Friday, June 16, 2006

Dangerous Mother-Truckers

I drive quite a long distance to get to my current job, and encounter many, many large trucks along the highway. These things have come to epitomize danger on wheels for me of late.

Yesterday, for the second time in a week, a large chunk of truck tire tread came hurtling at my windshield and hit it with disturbing force. The window is still in one piece, for now.

I've seen trucks travelling along as one of their tires shreds to pieces, flinging heavy rubber in all directions and sending surrounding vehicles scattering to avoid a collision. The truck drivers are seemingly unaware this chaos is happening, even though it often takes several minutes to shred a large tire bare.

Many of these trucks can travel along unaffected by the loss of a tire; they have 17 others to keep them on the road. And again, they're so big and loud, their drivers may not even be aware what's happening.

There are some truck drivers who are very aware about the trouble their trucks are causing, because they address it right on the outside of the vehicles.

Gravel-hauling dumptrucks, a rock from one of which once broke my windshield just a week after I bought my car, invariably have a sticker reading:


Hey chief, I'm not sure that's correct. I think all vehicle operators are required to secure their payloads. I'll have to check the state statutes, but while I do, here's my sticker for you:


Who do these assholes think they are? If a piece of your vehicle (or of its cargo) comes loose and damages someone or something, you may well have to answer in court, bucko. So put that in your Confederate flag and burn it!

The wheels of commerce will keep spinning, and indeed they must. It's just unfortunate that they'll keep on flinging dangerous crap at us in the process.


Bird said...

bad day on the road, eh bogs?

i've traveled up and down the northwest pacific coast, in my little honda, often sandwiched in between logging trucks (sometimes darting out, into the lane of oncoming traffic to get by a logging truck - always of course, when no oncoming traffic is coming - i'm not stupid), and i've logged i don't know how many miles on highway five in the central valley of california, sharing the road with truckers galore - and i've never come across the kind of problem (or bumperstickers) you describe. could this be a left/right coast kind of thing? or is it a yankee/confederate kind of thing?

btw - watched CSPAN this morning and caught Mr. Meeks ( a Florida congressman). Odd fellow. What do you make him?

don't forget to drive defensively! i'm rooting for you over those trucks (have you got a good supply of bricks riding shotgun?).

Jack K. said...

bird, that is great advice, driving defensively. Always leave your self space.

I have seen warnings on the back of dump trucks advising following vehicles to stay back 300 feet.

bogs, sorry to hear that you have had to dodge rubber shrapnel on the highway.

The brick through the windshield is a bit rash, but probably effective. Be sure you have a prominently posted warning.

I've been fortunate with my little red honda. My lane was only encroached upon once recently. Fortunately, I was alert enough to get the hell out of the way. It sure tends to make you more alert at that time.

Take care, bogs, we want to keep you serving well.

LadyM said...

Amen on the damn dump trucks, Bogs. I have to deal with those guys every day along I4. And they drive so fast you have to do 80 just to get around them.

Karen said...

"put that in your Confederate flag and burn it!"...

...have to remember that one for future use. *giggle*

CROAK said...

From here to the main town is 40 minutes on major highway. Everytime it is driven something happens..a near miss or a report of another fatal accident usually involving trucks. From one capital city to another is 13 hours and the trucks have to make it as quickly as possible and they don't give a damn who is in the way. If they don't drive fast they don't keep their jobs.
It is frightening and alarming to the rest of the road users. It is horrific the numbers that are killed on Australian roads every year...with a hell of a lot of trucks involved. Those drivers come off with a scratch or a broken knee whilst those in cars are killed or maimed.
Your post is very very appropriate to the Pacific Hwy in Australia. Inadequate at best... a killer at worst...and the pollies?? It is in the 'too hard-too expensive' basket.

Hellpig said...

In Seattle or I should say Washington if you log the time,plate # and road your on ,they the Trucking companies are liable for cracked windshield

On the other hand if cut in front of a semi on the freeway you need a 6 car length to enter his lane or $101 fine

Anonymous said...

Hey, Just do not drive close to big trucks. That is what I must do now. When a big truck passes me and get in front of me really close I hit my brakes and slow way down until they get way in front of me.

Anonymous said...

Oh I forgot.


Pete Bogs said...

bird - not sure the difference, but I can tell you that right now it is really f-ing hot in Florida, and the asphault is cooking...

ladym - amen? you sound like a fine, upstanding Christian woman! I'm glad you are "saved" ;-)

all - I'm often not even directly behind these trucks, but have several vehicles between myself and them... it's not a distance issue when you're traveling 70 mph, the trucks are doing 80, and the rubber is flying God knows how fast... one minute you're fine, and the next you're getting whacked... often these things in the road have already stopped moving when another vehicle hits them and sends them flying again... I don't see any good solution to this, I'm afraid...

Jack K. said...

side roads?

probably not.

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

i adore my silk and if any possible threat to her body presents i blast ahead of them or change lanes. nothing hauling debris can be in front of my ride. now the tires you cant know when thats going to happen...but travelling highways i try to stay in the sweet spot.....meaning i will go very very fast and find some personal space and slow back down and stay in that roomy area as i travel. when it gets crowded again i repeat.

i do think there are some truckers that are well aware of whats going on and some i think are down right passive aggressive freaks.

bricks riding shotgun boyed! howll!


Pete Bogs said...

jack - it's quite a drive already, so using streets instead of highway isn't an option...

k9 - I know how dogs love car rides... I bet your windows are covered with slobber... do you hang your head out, with tongue flapping, when you're driving?

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

my tongue's always flapping bogshond!


Ben said...

Hm. Once had a car's windshield slightly cracked by a rock hurled from a car in front of me. Never repaired ity, the car was a near wreck anyway. When I finally sold it I got about $250.

Pete Bogs said...

Ben - should my car be damaged, I will accept that amount from you for its purchase...