Tuesday, 15 September 2015 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
Every job in every sector has its own phrases and customs, its own slang and in-jokes, and its own stereotypes. As providers of truck insurance we know the trucking industry is no exception.
But this blog isn’t about how truckers supposedly look or speak, the stories they tell or the (ahem) squeaky clean jokes they occasionally make. Oh no. It’s about what annoys the living hell out of those who drive anything massive for a living.
In order of frustration, the things that make HGV drivers shout “#ForTrucksSake!” are…
- Motorists merging from the left.
All too often, motorists yank their cars to the right without really looking – yet a lorry’s thousand tons of whatever most definitely can’t move over to the next lane with the ease of a bicycle.
With 16 gigantic wheels, a huge looming cab and an enormous load with lettering all over it so garish you can see it from space, there’s not a lot lorry drivers can do to make themselves more noticeable. So please: look before you move.
- Braking suddenly.
Did you know that a rig can weigh up to 40 tonnes?
That means when you slam on your anchors from 60 to zero to pull into that petrol station, it’s highly unlikely that the HGV driver following you will be able to stop in the same amount of time.
A loaded lorry needs about three times the braking distance that you do – comparatively, it’s like trying to stop the moon.
- Failure to indicate.
It doesn’t take a moment and it really does make all the difference.
That lorry behind you just won’t be able to react to your sudden impulse to pull in – by giving a signal, you allow more reaction time and you’re far less likely to cause an accident.
- No, truck drivers don’t think they own the road.
But they do get fed up with people thinking they’re nothing but an inconvenience to their commute.
Alright, lorries aren’t that fast nor are they that manoeuvrable, especially when six-point turning into a narrow road to make a delivery.
But that’s the thing.
HGVs transport and deliver the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the cars you drive, the fuel you need to drive them, the furniture for your home… and lorry drivers will be immensely grateful for a patient smile instead of a beep of your horn.
- Tailgating to save petrol.
Hard to believe, but it happens.
In Formula 1 and NASCAR it’s known as drafting or slipstreaming. It helps the car behind slingshot past the guy in front at 200mph and it’s all part of the sport.
However, doing this to save a few mpg on the M1 isn’t just dangerous, it’s INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS.
The driver can’t see you, you can’t react if they brake suddenly and above all, you can’t see anything of the road in front.
- People thinking truckers are all nutters and risk-takers.
Yes, there are plenty of images to be found online of HGV’s that have hit low bridges because the drivers didn’t know their height!
Of course, everyone makes mistakes but it takes some serious training to handle an HGV – much more than a car license – and every driver is fully aware of the massive responsibility that comes from driving a hugely heavy, powerful vehicle with a long load of expensive goods behind them.
Do you drive an HGV for a living? What are your biggest motoring annoyances? Whether they’re funny, tongue-in-cheek or genuinely get your goat – share them with us on Twitter using the hashtag #ForTrucksSake!