Trucker Etiquette, Truck drivers are professionals. We have a difficult job that requires a lot of skill and training to just get behind the wheel. Once you are behind the wheel it requires a lot of skill and concentration to do the job safely and properly. Truckers are, or should be like a fraternity as we all come from the same training and experience most of the same things. We all do the same things and deal with the same issues on a daily basis. However, there are so many truck drivers who do NOT give other truckers simple professional courtesy on the roads and at the shippers, receivers, and truck stops.
This has always confused and frustrated me. Many truck drivers treat other truckers like the four wheelers treat us. They cut us off, block us from changing lanes, don’t use turn signals, and do incredibly stupid and unsafe things. I chalk it up to being rude and selfish; acting like they are the only ones on the road. They give all truck drivers a bad reputation.
In addition to treating fellow truckers with courtesy and respect, we should also not be as aggressive and rude to four wheelers on the road. Many four wheeler drivers hate truckers because they see us as bullies on the road. So I am making a few suggestions as to what ALL DRIVERS, truckers and four wheelers can do on the road to help everyone out.
- Slower traffic stay to the right.
This is for truckers and four wheelers, but mostly applies to four wheelers. Some people like to get in the left lane and go the speed limit. They do this for a few reasons but don’t understand that they are being counter productive. Either they want to stay away from all the traffic to the right and avoid merging traffic because they think this will speed up their drive. Or they think that they will move faster in the “fast lane” but don’t understand that they have to go faster in the fast lane or they won’t be any better than being in the middle lanes. Or they want to be on their phone or have a conversation on their phone and feel it’s less crowded over there so they won’t have to pay attention as much.
All this does is clog the passing lane and increases congestion and actually causes accidents. People in the left lanes get impatient and frustrated and start passing on the right in a reckless manner. Speeding up and cutting cars off, weaving in and out of lanes in tight spaces like its a NASCAR race. Going slow in the fast lane holds everyone up and is selfish. Don’t be selfish, be considerate. Truckers do this too but mostly it is in the center lane of a 3 lane highway. When no one is in the right lane and there is no merging traffic, get out of the middle lane.
- Cutting off truck drivers
Four wheelers do this too but I am mostly talking to the truck drivers on this one. If you are stuck behind a truck and want to go left to pass then do it when you have space. Nothing upsets me more than when a trucker will all of a sudden swerve over in front of me with 10 feet to spare so he can pass a truck or four wheeler. It is even more infuriating when you were behind that truck when I was half a mile back and you wait until I almost get right up next to you to get over. You knew you were going to pass the other truck or car, get over when you have the space to safely do so. And if you don’t take this advice and choose to cut us off, when you get over to pass, GOOOOOOOOO!
It is equally frustrating to have a truck cut you off so they can pass someone only to see that they are passing the vehicle 1-3 miles faster. When truck drivers do this it is usually because their truck is governed and they can only go so fast. If that is you please, PLEASE wait and let us pass quickly. It will be a small wait for you but if you get in front of us it will be a long wait for everyone else.
- Speed to pass and then slow down when in front
This is also very frustrating and is done by both truck drivers and four wheelers. I get it, not everyone wants to be stuck behind a truck. And NO ONE wants to be stuck behind a truck that is moving slow. But don’t, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, don’t speed up to pass and then get in front of us and slow down so that then the vehicle you just passed is now catching you. It makes no sense because if you wanted to go slower you could have just stayed behind the vehicle you passed.
Some do it because they aren’t using cruise control and when get in front they get on their phone or do something else that takes their attention away from the road and they slow down. Some do it because they want to go the speed they want to go regardless of if its faster than you, they just don’t want to be behind you.This is selfish and inconsiderate to say the least. Now, there are a certain few who like to do this to aggravate truckers because they think it’s funny and they don’t like trucks anyway. Some truck drivers do it to other truckers because they don’t like that specific company for whatever reason or they don’t like governed trucks and are showing their frustration. These are things that all drivers do, truckers and four wheelers.
But truckers should definitely know better because they experience the same thing from four wheelers. So for them to do these things to other truck drivers is an incredible lack for professional courtesy and is rude and selfish in the extreme. You are not the only truck on the road and your appointment time to the shipper or receiver is no more important than any other trucker’s appointment time.
Karma is real and maybe, JUST MAYBE, if you stop doing this stuff you will find that you don’t experience it as much as you used to. Or just try thinking about when someone did something like that to you and how mad you were about it. Why make someone else that upset and frustrated like you were? Be safe out there and remember, keep it between the ditches.
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