City Traffic

Topic 30018 | Page 1

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Dennis T.'s Comment
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Hello everyone, I've been researching being an OTR truck driver, but to be honest I'm worried about city driving. I've lived in a small town all my adult life. I am a great driver on the highways, but I've never driven much in the city, it hasn't been very often that I've needed to. What worries me is being with a trailer in the major cities in heavy traffic, where all the lanes on each side are full of vehicles, with stop and go traffic, and me needing to change lanes to catch an exit. I know it's possible to do obviously, but i can't imagine being able to make those changes when no one wants to let you in or give you space, trying to picture it makes me anxious. Are there any tips on how to make your lane changes when traffic is packed like that? Is it common to miss exits because you couldn't make the changes in time? I just need some reassurance on how to handle this situation I think before I call recruiters. Thank you!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Andrey's Comment
member avatar

Are there any tips on how to make your lane changes when traffic is packed like that?

Here is what helps me, a person with an extremely limited experience of a city tractor-tractor driving: study your route before departing, know your exits, turn on flashers about two miles ahead, and if nobody wants to let you in (in most cases people will do that), just start merging, but do it super slow!

TCB's Comment
member avatar

Always remember spacing and speed in city driving. I have been driving in So Cal traffic for 30 years, two of them CMV. It still makes me nervous. But, I guess nervousness keeps me alert, and I never let my guard down. I am usually the slowest on the roads in cities. Even the other truckers are passing me. Just keep your spacing far and speed down. Like Andrey said, study the route beforehand, so that you will know which lanes to be in and when. Let your intentions be known early via flashers and turn signals.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

I've only missed one exit due to not being let in and it was in New Jersey as well as I noticed it a little late. I have to respectfully disagree about using the flashers 2 miles ahead however, well actually against using the flashers at all in that situation, just use your turn signal. With the flashers on nobody knows what is wrong with you or what you are wanting to do, especially if you've been driving with them on for two miles. With the turn signal on they know you are wanting to change lanes and generally someone will let you in. In some situations like stop and go traffic you have to slowly and gently let someone know you are coming over regardless and they will get the hint. You are over thinking it. Most people are pretty decent out here, not all by any means but most. When you know you are going to make a right turn ahead you should already be driving in the right lane rather than waiting till the last minute to move over, same for a left turn. The amount of city driving is minimal at best for OTR drivers. Don't worry, you got this.

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.

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