Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-13-2014, 05:32 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
gomotomoto's Avatar
 
Longport , New Jersey
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 256
The psychology of a trucker and driving techniques

I'd like to preface this post with the statement: I am a rookie having just done my first trip to pick up our airstream. It was a long one, 1200 miles from Orlando to New Jersey. For the most part it was very smooth, however the scariest element of the trip was dealing with all the trucks and their different driving styles.

Some of the truckers were courteous, in control and not threatening in anyway. others seem to be trying to run us off the road.

I was constantly checking my rearview mirror's in anticipation of oncoming trucks and other passing vehicles. I was doing my best to be aware the entire time. I found that if I knew a truck was coming I was better prepared to deal with these road Giants approaching us at different speeds.

Generally I could tell if a truck might challenge me in some way. If they appeared to be approaching very fast in the rearview I knew that it was going to rock my nerves a bit. Thankfully our anti-sway weight distribution system helped out a ton.

Trucks that were approaching me aggressively were the ones that shook me up the most some of them were not tracking straight and even drifted into my lane a little bit which I found incredibly unnerving with my entire family in the car.

I am not advising anybody to do this as I have no experience, but I did quickly learned that if I stood my ground on the left side of my lane, they would give me more room as they passed.

I assume they looked at me like someone with an airstream having no idea what he was doing in giving me a wide berth. When I did nothing and stayed in the middle of my lane they would use I'll be available real estate which was causing me a lot of stress.

I am just wondering if any of you have techniques in dealing with the trucks and staying safe on the road. I know that they have a right to be there and I'm not suggesting otherwise but they were definitely the most dangerous element of the trip minus the one guy in a cutlass sierra who was driving his car while texting with both hands all the while with a Close to flat tire.

Driving the airstream with your family in the car is a great responsibility and requires you being completely present at all times. Outside trucks I'd say it was an amazing experience while we towed. Any insight or advice on my observations is welcomed. I'd love to hear how you guys handle the trucks and bad drivers.
__________________

__________________
gomotomoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 06:21 PM   #2
Restorations done right
Commercial Member
 
Frank's Trailer Works's Avatar
 
1962 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
Vintage Kin Owner
Currently Looking...
Baltimore , Maryland
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,547
Images: 2
I have never been intimidated by the truck. Many are however. I have noticed that the new air damns on many semi trucks now create a strong outward push.
__________________

Frank's Trailer Works is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 06:50 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Wayward's Avatar
 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
Cary , North Carolina
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 803
could be more about your speed than your rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by gomotomoto View Post
Generally I could tell if a truck might challenge me in some way. If they appeared to be approaching very fast in the rearview I knew that it was going to rock my nerves a bit.

Trucks that were approaching me aggressively were the ones that shook me up the most some of them were not tracking straight and even drifted into my lane a little bit

I did quickly learned that if I stood my ground on the left side of my lane, they would give me more room as they passed.

I am just wondering if any of you have techniques in dealing with the trucks and staying safe on the road.

Any insight or advice on my observations is welcomed. I'd love to hear how you guys handle the trucks and bad drivers.
Congratulations - you have been through the fire!

First, I assume you were on I95. 95 is a madhouse - insane - from Mass to Miami. Many people going too slow in all lanes. Many others going too fast in any lane they can find to jump into. I'll tell you from hundreds of trips on it up and down the east coast, I have never had a relaxing drive.

Overall in the last few years I have been noticing trucks running fairly close to the speed limit on interstates. Trucks are generally staying to the right except to pass - a rule all of us should observe as often as possible.

But if there is a 15 or 20mph difference between your speed and a big rig - getting around you on a fast crowded road is not necessary going to be a polite maneuver.

It sounds from your post, that you may have been running in the right hand lane significantly slower than traffic. Not always a good thing on a crowded road like 95 because those trucks may come up on you fast and not have a an opportunity to get in the left lane to pass. They may try to get over but then have to hit the brakes - that may what you sense as aggressive.

It may be easier for them to pass if you are cruising in left lane but running slow in the left lane will cause many other problems for everyone.

So I would say, stay right except to pass and when you do have to pass, step on it and get back in the right lane as fast as you safely can.

Next I would say that on a road like 95, try to keep up with the flow of traffic. On 95 that probably means cruising at 70mph. I do not think I would pull our rig on I95 at less than 65mph - and will run up to 70 or 75mph if need be.

When I am not in the mood to run fast and deal with that sort of race track, I generally take a different route.
__________________
2006 Safari SE FB
2000 F150 4.2L
2011 F250 6.2L
Raleigh, NC
Wayward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 07:00 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
gomotomoto's Avatar
 
Longport , New Jersey
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 256
Yes, ran anywhere from 60-65 mostly in the right hand lane. I really wanted to explore 77 and 85, but was warned this was not going to be a good drive for my first go. Overall, I did have a nice drive. Washington wasn't even that bad. I found rt4 in Orlando to be awful but slowing down in tight situations was helpful for me.
__________________
gomotomoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 07:03 PM   #5
1987 Avion 34W owner
 
PaulnGina's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Good Ol' , USA
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,892
I like to keep an eye on what's coming up behind me. If a semi is coming around, I try to give it as much room as I safely can. That way, IF there is any push from it, it'll be lessened. One thing I love about AS's and my Avion is that they don't get sucked in to the trucks like a slab-sided trailer does, and my Avion 34W tracks very well with six wheels under it..
__________________
"Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth"
1987 Avion 34W
1995 Ford F250 7.3L PowerStroke
PaulnGina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 08:07 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
AnnArborBob's Avatar
 
2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Chelsea , Michigan
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,769
Images: 12
I generally keep my speed at slightly under the speed limit to as much as 5 to 7 mph under the limit (in the right lane of course.) So far, no trucker (or any other motorist) has ever bothered me. I understand that I-95 is a zoo however and I have not had the pleasure of driving that one yet. :P
__________________
Bob Martel
WBCCI# 5766
AnnArborBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 08:20 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Goal15's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,673
Images: 1
In three years of towing I've only encountered two truckers that I perceived as driving dangerously and curiously both occurred on the same downgrade on I-40 eastbound into Nashville. There's a curve about halfway down and despite that I was doing 60 in the right lane both of these 18 wheelers barreled down and pulled wide at the last moment. Interestingly these happened a year apart. I have noticed that there are some drivers out there who seem to be Johnny come latelies to the profession and don't exhibit the traditional courtesy of directional lights and saying thanks for the space to pull back into the right lane. But that's a very small number of drivers


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
__________________
Dana and Olga
2006 Safari 23
2011 Tundra Double Cab
Goal15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 08:30 PM   #8
Slide Out Society #001
 
GCinSC2's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic S/O
Somewhere , South Carolina
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,053
We need trucks, they transport almost everything we need and use, courteous truckers big thanks. But here's the rub. I see a big difference between OTR drivers and container jockeys. The container rigs that I see daily on I95 cut drivers off, tailgate and leave a bunch of gators on the road. And your trucks in general look to be one step ahead of the scrap pile.
__________________
S/OS #001
2005 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L 6 Speed
16" Michelins, Hi Spec Wheels, Max Brake, Carslile Actuator, Equal-i-zer, Dill TPMS. Campfire cook.
GCinSC2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 08:38 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Wingeezer's Avatar
 
2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,709
My approach is a Hensley or Propride hitch for excellent control plus maintaining a road speeds equal or better than most of the trucks.

The only time I won't do this is when road conditions are bad due to weather. I slow down to a speed I feel comfortable and safe with and just let the trucks pass me and be on their way! Either many of them are they are much better drivers than me as I suppose they should be - or maybe in some cases just more foolhardy.

Also I try hard to be on the road only during daylight hours.

If my driving day has to be longer, then I prefer to set out early in the morning in the dark in light traffic rather than finish the day's drive in darkness combined with heavier traffic and me being tired. Of course an early start in the dark means keeping a sharp eye for deer, depending on location

So far this has worked for me and I don't feel at all intimidated on the interstates.

I will admit though that there is one slight exception! I am not really happy driving on interstates through major cities with complex road systems, heavy traffic, and people merging left and right when I don't know the area.

In those situations. I really am thankful for GPS which is a great boon and usually helps me set up on the correct side of the road well in advance if I am coming up to an exit on the left or right I need to take rather than having to cut over several lanes of high speed traffic at the last moment!

If ever I do find myself on the wrong side of he road for an exit thougI will never try to rectify this at the last minute - way too dangerous in my view.

Instead, despite my wife shouting at me (!), I just calmly take the wrong road and let the GPS sort things out and get me back on track even if it costs me extra time.

Brian.
__________________
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
Wingeezer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 08:44 PM   #10
Rivet Puller
 
SeeMore's Avatar
 
2003 28' Safari S/O
Marietta , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,232
Images: 3
Interesting choice of terms - "approaching me aggressively." Was he/she waving an arm out the window, flashing head lights, or using some other means of communication? The actions you describe once alongside you could be a tired or inattentive driver, possibly one on a cell phone, or one whose truck has a sloppy steering mechanism.
__________________
SeeMore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2014, 09:51 PM   #11
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,324
I've only had one bad incident with a semi in my entire forty-year driving career, on I-20 between Shreveport and Dallas. The semi was a tanker with a load of fuel for Love's Country Stores.

The guy welded himself four feet from my rear bumper, and stayed that close for eighteen miles despite ample opportunities to go around; traffic was relatively light that day. Every time I changed lanes, he changed lanes. Every time I sped up, he sped up. Every time I slowed down, he slowed down. That persisted until I finally took an exit that he didn't.

As soon as I got to a good stopping point with WiFi, I got out my laptop and fired off an e-mail to the company complaining about the driver. Never got any acknowledgement, and that jerk is probably still out there playing stupid semi games with other drivers. And to this day I've boycotted Love's Country Stores. I'd rather be stranded than buy fuel or anything else from them.
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 05:44 AM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
gomotomoto's Avatar
 
Longport , New Jersey
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
I've only had one bad incident with a semi in my entire forty-year driving career, on I-20 between Shreveport and Dallas. The semi was a tanker with a load of fuel for Love's Country Stores.



The guy welded himself four feet from my rear bumper, and stayed that close for eighteen miles despite ample opportunities to go around; traffic was relatively light that day. Every time I changed lanes, he changed lanes. Every time I sped up, he sped up. Every time I slowed down, he slowed down. That persisted until I finally took an exit that he didn't.



As soon as I got to a good stopping point with WiFi, I got out my laptop and fired off an e-mail to the company complaining about the driver. Never got any acknowledgement, and that jerk is probably still out there playing stupid semi games with other drivers. And to this day I've boycotted Love's Country Stores. I'd rather be stranded than buy fuel or anything else from them.

That's awful. I would have called the state police while he was doing it.
__________________
gomotomoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 06:01 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Lily&Me's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 13,566
I just stay out of their way....get out of the passing lane if they are bearing down, slow a bit to let them in....always good, whenever possible , not to pick a fight with an entity so much larger than you are.

You never know who is behind the wheel.

Could be the most courteous, considerate, decent human being you could ever encounter, just trying to get from point A to point B, meet his deadline, etc. Or....not.

They are always in a hurry, and I try not to be.


Maggie
__________________
🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
Lily&Me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2014, 06:33 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Nowhere , Somewhere
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,417
Blog Entries: 2
Never ever drive under the limit in the left lane.! Stay to the right and be patient. Jim
__________________

__________________
avionstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trucker Airstreamers Melody Ranch On The Road... 2 08-25-2009 06:01 AM
half polish, dull, or matte, polish techniques ? greenrig Cleaning, Stripping & Polishing 9 07-11-2009 11:11 PM
Techniques for lifting body off frame. troyreeb Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 16 02-24-2009 09:23 PM
floor replacement techniques smallfry Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 4 07-27-2003 09:47 PM
One angry Trucker 53flyingcloud Off Topic Forum 1 07-11-2002 01:47 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.