Trucker etiquette

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by winds-of-change, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I work in a town that has a rather large truck stop so I encounter semis quite often. I want to be a polite and courteous driver to these truckers. Is there any suggestions, rules, tips, hints, little secrets I should know when driving around big semis? I know to stay out of their blind spot but that's about it. What else do I need to know to keep them and myself safe?
     
  2. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Yeah, let a semi into traffic, once in a while.

    Allow them to change into your lane, instead

    of whooshing by like you're driving in the Indy 500.

    NOT "scooting by" behind them, when they're backing

    up.

    NOT cruising in the next lane, matching their speed,

    for hours on end. Either PASS or back off.

    Don't jam on your brakes in front of them, while

    making the inane assumption they have the

    stopping power of a Honda.

    I'm sure I missed a few...
     

  3. jebsca

    jebsca New Member

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    Try not to get in a hurry around them. They are 80,000 lbs. This takes time to get moving, as well as time to slow down. If they are going slower than you, and you are getting ready to turn, don't pass them jus t to slow down for the turn. That same blind spot that you have in you car is MUCH bigger in a truck. Look out for turn signals. If it looks like you can sqweeze in on the right and they have a signal for a right turn, you car will get crushed before they find out you are setting in a blind spot. Give them room. Don't get too mad when they go slow. I know some companies go slower, but we are suposted to drive 5mph below the posted speed limit, and 65 is it. In short, take your time around them. A shortcut with them is a good way to take a quick trip to the ER. And I do like the not driving beside them.
     
  4. kaido

    kaido New Member

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    One that you missed that I picked up while doing long hauls with my dad, if their trying to turn into your lane, when their trailer is clear of your car, give you lights two quick flashes.

    Normally their give a "thanks you" by flashing their trailer lights back. Not sure how common it is where you are though.....I seen it lots in Ontario and on the Trans Canada.
     
  5. DFlynt

    DFlynt New Member

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    Tends to work the same way here in the U.S.
     
  6. kaido

    kaido New Member

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    I was thinking so, but it seems if something makes sense, it isn't normally the case. Haha
     
  7. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I am a believer in using the indicators to indicate where I am going (corners, lane changes) before my maneuver.

    This also informs the other drivers of my intentions (well, my intentions when on the road).
     
  8. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    This is the kind of insider information I'm looking for. I am very respectful of truckers and motorcyclists when I'm on the road. I don't crowd them.
     
  9. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Careful in Florida with flashing headlights.

    They recently passed a law making it illegal to flash lights to warn others of a speed trap, and flashing headlights could be contrued as warnings.

    (Yes, the car headlights)
     
  10. rn-cindy

    rn-cindy Active Member

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    "RELEASE THE TWINS".....What does that mean..? I see it written in the dirt on the back of alot of semi trailers.
     
  11. KJG67

    KJG67 New Member

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    Well Cindy. Lets just say you have twins and the truckers would like to see them.
     
  12. kaido

    kaido New Member

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    That to me is insanity. Soon it's going to be illegal to talk with out a license.
     
  13. KJG67

    KJG67 New Member

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    Ham Radio.
     
  14. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    And these aint your average kids they wanna see ;)
     
  15. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

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    One of my biggest complaints with cars, if I move over to let you on the interstate either pass me when you get up to speed or let me back over in front of you. Our tractors are governed at 62 mph so I am holding up traffic in the middle or left lane.

    By the way Winds, thanks for actually caring enough to ask.
     
  16. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Active Member

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    I used to have my own transport business and drove a Freightliner Argosy with a 500HP Detroit towing a 45' triaxle Tautliner and some of the things people tried to do in and around trucks defies belief.

    Some of the simple rules are don't cut a truck off at lights by cutting into the lane in front of them as they don't pull up like a F1 car and also can't accelerate like 1.

    When you are overtaking put the foot down and go like you had a guided missile chasing you and then when you get in front smoothly come back into your lane and DON'T cut straight across the front of the truck and then slow down.

    When a truck is in the right or left lane turning right or left DON'T come up the inside of the truck as there generally is a huge blind spot as the prime mover comes around and car drivers generally have no idea that the turning circle of a 45' trailer is totally different to what the prime mover has and end up with a set of tri axles over their bonnet and guards.

    DON'T ever park right up behind a trailer because the driver can't see you although a lot of trucks now have reversing cameras it still isn't smart and whatever you do DO NOT try and cut in behind a reversing trailer, you'd be surprised how many idiots try this brain fart because they can't be bothered to wait for a minute.

    Another pet peeve of mine used to be when I'd park out in the middle of a car park or yard and some clown like a lost sheep would park right next to the truck while you were either trying to roll up the tarp or getting ready to unload and they'd just park next to you and always in the way.

    On dual or triple lanes DON'T sit next to a semi for miles on end and then when you see a slower vehicle in the same lane as the semi stay with the semi until he has no room to go around the slower vehicle and THEN accelerate away leaving the driver with a truck that has lost it's revs and then he'll need a few more miles to get back up to cruise speed.

    Almost similarly DON'T sit in front of a truck and slow down for hills and then half way up put the foot down and disappear and then do the same thing again at the next hill or worse still as the truck overtakes you, you then put the foot down and speed away.

    If you have a UHF or CB radio in your car etc call up the truck and ask if it's ok to overtake and then do so and after thank him, remember most truck drivers are also car drivers and have a family to go home to as well and courtesy is a disappearing art these days.

    If you see something about to fall off or something mechanical going wrong in the truck call up the driver and let him know he/she will appreciate the call and you could possibly help in stopping an accident or a very costly repair.

    Basically just remember that he bloke behind the wheel is steering (in Australia anyway) anything up to 100 tonnes(road train 3-4 trailers hooked up) of freight and truck and his job is hard enough as it is with out some drop kick making his/her day worse.
     
  17. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Yeah, I'm thinking two trailers in the US is the max except under certain circumstances. I've NEVER seen more than two on one truck.
     
  18. readygirl

    readygirl New Member

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    ..............:eek::eek::eek:.....:D
     
  19. bluez

    bluez Well-Known Member

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    Actually the flashing yo let them know they have room is supposed to be the low beams not the high beams.

    Flashing Low Beams means you are giving a permission ( go ahead you're clear etc), flashing high beams means a warning ( "watch for cops", or "watch I am in your way" or even "outta my way").

    but most dont know this international driving etiquette so a lot of folks use high beam flash to give permissions since its easier to use than the low beams and mos tin this country dont know better.

    I make a point of doing it correctly 100% of the time and I get the (low beam) thank you flashes back form truckers.
     
  20. readygirl

    readygirl New Member

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    I didnt know there was a low beam "flash", and a high beam "flash".......lol. Which do truckers prefer....?