@#&$! That Trucker Just Cut Me Off!!

Topic 23309 | Page 1

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Kevin K.'s Comment
member avatar

I had to make a split-second decision last night. A car was slowly merging on to the interstate from a short on-ramp. I was in the right lane and had a UPS doubles truck on my left. My only choices were to brake hard or maintain speed and leave it up to the car to brake and yield. I maintained speed. I was in that no man's land where no decision was a good one. I'm sure the other driver felt as though I had cut them off. I wouldn't blame them if they felt that way. It was my fault for having put myself in that position - alongside double pups and approaching an on ramp where traffic merges slowly because the ramp is so short.

Anyway, it got me wondering how often drivers call in truckers who they feel have done them wrong. What is usually the company's way of handling this? I'd be interested if anyone has received a complaint about their driving and what consequences they faced because of it.

Interstate:

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

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Ive been driving for about a year now with a majority of my daily driving on city streets primarily in the downtown area. Ive only been talked to about somebody calling me in once. It was like my 2nd week of driving and according to person I "used my turn signal to move over a lane but wasnt clear of them and caused them to hit the curb". The ladys story didnt add up and my trainer and i actually were discussing the car just "hanging out" on my side. My trainer and i noticed they backed off a bit to allow me over. I dont know what happened behind the scenes, i was called about it from my supervisor and he took notes of what my trainer and i said and thats the last i heard of it. Hasnt been brought up again in the year since. Really you didnt do anything wrong. The vehicle entering the highway is expected to yield to traffic on the interstate although WHEN ITS SAFE TO DO SO its best to move over to allow them on which wasnt possible in this situation. Either way i think it's great that you're looking for ways to prevent it from happening again.

Interstate:

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

Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

People call in a lot. But there are so many drivers that few of us get called in often.

In my prior life, I operated a local transit company with 100 vehicles and about 175 drivers. Many drivers would go years without getting a call-in. Others would get a lot of them.

My company, and I think most transportation companies, will document each call in so that they can find frequency. In many cases, they'll chat up the driver to get their side of the story, if the driver even knows the situation that led to the call.

It is the drivers with many call ins that get a serious look and potential dismissal. A random call in every once in a big while is not likely going to be cause for alarm.

We face many situations each day in which we can easily annoy other drivers despite our best efforts.

For the record, I think your decision to maintain lane and speed was the right call in the circumstances you described....you'd just be on high alert in case you needed to brake if the auto driver didn't stay clear. Also, I think many truck drivers change lanes to avoid cars far too often. Each lane change is a risk...don't change lanes any more often than you really need to. The car can easily change speed and in 10 seconds it will be all over for them.

When I was a student, my trainer taught me never to move over for cars. I did the same when I was a trainer. Most of the time, changing lanes causes more problems than it solves, and then there is that increased risk for no good reason....

I had to make a split-second decision last night. A car was slowly merging on to the interstate from a short on-ramp. I was in the right lane and had a UPS doubles truck on my left. My only choices were to brake hard or maintain speed and leave it up to the car to brake and yield. I maintained speed. I was in that no man's land where no decision was a good one. I'm sure the other driver felt as though I had cut them off. I wouldn't blame them if they felt that way. It was my fault for having put myself in that position - alongside double pups and approaching an on ramp where traffic merges slowly because the ramp is so short.

Anyway, it got me wondering how often drivers call in truckers who they feel have done them wrong. What is usually the company's way of handling this? I'd be interested if anyone has received a complaint about their driving and what consequences they faced because of it.

Interstate:

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

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.

Kevin K.'s Comment
member avatar

Also, I think many truck drivers change lanes to avoid cars far too often. Each lane change is a risk...don't change lanes any more often than you really need to.

Most of the time, changing lanes causes more problems than it solves, and then there is that increased risk for no good reason...

I drove a non-governed straight truck for many years and am now driving a tractor trailer governed at 65. What a difference this has made! I used to have the power and maneuverability to easily pass the packs of tractor trailers I encountered. Now I have no passing power and am twice as long. I am still adjusting and learning that in almost every situation the best thing to do is stay in your lane and slow down.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

On the other side of that. Which would have been safer. You hitting the brakes or the the set of doubles? The car wasn't going to, never count on a car to yield. However if your dragging a box and only one of them you'll be amazed by just how much you can brake without problems.

Speaking of problems they arise when you have two trailers and slam on the brakes or one trailer filled with liquid. Lots of people forget that the DMV requires credentials for hazmat , doubles-triples and liquid for a reason?

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Kevin wrote:

I had to make a split-second decision last night. A car was slowly merging on to the interstate from a short on-ramp. I was in the right lane and had a UPS doubles truck on my left.

Kevin situational awareness is perhaps one of the top 3 skills a truck driver needs to operate safely. It’s developed with experiences like you just described.

Two thoughts here; if the car was merging slowly, and the ramp was short, why did it require a split second decision?

You understood the situation, but may have hesitated before making a decision on how-to handle it the safest way possible.

Given that the ramp was short, a slow merging car was on it, you were moving fast enough to arrive at the same place at the same time as the car and possibly traffic congestion, slow down and do it with a degree of moderation, not abruptly. Constantly look-ahead, far enough down the road to determine on-ramps (including length) backing-up traffic on off-ramps, anything that could impede your path. Have a plan, look for an “out”, always be thinking in advance and anticipate that other drivers will-not exercise that same level of prudence you were taught.

It’s safe to conclude if the car was merging slowly chances are they will continue the same pace as the approach the point of completing their merge. If given the same situation as you were in, I would have slowed down allowing the car to complete the merge.

If it’s a three lane highway or Interstate, run the middle lane in areas with a high frequency of on-ramps and traffic congestion.

Our job is to avoid situations that elevate the risk of accidents, not escalate them.

Interstate:

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

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kevin K.'s Comment
member avatar
If the car was merging slowly, and the ramp was short, why did it require a split second decision?

It's one of those ramps that loops down and around from an overpass. I misjudged the speed of the car and the length of the merging lane. I thought they had more time and room to get up to speed.

If given the same situation as you were in, I would have slowed down allowing the car to complete the merge.

It was also my hesitation in making a decision that caused it to become a split-second decision if that makes any sense! Instead of hesitating, I should have immediately and gradually slowed down when I saw the potential of a problem.

Situational awareness is perhaps one of the top 3 skills a truck driver needs to operate safely

What's the other two?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar
What's the other two?

Patience

Space Management

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