Observation From Center Stage

Topic 25406 | Page 1

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G-Town's Comment
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Ever the observer, I constantly watch what others do, day in and day out. Over time you develop a keen sense of “anticipation”, based on seeing a similar set of circumstances played-out, over and over again.

Yesterday was no exception. Although clear and bright, the fierce wind was my constant foe. As a result my deadheaded return trip to the DC was more cautious and vigilant than usual. In heavy wind, I avoid “bunching” with traffic, especially other trucks. As many of you know, a 30mph crosswind can blow an empty trailer around, as if it were a 53’ long sail. Patience is important when trying to stay out of harms way...

As I made my way west over the rolling hills of I-78, I was maintaining a 60-62mph setting on cruise in the right hand lane. Traffic was moderate, but fast moving. There was a truck closing on my left, passing me on a slight downhill grade. I reduced my cruise setting to 60, enabling him to complete the maneuver more quickly. To my surprise, once cleared by at least 100’, the passing truck remained in the left lane. The impatient 4-wheelers started to stack up behind him as the grade began a gradual climb. I maintained my distance although my speed had dropped to now 50mph. He was obviously loaded and refused to adjust accordingly. And as you would guess, cars and light trucks began passing him on the right, moving in a continuous chain, like a NASCAR draft-line.

I’ll pause right here. This is a situation that a safe driver must distance themselves from, which is exactly what I did. Cars were now in a competition to test who could get by this guy the fastest...and several times I watched as one would dart in front of the other with nary a concern of a mishap or their proximity to the truck’s bumper. At this point I had drifted over 300’away from the scrum. All things considered, a distance I considered appropriate.

Back to our friend, we’ll give him a name; JohnBoy Hunt or JBH for short. So JBH was now caught in the catbird seat, unable to move to the right lane. Eventually the road leveled out and he was able to get back up to speed...enough so he was approaching other trucks and again attempting to pass. For any of you familiar with this stretch if I-78 between PA-61 and the junction if I-81, its a variable roll, rising and falling for miles.

Back to JBH, as the grade began to rise again, his speed dropped but now he was next to another truck that matched his speed. The “block” began creating more congestion behind both of them...and of course impatience.

Me? I was now a 10th of a mile behind it, just an observer at this point, far enough away to safely stop if something were to happen. Which eventually it did.. but not what you’d expect...

So the cat and mouse game continued with JBH and the other truck, unmarked. It went on for several miles, neither driver giving ground. An amateurish display of arrogance and ambivalence to safety.

So what happened? There was a PA State Trooper that saw what was going on and pursued the two trucks and pulled them both over about 4 miles from I-81. I waved as a went by, from the center stage seat I kept throughout this folly.

This situation is wrong and dangerous on so many levels. And...very easily avoided. Unfortunately it’s rare that a day goes by without this occurring at least once. This most recent example, is one of the more obvious, blatant and protracted that I’ve seen in quite a while.

I’ll stop for now...and invite anyone to comment on this, especially the latest assembly of new drivers we have on the forum. There is much to be learned from watching the actions of other professional drivers. Good or bad.

Safe travels. Peace.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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There was a truck closing on my left, passing me on a slight downhill grade. I reduced my cruise setting to 60, enabling him to complete the maneuver more quickly.”

This was the part that caught my attention. I wish all drivers had the same situational awareness. It’s been said previously here “don’t get in a turtle race” I even discussed this with another driver and told him I did the same thing G-Town did, and he said “if another driver is stupid enough to try and pass me without enough speed to do it, that’s his problem and not mine”. What a bone headed attitude. Backing off a turtle race is a strong sign of a good driver. G-Town, great teaching example for all of us rookies. Thanks, man!

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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I will slow down and let the other guy over to let traffic by as long as I’m not clawing my way up a hill.

Just yesterday I let a truck over for a vehicle on the shoulder. Flashed my lights repeatedly to let him know. He kept thanking me with the markers and waved when I passed, like he couldn’t believe it.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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I always slow down to let a slightly faster truck get past me. Just tap the break, fade back, flash him over, reset cruise. Time lost zero to a few seconds. On the flip side I hate being that slightly faster truck trying to pass with no help from the guy I'm trying to get by.

Tractor Man's Comment
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I always slow down to let a slightly faster truck get past me. Just tap the break, fade back, flash him over, reset cruise. Time lost zero to a few seconds. On the flip side I hate being that slightly faster truck trying to pass with no help from the guy I'm trying to get by.

^^^^^THIS^^^^^ I do it multiple, sometimes many multiple times per day. I have never understood the mentality of the idiot in the right lane refusing to back off for 10 seconds and let the truck in the passing lane go by. Try it sometime. Let the slightly faster truck pass you. 20 minutes later you can still see him ahead of you!

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Navypoppop's Comment
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G town, As always you have shown anyone reading the forums what is the proper and smart way to handle a potential hazard that could arise at any moment. Hopefully it will awaken just one clown that drives in such a manner and prevent a serious accident and possible injury or death from occurring or a road rage incident. I always applaud your professionalism and good judgement which leads to great topics for discussion and guidance for those not yet experienced or even those that practice such bad habits.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Turtle's Comment
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Awesome example of the right...and safe thing to do.

Junkyard Dog's Comment
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I always slow down to let a slightly faster truck get past me. Just tap the break, fade back, flash him over, reset cruise. Time lost zero to a few seconds. On the flip side I hate being that slightly faster truck trying to pass with no help from the guy I'm trying to get by.

double-quotes-end.png

^^^^^THIS^^^^^ I do it multiple, sometimes many multiple times per day. I have never understood the mentality of the idiot in the right lane refusing to back off for 10 seconds and let the truck in the passing lane go by. Try it sometime. Let the slightly faster truck pass you. 20 minutes later you can still see him ahead of you!

shocked.png

Or the guy you've been creeping up on and go to pass and he hits the accelerator? When these guys do it I just slow down and get back in the right lane. They will pull away from you for a while and eventually you catch up to them again... I wonder if these guys are on their phone when this happens?

Mik D.'s Comment
member avatar

Awhile back early AM I was approaching a tanker truck on I65S approaching TN, getting up on him at a preety good clip, the driver sped up as I tried to pass them, at that point I was being tailgated by multiple cars, I backed off and let the cars pass me as I got in right hand lane, the tanker truck slowed down to about 8 miles below speed limit, I moved over into left lane to try and pass them again, this time they moved into left lane to block me, and I moved to right lane, they did the same blocking me again, I pulled off next exit and waited 15 min and got back on highway, still don’t don’t know what that was about😏😏😏😏😏

Tractor Man's Comment
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Awhile back early AM I was approaching a tanker truck on I65S approaching TN, getting up on him at a preety good clip, the driver sped up as I tried to pass them, at that point I was being tailgated by multiple cars, I backed off and let the cars pass me as I got in right hand lane, the tanker truck slowed down to about 8 miles below speed limit, I moved over into left lane to try and pass them again, this time they moved into left lane to block me, and I moved to right lane, they did the same blocking me again, I pulled off next exit and waited 15 min and got back on highway, still don’t don’t know what that was about😏😏😏😏😏

It was about the fact that many truck drivers are complete a holes! Sad but true. Very few "Professional Drivers" out here anymore.

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