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Thread: Sharing the road with semi trucks

  1. #1
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    I rode with DH for about a year in his "big truck" -

    After that, I realized that there are some things that "four-wheelers" should know.

    1) If you can't see the driver's mirrors, he/she can't see you.

    2) If you are right beside the unit (tractor and trailer), the driver can't see you. (Even if you can see the mirrors) You are below where the driver can see you.

    3) Don't tailgate. A tire can blow and end up in your face. Or the driver might need to make a sudden stop. And you might end up under the back of the trailer - and you might end up decapitated.

    4) Most truck drivers do not want to be involved in accidents. It's extremely inconvenient to have one.

    5) They need to make wide swings when they turn corners so the trailer goes where it's supposed to.

    6) Don't try to sneak by on the right side of a truck when it's trying to make a right hand turn. It's near the middle lane so that when it turns the trailer won't be on the sidewalk.

    7) If a truck cuts you off (pulls into the left-hand passing lane) when climbing a hill, it's because he/she is reasonably sure that he can overtake the other trucks in front of him/her. It is easier for a car to maintain or recover speed than it is for a truck to recover. You might think the driver is #1, but that's why.

    8) Do not park in front of a run-away spot. There are very few places that a run-away truck can get off the road. And they are hard to spot.

    9) Avoid being where a driver is unsure of your intentions. If he/she needs to pass or take evasive action, don't need to worry about someone being in the left-hand lane right on one's tail.

    10) If necessary, some of the rigs can travel quite fast. It's more economical to run them at a steady speed in certain RPM ranges. (Depends on the tractor, engine, transmission, etc. etc.)

    11) Some loads have to stop for railroad crossings, etc.

    12) Strong side winds can whip an empty trailer around.

    13) If/When possible, don't crowd a truck.

  2. #2
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Good points....and funny that you should post this not 15 minutes after we had an incident with a trucker! We ran down to the local store (donut run!) and have to pull out onto Hwy 97. This intersection has a truck stop where you come out of the truck stop onto Rosland (the road I was on) then up to the stop sign about 2 truck lengths to get onto the Hwy. We got behind a trucker that was pulling out of the truck stop....and he STOPPED in the middle of the road BEFORE the stop sign... We could see him in his mirror -- he was talking on the phone. We waited...finally, he crept up to the sign. Then he sat on the PHONE while we waited -- and waited and waited. He could have pulled out 4 times...but didn't becuase he wasn't paying attention. THEN when he DID pull out, he almost hit a car coming from the north and trying to pull onto our road. That car was in a legitimate turn lane. I know a lotta truckers blame the "other" drivers....but I've seen WAY too many truckers do STUPID dumb things. Oh, how about the guy that was on the cell phone and pulled onto Rosland...missing my car by 2" and stopping traffic coming from the south.....all the while he was on the phone driving the semi with one hand. Nope - can't convince me that the "other" drivers are all to blame.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    Good points....and funny that you should post this not 15 minutes after we had an incident with a trucker! We ran down to the local store (donut run!) and have to pull out onto Hwy 97. This intersection has a truck stop where you come out of the truck stop onto Rosland (the road I was on) then up to the stop sign about 2 truck lengths to get onto the Hwy. We got behind a trucker that was pulling out of the truck stop....and he STOPPED in the middle of the road BEFORE the stop sign... We could see him in his mirror -- he was talking on the phone. We waited...finally, he crept up to the sign. Then he sat on the PHONE while we waited -- and waited and waited. He could have pulled out 4 times...but didn't becuase he wasn't paying attention. THEN when he DID pull out, he almost hit a car coming from the north and trying to pull onto our road. That car was in a legitimate turn lane. I know a lotta truckers blame the "other" drivers....but I've seen WAY too many truckers do STUPID dumb things. Oh, how about the guy that was on the cell phone and pulled onto Rosland...missing my car by 2" and stopping traffic coming from the south.....all the while he was on the phone driving the semi with one hand. Nope - can't convince me that the "other" drivers are all to blame.
    Nor would I try to. As with most groups, there are the good, the not so good, and the awful.

  4. #4
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting these reminders. As you said there are good and bad drivers of all vehicles.
    With that being said: SEMI'S ARE BIG!! I surely don't want to cause one to have an accident or be involved in one with something that big cause you know who the loser would be. I think we all have to have a little more respect for the drivers of these rigs. I know I couldn't drive one--I can't even paralel park my SUV.
    Thanks Bearisgray.

  5. #5
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janRN
    Thank you for posting these reminders. As you said there are good and bad drivers of all vehicles.
    With that being said: SEMI'S ARE BIG!! I surely don't want to cause one to have an accident or be involved in one with something that big cause you know who the loser would be. I think we all have to have a little more respect for the drivers of these rigs. I know I couldn't drive one--I can't even paralel park my SUV.
    Thanks Bearisgray.
    I DO want to stress....yes, I believe there are good AND bad AND awful ones, too. I was still shaking about that driver this morning. We drove a 36 foot motor home from Oregon to Texas.....trust me, I KNOW there are a lotta dumb drivers out there that think they can survive being hit by big rigs.....And, I, too don't want to EVER consider driving a semi!!!! I think some of them that can back them up into spots with 3" on either side are pure out and out GENIUSES!

    :D

  6. #6
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    I sure had a lot more respect and understanding for DH's work after going with him for a while.

    There are some places that one wonders if the designers looked at the plans and said to themselves: "This looks like the most difficult place to get to - let's put the dock here!"

    I would think the same things apply to any large vehicle - buses, limousines, etc.

    In most cases when there is an accident, the smaller vehicle places second.

    The four-wheelers that I think seemed to have more "attitude" - old(er) people in heavy cars, high-powered sports car drivers, and the modified pickup drivers.

    We all need to try to avoid distractions while driving.

  7. #7
    Super Member C.Cal Quilt Girl's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reminder.... I know a lot of Truck drivers out there, that are glad when autos are reminded of these tips!! I'm in an area where these are used a lot, and have spoken to drivers from other areas, that are good with runs in these parts, because other drivers seem to get it, of course they get it, many have relatives doing the same as you, don't want our folks hurt either!!

  8. #8
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    Thanks bearisgray. I've driven a bigrig 1,000,000 miles. My husband and I team drove. It always amazed what drivers will do....in a car or a semi. The best thing for all drivers to do is hang up that phone and use the golden rule when you are behind the wheel. I'm now happy to be at home and I drive my sewing machine the most now!

  9. #9
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    As the daughter of a driver, I'm very aware of trucks. It amazes me the way cars seem oblivious to the blind spots!!! You see some people up so close behind you'd think they are being towed.

  10. #10
    community benefactor Conniequilts's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting this! Several of my family members have or do drive these big rigs. It is only by the grace of God and their good driving skills that have prevented them from being in serious accidents.

    I drive with this policy: the bigger vehicle gets the right of way :)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conniequilts
    Thank you for posting this! Several of my family members have or do drive these big rigs. It is only by the grace of God and their good driving skills that have prevented them from being in serious accidents.

    I drive with this policy: the bigger vehicle gets the right of way :)
    Especially TRAINS!

  12. #12
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    Thank you Bearisgrey. My Dad is a truck driver and now my Mom rides with him. I have spent my life praying for him to return home safe and sound but now I have to worry about both of them. My Dad has had many accidents because of ppl in cars that think they can turn infront of a truck or don't realize a truck is coming to a stop and they wind up under his rig.. Problem is they don't always feel when they have been rear ended and proceed to drive before someone gets their attention that something is wrong. I am not defending all truck drivers because I have seen some lousy ones.

  13. #13
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    I love the truckers they alwasy give me the nicest smiles makes your day so I make sure to take care of them :) We have police in our state that will ride with our truckers and ticket drivers who are not so nice!! Thank you for posting this just hate to see the crap they go through because they are doing their job!!

  14. #14
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    Also:

    At rest stops, especially at night - if you are in a small/short vehicle, please don't use the truck section. In some areas it is almost impossible to find a place to park so the driver can rest.

    Heads - you don't win - if you drive while overly tired
    Tails - you lose - if you park where trucks are banned/unwelcome

  15. #15
    JJs
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    and 'of course' truckers never speed, would never dream to tailgate (and give you heart attacks), run "4-wheelers" off the road and laugh about it (heard on CB years ago and then came upon the car that had been run off, or two trucks running together would never squeeze a car, nope wouldn't happen....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJs
    and 'of course' truckers never speed, would never dream to tailgate (and give you heart attacks), run "4-wheelers" off the road and laugh about it (heard on CB years ago and then came upon the car that had been run off, or two trucks running together would never squeeze a car, nope wouldn't happen....
    it does - there seems to be more than enough stupidity and rudeness to go around -

  17. #17
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    thanks for the nice reminder, hopefully it will save lives!

    Thanks!

  18. #18
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    Very good points. My dad (now retired) was a trucker...he preached these very same things to my brothers and me all the time. I am constantly pointing these things out to people.

  19. #19
    Senior Member redvette54's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the excellent advice. My DH works for our county road commission. During the winter, he salts and plows on the expressways that go thru the county. I was shocked at some of the things he has told me about the "four wheelers". Yelling and screaming, cutting him off, trying to run him off the road and giving him the finger. I guess there are lots of angery people out there.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJs
    and 'of course' truckers never speed, would never dream to tailgate (and give you heart attacks), run "4-wheelers" off the road and laugh about it (heard on CB years ago and then came upon the car that had been run off, or two trucks running together would never squeeze a car, nope wouldn't happen....
    Your right!! It does happen! There are truck drivers (so thery call themselves) that do this to other truck drivers! AND THEY GIVE THE INDUSTRY A BAD NAME! we call them steering wheel holders and wanna be's. As a driver for 14yrs over the road, and I still hold my license, and hubby still drives.We do not like anyone who purposes goes out of their way to endanger a life. The truckers for the majority are Professional at their jobs. Their job is to get the load from point A to point B. They do this by paying attention to their surrounding and looking for possible dangers and avoiding them. They try to work within the restraints of the law, and the D.O.T regulations. Sure wish the dispatchers would too!! We are not afraid to turn a driver who is a danger into the law and their company!! With the economy going the way it has , there is an even bigger growing trend for people obtaining licenses for truck driving jobs. I am glad tho that the trucking companys are trying to weed these drivers out finally!!! Instead of just hiring a body to fill a truck to hold their steering wheel!! Karren

  21. #21
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    I got to tell you as the wife of thirty years of a truckdriver I have heard it all I have often laughed at my husband when he would complain about 4 wheelers I get claustrophobia so I dont go with him often The last time I went we were in NY city slowing down to come up to a stop sign and a woman comes from behind us pulls in front of us ans stops at the stop sign needless to say accident happened fortunately for us cop sitting in parking lot across street saw everything He thinks woman did it on purpose to collect insurance money Gave her ticket First accident for husband and his truck ever. He was devastated Me I was angry.

  22. #22
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    Excellent advise!!! My son is a truck driver and has said the same things you did. What a great reminder.

  23. #23
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJs
    and 'of course' truckers never speed, would never dream to tailgate (and give you heart attacks), run "4-wheelers" off the road and laugh about it (heard on CB years ago and then came upon the car that had been run off, or two trucks running together would never squeeze a car, nope wouldn't happen....

    and of course no "4-wheeler" would DREAM of cutting off a big truck just so they don't have to be behind them on the road...nor would they expect the big truck to be able to stop on a dime or turn a corner the same way they do in their compact car...and heaven forbid that same 4-wheeler yield the right of way to a big truck, they'd rather be ballsy and pit that 3000 lb car against that 80,000 lb truck.

    When William and I were driving team, I saw an article about accident statistics. At that time (about 2001) less than ONE percent of all motor vehicle accidents involved big trucks. Of that one percent, LESS than ONE percent was deemed to be the big truck's fault.

    I read a letter to an editor once that suggested that big trucks be kept off of the interstates during the hours of 7am to 10pm! I had to laugh at that one... the Interstate Hiway system was a product of the Eisenhour administration and was built for the purpose of interstate COMMERCE...for the big trucks to transport goods...

    If you have it, a truck and trucker brought it... do I get a bit defensive of truckers? You betcha. Not all of them are good guys or good drivers....but our country wouldn't run without them!

  24. #24
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    We are agreed. There are some jerks in big rigs. (By the way, they anger the other drivers, too) There are some jerks on four wheels.

    The point of this post is to remind people of some of the physical characteristics of handling a big, articulated (bends at the kingpin - that's a peg that drops into the fifth wheel - which is that horseshoe shaped thing on the back of a tractor that's bobtailing - it doesn't have a trailer hooked on to it) rig.

    They are big. They need more room to make turns. They can't accelerate or slow down as quickly as smaller, lighter vehicles.

    I had not realized, until I rode with DH, how many of these things I should have known BEFORE I had been with him in the truck.

  25. #25
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    My son drove a truck not a semi and from him I learned that if I can't see his mirror he can't see me. I had a semi pull in front of me (almost next to me), I wanted to beleve he didn't know I was there.
    Thank you for the gentle reminder, to keep all of us safe:)

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