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My first "How's my driving" call

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My first "How's my driving" call

Old 01-23-08, 09:14 PM
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Banzai
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My first "How's my driving" call

Typically semis give me a wide and courteous berth, and are actually some of the better road travellers I encounter.

Of course, the exception would be the 18 wheeler that brushed me off at an uncomfortably close 1.5 feet today. That's awfully scary as the entire length of the truck passes by. So I see the driver (or the co-driver...do they have those?) in the side mirror, and I give him a look and a shrug that I feel conveys the thought in my head of "WTFO?".

My reply was a middle finger. Not bold enough to hang it outside for me to see, but it's plain as day to me in the mirror.

For me, that changed the situation from mere oversight or idiocy to malice. In some states I understand that an incident paired with that kind of gesture actually equates to "road rage" and the police will treat it as such. And it was no problem chasing him down at the red light that he was SO eager to get to, where I also had time to fish my phone out of my panniers and start dialing. I held the phone up high with a big grin so he could see me.

Had a nice chat with the safety office at England trucking about traffic laws and why the driver's actions are potentially life threatening. We also chatted about the Police Dept. phone number programmed into my cell and how next time my first call would be to them.

They've promised me a follow up call.
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Old 01-23-08, 09:17 PM
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Good for you. I had to make one of those calls a few months ago on a propane truck that kept buzzing me a few days in a row and was met with extreme apology from the driver's manager. I'm pretty sure that guy got the axe, as I see the same truck most mornings but it's definitely a different driver.
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Old 01-23-08, 09:42 PM
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Good job both - too many people getting into trucks' blindspots and nasty situations. Especially not helped by inconsiderate drivers (fortunately, at least here, they're the minority).
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Old 01-23-08, 09:57 PM
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I hope you do get a call back. Follow up with a letter if you can. Just state the facts about what happened as accurately as possible without getting too angry. What will happen to the driver will depend on the company's policies, who gets the report, and the driver's record. Don't expect to hear back about what, if anything, will be done. Don't press the issue. If you do, you will probably be thought of as a pest or just another crazy cyclist.

I was a shipping manager at my old job. I dealt with freight carriers and drivers every day. Most of the drivers knew me when they saw me on the road and drove safely. Once I was run off the road by a driver from a carrier we did not use very often. I had most of our carrier's dispatch phone numbers programmed in my phone. I immediately called the dispatcher, not the 800 number on the truck. The next day the carrier's account exec. and the driver arrived to apologize in person. It helped that the account exec was calling on me often in an effort to get more business. Well, they lost our outbound business but I still saw the driver from time to time on inbound stuff. The driver kept his job and we were cool after that.
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Old 01-24-08, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by urban_assault
Follow up with a letter if you can. Just state the facts about what happened as accurately as possible without getting too angry. What will happen to the driver will depend on the company's policies, who gets the report, and the driver's record. Don't expect to hear back about what, if anything, will be done.
Good observation, and I'll add a couple more reasons to do it in writing, maybe with a copy to the local authorities and copy to company operations manager or president:

1) Phone notes somehow never get placed into the employee's file or disappear when somebody checks the company's records about its drivers (insurer, commerce commission, driver licensing agency).

2) You might be lucky, but a later rider may get clipped, injured or killed. A phone complaint about that driver or the company's lax policies isn't going to make it into a future plaintiff's hands. An email takes some work to completely delete; a letter that ends up in the employee's personnel file won't be "lost" without at least two people conspiring together to destroy it.
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Old 01-24-08, 06:28 AM
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Thanks for the words everyone...I'll consider penning that letter.

Funny thing is, I'm typically such an easy going guy that, even as upset as I was about the close pass, I was all set to let it go until he flipped me off.

That's when my mindset changed to "Fight's On!"

It occurred to me that the "communication" was so easy because he was looking back to see my reaction, which implies possible malice involved here.
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Old 01-24-08, 06:39 AM
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In my experience truck drivers are the most professional, and I am *much* more comfortable driving next to a semi than a large SUV piloted by a clueless suburbanite. The truck driver knows how to handle his vehicle, otherwise he would be out of a job. There is no guarantee with the other idiots on the road.

Hopefully the guy will get a good talking-to about being nice to cyclists.
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Old 01-24-08, 08:12 AM
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I phoned several trucking companies about drivers. The incidents did not involve a bicycle, though. Once a gasoline truck was following me on a two lane street in a business section. The driver was drinking from a can. The can had a white background with a vertical red stripe. I searched my memory on beverage cans and Budweiser was the only match I could make. When we got to a four lane section he passed me and I got the company name. The dispatcher asked me a bunch of questions about the can, but did not seem too surprised.

I made a potty stop with my car about 70 miles from home one night. Four young adults (2 guys, 2 girls) were in the store buying a 24 pack of Miller Genuine Draft. When we all left I saw them climb into a truck with a mail hauling contract indicated on the trailer. I made sure they were ahead of me, not behind me. When we got to town, they took an exit that headed them for the main post office only a couple of miles away. I went home and made a phone call. The dispatcher said he would take care of it.

The third incident involved a small car owned by a courier firm. It had a "How's my driving?" placard on it. It was early morning, still dark out, going to work traffic. The guy was ahead of me and speeding. He passed a school bus that had just stopped to pick up kids, and committed a couple of other dumb things. I had to keep his vehicle number and the name of the company in my memory for almost 30 minutes. Again, the dispatcher did not seem too surprised and said he would take care of it.
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Old 01-24-08, 09:42 AM
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I gotta admit I'm a bit surprised anyone would do that with a "how's my driving" sticker.

Usually I get that kind of thing from unmarked, dirty, trucks with missing or illegible plates.
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Old 01-24-08, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by relyt View Post
In my experience truck drivers are the most professional, and I am *much* more comfortable driving next to a semi than a large SUV piloted by a clueless suburbanite. The truck driver knows how to handle his vehicle, otherwise he would be out of a job. There is no guarantee with the other idiots on the road.
I agree. The worst are drivers of large rental vehicles. Released onto the roadways with absolutely no training.
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Old 01-24-08, 10:50 AM
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I blew in a school bus this past Fall. I'm minding my own business - noticing a car parked on the street in front of me ... and all of a sudden short school bus zoomed around the corner in back of me and picked up speed as it went by me ---- DID NOT see the parked car and jerked the wheel to the left so I swear it was practically on two wheels as it careened around the car. What I saw was a kid in the back seat get tossed towards the aisle. Good driving ability, I'll give them that --- but for about a month the same bus (had the number memorized) has been zooming down the street much faster than the speed limit.

However, that day a near accident - so I called.


Did see that bus (it's route coincides with my commute in the am) after that - and whoever was driving - was driving as they should.
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Old 01-24-08, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by relyt View Post
In my experience truck drivers are the most professional, and I am *much* more comfortable driving next to a semi than a large SUV piloted by a clueless suburbanite. The truck driver knows how to handle his vehicle, otherwise he would be out of a job. There is no guarantee with the other idiots on the road.

Hopefully the guy will get a good talking-to about being nice to cyclists.
I used to drive truck, and have to add that this is not true of all truck drivers! There are some really scary, road rage ready, tired, and just plain poor drivers behind the wheels of those trucks. I treat all drivers the same: keep a leary, watchful eye on all of them.

On a different note, I had a truck pass me on my way home last night around 10:15 pm. They moved over a lane for me while going across a bridge. I am not sure why, but a cop pulled him over after the bridge. I think the bridge is marked "trucks use right lane". I hope I am not the reason they were pulled over . I am pretty sure that the cop saw me, so...
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Old 01-24-08, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by relyt View Post
In my experience truck drivers are the most professional, and I am *much* more comfortable driving next to a semi than a large SUV piloted by a clueless suburbanite. The truck driver knows how to handle his vehicle, otherwise he would be out of a job. There is no guarantee with the other idiots on the road.

Hopefully the guy will get a good talking-to about being nice to cyclists.
I used to think that way until a city bus buzzed me one morning...while I was in the bike lane! The thing about these big vehicles is that when they get going over say 40mph if they get close enough to someone on a bicycle you actually get sucked in closer. That's pretty damned scary I have to say.

SUV drivers are clueless though...if they weren't clueless they probably wouldn't be driving SUVs to begin with. I feel safe, therefore I am...
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Old 01-24-08, 02:15 PM
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Excellent!!

Looking forward to hearing their follow up.
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Old 01-24-08, 05:15 PM
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I drive a truck for work,I ride my bikes to get to work.
This being said there are some Drivers out there that think of buzzing riders of Bicycles,Motorcycles and drivers of small cars as a sport,namely those local drivers that haul Cattle,Gravel or Fuel.

Even the Local,County and the Ks.State cops don't like the "Sh*thaulers,Dirtbags and Fuelies!!! They think that they drive better than Dale Earnhardt!!!

After reading a couple of the threads here today may I make a suggestion? Rather than passing a bunch of laws on driving skill and performance that will never be enforced,(The $1500 first time speeding ticket for example) I have a simple solution....

A Mandatory 1 Years REAL Driver Training (500 Hours or so) At your own Expense and the first time you get your License the fee is $10,000 Bucks!!


This would keep most of the drunks,freaks and trash from ever even getting permission to operate a car or truck...EVER!!!! People like me could and would find a way to pay for this as our livelihood depends on it...Just like any other form of job training I needed to do my job!!!

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Old 01-24-08, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by relyt View Post
In my experience truck drivers are the most professional, and I am *much* more comfortable driving next to a semi than a large SUV piloted by a clueless suburbanite. The truck driver knows how to handle his vehicle, otherwise he would be out of a job. There is no guarantee with the other idiots on the road.
I'm guessing you don't encounter logging truck drivers very often.

I was once nearly put off the side of a mountain while I was driving a pickup truck on a narrow unpaved road. On my truck's CB radio, I heard the %$#@! log truck driver laughing and bragging about it to his buddies.

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Old 01-24-08, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SDRider View Post
I used to think that way until a city bus buzzed me one morning...while I was in the bike lane! The thing about these big vehicles is that when they get going over say 40mph if they get close enough to someone on a bicycle you actually get sucked in closer. That's pretty damned scary I have to say.

SUV drivers are clueless though...if they weren't clueless they probably wouldn't be driving SUVs to begin with. I feel safe, therefore I am...
+1 - buses are the worst.
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Old 01-25-08, 08:09 AM
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+1+ for the logging trucks. Where I used to live, the log haulers where some of the worse drivers around, right up there with SUVs. I'm glad I don't have to deal with them anymore, either in a car, on a motorcycle or a bicycle.
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Old 01-25-08, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by The Figment View Post
I drive a truck for work,I ride my bikes to get to work.
This being said there are some Drivers out there that think of buzzing riders of Bicycles,Motorcycles and drivers of small cars as a sport,namely those local drivers that haul Cattle,Gravel or Fuel.

Even the Local,County and the Ks.State cops don't like the "Sh*thaulers,Dirtbags and Fuelies!!! They think that they drive better than Dale Earnhardt!!!

After reading a couple of the threads here today may I make a suggestion? Rather than passing a bunch of laws on driving skill and performance that will never be enforced,(The $1500 first time speeding ticket for example) I have a simple solution....

A Mandatory 1 Years REAL Driver Training (500 Hours or so) At your own Expense and the first time you get your License the fee is $10,000 Bucks!!


This would keep most of the drunks,freaks and trash from ever even getting permission to operate a car or truck...EVER!!!! People like me could and would find a way to pay for this as our livelihood depends on it...Just like any other form of job training I needed to do my job!!!
That is an excellent idea. I'd like to add that continuing testing and/or training at regular intervals for every licence holder would make it even better.
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Old 01-25-08, 05:17 PM
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The worst truck drivers out here are the type that drive the non-articulated large trucks, like those owned by furniture stores, etc. They tailgate, cut people off, and drive way too fast considering the braking performance a truck of that nature has. Having some jackass in a furniture truck 15 feet from your bumper at 75mph is troubling when you're in an econobox. The 18 wheeler guys are a lot more sedate around these parts, and I've never had any issues with them.
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Old 01-25-08, 08:43 PM
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Dump truck drivers give me more trouble than anyone else out there
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Old 01-25-08, 09:32 PM
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REally getting buzzed by any vehicle, past a certain speed, is pretty scary.
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Old 01-26-08, 11:41 AM
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I was buzzed by a tractor-trailer last year. I was on the shoulder of a 2-lane and he passed me without moving over at all or reducing speed. I was almost blown off the road, but I managed to remember the name of the company. When I got to work I fired up Google and easily found the company's phone number.

I called up and told the head dispatcher my story. He asked what time it happened and where I was and promised he would call back. I figured this was a blow off but sure enough he called back later that day and said he would have the driver call me. Next day the driver called and was very apologetic. The dispatcher told me their company stressed professionalism in their drivers and didn't want any bad incidents, so I guess he chewed the driver out. I informed the driver about the three foot law in Florida and he said he would inform his fellow drivers. I was all set to chew him out but his voice reminded me of kindly old white haired country gentleman working hard to support his family, and I couldn't get mad.

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Old 01-26-08, 03:34 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by The Figment View Post
I drive a truck for work,I ride my bikes to get to work.
This being said there are some Drivers out there that think of buzzing riders of Bicycles,Motorcycles and drivers of small cars as a sport,namely those local drivers that haul Cattle,Gravel or Fuel.

Even the Local,County and the Ks.State cops don't like the "Sh*thaulers,Dirtbags and Fuelies!!! They think that they drive better than Dale Earnhardt!!!

After reading a couple of the threads here today may I make a suggestion? Rather than passing a bunch of laws on driving skill and performance that will never be enforced,(The $1500 first time speeding ticket for example) I have a simple solution....

A Mandatory 1 Years REAL Driver Training (500 Hours or so) At your own Expense and the first time you get your License the fee is $10,000 Bucks!!


This would keep most of the drunks,freaks and trash from ever even getting permission to operate a car or truck...EVER!!!! People like me could and would find a way to pay for this as our livelihood depends on it...Just like any other form of job training I needed to do my job!!!

The best part for you would be the huge tax deduction you could probably write this off as.
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Old 01-27-08, 12:18 AM
  #25  
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I think those trucks with blinking red lights on top are a pain, I've had them run right up on me and then they blow this stupid claxon horn thing and scare the hair off my head. They always expect people to pull over for them and when someone has the audacity to stay in their lane the cops seem to always have to get involved.

Oh, those stupid uniforms they wear must make it hard to drive those big shiny (always) red/green garish trucks.
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