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  1. #1
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    why do big trucks......

    so why do big trucks seem to be the worst not giving me room. I commute to and from town nearly every day ( 9 miles just to town limits) the roads I have chosen are nice as far astpavement conditions. But they are busy roads. However, where I live there are a far amount of logging trucks and other big rigs. I don't understand why, when there is absolutely no on-coming traffic, why some of these loggers ride almost right on the white line as they pass me. Is it a game, .......gee wonder how close I can get ? I just don't get it.
    Im not saying cars don't do it too. But its the big trucks that scare the poop out of me, when you are seeing them coming up behind you at 60mph and not making an effort to shift toward the center.

    I know, when they get near Ill drift into their lane and make them move over.......on second thought, that might not work

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Your road got wide shoulders, or not? ,+ if there is oncoming traffic , how are they going to pull out to give space.. ?.

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    Quote Originally Posted by niuoka View Post

    I know, when they get near Ill drift into their lane and make them move over.......on second thought, that might not work
    That works for me. In my area it is dump trucks and buses. The school buses are the worst. When I see one coming the first thing I do is take the lane and force them to slow down. Then if it's safe I will move over a bit to give them some room to pass. I always leave another few feet at least so that as they actually pass I can move over further to create as much room between them and me as I feel I need. Easy as pie.

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Big rigs are 80,000 Lbs and 8 foot wide.

    Most roadways are 12 foot wide.

    Big Rig in The Center of the 12 ft lane Leaves 2 FOOT on each side of the lane.

    An oncoming Big rig in the center of his lane has the same 2 ft space from the center line.

    So when Two rigs meet, at 60 mph they only have a 4 foot space that keeps them from a head on collision @ 120 mph hit.

    http://www.thetruckersreport.com/facts-about-trucks/
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    Hmmm. I ride in Oregon. Actually I think the commercial drivers are much better at going over the center line as they pass than car and SUV drivers! When they don't, I have decided that there is a good reason for it. Still, I don't get passed by too many logging trucks. My brother is a trucker. In his first year on the road he had about 3 near collisions and one actual collision with on ramp slowpokes. Cars. I asked him why he didn't just pull left when approaching on ramps. He looked at me like I was nuts. I suppose if I was pulling a load as squirrely as logs I might think twice about sliding over the centerline for every cyclist I came up behind. Especially, as Bob mentioned, if there was some kind of shoulder for them to ride on! Commercial drivers do not want to hit you! It is bad news for their company and very bad news for their career. If a trucker buzzes you it is a near sure thing that he saw where you could be safer by moving more to the right. In any case, the proof that the pass was a safe one, if not a pleasant one.... well the proof of that is this thread, is it not? I know I come off like a hardass in this forum. Trust me, my heartrate spikes just as high as yours when one of those rigs roars by at close quarters. Trust me also when I tell you that you I would much rather it be someone with a CDL taking that kind of risk than a soccer mom texting her boyfriend.

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    Senior Member DiegoFrogs's Avatar
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    Are the roads really winding? Sometimes they can't chance going over the double yellow because they can't safely react if there's oncoming traffic, which they may not be able to see with adequate warning given the short sight lines on curved roads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Hmmm. I ride in Oregon. Actually I think the commercial drivers are much better at going over the center line as they pass than car and SUV drivers! When they don't, I have decided that there is a good reason for it. Still, I don't get passed by too many logging trucks. My brother is a trucker. In his first year on the road he had about 3 near collisions and one actual collision with on ramp slowpokes. Cars. I asked him why he didn't just pull left when approaching on ramps. He looked at me like I was nuts. I suppose if I was pulling a load as squirrely as logs I might think twice about sliding over the centerline for every cyclist I came up behind. Especially, as Bob mentioned, if there was some kind of shoulder for them to ride on! Commercial drivers do not want to hit you! It is bad news for their company and very bad news for their career. If a trucker buzzes you it is a near sure thing that he saw where you could be safer by moving more to the right. In any case, the proof that the pass was a safe one, if not a pleasant one.... well the proof of that is this thread, is it not? I know I come off like a hardass in this forum. Trust me, my heartrate spikes just as high as yours when one of those rigs roars by at close quarters. Trust me also when I tell you that you I would much rather it be someone with a CDL taking that kind of risk than a soccer mom texting her boyfriend.
    It's not up to him to decide where it is safest for you on the road. And his opinion doesn't give him the right to put your life in danger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs View Post
    Are the roads really winding? Sometimes they can't chance going over the double yellow because they can't safely react if there's oncoming traffic, which they may not be able to see with adequate warning given the short sight lines on curved roads.
    Then it is not safe for him to pass and he shouldn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyJim View Post
    That works for me. In my area it is dump trucks and buses. The school buses are the worst. When I see one coming the first thing I do is take the lane and force them to slow down. Then if it's safe I will move over a bit to give them some room to pass. I always leave another few feet at least so that as they actually pass I can move over further to create as much room between them and me as I feel I need. Easy as pie.
    Is it really that easy? I don't know about you but usually the only warning most of us get that the SOB didn't pull wide is the wind gust as he roars by. So you really pull into the lane and 'force" (snicker) 80,000lbs. of big rig to slow down until you feel it is 'safe' for them to pass. And you keep a few 'feet' of roadway in reserve do you ... ... see... thats why I have to act like such a righteous prick in this forum. You are prefabricating absolute fiction!! There isn't that much road anywhere in America for you to do what you claim. Moreover, vehicular cyclists are not that common. If you are commuting you are using the same stretch of road at more or less the same time every day... ... Go ahead, be my guest, act like an entitled so and so in front of drivers that see you several times a week. That will do more for cycling advocacy than all the red light running I do combined. Not. But, whatever, I just needed to call you on it. Carry on doing whatever you really do out there.

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    OP. also be aware of Wind Suck from big rigs.

    Seems to depend on the wind direction. I only felt it once.

    The tractor will pass you, then, near the the area before the last wheels, The Wind Suck will try to pull you Under the trailer.
    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 08-30-13 at 12:20 PM.
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  11. #11
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    60mph? I'd be riding as far to the right as possible, or choose a different road. Taking the lane here is stupidly dangerous.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    60mph? I'd be riding as far to the right as possible, or choose a different road. Taking the lane here is stupidly dangerous.
    I would agree with this statement... be careful out there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Hmmm. I ride in Oregon. Actually I think the commercial drivers are much better at going over the center line as they pass than car and SUV drivers! When they don't, I have decided that there is a good reason for it. Still, I don't get passed by too many logging trucks. My brother is a trucker. In his first year on the road he had about 3 near collisions and one actual collision with on ramp slowpokes. Cars. I asked him why he didn't just pull left when approaching on ramps. He looked at me like I was nuts. I suppose if I was pulling a load as squirrely as logs I might think twice about sliding over the centerline for every cyclist I came up behind. Especially, as Bob mentioned, if there was some kind of shoulder for them to ride on! Commercial drivers do not want to hit you! It is bad news for their company and very bad news for their career. If a trucker buzzes you it is a near sure thing that he saw where you could be safer by moving more to the right. In any case, the proof that the pass was a safe one, if not a pleasant one.... well the proof of that is this thread, is it not? I know I come off like a hardass in this forum. Trust me, my heartrate spikes just as high as yours when one of those rigs roars by at close quarters. Trust me also when I tell you that you I would much rather it be someone with a CDL taking that kind of risk than a soccer mom texting her boyfriend.
    You may ride in Oregon, but you are painfully ignorant of the Oregon vehicle code. In 2008, in response to a log truck driver running over a cyclist who apparently fell while he was tailgating the group she was riding with, Oregon changed its law regarding how much space motorists must give cyclists when overtaking. ORS 811.065 states that at speeds over 35 mph on roadways that lack bike lanes (note: shoulders are NOT bike lanes) an overtaking motorist must grant the cyclist room to fall without being struck by the overtaking vehicle. For the shortest folks, that would be something over five feet.

    For the OP, there are a couple of things you can do. Try calling the companies the truck drivers work for. I have had pretty good responses from a few here in Lane County, just south of you. If the companies don't respond well on the phone and/or it doesn't appear to change the drivers' behavior, then follow up with a letter. This creates a paper trail so that when/if one of their drivers is involved in something that gets them sued it weakens their position. Also, try working with your sheriff, assuming s/he isn't as anti-bike as ours. The fine for violating ORS 811.065 is around $400. If someone wants to volunteer to pay some of the costs of running the county, the sheriff should be happy to collect the money. There are also provisions in the Oregon vehicle code that will allow you to have the scofflaw drivers cited. You'll need evidence that can be used to identify the driver like rear-facing video and you'll need to get your sheriff to help you (required under law, but resisted by all police). You become the prosecutor, so you'll need to keep your evidence in good order.

    You can also try the doofus approach. When you see a log or chip truck, go out of your way to smile and wave (all five fingers). Be the dork who brings a reluctant smile to their faces. Over time, they seem to lose their hostility towards the odd-bird on their normal run and begin to cut you some slack. This is what I do and I have found it to be surprisingly effective. It helps if you wear some recognizable clothing so they can more easily remember you.

  14. #14
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
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    I was riding on a 2-lane minor highway about 3 yrs ago where visibility of the road was at least 1km in front and behind and no vehicles to see. I heard a big truck behind me and was pleased to see that it moved into the oncoming lane to pass me. However, the pickup immediately behind it, with extra wide "see around the trailer" mirrors, nearly clipped me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Big rigs are 80,000 Lbs and 8 foot wide.

    Most roadways are 12 foot wide.

    Big Rig in The Center of the 12 ft lane Leaves 2 FOOT on each side of the lane.

    An oncoming Big rig in the center of his lane has the same 2 ft space from the center line.

    So when Two rigs meet, at 60 mph they only have a 4 foot space that keeps them from a head on collision @ 120 mph hit.

    http://www.thetruckersreport.com/facts-about-trucks/
    That's fender to fender. Mirror to mirror is quite a bit less. I've smacked quite a few slower trucks mirrors that drift my way as I pass, and that's going in the same direction.
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    thanks for the replies
    in my original post I said NO on coming traffic. I can understand if there is on coming traffic to not move over.
    I am also referring, although not stated, this is on a straight section of road, not a blind corner or hill, in those situations I can understand as well.
    As far as one post above that stated find a better road.....unfortunately there is no other road in this section of the commute where this is the issue.
    Yes I have felt the wash, or suck, of a big rig
    and yes, I have had one time, where I thought.......crap....did that just graze my parka

    I have spoken to police, but I am in a no mans land, out of city limits, very rural area. But the officer said, get a licence plate number
    or as someone above posted...get the name of the logging company
    neither of which is easy when you are concentrating on survival and staying on the shoulder our of the gravel and they are going 60mph

  17. #17
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    You must live east of Lebanon to deal with logging trucks, I have to go and leave to the west because of truck size and US20 restrictions.

    If you can, get the number of the truck off of the hood as it pass, or a trailer number and time. When you call the truck company and give them a truck number they will know who was driving it.

    Of course, asking "why do big trucks...." is like asking why do bike riders always run red lights. It's the driver, not the truck.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Buzzatronic's Avatar
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    Sadly this isn't an argument you can win with a truck.

    I had a road I loved riding on because it had a nice wide and clean shoulder. By wide I mean 4' or so. This road was also something of an industrial corridor which meant a lot of big rig traffic with a posted 45mph speed.

    Too many close calls meant I had to decide not to ride that road during weekdays, it's just too risky regardless how much "right" I had to use the road.

    If you can find a different route that moves you away from this type of traffic, that's your best option in my opinion. If this is your only route, I'd say be ultra-diligent about being visible and riding in predictable and safe manner.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
    You must live east of Lebanon to deal with logging trucks, I have to go and leave to the west because of truck size and US20 restrictions.

    If you can, get the number of the truck off of the hood as it pass, or a trailer number and time. When you call the truck company and give them a truck number they will know who was driving it.

    Of course, asking "why do big trucks...." is like asking why do bike riders always run red lights. It's the driver, not the truck.
    wow someone that knows the area. I actually live North of Lebanon, near Lacomb. The road in issue is Brewster. A main connecting road between Albany,Scio and Lebanon. Alternative roads are worse

  20. #20
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by niuoka View Post
    wow someone that knows the area. I actually live North of Lebanon, near Lacomb. The road in issue is Brewster. A main connecting road between Albany,Scio and Lebanon. Alternative roads are worse
    I find that Oregon drivers in general are among the worst - well, my comparison is with California, Alabama, and Tennessee. OR drivers are generally asses when it comes to interacting with cyclists.

    As to trucks, my observation has been basically that anybody getting paid to drive a daily delivery - logging truck, FedEx, school bus - is a danger, they are in a hurry to get done what they need done. Brewster is a here-to-there road, folks are generally in a hurry between towns on that road, and frankly I would find a different route. I worry less on the connecting roads, though most of my riding is north of Albany and to the west of 99W. The riding out around Lacomb is nice, but you sure have to be committed to "sharing the road" with the cars that own it.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by niuoka View Post
    wow someone that knows the area. I actually live North of Lebanon, near Lacomb. The road in issue is Brewster. A main connecting road between Albany,Scio and Lebanon. Alternative roads are worse
    I used to drive a truck on Brewster Rd occasionally. In about 200 trips I didn't see any cyclists. I'm sorry about the lousy treatment you are being given, but I am pleased that there is someone riding a bike thereabouts.

    I found that area to be somewhat typical of Oregon. When you meet folks anywhere but in their motor vehicles, they are just the nicest people in the world. Something happens when they get behind the wheel and they then have no problem risking your life with their aggressive and/or unskilled ways. I've had natives smile and wave to me when I ride by their houses and then get into their cars and buzz me as though hitting me wouldn't bother them in the slightest.

  22. #22
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Bicyclists are filthy environmentalist "Tree Huggers" and generally bad for the lumber biz. Loggers would run you over if they could get away with it. That and they get paid by the load (you are slowing them down) have not washed their windshields in five years, have questionable brakes, and 5 inches of play in their steering.

    Good luck out there.
    Last edited by JoeyBike; 08-31-13 at 12:31 AM.
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    The very big trucks can go up to 8' 1/2" wide and some lanes there in the NW I would bet are only 11' wide at best so that doesn't live much for us cyclist.
    Life is good O^o

  24. #24
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    OP. also be aware of Wind Suck from big rigs.

    Seems to depend on the wind direction. I only felt it once.

    The tractor will pass you, then, near the the area before the last wheels, The Wind Suck will try to pull you Under the trailer.
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  25. #25
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    The Wind Suck will try to pull you Under the trailer.
    This is total mythology.

    I have bike toured across the USA east to west once and north to south 4 times, been passed by countless large trucks on narrow back roads and Interstate highways so close that I could have put my hand on the trailers without extending my arm and have NEVER experienced anything close to being sucked into the trailer. Actually, as the truck goes by it creates a wake just like a boat that slightly pushes me away, then after passing I might get slightly pulled along behind it which I found quite pleasurable.

    Now if there was an extreme crosswind from the left, the truck will BLOCK THE WIND as it goes by. So if I were LEANING into the crosswind as the truck passed, and the wind stopped hitting me, I could, possibly, veer toward the trailer then be caught by the crosswind leaning the wrong way after the truck passed and be blown off the tarmac to the right on a shoulderless road.

    Never was there one instance of me feeling sucked under a tractor trailer (18-wheeler) even slightly. Total BS.
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