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Whether you love them or hate them, truck drivers and semis are part of life. They supply all stores, deliver materials to job sites for infrastructure, and they even deliver your vehicle from the factory. Few people actually know what its like to drive a semi tractor for a living, and because of that, they don’t know what drivers deal with. Here are 12 pieces of information to keep you safe, and to keep professional truck drivers sane.
We want you to Merge!
Use that on-ramp to match highway speed and then merge into the highway as soon as possible. Do not make us hit our brakes, and do not let that white line push you over. Plan ahead.
Read the signs, don’t wait for the flashing arrows and cones.
I once watched a woman go bowling using her brand new Chevy Tahoe and some construction barrels, (and it was hilarious).
We were in Montana, nearing a road construction site on the interstate. The signs warned drivers to start merging out of the left lane, because it was closed for repairs up ahead. We heard on the CB that there was an eastbound Black Tahoe with a blonde woman inside who had been speeding and cutting off drivers. We saw her in the mirrors and she was quickly approaching. What was approaching even faster however, was the end of her lane. She apparently didn’t read the signs, and started to pass us anyways. The end of her lane was rapidly approaching, and she wasn’t backing down. We tried to slow down for her but it was too late. She ended up driving her brand new Tahoe into a line of massive orange barrels, and they exploded all over the place. Forty five minutes later she passed us- this time, her grill was broken, her windshield cracked, and the hood of her once beautiful car was full of basketball sized craters. Don’t be the dumb blonde in a Tahoe- read the signs, don’t wait for the last second arrows.
Don’t pass anyone if you’re going to exit within two miles or less.
Seriously, you’re not saving enough time to make a difference. Be patient, and save yourself from the risk of an unnecessary accident.
If you have cruise control, use it.
If you decide to pass a driver, no big deal- but don’t slow down once you’re in front of him. Also, if he decides to pass you, don’t speed up. We will fall back in line behind you, but if you slow down again, and then you won’t let us pass you, we can make your life a living hell.
Please stay away from our tires, straps, and bungees
These could break at any moment, and we really don’t want you to be on the receiving end of that chaos.
We can’t always do ‘the horn’
If there’s traffic, a city, or a subdivision nearby – we can’t. There are laws against them in some places, and we need to be courteous to nearby neighborhoods and fellow drivers who aren’t expecting an obnoxious air horn.
Many of us have cameras built into our GPS
If you decide to cut us off, there’s a good chance that it’s your fault, and we can prove it. Also, that space we have in front of us- is for your safety. It takes us a while to brake so please don’t put your life at risk by occupying that space.
We’re not on drugs
No really. We drink too much coffee, and sometimes we’d take a NyQuil sleep aid, but that’s as rowdy as we get. We’re responsible for 80,000 (or more!) pounds that’s barreling down the interstate. Not only that, but there’s constant weigh station inspections, and port of entry inspections where we have to weigh the trucks, show our paperwork, and have little chat with state police &/or DOT personnel. Think we’re gonna walk in there on drugs where we can trade our licenses, and trucks for jail time? Heck no. Pass the 5 Hour Energy.
We can see that you’re not wearing pants
We also see you texting, snap chatting, and uh… spending time with your girlfriend. Please stay off your phone, and keep your pants on until you get home. Ya nasty.
Many drivers are governed
When you get stuck behind two semis because one is passing the other at snail speed, it’s not because those drivers are trying to make you late. Many large scale company operated semis are governed to certain speeds for insurance, environmental, or safety reasons. Usually between 62-64 mph. Drivers usually aren’t fond of these restrictions either, and want them to go away just as badly as you do. Please be patient.
We want to break your rubber necks
If there’s an accident on the other side of the interstate, do not slow down. When you do that, everyone else has to slow down because of you. Eventually this side of the interstate will be at a standstill because you just had to look at that accident in the other lane. You get to go home after your commute, but the rest of us are now stuck in traffic for hours.
We have CB radios, and We Love to Make Fun of You
If you’re driving like an asshole, we’re making fun of you with the other drivers. Also, flipping us off doesn’t phase us a bit, we see that all day, and we seriously don’t care if you don’t like us.
Campers, U-Haulers, and anyone who is not a semi- please don’t take our Spots
We get it, you want easy parking and you want to feel official parking with the big trucks. Please don’t do it. If it’s in the middle of the day and there’s plenty of spots? Totally fine. But if it’s getting dark and space is filling up, please go anywhere else. Semis are limited on where they can park, not only because of their size, but also because of regulations and laws. When we’re running out of time, we have to park. We can’t just drive another hour to the next stop- that’s a massive DOT violation! So please, if you must park overnight, go to a Walmart, any parking lot that big enough for you, a campground, a designated rest area, just anywhere that’s not a semi specific parking lot. We seriously appreciate it.
Your irritating daily commute is basically our entire existence. Rude drivers don’t make our days any easier, so please be safe, and don’t be rude.
As always, thank you for reading!