Truck drivers are professionals with much experience and many hours behind the wheel, but they need to be aware that not every road user has the same level of skill and confidence as they do.
Learner drivers, disabled drivers, elderly drivers and inexperienced drivers will not have the skill and ability of driving perfectly and truckers need to bear this in mind when on the road.
One of the biggest criticisms levied at truckers by the other drivers is when they take an eternity to overtake each other on two-lane dual carriageways.
And in fairness, it’s a frustration for any driver, including truck drivers!
All too often drivers do not realise that they are causing congestion unnecessarily. A truck with a speed limiter set at 56mph overtaking another doing 55mph takes several minutes.
So, if you are being overtaken, just ease back a fraction, slow down a little and let the overtaking truck get past you much quicker. Then once they are in front of you, you can return to your speed.
This will allow the faster trafﬁc to then get past the truck that has just overtaken you and then all the trafﬁc ﬂows much quicker, reducing congestion.
It will add very little time to your journey – a few seconds perhaps yet for everyone else it will save them time.
The goodwill truck drivers get if they ease off when being overtaken is hard to quantify but it’s certainly better than the negativity they get for not hanging back and basically parallel running for mile after mile.
Driving too close to the vehicle in front of you is dangerous, be it a truck or a car. If they stop suddenly you will have a rear end collision.
Of course, it is frustrating for truck drivers, limited to 56mph, to be slowed down by a vehicle in front of them but bear in mind there might be a reason for it.
First the vehicle may have suffered a power issue and be struggling. It may be a new driver still getting to grips with motorway driving – though they should be displaying a P plate.
They may be an elderly driver who might not feel conﬁdent at going at high speeds, and while it is understandable to suggest they ought not to be on the motorway, the fact is they still can, and do, drive on them.
In short, a professional HGV driver needs to demonstrate patience when held up on the road by a slower driver, and tailgating does no good.
The sheer size of a truck in the mirrors of an unconﬁdent driver will only exacerbate the problems and they may drive even slower.
Remember we also live in a digital age where anyone can take to social media to ‘name and shame’ lorry drivers, not to mention many vehicles having ‘how’s my driving’ stickers and phone lines on their
Is it worth the hassle of tailgating to only get ‘reported’?
Using your indicators
It sounds so obvious, but drivers failing to indicate when turning off a road is a source of frustration.
In fact it’s probably more a source of frustration to lorry drivers who are forced to stop at junctions and – especially – roundabouts waiting to let trafﬁc past only for it to suddenly turn left, thus bringing the truck to an unnecessary stand and so losing all its momentum.
Bearing in mind that level of frustration a truck driver feels in such scenarios should serve as a reminder to all lorry drivers to make sure they indicate where necessary.
Early indicating – where safe to do so – also helps those waiting at junctions to pull out sooner – they may help you in giving you more space to make your manoeuvre.
In short, showing consideration to other road users will invariably actually help you in your job, but will deﬁnitely help the image of truck drivers which, sadly, and incorrectly, is often woefully wrong as it errs on the side of disdain.