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Old 02-18-2006, 07:44 AM   #1
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Truckers spend a lot of time on the road and experience far more traffic headaches than many of us would ever imagine.

We should try to understand the environment in which truckers have to work and give them as much consideration as possible. As we all know, some of them are complete jerks, but most are just hard working folks with families they haven't seen in weeks. They just want to get that load safely to it's destination with the fewest hassles and to get home to hug the wife and kids.

I've heard it said that truckers criticize RV'rs on the CB, mostly for RV'rs impeding the flow of traffic by driving too slow in either lane. Unfortunately, many of the negative comments directed toward us by the truckers are justified.

Many of those trucks are grossing in excess of 80,000 lbs and it becomes a hassle for them when they come up behind a slower moving RV. They then have to wait for an opening in the passing lane, change lanes, then get their heavy load up to speed again while all traffic is now building up behind the truck.

The trucker may be viewed as the one slowing things down by others who get trapped behind him and now folks are shooting him the bird and shaking their fists at him. He's even taking guff on the CB from other truckers who may not be aware of the reason he ended up going so slow in the first place.

The oblivious RV'r probably isn't even aware of all aggravation caused and the negative comments being directed at the trucker who only wanted to pass a slow-moving RV. Some folks don't realize that their actions on the road have a domino effect on many others.

Driving at the posted limit is usually the safest and best solution when truck traffic is heavy, but most of them are exceeding so there's no real solution. I don't advocate trying to keep pace with them, all I'm saying is that if you're rolling down the highway at 5-20 mph below the posted limit, be aware of what you may be causing to others who share the highway with you.
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Old 02-18-2006, 07:44 AM   #2
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Truckers spend a lot of time on the road and experience far more traffic headaches than many of us would ever imagine.

We should try to understand the environment in which truckers have to work and give them as much consideration as possible. As we all know, some of them are complete jerks, but most are just hard working folks with families they haven't seen in weeks. They just want to get that load safely to it's destination with the fewest hassles and to get home to hug the wife and kids.

I've heard it said that truckers criticize RV'rs on the CB, mostly for RV'rs impeding the flow of traffic by driving too slow in either lane. Unfortunately, many of the negative comments directed toward us by the truckers are justified.

Many of those trucks are grossing in excess of 80,000 lbs and it becomes a hassle for them when they come up behind a slower moving RV. They then have to wait for an opening in the passing lane, change lanes, then get their heavy load up to speed again while all traffic is now building up behind the truck.

The trucker may be viewed as the one slowing things down by others who get trapped behind him and now folks are shooting him the bird and shaking their fists at him. He's even taking guff on the CB from other truckers who may not be aware of the reason he ended up going so slow in the first place.

The oblivious RV'r probably isn't even aware of all aggravation caused and the negative comments being directed at the trucker who only wanted to pass a slow-moving RV. Some folks don't realize that their actions on the road have a domino effect on many others.

Driving at the posted limit is usually the safest and best solution when truck traffic is heavy, but most of them are exceeding so there's no real solution. I don't advocate trying to keep pace with them, all I'm saying is that if you're rolling down the highway at 5-20 mph below the posted limit, be aware of what you may be causing to others who share the highway with you.
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Old 02-18-2006, 08:19 AM   #3
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AMEN! brother Richard. And if RVers would stay in the right lane EXCEPT when passing a slower moving vehicle, then we wouldn't add to the backups. If I'm in the left lane, I either passing someone (as QUICKLY as I can) or I'm making room for a trucker to enter from an on ramp. I generally don't move over for 4 wheelers to merge, because they have plenty of manuverability (read acceleration), if they would just use it. ED
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Old 02-18-2006, 09:35 AM   #4
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My brother has been a trucker on the east coast for 40 years. I use to go to the terminal to see him when he arrived on this coast when he was doing cross-country. We were just talking about RVs the other night and he agrees that RVers going too slow is a real headache.

RVers must remember they are virtually driving a truck and should follow the lead of truckers. I usually stay in the right lane and a lot of times behind a truck. If the truck is moving at the speed limit then so am I. Sometimes trucks go slower and I pass them. Sometimes, other trucks pass us because they want to go faster.

From what I've seen, most RVers and trucks get along fairly well. The real problems are the four-wheelers who think every RV is going too slow and they have to be in front. I've had them pass me unsafely, make unsafe turns in front of me, at the risk of having an accident. I've had to lay on the brakes many times because of stupidity of these people.
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Old 02-18-2006, 03:35 PM   #5
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I know what you mean George, 4 wheelers drive truckers and us RV'ers crazed at times. Had a car passing me on the right hand side could see him coming up fast in my monitor and mirror don't know where he was going because I was keeping pace with a trucker in lane to my front and truck in his lane a truck lenth to my side. When he pulled his rear bumper of his car even with my bumper he desided he needed to get in front of me. We were all doing 55-60, before I let off the gas his rear bumper just tapped my bumper moving me suddenly towards the left and towards jersey barriers in other lane. The pop-up I'am pulling behind me is ready to do cart wheels as I try to get coach under control. When the coach is under control I'am looking for this guy and his car is spinning out of control and comes back and hits the front passenger wheel dead center.
You can guess what the truckers were saying behind me when all this action transpired.
I have always given the truckers the right of way flashed lights, helped out for locations on CB, and they will return in kind. We all have to keep on our toes the four wheelers think 20,000 to 80,000 lbs can stop on a dime.
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Old 02-18-2006, 05:27 PM   #6
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Richard, your point is well taken and a good thing for all of us to keep in mind. I recognize that when we are driving the RV, we are on vacation while the truckers who may be driving with us are working and have deadlines to meet. We always do our best to stay out of their way.

That said, it isn't always that easy. With about 3/4 the surface area of a normal trailer and less than 1/3 their weight (we travel at 19.5K), gusty crosswinds sometimes prevent us from pushing speed too hard. While coming back from Las Vegas in June, 2004, we were faced with extremely gusty 45mph+ crosswinds almost all the way through AZ and NM. Every reststop was crammed with others who had already pulled off and the best that we could do was try to keep our speed up as high as the gusts would allow. That is all zoned 70mph and most of the trucks weren't going near that fast because of the winds. On a trip from Knoxville to Nashville on I-40 in a rental RV, we were the slowest thing on the road in a heavy rainstorm. We were stuck at the summit of the mountains for an hour and half while they pulled a tractor trailer that had jackknifed off of the road. Before we got to Nashville, we passed 7 more wrecked tractor-trailers, 4 of them laid over on their sides from excess speeds in the rain. While we were plodding along (the rental only had a 3rd gear to hold us back on the 8% grades), we managed to stay upright.

Last fall, we were traveling from Boham, TX to Paris,TX on a two lane road. I'd pulled off several times to let others pass because I couldn't keep up to the 70mph posted limit in the 0-35mph crosswind changes. A flat bed (empty) log hauler came flying past us and a couple of cars behind us doing at least 85mph and let us know with his air horn how happy he was with us.

I guess my bottom line message is that understanding needs to flow both ways.
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Old 02-18-2006, 06:39 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by chasfm11:
Richard, your point is well taken and a good thing for all of us to keep in mind. I recognize that when we are driving the RV, we are on vacation while the truckers who may be driving with us are working and have deadlines to meet. We always do our best to stay out of their way.
That said, it isn't always that easy. With about 3/4 the surface area of a normal trailer and less than 1/3 their weight (we travel at 19.5K), gusty crosswinds sometimes prevent us from pushing speed too hard. While coming back from Las Vegas in June, 2004, we were faced with extremely gusty 45mph+ crosswinds almost all the way through AZ and NM. Every reststop was crammed with others who had already pulled off and the best that we could do was try to keep our speed up as high as the gusts would allow. That is all zoned 70mph and most of the trucks weren't going near that fast because of the winds. On a trip from Knoxville to Nashville on I-40 in a rental RV, we were the slowest thing on the road in a heavy rainstorm. We were stuck at the summit of the mountains for an hour and half while they pulled a tractor trailer that had jackknifed off of the road. Before we got to Nashville, we passed 7 more wrecked tractor-trailers, 4 of them laid over on their sides from excess speeds in the rain. While we were plodding along (the rental only had a 3rd gear to hold us back on the 8% grades), we managed to stay upright.

Last fall, we were traveling from Boham, TX to Paris,TX on a two lane road. I'd pulled off several times to let others pass because I couldn't keep up to the 70mph posted limit in the 0-35mph crosswind changes. A flat bed (empty) log hauler came flying past us and a couple of cars behind us doing at least 85mph and let us know with his air horn how happy he was with us.

I guess my bottom line message is that understanding needs to flow both ways. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
========================================

The Bottom line is we all should drive safely by the current driving and weather conditions!
If I dont feel safe at a posted 60 MPH because of conditions I dont drive that fast and dont care who likes or dislikes it.
Not trying to sound like I dont care about everyone but I think everyone should drive like the DOT hand books say, and they say take road and weather into consideration.

And if I think others are unsafe I pull off the road and wait a while before I continue.
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:46 AM   #8
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Like in everything, the 90-10 rule applies. You will find 90% of the truckers are reasonable and responsible drivers. The other 10%, well.... are not so good. So the 90% have to live with the image cast by the 10%.

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Old 02-19-2006, 08:01 AM   #9
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Hi all. There are aa few comments that I would like to make here.

First, we plan on towing a Honda CRV when we get our class A later this year (we hope). The manual for the CRV says that they should not be towed over 65 or transmission damage will result. This seems to me a reasonable speed that I can live with, but there are lots of people, truckers included, that obviously consider this too slow on 65 to 75 mph roads. (Most everyone seems to want to drive about 5 mph over the posted limit.)

Second. I was taught to always drive to the right except when passing, and to move to the left to allow people coming on to merge. However, aparently most other, maybe younger, drivers were not. On 3 or more lane roads, it seems to me that the faster (usually) drivers drive on the left or inside lane, but the slower ones, or ones driving the speed limit tend to drive in the middle lanes, not the outside one.

Also, on two lane roads, if there are people behind me that want to go faster, I will always look for a SAFE place to pull off and allow them to pass. A lot of slow drivers don't do this. AND a lot of the faster drivers get obviously impatient even when there is no safe place to pull off and allow them to pass.

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Old 02-19-2006, 11:47 AM   #10
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Another point to ponder is that truckers have their fuel paid as part of their work contract, so fuel consumption may or may not be important to them. On the flip side I'm paying for my fuel and feel that if I can do 63-65mph in a 70 zone I'm helping myself out.

Many drivers find themselves in jams because they don't look ahead....try to look past the vehicle directly in front of you and see what's coming up, then adjust accordingly. You can see if the tail lights are lit ahead and slow accordingly, so if there is really slow moving vehicle ahead (and I've passed many trucks) you can guage when to move over to pass and when you should just slow down and wait your turn.

I guess common sense and awareness could go a long way on the roads!
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:22 PM   #11
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Well put Richard: I drive a petro tanker in the NE in weight of up to 102K one thing Richard left out was many trucks are turned down to 68 mph with todays on board compuers (brains) of the truck this also lowers its torque. Sometimes heading out the Mass. pike where there are a lot of up and down you may want to get a run going downhill for the upcoming hill, you pull out in the left lane and the vehicle in front of you also pulls out and does 5 over the speed limit, no you are on your brakes (heat) and have to move back right due to bunched up traffic ahead and behind still on the brakes and no extremly slow to climb upcoming hill. Also being turned down is like running a NASCAR race with restrictor plates many trucks running in a bunch. The turned down speed of 68 is a Federal Motor Carrier Standard that many trucking companies are adopting. I am in favor of the speed limit I just wish it would not effect the torque. Happy Motoring Ed
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Old 02-23-2006, 04:27 AM   #12
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FirefighterED:

While I agree that most trucks are governed to a speed around 68, it has nothing to do with any federal regulation.

Most all Diesel engines have some type of governer or speed limiter. In many cases just to keep the engine from blowing itself up, and acutally set pretty high from the factory.

The motivation to set the governor to close to the speed limit is driven by mostly insurance companies (over the bad rap trucks get in accidents) and the trucking company's need to get better fuel economy, and control safety themselves. Look at the big companies, for many years they were all well below the speed limit, for a simple reason, fuel economy on a truck is generally lowered 1 tenth of a MPG for every MPH over 55. This if due to the coeffient of drag being expoential to speed.
When you look at a fleet that moves say 5 Million miles a year, that can be a savings of pretty significant ammount.

In my case, I used to manage a small trucking company out of Wisconsin. We ran ALOT of miles in IL and IN. Upon some research into our DOT safety rating I found that the only reasons we were getting stopped for DOT inspections was Speeding. As many of you know IL is a 55 MPH state, and IN a 60MPH state for trucks. Since over 2/3's of our annual total miles were ran in these states I had all of our trucks limited to 63 MPH. Yes, the drivers were really upset, but on the other side of it, our fleet MPG went up, Our safety record got better, and the drivers really had no basis for complaint since they were paid by the clock.

I don't mean to flame, I just wanted to point out the reasoning.

John
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:42 PM   #13
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I agree with the poster that said he drives with his own best judgement. I am that way also, I stay to the right hand lane most of the time. Look ahead for possible trouble brewing. However, one thing that galls me is when one trucker tries to pass another trucker and he does not have the speed or power to do it easily. He ties up both lanes for miles, while he tries to inch around. Most of the time the trucker on the right slows to let him around. Then we have chain reaction on every thing behind them both. At times we are only seconds from the morgue.
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Old 02-24-2006, 05:08 PM   #14
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In response to those who feel that they have to go too fast (over the speed limit)to get someplace 30 seconds ahead of some one else. What gives them the right to exceed the posted speed limits? I agree that some times they may be too low but none the less the laws apply to everyone. I drove a lot of miles (in excess of 2 1/2 million in a four wheeler and some in a Class A. I think that if a driver feels he is going too fast then he should slow down regardless of weather or not he is going to hold up a few cars. If he feels unsafe going faster, then He is unsafe going faster. There are times that 30 mph in a 70 mph zone is too fast. It all depends on the circumstances at the time. nuf said
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