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Old 08-30-2015, 01:14 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by dangerdave View Post
What actually started this thread was coming down a straight 6% grade next to a semi truck. We both came upon a tanker truck in his lane and I kept on figuring the semi next to me would slow down.

As we approached the tanker, I realized this guy was not slowing down at all - like he didn't even see him! At the last second I was sure he was going to rear end the tanker and take us all out. He suddenly SLAMS on his brakes and his rig starts dancing around all over the place right next to us.

Wife screams, I crap my pants and we just squirt out ahead of the whole thing. The semi some how (seriously no idea how) manages not to jackknife and avoids the tanker (who was furious).
At least the semi driver stayed in his lane Imagine what would had happen if instead of him being in a semi But a small car or SUV he most likely would have tried to cut in on you.

There are all kinds of idiots out there driving all kinds of vehicles. When I drive I am not just driving my SUV or towing a TT But I am also driving other vehicles By that I mean I am always putting myself in the other drivers vehicles and trying to think what they may or may not do. I don't just look at the vehicle in front of me and wait till I see his brake lights come on I try to look at the vehicles in front of him to see their brake lights.

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Old 08-30-2015, 02:30 PM   #22
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Riding motorcycles on the road for 45 years makes one a very keen observer of the other vehicles on the road. In my experience it is getting more dangerous out there. Drivers have far too many distractions now and almost everyone drives with windows up and air conditioning on. Not a day passes that I do not see multiple drivers eating, phoning, texting or playing with the in-dash infotainment center.

A coworker's car was hit by an inattentive driver last year who said he did not see him. My friend was incredulous as he had a fluorescent orange kayak on the roof!

Personally I am more worried about the typical driver in a car than a semi.


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Old 08-30-2015, 04:21 PM   #23
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Not to invite flaming onto myself, but in this case I would have to question dangerdave on this one. If you are in the passing lane and not passing but just sitting next to the semi, you have taken all options out of his hands. If you had three lanes and did not move over to give him room its on you. If you were in the slow lane and he and the tanker were in the passing lane then its on him.

I NEVER sit next to a semi on a downgrade. He does not have enough brakes to stop or slow down reliably more than once (and maybe not that). I either sit behind or pass. Myself, I would have avoided that situation by either passing and giving him room to pull in behind me or by slowing down and letting him in front of me. Going down for them is much more dangerous than going up.
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Old 08-30-2015, 06:56 PM   #24
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Ok gloves off. I'm totally kidding. I was in the process of slowly passing him. In the future I will definitely make it quicker and/or just avoid the entire situation.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:29 PM   #25
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You can learn a lot by observing a trucker. If you watch how they back into a spot you'll notice they don't have a problem pulling forward several times to get the right angle to back the trailer in. Secondly, before pulling away on a trip they will do a walk around of the trailer. This has been a habit I picked up that has caught several things I forgot or overlooked over the years. Cheers to the pros who do a good job and keep our nations economy going.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:41 PM   #26
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In winter when I was driving back-and-forth to college over the Sierra Nevada mountain range in heavy snow storms, I ALWAYS felt safest in the draft of a big-rig. Finally when out of the white-knuckle area I'd follow them into one of the roadside coffee or truck stops to catch my breath, get a coffee (and slice of warm blueberry pie with whip cream), and thank them. They were friendly and complimented me on the strategy ~ as one said "it's what I'd want my daughter to do too".
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:27 AM   #27
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I never tried to kill anyone, but did get the urge once in a while (tongue in cheek of course) Like anyone else, there's good and bad. But you wouldn't believe how many people cut us off while trying to merge or stop in traffic or even while just motoring along simply because they don't want to be behind a truck. By the time you see a truck driver, he's probably been cut off, had someone swerve into his lane and miss his front bumper by inches, been given the finger a few times and had to slow his roll a hundred times because some people don't understand that if you are being passed by people in the right lane, YOU should be in the right lane, if there's another right lane and they are passing you , go ahead and throw that blinker on one more time. So, understand, most of us are nice folk but some guys take all that personal and are perpetually angry at the shoebox drivers. Me, I was always just trying to make sure you and I both got home to our families even if I had to make up for your poor driving decisions and let all that other stuff roll off my shoulders. Giving a guy a courtesy 'all clear' flash, getting over to let him maintain speed and not playing hide and seek in his blind spots will usually make you a new friend whether you know it or not. keeping your finger to yourself would be a bonus too, it's not our fault we can't do 0 to 60 in 5 seconds.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:50 AM   #28
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My wife and me drove as a team OTR for a while. I never realized just how HARD trucking is, and how little respect the drivers get. They get paid by the mile, with a limit set on how many hours they can drive per day. It's pretty easy to see why they aren't doodling along like Ma and Pa pulling the camper to Florida.

In the OP's situation, he said he saw the truck closing on the tanker. Yet, instead of doing what the trucker expected, which was for him to pass or move into the slow lane, he camped out on the rear corner of the tanker. The big truck finally ran out of options and hit the brakes.

Better situational awareness (Smith System) by all concerned would have made the encounter safer. Always leave yourself an out.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:03 AM   #29
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I never try to "slowly pass" anyone. I don't ride along side of them, or just behind, or just ahead. If I'm passing I do it and gtfo of there. Or I just stay behind them a safe distance and go slower.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:41 AM   #30
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I really haven't had any bad experiences, so to speak. I have been cutoff by them but, that's pretty much the norm for just about any driver here in Baltimore. Poor driving isn't contained to one type of motorists in my opinion.

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