Understanding once learned, isn’t forgotten. As long as you remember to add respect to the mix.
My late husband was a long haul truck driver. Because of that, I learned a great deal from listening to him and others I met who also drive. One thing I regret is that I never was able to go out on the road with him, but that didn’t stop gaining a greater understanding. Especially when you add the fact the writer within me loves to do research, which increased my understanding. So, let’s go over some do’s and don’ts.
Do, give a truck plenty of room. If you start to pass a truck, pass the truck. Do not ride beside it as if you have no care in the world. There are too many blind spots and the possibility and probability that they won’t see you is high. Once you start to pass, get on it and get out of the way. Oh, and don’t slide over into that area directly in front of the truck, they leave that open space for a reason. And for Pete’s sake, do not brake check a truck. That four wheel vehicle isn’t much more than a speed bump to them. You will lose and the possibility of that loss being major is also high. When that truck is hauling a box loaded with thousands of pounds pushing it, stopping is not immediate. In fact, let’s see what the Utah DOT says: https://trucksmart.udot.utah.gov/stopping-distances/
A truck pulling a fifty-two foot long trailer needs more room for those turns. If you see a truck with that right turn signal blinking at you but they are over in another lane, it is not for you to slide up beside them. It is so they can maneuver that turn without taking out what ever may be on that corner. If you move up in the way, that will be you. Give them room to make that turn.
Don’t block access to loading docks. Don’t park your vehicle so that the trucks cannot get to where they need to back into. Those big things can’t fit just anywhere. Show some respect. They’re bringing you your stuff.
Don’t get frustrated and act out when you have to drive around the big trucks. As I mentioned, they are doing their job to bring you the stuff you need and or want. Don’t want to drive around them? Quit wanting/needing stuff.
Think about this. Truck drivers are out there on the road, away from family and friends for extended periods of time. Alone unless they team or are allowed passengers, for that time. They see a lot of the country, from the roadway, but can’t share that other than maybe a photo or two from a pull off.
A memory from 2016
Help me……………..this man can talk…and talk… and talk….. and talk….and talk……I’m accustomed to quiet..James only talks when he really has something to say and then he leaves.. my husband.. Heaven help me he just starts talking and doesn’t stop…..Has he built up all this from all that time alone on the truck? I’m in trouble…
Finding somewhere to park safely to rest, isn’t easy. Truck stops have limited parking and that fills up quickly. Truck stops also charge high prices for the items they carry, because, they can. Once upon a time many of them had real restaurants inside where drivers could get a decent meal. Now most if they have anything at all, have fast food joints. Face it, everyone gets tired of fast food at some point.
Time restrictions. You get tired of the hours you work? You grow weary of that week that is so long that Friday can’t arrive soon enough. I seriously doubt you could handle a career as a truck driver. The government is constantly adding laws, rules, restrictions on what they can or can’t do and when they can and can’t do what they are attempting to accomplish. They can only drive so many hours, there has to be a dummy break in there, they have to be parked so many hours. If they mess that up, there are warnings and fines. If the end of your driving time falls at the wrong time, good luck finding a decent place to park where you will be safe and not bothered. Caught in bad weather? Find yourself stuck in traffic due to a wreck? Tough.
Bless his heart–first my husband gets caught up in that road closure in Kansas, then his truck won’t crank. He calls service and they tell him they will be there in an hour and a half. So he sits in a cold truck waiting for 2 hours. They can’t get it to crank. They have to go for parts or some such. He tells them they will have to call him when they get back as he is going into the truck stop to get warm. They get the truck cranked but its the starter and he can’t turn the truck off. That means that he has to drive to the next repair shop miles away (thankfully in the town he was originally going to anyway) to get a new starter. But- he only had so many hours to get there or they would be closed. He called me at 11:30 last night to tell me he made it. Bless him- I wouldn’t want to drive a truck for any amount of money-
Once upon a time, we held a greater respect for truck drivers. No, they don’t run into burning buildings as a rule. They don’t protect civilians as a general rule. They don’t suit up and go off to war to protect those back home, as a general rule. But they do carry the burden of transporting items needed for survival. They too, are worthy of respect.