Big Rigs advocates highway harmony
BIG Rigs National Road Transport Newspaper wants to help educate all drivers to share the road.
While most truckies do the right thing a small number doing the wrong thing have led to the perception that all truck drivers break the rules.
Truckies are on tight deadlines and most are speed limited to 100kmh. Have you ever sat on 100kmh and seen a truck overtaking you? Most times it will be because your speedometer is not accurate.
Car manufacturers are allowed a tolerance as long as it's towards the slow side. However, truck speedos are measured and tested and yes, truckies get frustrated when sitting behind someone doing 90kmh in a 100kmh zone (even if you think you are doing the limit).
The truckie is on a deadline to deliver his goods, his timeline doesn't allow slower travel times and this causes tension between cars and trucks.
But how close is that truck behind you really? What appears to be a close truck isn't always that close and if he's about to enter the overtaking lane you can bet the truckie will be wanting to get his speed up - it takes a lot longer to increase speed in a heavy loaded truck.
When sharing the road with the big rigs you need to remember they can't always see you. There are a few blind spots on a truck you need to beware of. If you are right behind a truck and can't see their mirrors then they can't see you either.
Trucks also take a lot longer to stop than a car. If you overtake a truck and then hit the brakes the chances are the big rigs won't be able to stop in time.
The saying that impatient drivers die, is true on so many levels whether it be a truck or car on the road, overtaking someone to only turn the next corner might save you thirty seconds, but it might cost you your life especially if the vehicle you overtake is a fully laden B-double.
Driving trucks is hard enough, ask anyone learning to drive one and you will realise not only is it harder to drive (double clutching, revving on down change etc.) but it is also harder to see what's around you and it takes longer to stop.
But they also need more space, those signs Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle are so important because trucks are legally allowed to turn from the second or third lane from the kerb if they need the space, shoot up the left hand side into the driver's blind spot and it's a disaster waiting to happen as the turning truckie needs that lane to turn too.
The same goes for roundabouts, trucks will sometimes need the whole roundabout to get around.
While a lot of people hate trucks and don't want them on the roads spare a thought for the honest driver just trying to make a wage. Whether he is driving interstate on busy highways or around town he is bringing you all the food you eat, clothes you wear, landscaping supplies, everything in your house and office would have at one stage been on the back of a truck.
With the penalties these guys cop and the tight deadlines they are on it's time for Australian motorists to stop fighting with the trucks, it's time to work with these guys who are often the first ones to stop at a crash site and the first to volunteer at times of natural disaster. It's time to stop being impatient on the road and start considering your fellow motorist.
Don't worry we are advocating with the truckies to do the right thing too.