Driving a truck as a career has a lot of big pluses, however, when it comes to driving big rigs, there are one or two minuses. One of the biggest threats to any truck driver on the road is the normal every day car driver. They are on a mission to get from A to B. The problem is, car drivers are never taught anything about trucks, and that can create huge problems for truck drivers.
Take a situation that truck drivers face everyday. The are driving through a township and they see a set of traffic lights ahead that are turning red. Most car drivers will zoom up to the lights, brake heavily, then sit and wait for the green. Trucks don’t have that luxury. The driver needs to plan well ahead, often slowing two or three hundred yards before the lights. Some truck drivers slow right down in the hope that, with good timing, they don’t have to come to a complete standstill. For the truck driver, it saves fuel, and it helps other motorists. A truck having to move off from a standing start can be slow and cumbersome, so having a slow rolling start means they can move on a lot quicker. What do car drivers do – they jump lanes in front of the truck driver – not one care, often two or three.
That move reduces the space available to the truck driver forcing them to come to a complete standstill. The real problem emerges when a car jumps lane at the last minute – even at 15mph, that fully laden truck cannot stop on a dime like most cars. The end result is often a tail-ender – the truck running into the back of the car that jumped lanes. Not good for the car, and not good for the truck.
While this post is as much directed at car drivers as it is truck drivers, the message is very clear. Car drivers need to respect trucks. They may be a pain in the proverbial on our roads, but we all rely on trucks for our food and the products we use. Truck drivers need to be ever vigilant of every vehicle around them. One of the benefits of learning to drive a truck through a well respected truck driver training school is that students are taught the dangers that await a driver. Quick thinking, knowing your truck, and being prepared for the crazy drivers are all skills that truck drivers learn – quickly too, if they want to survive in the industry.