Rules of the Road- Trucking

By: Suzanne At Coops

These days, trucking companies will let just about anyone train a new driver. As a result, there are more and more drivers who know less and less about the common courtesies truckers are supposed to extend to each other. To combat this problem, we've come up with a list of trucking rules that used to be common knowledge. Maybe if we all start following them again, we can all just get along!
1. Flash to Pass.
When another driver passes you, it's often hard to tell from just looking in the mirrors if he or she has cleared you yet. It's common courtesy among truckers to flash their lights at the passing driver once he or she has cleared them. This does NOT mean to flash your bright lights if it's night time. It means you turn your lights on and off a few times. If you flash your brights you're liable to temporarily blind the other driver at night.
2. Thank You.
Whenever the situation calls for it, truckers should say thank you. To do this, you can flash your four ways, turn on the opposite turn signal (or do a little right turn signal, left turn signal maneuver), or use your marker interrupt switch. Different states have different laws and the legality of the thank you methods is questionable, but the chances of getting a ticket are slim. Times to say thank you:
* When another driver lets you over into his or her lane.
* When another driver flashes his or her lights to let you know you've passed.
* When another driver says something nice to you on the radio and you can't get to your mic.
* Anytime it would be appropriate to say thank you in decent society!
3.

Move Over.

If you've ever been broke down on the side of the road, you'll appreciate this one. If you see another trucker on the shoulder of the freeway, move over a lane to allow some space between you if you can. You should do this for anyone who is on the shoulder- cars, people walking, construction and utility trucks, and definitely for police and rescue- it is even the law to do so in many areas. If there is traffic on your left and you just can't get over, at the very least, slow down.
4. Yield.
If traffic is coming up the entrance ramp, it's their job to yield. But truckers just don't have the get-up-and-go that four wheelers have. So if you see a trucker coming up the entrance ramp, try to help him or her out. If you can move over a lane to allow some space for the trucker to merge into, great. If you will be behind the truck, slow down and let it on. Otherwise, if you have the power to do it, speed up and get out of the way. We understand that you can't always help another driver out in this situation, but it's common courtesy to do your best.
5. Backing Up.
In recent years, more and more drivers are honking their air horns before they back up. We suppose it's a good idea in theory, but I doubt the guy trying to sleep in the bunk next to you will appreciate it. Some things you'll definitely want to do when you're backing up are:
* Get out and look before you back up.
* If other drivers are waiting to get past you, let them by if you haven't already started or if you're taking a while.
* Turn on your cb radio- there's a lot of bologna, but if there's a hazard you can't see, it just might save you from a claim.
* Roll down your window- if someone blows their air horn to warn you of a hazard, you'll be more likely to hear it.
* Turn on your four way flashers to let other drivers know you're backing up.
And if you see someone backing up, be patient and wait on him or her. If it's dusk or dark, turn off your head lights so you don't interfere with the other driver's night vision.
6. Double Turn Lanes.
Truckers are supposed to turn from the right lane in all double turn lanes. That means, in a double (or triple, or quadruple...) left turn lane, we are supposed to turn from the furthest turn lane to the right. That also means that in a double right turn lane, we're supposed to turn from the furthest turn lane to the right. If, for whatever reason, you choose to make the turn from a different lane, you should yield to the guy turning from the furthest lane to the right.

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