Top 8 Trucker Pet Peeves
Disclaimer* While this article is meant to poke a little fun at the operators of passenger vehicles, we have all seen truckers pulling rookie moves on the road as well. It is one of the reasons why IMT has a strict selection process that requires a minimum of 10 years’ experience with heavy haul or specialty trucking.
Anyone who has ever been in a passenger vehicle knows what it is like to be behind a slow, lumbering semi-truck and trailer on the highway or in the city. It can be frustrating, it could be the reason you missed that light, or the reason you arrive at your destination 5 minutes later than planned.
What many people don’t realize (or choose not to care) is that driving a full-sized semi-truck and trailer requires constant diligence and attention to your surroundings. Quite often by the time you notice a semi-truck in the slow lane and you shift gears to blow past it, that driver has already noticed your rate of speed and decided that it would be prudent to not switch lanes at that moment, to avoid having to scrape the remains of a Honda Civic off the back of his or her trailer.
In the spirit of Spring and the roads becoming all the more busy, we have decided to interview our drivers and compile the definitive Top 8 Trucker Pet Peeves. There was some debate among our fleet about what should be #1, so in no particular order:
• Space Management – Cutting in front of a truck right before a red light, flying in front of a truck and cutting it off to make your exit, or simply driving to close to a semi-truck. You would think that simple common sense would prevent drivers from cutting in front of truck travelling at 55 mph and carrying 45,000 lbs, you would be wrong.
*Fun Fact: A fully loaded semi-truck and trailer (even with air brakes properly adjusted) has only 50% – 65% of the braking efficiency compared to a small passenger vehicle
• Right Turns – Some vehicles insist on driving up the right side of a truck and trailer when it is trying to make a right turn. Unlike in “Fast and the Furious”, you will not fit underneath the trailer.
• Driving Blind – You have all seen the signs, if you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, they can’t see you. Never assume that because you can see the giant 40 ton monster on the road, that it can also see you.
• Rising Fuel Costs – Ok admittedly this one has nothing to do with other drivers on the road, but it is still a massive annoyance to any driver and needed to be included in this list.
• Passing over a Double Solid Line – Vehicles that are frustrated with a trucks slow progress will often cross a double solid line to pass. If there is oncoming traffic that you don’t see (hence the double solid line) there is nowhere to go for all vehicles involved. If you are feeling suicidal on a particular day, please don’t involve other motorists.
• No Shower Facilities – Again nothing to do with other vehicles, but still a common pet peeve. A close tie with “No Shower Facilities” at a truck stop, is a truck stop that has shower facilities, but you wish it didn’t have shower facilities. Because then you wouldn’t have been tempted to journey into that steaming cesspool of broken dreams.
• No Respect for Oversized Loads – An oversized load is pretty self-explanatory, it literally means that the cargo is deemed larger than what the road was designed for. If you come across an oversized load, give the truck and its entourage of pilot vehicles plenty of room to work.
• Erratic Driving – Sometimes you will come across someone with the confidence of Andretti, but the skill and experience of my grandmother. Who still considers the horseless carriage to be a radical invention.
In summary, truckers have one of the toughest jobs in the world. While no one likes driving behind one, our society as we know it would not exist if there weren’t for professional truck drivers moving freight.
So if you see a semi-truck on the road, give it plenty of space and consideration. They could be carrying anything from your latest Amazon purchase, to a $10 million dollar aircraft.