Trying to end truck v car war among Coast drivers
SWEAR words, screeching tyres and, of course, "the bird" are staple weapons in the seemingly never-ending battle between car and truck drivers.
But one driver-training firm is urging all motorists to show patience and understanding in order to reduce road carnage.
Col Teakle and Jason Krarup, who operate Premier Heavy Vehicle Driver Training, are tired of seeing crashes involving cars and trucks, often caused by the car driver being unaware of the extra room needed by trucks to perform manoeuvres that are much less complicated in a car.
The truckies believe the biggest problem is car drivers being ignorant of the distances needed for heavy trucks to slow down and stop.
"They don't manoeuvre like a car," Mr Krarup said of heavy vehicles.
"You need a lot more room to manoeuvre them, and when you load them up they're close to 70 tonnes and you can't stop 70 tonnes as quickly as you can stop a little car.
"Truck drivers are trying to allow room to slow down and when you get cars jumping in and filing that gap because they think they can get there a bit quicker, it creates a few problems and trucks need to jump on their brakes a bit harder.
"All we're trying to do is make the public aware and make the roads safer for everyone."
The company took APN on a one-hour trip around the Sunshine Coast in an unloaded B-Double - still weighing around 27 tonnes - to provide an insight into the habits of car drivers who leave many truckies scrambling to avoid a crash.
During the trip, one car sped up to overtake and then cut across the path of the truck to exit, while another pulled in front of the truck as it was approaching a stop light, unaware it was actually taking up part of the space the truckie had hoped to use to stop safely.
The duo believes all learner drivers should get special instruction about the unique characteristics of trucks.
"Our number one goal is to educate drivers of trucks and cars in how to respect each other," Mr Teakle said.
For information, visit premierdrivertraining.net.au