Speed And Lane Etiquette

Topic 22204 | Page 1

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andhe78's Comment
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New driver here and have noticed some things that make driving easier for me but I have to question if it's rude to other drivers.

First off, my truck is governed at 65 but I've found running 62/63 is less stressful. I'm not coming up on someone doing 64 and having to spend ten minutes passing him. When creeping up on someone while doing 62, have plenty of extra speed to get around him. Plus traffic is always moving away from me so easier to maintain proper following distance and I'm not constantly changing lanes. However, this does mean I'm one of the slower guys on the interstate , so I get more passes. Is it proper etiquette to run full speed so not everyone has to pass me?

Secondly, once the interstate turns into more than two lanes or comes into a city, I'll run at the speed limit-if it's 65, I'll do 65, if 55, I'll do 55. However the middle lane is the easiest to run to keep out of the right lane drama, but doing the speed limit in these areas really does mean I am the slowest one on the road again. I'm not going to speed, so is it proper etiquette to just suck it up and run the right lane, or is the middle lane fair game while running at the speed limit?

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm also a rookie so take my opinion with a grain of salt. You sound exactly like me haha. I've also noticed running 62/63 although I'm governed for 65 is less stressful. I'm a local driver so I only get out on the open highway on Friday and the occasional wednesday. Because I'm going under the speed limit when I see another truck that's going 65 I will slow down to allow him to pass me quicker if there's traffic building behind him. I would stay in the far right lane in the city if you'll be getting off however if your just passing through I'd stay in the middle. If you're doing the speed limit in the middle lane you're perfectly fine. It isn't your fault others want to break the law. I haven't dealt much with 3 lane highways except when I was making my weekly run to Omaha and Lincoln for a couple months. That particular stretch on I-80 prohibits all trucks from the left lane so I ran the right most lane except for passing in which I took the center lane. This allowed other trucks to pass me without forcing them to enter the left lane unlawfully to get around me.

G-Town's Comment
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I like your approach to the governed speed of 65. Basically the same thing I do if traffic is moderate, I run at 63. I can get 67 if I need it...

Middle lane? For me it's a gut feel depending on traffic density, time of day, and where I am. Heavy traffic; definitely the middle lane. Light, I'll run in the right lane and move to the middle lane as I approach an entrance. Just be extra cautious in the middle lane, no place to go; maintain a safe following distance and keep your eyes on both mirrors.

Center lane running... A gut feel, that you'll continue to develop and refine with experience.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Andhe78 speaks wisdom:

I've found running 62/63 is less stressful
the middle lane is the easiest to run to keep out of the right lane drama

True this: the 2mph difference is insignificant, even on an 11 hour drive (2x11=22 so about 22 miles less at andhe's relaxed rate). For me, less stress holding a steering wheel is worth it. You mentioned "traffic is always moving away from me". I like to think that I'm actually moving backwards to the flow of traffic! So, even though everyone behind you is looking out the front windshield, you still need to keep tabs on those coming up behind you. ...you never know...

Yes, inhabiting the middle lane on city freeways is the better option in my book. Cars coming on are almost forced to change into the right lane, and 80 feet of big truck in the way does not help matters. This also means you have fewer times you are forced to move left yourself. Here's an added hint I figured out in the Atlanta I-285 loop: Watch for the lane with the darkest black center stripe. This is often the lane most through trucks will chose. Then you could avoid your own "EXIT ONLY" lane situations.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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I've only been driving for 9 months with 7 being Linehaul with doubles I can only run 65 and only do it on open highway, otherwise its 60 mph or the speed limit which ever is lower. I have to take 94 through Chicago to our terminal there and the merge ramps are really short so I run the middle lane most of the time and let people worry about going around me as I am going the speed limit and it gives the cars and trucks room to merge. If traffic is lite Ill run the right lane and move over or slow down as needed.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Diver Driver's Comment
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I run @ 60 most times. I'll take the center lane in cities to avoid the on coming traffic. This results in less lane changing, and less interaction with 4 wheelers who still don't know what the on ramp is actually for.

Yes, there are gonna be other drivers who will tell you you're "number 1", but it's your safety record. Just be like a rock in a river and let the other traffic go around you. But always keep an eye on your mirrors, especially when coming up on a brake check.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

This is a great topic.

I'm governed at 62 max, and I certainly enjoy the stress free pace. In most situations you'll just find me chillin over in the right lane. But for the in-city three-lane situations like you described, I prefer the middle lane most often. Like Errol said, it's a feel kinda thing. Being in the right lane can often create more dangerous situations due to vehicles merging, plus the idiots that have to cut in front of you and hit the brakes 50ft before the exit because God forbid they get behind the big truck.

When I'm in the middle and I see a big truck rolling up on me, I'll key up the mic and tell him to pass me on the right if he likes, and I'll lift the throttle to make it easy for him. It's far easier for him to do that, then pull back in front of me, than it is for me to move over and then try to pick my way back to the middle.

The four wheelers are on their own. I have no guilt or shame.

PJ's Comment
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I’ve been following along and reading the responses and comparing them to my own experiences. Ya’ll probably won’t like my opinion but here it goes. My truck is not goverened and when it is safe to do so I drive at the speed limit or up to 5 over. Of course that depends on traffic conditions and weather. Multiple lane roadways I always have a battle with because trucks that can’t do the speed limit get out in the left lanes. All states have laws that slower traffic is too keep to the right. Passing on the right is always unsafe to do. Camping out in the middle lane of a 3 lane is actually not legal if your slower traffic. The signs are white with black lettering, just like a speed limit sign. Hence it’s not a suggestion. We all see the 4 wheelers speeding and we are never going to change that, its just a known fact we have to deal with. Turtle your method is a great idea, except many trucks aren’t running cb’s or they don’t turn them on until they feel a need. Unforutante fact, but true. I always have mine on and squelch it down for close folks. It has served me well and helped out more times than I can count. My preference is for slower trucks to move to the right when encountered by a faster one. It’s the legal thing too do and safer. Yes it’s a pain for the slower truck and I’m sorry for that. I have passed on the right and the hair on the back of my neck always stands up when I do it. I have had drivers too try and come over on me and it’s just not a safe situation. I know some folks will agree with me and some will disagree, thats fine, but at the end of the day we all need to share the road together and stay safe while doing so.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

First on speed limits. That is the maximum you can legally drive on that road. Some have minimus posted.

As far as what lane, I agree with PJ. The right lane is for driving. The left lane is for passing. You can get ticketed for driving in the wrong lane. With that said, it's your butt in the drivier's seat. Make the safest choice.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Andhe78, you're doing just fine, don't even worry about it. If someone is that desperate to get around you, they will. When people get frustrated is in light traffic and a truck is running slower, like 60 in a 70, in the middle lane. I don't know why they get frustrated to be honest because in light traffic, it's pretty easy to get around someone but it just goes on to prove that truckers just have to have something to complain about lol. I have a fast truck , a powerful truck that is geared to pull hills but it's set up that way because 95% of the loads I carry weigh more than most people. I generally run between 60 and 65 but will hammer on it when coming up to approaching hills just so it doesn't take forever to get to the top. As many have mentioned though, it's all about traffic and safety so my cushion in traffic is double that of just about everyone else, leaving a pretty big gap that just about everyone, including other truckers, love to jump into. It doesn't matter though, lift off the throttle for a second and open up the safe space to keep on rolling. The times I get to really laugh are at the impatient folks who immediately want to jump out to my left when merging on the highway before I get the squirrels under the hood wound up. I can't tell you how many times that same impatient driver gets over, barely gets to the tires inn the trailer, only to have to merge back in behind me. Sometimes they yell on the radio, I'll remind them that I'm 120k and they shouldn't try to get in a hurry and pass someone if they can't pull it off. I don't try to be a jerk about it, you learn to recognize the ones who are being ridiculous and sometimes it just kinda happens lol. I'll plead guilty to that one. The key is, be safe, that is all anyone really expects. Drive your truck, don't let someone else drive it for you.

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