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Old 04-24-2012, 11:48 AM   #15
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Today's composite type head lights do not really give that blast of light for a passing truck in the daytime then couple that with so many vehicles with daytime running lights, as well as the fogged condition of so many of those same headlights and that passing truck may simply just not see your flash of lights.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:14 AM   #16
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I started driving big trucks in '72. Back then it was a given that when you passed another truck they would "flash" you clear, however it's a different world today and many newer drivers do not flash the lights.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:04 AM   #17
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They see mine. I see the side of the truck light up and sometimes the mirror. Of course they are human like a lot of the 4 wheelers.... probably on the cell phone... sigh...
Going across PA this weekend one almost side swiped me (at 54' long and about 6.5' for 16' and 12' for 36') I should not be that hard to miss. Oh... he was passing me at the time. At least I did better than the pickup (3 miles later) he did force off of the road.
Of course most people don't even know how to use a merge lane any more, they think it is the lane that merges you on to the highway where you accelerate 25 mph to 10 mph over the speed limit.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:13 AM   #18
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I mentioned before that I felt blinking your lights to let the passing vehicle know it was now safe to return to the lane was not a good idea. As an old retired driver with a million miles driving long behind me I will admit that it has been my practice to do exactly that. Yet as a company driver, the "Company" frowned on that practice and requested that we not do that. It seems that when you have 15,000 trucks on the road that if anything can happen while out there driving, it has happened to one of their vehicles more than once.
With many of the newer vehicles on the road today their head lights come on when the key is turned on and they turn off when the key is off. Now you are a trucker in the process of passing and your concentration is not completly on the mirrors but also looking out the windshield and you think you are nearing the point where the trailer is clearing so you look back and see the lights on. This indication may be to interpret that all is clear and safe to return to your lane because the driver being passed gave you the signal, when in fact that quick peek in your mirror only gave you the wrong interpretation. This is just one of the reasons that blinking of the lights may not be a good idea. If that driver knows his or her vehicle like they should, Knowing when they are clear is exactly what their duties of being a trucker requires!
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:33 PM   #19
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Good explanation Larry! Time has changed lot of things that "used to be".
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:04 PM   #20
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As the son of a long haul trucker, I still dip my lights to passing trucks. Nine times out of ten they dip their running lights when they've completed their pass. If they don't I'm not upset. Notice I said "dip" the lights, not flash the high beams. That would blind the driver with a bright light reflecting into his rear view mirrors.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:33 PM   #21
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The reason is today we have steering wheel holders instead of truck drivers. They are listening to a IPOD or talking on the cell phone, and yes it is legal to talk in a commercial truck with a headset. I drove for 25 years and still work in the trucking industry and like I said they just don't make truck drivers like they use to. JMHO. Jim
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:12 PM   #22
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Although your courtesy flash is appreciated when I pass you with the big truck, as said previously, PLEASE DO NOT FLASH YOUR HIGH BEAMS. I pass a car or MH, whatever, and just as I look into the 6" x 14" right side rear view mirror I get a bright flash right in the eyes. There goes my night vision momentarily. And that is scarey. For a few seconds I can't see.

If its safe to do simply turn your running lights off and back on. That works just fine. And when I don't get a 'you've cleared me flash' it doesn't really bother me. I'm responsible for the operation of my truck and I, like the rest of the drivers, do not want to hit anyone or anything.

And another thing I might mention. When around other vehicles and trucks keep your speed and driving constant. Slowing, speeding up and moving around confuses the other driver who is basing their planned manuvers on your actions. Keep it steady and let me adjust my truck. That would be a big help.

With the motorhome it is "Life in the Slow Lane".
With the big truck it is "Life in the Hammer Lane." (O.K. Don't get carried away with that.)
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #23
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I agree with not using the high beams to flash a truck over. As for most of the newer truck drivers on the road these days alot of them have been trained in driving schools and are being taught to drive in a far different fashion than the old school drivers. Most of the trucks now have alot of power and easy shifting transmissions, more and more have automatics and air ride suspensions and all the comforts of home. Years ago you had to be on the ball to be a decent driver because you did not have all this easy stuff. You had low powered units sometimes with 2 transmissions that were shifted at the same time, no power steering, and it road like a buckboard. Back then you would ride along with a seasoned driver and when he felt you were good enough to go solo you were trained. Some of these new guys and gals are great drivers. There is an increasing amount of them that are not. I wonder if courtesy on the road is a dying art.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:45 PM   #24
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Flashing headlights may be up for interpretation or discussion. When I started driving in the mid 1950's you flashed high beams when you wanted to pass or to let the car in front of you know you were passing. You flashed your headlights (on & off) to let the car or truck in front know they were clear of you. I don't know if that still is the process but that's what I do. For me flashing high beam is rarely done.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:53 AM   #25
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I drove and owned a couple of trucks for a number of years and I can add my two penney's worth.

Years ago, a lot of our roads were only two lane, and as previously stated the trucks weren't as powerful as they are today. So it was a necessity that you got back into your lane before you met the oncoming vehicle

Yes, folks I drove the Mother Road when it was a two lane!! AHH times were much simpler then, course we didn't have air conditioners then either....very hot!

As has also been said, don't flash the High Beams, I have a switch on my motor home that allows me to flash the DOT lights, that's what I do, or I turn off the headlights for a moment. Bright lights in those barn door mirrors will blind you and if you have a cb active you might hear some not so great comments about your heritage

Me, I don't run a CB any longer, may have an amateur radio, (for which I have a license N0LZS) with me.
Anyhoo, that's my two penneys worth.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:14 PM   #26
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I have driven an 18 wheeler and can tell you that some drivers hold "4 wheelers" in contempt. I'm not trying to paint a bad picture of all, but they are out there.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:29 PM   #27
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I tend to flash my lights when trucks are trying to merge in on the freeway. Tells them they have a clear shot to move in. They generally seem to appreciate that.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:37 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baraff View Post
Liability Issues? Really? Does anyone have any specifics on this? Such as company memos, firsthand knowledge, copy of company policy?
I can't believe this country has gone so far down the tubes that we've let "liability" trump common courtesy.
You live in Illinois and in Cook county none the less and you ask or queston the Liability Issues? You can bet your bottom dollar(if there is any left over after all the taxes) that most large companys and private carriers for sure strongly discourge flashing of lights.
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