worry about visually staying together, but maybe us as the lead car finding a stopping place and then letting the truck know where we're getting off.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,660,022 times
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Your most direct route will be through St. Louis and Oklahoma City, but you will have tolls that way. It won't amount to but about $25 for both vehicles, but it's worth the money. There are ways to go around the tolls, but the trade off in additional fuel and time would result in a net loss. If you're interested, though, let me know and I'll tell you how to do it.

If you go the Iowa, Nebraska route, CrewChief is right about US-24 from Limon, CO to Colorado Springs. It's a good route, though fairly desolate. I don't know when you're planning to go, but be aware that even as late as the first couple of weeks in May, the plains of Colorado can get some howling blizzards that will pile up snow several feet deep. I drove a big truck for over 30 years and have seen it happen more than once, so pay attention to the weather reports. US-24 is a BAD place to be stranded! If it does look like one is coming, just tie up in a nice, warm motel. It won't last but a day or two.

However, unlike CrewChief, I prefer leaving I-76 at Brush, CO and going south on CO-71. It's a good road and will give you a little less two lane to deal with. When you get to Limon, don't bother getting on the interstate. You can't because there's no entrance ramp there anyhow, so just go straight on to the "main drag" of Limon (you won't miss it) and make a right. That IS US-24.

When you get down into New Mexico on I-25, get off at Hatch, NM and take NM-26 down to I-10 at Deming. That'll save a lot of miles and it's a good road. Stay on I-10 through Benson, AZ up to the top of the hill and swing south on AZ-90. Voila! Sierra Vista!

As others have mentioned, be careful that the drivers of both vehicles don't forget about everyone else around them. Make sure the driver of the following vehicle knows that he doesn't HAVE to be right on the rental trucks bumper. With cell phones and radios, it shouldn't be a problem. I don't suggest stopping as often as the other poster did, but establishing a "rally point" every 100 or 200 miles isn't a bad idea. If the vehicles become separated, that's where you go to look for the other one.
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