When I was just a young lad I remember taking trips with my Dad and driving to see family in other states including Texas, Indiana, Florida, and West Virginia. My dad gave me the impression that truck drivers were the best drivers out on the road and that if no one else would help you a truck driver would help you. Those days are long gone past and along with them the professional courtesy and respect that was passed from one trucker generation to the next along with the courtesy and respect the four wheelers give to professional drivers. Perhaps you can blame it on lawyers or just simply an erosion of courtesy and respect that we have lost but I find it sad that many truckers today are simply out for themselves and could care less about other drivers including other truck drivers. Whether it is flashing the lights for another driver or simply moving over into the left lane for a driver parked on the shoulder courtesy and respect go a long way and can actually enhance safety out on the road.
Professional Driver Courtesy and Respect
Flashing Lights for Other Professional Drivers
I once had a trainee who argued with me about flashing the lights. He said (to my and his everlasting regret) they told him not to do that in truck driving school. I want to go to every truck driving school in America and find the instructors teaching that and have an irate word with them. On the surface here is the point as my trainee explained it to me. If that driver is a professional then why does he need my help to know when he has passed me? (This is the every man for himself argument and is based on flawed logic because eventually anyone and everyone needs help from someone. Kind of being a little selfish if you ask me) If I flashed my lights like they do for me then the truck comes over into my lane and then I am tailgating. Why do I want to put myself into a dangerous situation by tailgating? (First of all if the truck is passing you then the relative speed of his truck is faster than your truck. Secondly it is safer for you to flash your lights for that driver to come over into the travel lane than it is for that impatient four wheeler to jump in front of you and try to pass that truck on the right. That to me is the big reason for doing it. If that four wheeler gets in that trucks blind spot then there will be an accident right in front of you.
Backing Up the Big Truck
Whenever you see a driver backing up whether it be in a truck stop or at the docks somewhere give the driver some time. I stop my truck and if my headlights are on I turn them to parking lights only. That way there is no chance for my headlights to blind or distract the driver when he/she is backing their truck in a space or dock. Too many times do I see drivers trying to hurry around the driver backing up and while I have not observed any accidents for rude drivers doing that I am sure there have been accidents because of an impatient and rude driver. On the other hand, if you are backing in a dock or space at the truck stop and you are taking too long, pull up and allow the other drivers to pass. It all boils down to basic courtesy and respect for one another.
Bobtailing? Why take up a whole parking spot?
How many times have I driven through a truck stop parking lot at night and very tired and seen several bobtails parking in a big truck space when the parking lot for four wheelers is nearly empty? It happens way too much and this should be basic common sense along with courtesy and respect. Fuel Island Courtesy and Truck stops How many times have you pulled into a truck stop to fuel up and all the fuel islands had trucks parked their but no one was fueling? It has happened to everyone especially since the new service of hours rules changed in 2013. The big rule that had a big effect on this problem was the rule about taking a thirty minute break within eight hours of driving. It is my contention that a lot of drivings get their thirty minute break parked on the fuel island. Please take a minute to go find a parking spot to get your thirty minute break. It will save other drivers a lot of time and hassle. They can get in and out more quickly and efficiently from the fuel island rather than sitting their waiting for someone to finish their thirty minute break drinking coffee in the restaurant.
Reminiscing About the Good Old Days in Trucking
I remember back in the day if you were pulled over on the side of the road and your CB radio was turned on there would be multiple drivers asking over the radio if you were okay or if you needed any help and sure enough if you asked for help someone or perhaps many someones would pull over and help you resolve your issue or give you a ride to the nearest truck stop so you could summon help. Modern times and things have drastically changed. Now you are lucky if a driver will even move over a lane if you are on the side of the road. That kind of professional courtesy and respect are long gone partially because of modern things like satellite dispatch and cell phones but the other part is not good for the generations coming up. I personally think it has something to do with social media. People only know how to talk to their devices and not really socialize with each other and that goes for courtesy and respect. Show some courtesy and respect for others especially other professional drivers. There are many other things that can be described here that will help the overall occupation for professional drivers to maintain professional courtesy and respect. Leave your comments below or if you have a great idea for an article and can write then write it and send it to us.