• Sep 20, 2006

It's rush hour, and you're late for work. Needless to say, you've got absolutely no patience for the trucker trying to merge onto the freeway, so you speed up to ensure you won't end up behind him. Later on, you cut another truck off to get into a faster lane... then slam on your brakes when the "fast" lane screeches to a halt.

This story seems to be played out every day we drive to work, but in addition to being jerks, we fools are being extraordinarily dangerous. Check out the link for Joe Hollingsworth's experience in driving a big rig for the first time. It doesn't sound like it's easy. You try changing gears nine times before you hit 45 mph. For the folks who cut off trucks, also remember that it takes them many times longer to stop than you do. For the guy who won't let the trucker merge, the truck is bigger than you and just might take the lane anyway. And if you hear a "whup, whup, whup," get out of the way -- that's the truck's tire about to blow off into your windshield. Check out the link for more tips on driving safely with trucks, and even driving a truck safely.

Also check out the AOL Autos forum where truckers have been invited to speak about their experience driving with us on America's roads. There are currently 41 pages of comments from truckers, so I guess they have some things they'd like us to know.

[Source: AOL Autos]



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  • 30 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well... what do you know, seems to me you guys all have the exact same challenges in your Country as we do here (Australia). Hopefully as a Heavy Vehicle Instructor I can shed some light on a difficult subject. www.theedgedtc.com.au

      After reading every ones input, I have realised every one is one hundred percent "right"
      I don't agree with name calling, (from the point of view we need to keep the communication channels open),... and I can understand exactly how this happens out of frustration on both sides of the fence.

      At the end of the day, we all need to "Share" the road, Heavy Vehicles do have a different set of Physics as mentioned earlier. If the Heavy vehicle Operator is trained correctly they are taught that, they are amongst the most experienced of road users and therefore must consider that not everyone understands how to work around a Heavy vehicle effectively.

      It should be noted as above that all Heavy Vehicles do have a communication network CB radio and they are being constantly updated about road and traffic conditions ahead.
      Un-fortunately there are some Heavy Vehicle Drivers out there in all continents that are cowboys, and will always be cowboys. These people drive a Heavy Vehicle to intimidate other road users by tailgating, and forcing their path through traffic.

      The only remedy for any of the above is... Patience and Understanding. That is, understand as Heavy Vehilce Operators, we are always going to come across those that are less experienced, always going to come across those that show road rage towards us because they don't understand what we are doing. Understand that we can't change anything as there is always going to be less experienced drivers on the road... Always. Display the patience required to help you get through the tough spots and not internalise the stress, as the single biggest killer on any road for a Heavy Vehicle Operator is Fatigue, and if we let the little stuff get to us like "Merging" we are setting up a Fatigue state in our physiology.

      Let's not do this as we are then the biggest menace on the roads,... a tired driver, (either in a Heavy vehicle or light vehicle). For those of you that have experienced a bad attitude from a Heavy Vehicle Driver, we are sincerely sorry, as this is not the intention of any competent operator. We would like to "share" the road with you, we don't expect you to know what we are dealing with negotiating all traffic conditions. Just do the best you can, keep focused and let us work out how to deal with whatever situation arises, we are not always going to get it right but rest assured we will be doing the best we can.

      Please don't lump us all into the same box as someone that doesn't have a clue driving a Heavy Vehicle, (yes,... we know they are out there too). If this is you that has taught themselves to drive, and find you get stressed easily, and don't fully understand how to handle a Heavy Vehicle... go and get some professional Instruction.

      I have found after years of training people in Heavy Vehicles that this is not the first and it won't be the last time this subject comes up... and there are no winners unless we all display a higher level of patience and understanding.
      • 8 Years Ago
      i guess the base assumption behind this article is that trucks that large should be allowed the same rules (or basically the same) as every other vehicle. pure and simple: wrong.

      trucks should be confined to the slower lanes and lower speeds. the commercial drivers' licenses should have additional scrutiny than they do now. finally, trucks should be limited to certain hours of the day: there should not be cargo vehicles on the road during rush hour.

      these steps would decrease traffic congestion, traffic fatalities, and fuel consumption.

      truckers may protest, but they don't understand that this will create increased demand for driver-hours, increasing their pay and creating jobs.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm 65 years old with a lot of driving behind and perhaps some in front of me.
      I have "never" met an unprofessional "big rig" driver.
      Use your turn signals, give the big guy the right of way simply because it's the smart thing to do, keep plenty of distance between your vehicle and the truck and all will be well.
      I never understood how stupid 4 wheel drivers are until I accompanied my truck driving son in law on a trip. What an eyeopener that was.
      So all you drivers keep those big wheels rolling.
      • 8 Years Ago
      To all of you that are complaining, your'e looking at it the wrong way. Drivers are the eyes and ears of the road. Whenever we travel on the interstate, we take along our CB. Drivers let us know where the BEARS are, which lane to be in if there is a accident, which route to take to avoid any problems, if there is any horrible weather ahead. Honestly they are a wealth of information that we value. My husband also loves to hear about which vehicle has the "hot babe." So to all you 4 wheelers take it easy and enjoy the ride.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I never have issues with trucks, I give them the room they need, and trucks around here (Nevada) usually stay out of peoples way and everyone co-exists.

      Just share the road, you will be fvcked if you get in an accident with a truck (as in, dead), so just do what you can to get along.

      Everyone is telling these horror stores, but I have never had an issue with large trucks in CA, NV, OR, etc. - it just seems like mutual respect.
      • 8 Years Ago
      i'm a motorcycle rider too, so i understand that plight as well.

      i'm amazed at the hostility to my proposal of simple regulatory changes... people telling me not to breed and such.

      fine, i'll bring it down a little closer to their level... maybe it's the lower socioeconomic and education levels of the people we're talking about here: www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err10/err10App.pdf

      it's too bad they don't have more education or some natural talent... they could be doing something else.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm with Kieth, I have never had a problem with trucks in CA. But then again, my dad and both my brothers drive so maybe I have a little better understanding of what a trucker has to deal with on the road, and I give them extra courtesy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      SOME THINGS TO REMEMBER!

      1. Why was the interstate system built? COMMERCIAL COMMERCE not to get "car drivers" to work faster! Stay off the interstate if it "bugs" you.

      2. Like with anything else, there's bound to be a "bad apple" or two, BUT THE VAST MAJORITY of truck drivers DO NOT act the way some have described.

      3. For those who cry about trucks being "slow", SO WHAT! Why should a truck driver whos on the road ALL DAY have to be concerned with YOU getting to work on time during your 10-20 minute commute?

      4. As others have stated... WITHOUT TRUCKS WE HAVE NOTHING! PERIOD!

      5. FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT TRUCKS AND THE OPERATORS... THERE IS 500X's MORE CARS MAKING THINGS WORSE!

      GROW UP!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Bob

      Do future drivers a favor: don't breed. We have enough of people like you in the States. Me, me, me, me, some more for me !!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just want to make a living? How about the Trucker who purposly blew my car off its jack when I had a flat?
      • 8 Years Ago
      reply to Jeff Pollak re #9: I'm sure he told you that personaly or you must have been standing in the center lane to see that he could have changed lanes or at least lock up his brakes to pass you slowly. Perhaps he created the draft on purpose. On his behalf, I apologize for the driver. Not all drivers can be God.
      • 8 Years Ago
      my experience is that american trucks are very uncourteous and impatient.

      in taiwan, big rigs will graciously slow down if they see someone in front of them using their turn signal to get into their lane.

      in the US, they actually speed up cuz they don't want to get cut off.

      trucks are so damn slow, so just let the faster car pass damnit!!
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