Fear/anxiety With The Big Rigs

Topic 15259 | Page 2

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Everyone covered things pretty well. I would add one thought:

I also have the fear of truck scales: the cops giving me (and every other driver) the close look, to see what they can write the driver up for

I figured out quickly when I first started driving that the reason we drive beautiful brand new rigs in the U.S. is because of our strict enforcement. If you get into trucking and you happen to go near the Mexican border you'll see what they drive over there. You'll be thanking your lucky stars that we have strict DOT enforcement or we'd all be driving 25 year old trucks gushing black fumes and held together with bungee cords and bailing wire. I wish I was exaggerating about the condition of Mexican trucks, but I'm not.

We tend to see cops as the bad guys in our society and understandably no one wants a ticket or to be held up by an inspection. But our system really is extremely beneficial to the drivers and the DOT officers really are doing us a great service by making sure our equipment is safe. And besides, they're just human beings trying to get through their work day like the rest of us. If you're friendly and you treat them with respect you'll rarely find that they're "out to get us". They're out there doing their job is all, and we really should be thankful for that even if it's an inconvenience at times.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Errol V.'s Comment
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The video in "How Does A Weigh Station Work" is the best explanation that it isn't "Us vs Them". It's a bit long, but worth every minute.

Airborne's Comment
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The video in "How Does A Weigh Station Work" is the best explanation that it isn't "Us vs Them". It's a bit long, but worth every minute.

That was a pretty good video dude, thanks!!

thank-you.gif
Lyght's Comment
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I haven't started yet but I understand those fears. I've tried backing up a uhual trailer before as well as a boat trailer... the attempts did not go well. I'm worried I'll never be any good at backing up one of those huge trucks, and even more so backing it up with a 55 foot trailer attached to it. My other fear is getting into an accident, I know driving a truck means any accident could easily kill someone. I'm not sure how to get over those fears. I'm seeing a lot of people saying experience, my dad (a trucker) tells me just to take my time and not let other people rush me. Millions of people do this a year... it should be okay.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
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Light says

I haven't started yet but I understand those fears. I've tried backing up a uhual trailer before as well as a boat trailer... the attempts did not go well. I'm worried I'll never be any good at backing up one of those huge trucks, and even more so backing it up with a 55 foot trailer attached to it. My other fear is getting into an accident, I know driving a truck means any accident could easily kill someone. I'm not sure how to get over those fears. I'm seeing a lot of people saying experience, my dad (a trucker) tells me just to take my time and not let other people rush me. Millions of people do this a year... it should be okay.

Not to worry. "Fear" produces a fight or flight response. Neither one of those is good for trucking. After you get into it a bit, and understand what's going on, you'll build respect for these issues. You'll understand more what causes things and his to handle the truck better.

Backing will most probably drive you wild with frustration. By the time of your evaluation, you will feel barely qualified. That's normal, and you should get past those tests, maybe with some nerves and a dry mouth, but you'll get past them. It takes some time and expense to feel more relaxed in backing.

Everyone knows driving an 80,000 pound death machine down the highway isn't easy. But from day one you'll be learning safety. If you keep safe procedures in your head, and stay conscious of what's in the space around you, and never forget that your ass end is dragging 60' in back, you'll be OK.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stomper4x4's Comment
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Lyght, I've always found that backing a long trailer is much easier than a short one. When I was new I'd prefer to back a 53 over a pup any day. So at trucking school I hooked to the pups a lot.

To the OP, ask your truck school instructor or your driver trainer to teach you about "Timing the lights" as my teacher put it. Basically it amounts to learning to recognise what a light will do long before you get there. For instance, if a green light is going stale (been green a while) then anticipate it changing yellow and just start slowing down. And when heading towards a light that's red, slow down way early and drive up to it slowly, the idea being that you never actually come to a stop. The key is patience, and not worrying about the guy behind you. You're in a truck, they aren't. Not your job to rush around for their sake.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Chiefmac's Comment
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In areas with crosswalk signals, especially ones with countdown timers, you can tell what's going to happen by watching the one for your direction of travel.

If you see the "white man walking" you are good to go. If you see the "orange stop hand" slow and be prepared to stop. Caveat- if there is a timer, the light will turn yellow when it reaches zero.

Still pay attention to indicators like a line of cars, or pedestrians waiting, and always scan the complete intersection. Hope this helps.

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