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Old 05-25-08, 09:13 AM   #1
4hmom
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Experiences with truckers?

I, personally, only have been riding my bike on isolated rural gravel and dirt roads and/or trails because that is where I live. Once in a while, we pack up the bikes into a vehicle, drive them to town and ride around town or on a bike trail. However, I have truck fear when it comes to the road. Not from personal experience but my husband has actually heard truckers boast about blowing bikes off the road. And, relatives of ours used to take long bike tours but quit doing that after trucks (I'm talking about long haul semis) drove them off the road.

I know truckers are under a lot of pressure. Probably underpaid, overworked, under tremendous time pressure and stressed out. And probably at least 95% of them are kind, nice people who would never consider trying to harm a bicyclist.

What kind of experiences have some of you had with trucks?
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Old 05-25-08, 09:27 AM   #2
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Truckers like 3 types of vehicles.

1 Other long haul trucks
2 pick up trucks
3 Harley davidsons

Which is entirely counter-productive as if we all drove bikes and NOT car the prices of fuel would go down and the need for trucks would go up. As well as clearing the raods to make them more efficient.
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Old 05-25-08, 09:33 AM   #3
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Truckers are highly skilled drivers, and the majority of them are very accomodating to other travellers, but their vehicles are inherently dangerous to bikes. They fill the lane, create huge turbulence and have blind spots.

The biggest danger to cyclists is the right hook, because the rear wheels cut the corner more sharply than the front and cyclists can get dragged under. Plus North American trucks don't have sideguards to prevent that. Even if the truck is stopped and you're beside it, if it unexpectedly lurches forward and turns right it can be hard to scramble to safety.

So you never want to be on the right side of a truck either at, or approaching, an intersection.
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Old 05-25-08, 09:34 AM   #4
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My experience with big trucks is that they often pass me too closely but rarely act hostilely (e.g. honking, yelling). Of course, there have been exception.
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Old 05-25-08, 10:12 AM   #5
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One of my main routes to several possible destinations involves a particular rural highway. 2 x 12' lanes, 3 usable feet of paved shoulder on each side and a 60 mph speed limit. It is a fallacy that a passing truck will physically blow a bike off the road. Might blow your hat off if you don't have it on tight, but if a bike leaves the pavement as a truck passes, it's because the cyclist panicked, steered that way, or both.

It's been my experience that, as a whole, drivers of vehicles requiring a CDL are the most professional and courteous on the road.

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Old 05-25-08, 10:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by st0ut View Post
Truckers like 3 types of vehicles.

1 Other long haul trucks
2 pick up trucks
3 Harley davidsons

Which is entirely counter-productive as if we all drove bikes and NOT car the prices of fuel would go down and the need for trucks would go up. As well as clearing the raods to make them more efficient.
thanks for narrowing down the stereotype
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Old 05-25-08, 10:53 AM   #7
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I have a buddy that teaches at a truck driving school. They are really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days for drivers. Many of them are being sent to school by various government programs. The stories he tells me scare the crap out of me.

The only good news is that they are closely watched now for drugs and not getting enough sleep. But there are plenty of people driving trucks that have no business behind the wheel of anything. Dump truck drivers are even worse.

Az
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Old 05-25-08, 11:11 AM   #8
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FWIW, when I was at university (in western Maine) we had a lot of logging trucks coming through town and they were always very good about stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks, even with a full load.

Schoolbuses and tow trucks, on the other hand...
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Old 05-25-08, 11:32 AM   #9
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I have found good exp. with trucks. I find 18 wheeler drivers are very respectful to bikers and other motorist (well in my exp.). It have found dump truck drivers to be real a** to me both on a bike and in the car. Its understandable to have a worry about trucks because long trucks are hard to control because the trailers can swing around. Now this is all based on my past exp and not all dump truck drivers are bad and some are very cool. Never have driven a truck either but have had friends that do.
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Old 05-25-08, 12:00 PM   #10
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I have more issues with city/ transit bus drivers than I do with any type of commercial truck.
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Old 05-25-08, 12:05 PM   #11
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I find dump truck drivers to be the worst. The often seem to be making short trips and are always in a hurry - - so holding them up even a few seconds angers them. I once had a guy in a dump truck get behind me and lay on his horn until I finally pulled off the road to let him go. He wouldn't pass, no matter how far over toward the shoulder I got.
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Old 05-25-08, 12:19 PM   #12
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I have a buddy that teaches at a truck driving school. They are really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days for drivers. Many of them are being sent to school by various government programs. The stories he tells me scare the crap out of me.

The only good news is that they are closely watched now for drugs and not getting enough sleep. But there are plenty of people driving trucks that have no business behind the wheel of anything. Dump truck drivers are even worse.

Az
were only allowed 50 hours behind the wheel then we need 8 hours of rest after 25 hours of driving
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Old 05-25-08, 12:21 PM   #13
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I find dump truck drivers to be the worst. The often seem to be making short trips and are always in a hurry - - so holding them up even a few seconds angers them. I once had a guy in a dump truck get behind me and lay on his horn until I finally pulled off the road to let him go. He wouldn't pass, no matter how far over toward the shoulder I got.
i admit being a ass driving one because you are timed between runs you dont get paid by the hour or the mile while driving a dump truck you get paid by how many loads you run in a day
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Old 05-25-08, 12:27 PM   #14
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were only allowed 50 hours behind the wheel then we need 8 hours of rest after 25 hours of driving
I have no dog in this fight, but could you clarify that? I'm almost certain that you aren't allowed to drive either 50 hours or 25 hours straight, and it appears that you said both.
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Old 05-25-08, 12:43 PM   #15
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I have no dog in this fight, but could you clarify that? I'm almost certain that you aren't allowed to drive either 50 hours or 25 hours straight, and it appears that you said both.
were not allowed to drive more than 50 hours weekly at 25 hours we have to rest at least 8 full hours
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Old 05-25-08, 12:52 PM   #16
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When I lived in Michigan, the long haul truckers would drive a section of road as a short cut vs going on the interstate. I found that they would come pretty close but they always seemed to know where the edges of the truck were and always left me room. I never had a long haul trucker behave in a hostile fashion. Now I have had hostile experiences with short haul truckers and logging trucks.
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Old 05-25-08, 12:54 PM   #17
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OK, 50 weekly I get, and that you must take 8 full hours after you have logged 25 hours for your week. What is the limit on hour you can drive straight, or is that pretty much dictated by your kidneys? I mean if your log book says Monday starts the week and you pick up your load at midnight, you can't drive until 0100 on Wednesday, right?
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Old 05-25-08, 01:05 PM   #18
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Dump truck drivers do seem to be the worst, but overall, truck drivers seem to be more courteous than the average driver.
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Old 05-25-08, 01:18 PM   #19
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OK, 50 weekly I get, and that you must take 8 full hours after you have logged 25 hours for your week. What is the limit on hour you can drive straight, or is that pretty much dictated by your kidneys? I mean if your log book says Monday starts the week and you pick up your load at midnight, you can't drive until 0100 on Wednesday, right?
depends on my mood and how tired i am. i usually can drive 22 hours non stop(exept for gas & pit stops) i park it once i loose sense of what going on around me. i never keep track of my hours the tractor is monitored by gps so it gives you a warning that your over hours. after 100 hours you have to take a week mandatory which sucks but i can live with it
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Old 05-25-08, 02:19 PM   #20
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depends on my mood and how tired i am. i usually can drive 22 hours non stop(exept for gas & pit stops) i park it once i loose sense of what going on around me. i never keep track of my hours the tractor is monitored by gps so it gives you a warning that your over hours. after 100 hours you have to take a week mandatory which sucks but i can live with it
Mind you, highly illegal in the states, DoT says the limit is 10 hours. You can be on-duty for 15, but that means 5 hours of loading/unloading/paperwork, not driving.


Err resource (just in case someone calls BS on me):
http://www.atu.org/about/issues/us-cdl-regulations.html



As for personal experience: I've had no issues with trucks, they can get in deep ****, fines for truck drivers are extremely steep, not to mention they are professional drivers, and the majority of them their their profession extremely seriously. A part of me makes me wanna chime in and ask over on a forum where I know a bunch of these guys, another says it may not be worth the time.

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Old 05-25-08, 02:25 PM   #21
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Mind you, highly illegal in the states, DoT says the limit is 10 hours. You can be on-duty for 15, but that means 5 hours of loading/unloading/paperwork, not driving.


Err resource (just in case someone calls BS on me):
http://www.atu.org/about/issues/us-cdl-regulations.html



As for personal experience: I've had no issues with trucks, they can get in deep ****, fines for truck drivers are extremely steep, not to mention they are professional drivers, and the majority of them their their profession extremely seriously. A part of me makes me wanna chime in and ask over on a forum where I know a bunch of these guys, another says it may not be worth the time.
that doesnt apply to me since thats not the type of truck i drive anymore
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Old 05-25-08, 02:40 PM   #22
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that doesnt apply to me since thats not the type of truck i drive anymore
What are you driving? A van?

Edit:
Err you can drive light trucks. Meh. Not really a "trucker" at that point. It's an interesting loophole though. Would also explain why it seems the lighter trucks give cyclists more hassle: ex: less professional.

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Old 05-25-08, 03:00 PM   #23
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What are you driving? A van?

Edit:
Err you can drive light trucks. Meh. Not really a "trucker" at that point. It's an interesting loophole though. Would also explain why it seems the lighter trucks give cyclists more hassle: ex: less professional.
went from this

to this(exempt for a lot of laws twice the pay) i dont haul horses, i deliver cars

and occasionally daycab tractors
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Old 05-25-08, 03:14 PM   #24
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Rare, but several intentional and needless close (6 inch) passes by big rigs.

One poor fellow moved over to pass very close and honked. Some idiot had a valve stem tool in his jersey pocket. Was probably interesting to find all the air out of the right side tires and none out of the left. Wonder if it tipped over?

Probably 3 big rig incidents, a couple of gravel trucks.

But 10s of thousands of polite passes.
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Old 05-25-08, 03:55 PM   #25
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Also, if that 5 hrs is on the front end, you only have 5 hrs left to drive. Actually, you can drive UP TO 10 hrs, and not exceed 15 Hrs combined on duty and drive time. Then you have to take 8 hrs off. There is also a maximum of 70 hrs in any 8 day period.
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Mind you, highly illegal in the states, DoT says the limit is 10 hours. You can be on-duty for 15, but that means 5 hours of loading/unloading/paperwork, not driving.


Err resource (just in case someone calls BS on me):
http://www.atu.org/about/issues/us-cdl-regulations.html



As for personal experience: I've had no issues with trucks, they can get in deep ****, fines for truck drivers are extremely steep, not to mention they are professional drivers, and the majority of them their their profession extremely seriously. A part of me makes me wanna chime in and ask over on a forum where I know a bunch of these guys, another says it may not be worth the time.
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