Time after time, truck drivers prove themselves to be courteous, careful, and conscientious drivers. They are alert and vigilant, ever watchful of what’s going on in front and beside them at all times, and they consistently follow the rules of the “etiquette of the road.” The vast majority of drivers are true professionals who are great at their jobs.
Courtesy is no accident – and it starts with each of us. As a reminder, here are four tips from seasoned over-the-road drivers about interacting with your fellow trucking professionals both on and off the highway.
1) Don’t flash your high-beam lights
Some truckers still flash their high beams to indicate to other truckers that they are safe to merge after passing. This high-beam flashing can be a dangerous practice and is, at the very least, quite irritating for many fellow truckers. Many seasoned truckers say a good trucker will know when to merge anyway, but if you want to be polite, it’s a better practice to just turn your lights off and on again (no high beams) quickly to give the other driver the “safe-to-pull-over” signal.
2) Keep a safe distance before passing
When you go to pass another truck, you don’t need to get right up on his front bumper before you merge over. You should merge into the lane leaving plenty of space. Getting too close before pulling in front of another truck is both rude and dangerous and can cause an accident.
3) Let them pass
When another trucker has been trying to pass you and you notice that the truck is pushing and laboring to do so, because of an incline or a heavier load, just slow down a little and let him past. It’s better to lose a few seconds than to keep speeding up to prevent ever getting passed. It’s not a race!
4) Be polite and patient with other truckers
No question: your days are long and it’s tough to be away from your loved ones. It’s easy to find ourselves getting impatient or irritated at truck stops, weigh stations, loading docks, and any spots where we encounter other drivers. Yet a smile or a greeting can go a long way toward making these interactions more pleasant, both for you and your fellow truckers. You’re all in this together!
5) Help other truckers find loads – for free!
Another way that you can help fellow truckers is to recommend conducting a freight search online to discover free load boards. For instance, you can suggest www.freefreightsearch.com, which lists as many as 20,000 available loads at any given time and never charges any fees or subscription costs!