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Old 06-22-2015, 01:26 AM   #1
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What's with the 18 Wheel drivers

After my first long trip recently (2500 miles) I felt I got a pretty good feel for the driving portion of ownership. I was pulling a toad and my freeway speed was set at 63 MPH. I'm pretty aware of my surroundings at all times. Owning a motorcycle my entire life has ingrained that in me. I never pull in front of people and always allow for proper spacing in case I need to stop quickly. I thought truckers were supposed to be the pros on the road. So what's the deal with these guys passing you to just pull right and front of you and not continue to pull way? I never have this issue in a car because I would have enough speed that they would not be passing me to begin with. Physics will not be on your side if the truck was to make a sudden stop and I'm on their ass. What am I missing here? Now I know several of you on this forum are present or former truckers. What say you guys? If I had some cruise missiles on board they would have launched.
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:26 AM   #2
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I've found just the opposite to be true. We're on the homeward leg of a two month trip and I'm just about through Texas for the second time. I set my cruise at 63 and let her roll. Most big rigs in Texas are doing 75, or better and when they go to pass me I flash my high beams to let them know they're clear. Once they pull in front of me they flash their running lights in appreciation and go about their merry way.

It's cars I have problems with. They seem to think we can stop on a dime and never hesitate to cut me off and hit their brakes. Another favorite trick they have is merging onto the freeway while matching my speed. I can't move over because of traffic so I slow down a bit to let them in. What do they do? They slow down even more until I'm nearly doing 40 then they speed up pull in and take off. Me? I'm trying to pick up speed again to avoid getting run over.

There are a few truckers that are less than hospitable at times, but they are far and few between. We've covered over 5000 miles and have to get back to Seattle. So far so good and I'm sitting in El Paso. Hopefully your experience with truckers is an isolated case. I ride motorcycles as well so defensive driving is what I'm all about. Same with most professional truck drivers I've come across.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:03 AM   #3
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Noserider,
It's hard to add anything to the responses you've gotten so far. They in my opinion are right on the money.

One thing that would change the way you view the situations you've found yourself in is being able to communicate with the truckers by CB radio. Then there would be no misunderstandings at least while that communication is with a sensible person.

As you've experienced, not all truckers are sensible, and some are downright dangerous and should not be sharing the road with the general public. Those are the ones that are causing a bad image for all. Those are the ones that you would not want to hear or let your family hear on the CB radio. So again, good and bad in all.

Just one more thing to consider, some truckers consider (RV) drivers very dangerous and unpredictable. With that mindset, you get what you've seen as their way out of what they perceive as a dangerous situation (having to follow you).

I hate to see our national highway system turned into a battleground, as some folks just can't understand the terms share and cooperate. I too am a biker that has learned some hard lessons from the mean streets and highways.

Take a deep breath, and enjoy your trip.
DTW
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaky View Post
I've found just the opposite to be true. We're on the homeward leg of a two month trip and I'm just about through Texas for the second time. I set my cruise at 63 and let her roll. Most big rigs in Texas are doing 75, or better and when they go to pass me I flash my high beams to let them know they're clear. Once they pull in front of me they flash their running lights in appreciation and go about their merry way.

It's cars I have problems with. They seem to think we can stop on a dime and never hesitate to cut me off and hit their brakes. Another favorite trick they have is merging onto the freeway while matching my speed. I can't move over because of traffic so I slow down a bit to let them in. What do they do? They slow down even more until I'm nearly doing 40 then they speed up pull in and take off. Me? I'm trying to pick up speed again to avoid getting run over.

There are a few truckers that are less than hospitable at times, but they are far and few between. We've covered over 5000 miles and have to get back to Seattle. So far so good and I'm sitting in El Paso. Hopefully your experience with truckers is an isolated case. I ride motorcycles as well so defensive driving is what I'm all about. Same with most professional truck drivers I've come across.
Agreed, just arrived home last night from a trip up the east coast and saw the same, would rather be around 18 ings than with car on the road.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtwallace View Post
Noserider,
It's hard to add anything to the responses you've gotten so far. They in my opinion are right on the money.

One thing that would change the way you view the situations you've found yourself in is being able to communicate with the truckers by CB radio. Then there would be no misunderstandings at least while that communication is with a sensible person.

As you've experienced, not all truckers are sensible, and some are downright dangerous and should not be sharing the road with the general public. Those are the ones that are causing a bad image for all. Those are the ones that you would not want to hear or let your family hear on the CB radio. So again, good and bad in all.

Just one more thing to consider, some truckers consider (RV) drivers very dangerous and unpredictable. With that mindset, you get what you've seen as their way out of what they perceive as a dangerous situation (having to follow you).

I hate to see our national highway system turned into a battleground, as some folks just can't understand the terms share and cooperate. I too am a biker that has learned some hard lessons from the mean streets and highways.

Take a deep breath, and enjoy your trip.
DTW
Another well stated response.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noserider View Post
After my first long trip recently (2500 miles) I felt I got a pretty good feel for the driving portion of ownership. I was pulling a toad and my freeway speed was set at 63 MPH. I'm pretty aware of my surroundings at all times. Owning a motorcycle my entire life has ingrained that in me. I never pull in front of people and always allow for proper spacing in case I need to stop quickly. I thought truckers were supposed to be the pros on the road. So what's the deal with these guys passing you to just pull right and front of you and not continue to pull way? I never have this issue in a car because I would have enough speed that they would not be passing me to begin with. Physics will not be on your side if the truck was to make a sudden stop and I'm on their ass. What am I missing here? Now I know several of you on this forum are present or former truckers. What say you guys? If I had some cruise missiles on board they would have launched.
To start with the truck would be drafting when behind you. As he he gets past you he starts breaking wind and you begin to draft in his slipstream. So he really can't get away quickly. An uncomfortable situation for everybody.
Having been there many times in the truck and not liking it anymore than the guy in the motor home. I now slow to put some space between the coach and the truck.
I know most people don't want kick off the cruise control but let's face it who is making the living on the road?
If you don't feel comfortable back off a bit if the truck starts passing give him the room.
Also most of the trucks I have are 500 plus horsepower. But the insurance company said that to maintain a good rate they wanted them governed. Now the drivers complain they can't get away from slower traffic or the sardine in a can effect. Not a good scene all around.
I find I back off more now that I am retired than I ever did in the truck.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:03 AM   #7
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Well said
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:25 AM   #8
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Maybe move your cruise speed up to 65, that's probably what most of the trucks you are having problems with are going.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:37 AM   #9
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Maybe move your cruise speed up to 65, that's probably what most of the trucks you are having problems with are going.
Cruise max out at 65 but they can be overridden with the accelerator to 70.
I never said anything about problems.
We have never been happy with Cummins setting the max speed because of our insurance company.
I really don't want to start a discussion about power,but it seems that if you govern the speed the torque curves are effected and you notice it just when you need it the most.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:06 AM   #10
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Having driven large trucks for a short period of time and being a CDL trainer/road tester for longer, I understand both sides of this issue. While there are some really good large truck drivers out there, there are also a lot that have no business on the road. I guess part of that is that they tend to not be paying attention to their driving all of the time and seem to wander all over the road. When traveling on a multi lane highway, I try and make sure that the semis have aplenty of room to get around me when I am driving the MH. I also will pull to the side, when it is safe to do so, to let them pass me on two lane roads. I am not in a big hurry to get to my next stop and am not trying to make a living on the road.
However, I am not opposed to getting in line with semis that are going through large cities and following them through. They know the best routes through these areas and as long as I can match their speed, all is fine.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:26 AM   #11
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I've been travelling in my motorhome for the past 14 years all over Canada and the States, and my best road companions are truckers compared to 50% of car drivers that are the worst.
To noserider: I guess it depends a lot on your attitude towards truckers; first of all, you should know that you are directly in their way by driving at 63 MPH, they usually run at 62 MPH so you should either run at 65 MPH to keep them behind you or just do like I and others do, drop your cruise to 60 MPH and you will get plenty of space between them and your rig !
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:58 AM   #12
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I think I am going to differ with some of the opinions here. I have seen a real decline in the politeness, overall safety, and ability of the average truck driver running today. We have more youngsters driving trucks, with much less training and experience. We have folks driving trucks in the US that can barely speak English and have little US experience. And we have trucks with speed governors that restrict the abilities of the truck driver to do the right thing in some instances. I am simply blown away at the number of times I will see a truck moving around in his lane, and when I roll up past him, he is looking in his lap with a glow on his face. This texting thing is a real dangerous deal regardless of what you drive. But truckers in particular need to have their eyes on the road.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:19 AM   #13
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When a truck cuts me off while passing, if the left lane is clear, I just move left until the truck gets far enough ahead to safely return to the right lane. This accomplishes two things. Keeps me from being an unintended tailgater, and let's the trucker know he cut me off without being confrontational.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:40 AM   #14
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Dash cam, save the video , if the truck has the " How's My Driving" decal then call and forward the video with the time/date, and route.

For the most part, I've seen what , Shaky describes, but a friend, a retired long haul driver, was cut off so closely that the hinge on the trailer door scratched his mirror, even thought he was hard on the brakes.
The driver of the rig wouldn't stop , so my friend filed a report with the highway patrol, and called the company , he got the run around, " Our driver didn't report any problems"; took a couple of weeks to calm him down.
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