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Post Info TOPIC: Road Train Etiquette


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RE: Road Train Etiquette


I have a two way and try to initiate the conversation, I speak to the Truckies on channel 40, 90% of them answer me, I ask them what they want me to do I'm on holidays, they're working and time is of the essence to them and I respect that.

Most trucks are good and appreciate your consideration,  a few years back I was on the Tanami track and all I saw was a cloud of dust in front of me you couldn't  see the B Double in front but with the handy 2 way it became as easy as, a few years earlier I was hit by a road train in the Kimberely just as I was leaving a  one way bridge, I find patience is always the safe option, sometimes you can't avoid things happening. 

 

 

 



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Bulariver wrote:

Couple of questions maybe someone familiar with trucks can advise me on:

1. When travelling along at, say, 90 - 95 and you see a large truck filling your rear camera, what is the best way to indicate to him that you are aware of him and are ready for him to pass (apart from using C40 of course). Ive heard it said that flicking the indicator to the right for a couple of flashes is the go, but it seems to me this might confuse the truck that you intend to turn right! I have found that once the road is clear, flicking left indicator for two flashes, then the right indicator for one flash seems to get the message across but would like to hear from the professionals.

2. The information provided says when a road train is overtaking you,  maintain your speed - I absolutely agree that speeding up would be very foolish, but what about watching for when the truck and his dogs have completely pulled out to the opposite lane, then backing off, say 10 to 15 kph, to let him get clear of you more quickly?

Thanks, Bula


Hi Bula, I've found this thread very interesting and your questions in particular because I've been wondering similar.

I have a friend who is a truckie, driving LNG tankers all over WA but mainly the Perth-Kalgoorlie route. I asked him your questions and his response was...

1. Either over the radio, or a couple of right flashes of the indicator. However, constant flashes of the right indicator mean you are going to turn right up ahead.

2. He said there's no one right answer to this, but his personal preference is that once he is in the opposite lane, you take your foot off the accelerator so you gently slow down allowing him to overtake more quickly. Minimising the time the two vehicles are next to each other is key as that's the danger zone. He made a very good point that most trucks are mechanically limited to 100km/h, so he doesn't have an option to speed up a little to make the pass quicker like other drivers do. 



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pasted from another site, the topic is HOT there. ( caravanners getting the rigs real angry )


true, but most are able to "cruise" at 100....104. We get to our cruise speed, hit set and the computor takes over, it then adjusts fuel flows. This is what we want, on cruise our fuel flow is reduced markedly, if we have to get back on the peddle our fuel flow goes through the roof....example mine, at cruise 1.8km per litre of fuel. On the peddle same speed, 1.2km per litre. Over long distances the saving is big. The morons fluctuate their road speed like you would'nt believe, so we are on the damn peddle. The fix is deadset easy...see a heavy on your tail, he obviously has a better CONSISTANT road speed than you, let him pass, he's gone, he's happy, now how hard is that...

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Thanks Mamil, and please thank your Truckie mate for his very useful advice. Whilst I can see the danger in slowing down early in case the truck has to abort and tuck in behind you, in my view any reduction in the time the monster is along-side has to be a good thing, so once he is committed - and I judge this to be about when his cab is alongside my draw-bar - I gently you ease the speed back about 10 kph. Seems to be appreciated. Cheers,  Bula



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Gday...

.....and, just in case some oncoming vehicle appears unexpectedly, and the truck beside you is still overtaking, use the CB to tell him/her that you are going to slow rapidly, and he/she can continue and you will "cover them" and ensure they get back onto the correct side of the road as quickly as possible.

It is MUCH easier/safer for you, even with your van on, to brake and slow rapidly than that big truck. If he/she keeps their boot in they will more easily make it.

The best thing in all these instances - is using the CB to keep contact with the truck and both be informed on what each of you are going to do.

That is obviously depending on how close or how how fast the oncoming vehicle is travelling. If both you and the truck have made a dreadful mistake and there is an imminent collision cry then I would still brake rapidly, lose as much speed as possible, and head 'bush'. It would be better for me to be pushing down some bush and giving that truck more room to pull left and (hopefully) avoid the oncoming. Rare occurrence I know ... but as always, be prepared for the unexpected.

Cheers - John



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I think there is a risk of over-complicating things here - a vehicle appears unexpectedly? Well, I would hope not, after the out-back is pretty flat so we can all see well ahead, and I have found truckies are very good at assessing the distance required before they attempt an overtaking manoeuvre. Go bush? I don't plan to do that!

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Gday...

"appears unexpectedly" - eg farmer turns out of his driveway about 800Mtres ahead - wasn't there when the truck began to overtake.

"go bush" - choice = stay in left lane and get crushed by the truck and quite probably the farmer's ute/move as far left as possible, slowing as much as possible to create some space to minimise collision with truck/farmer's ute/get off the road completely and take out some bush at the minimum speed possible.

Each such scenario is threatening and has dire consequences ... but I reckon heading bush as a last resort (especially if no big trees) is the better of a bad outcome rather than the other two - if unavoidable.

Yeah .. it is all theory ... but it is the type of thing that is discussed/taught/learned at any reputable 'advanced/defensive' driving course.

Like everyone else on the road - we all hope it ain't ever gonna happen ... but it should be something that is constantly in one's mind as one is driving and where the road and all around is being constantly evaluated just in case evasive action is required - at a moment's notice.

Cheers - John



-- Edited by rockylizard on Friday 11th of January 2019 09:25:21 PM

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Some people feel the rain - the others just get wet - Bob Dylan



Veteran Member

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I think there is a risk of over-complicating things here - a vehicle appears unexpectedly? Well, I would hope not, after the out-back is pretty flat so we can all see well ahead, and I have found truckies are very good at assessing the distance required before they attempt an overtaking manoeuvre. Go bush? I don't plan to do that!

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Do not trust any truck indicator advising you to overtake . In 45 years of driving have seen great truckies indicate for you to overtake and it was real BUT have also seen them
indicate when it was a Head On end of story. Be very careful is my opinion.

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LUCKY LOZ wrote:

Do not trust any truck indicator advising you to overtake . In 45 years of driving have seen great truckies indicate for you to overtake and it was real BUT have also seen them indicate when it was a Head On end of story. Be very careful is my opinion.


Gday...

Excellent advice Lucky.

Only a fool would react without checking the road ahead to ensure it was clear if ANY vehicle gave a 'flick' of the indicator to advise 'you can overtake' let alone a truck.

Similarly, there isn't a truckie I have encountered in all my years on the road who will simply pull out and overtake acting ONLY on my 'flick' of an indicator - or even my "Come around now" comment.

They check first, they also know their rig (and load) and how far they need it to be clear before getting into the 'suicide' lane.

When talking to the truckie on the CB I always simply say "Letting you know I have you in my mirrors. Let me know when ya ready to come around." Safer for everyone.

Cheers =- John



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It probably was good advice but we weren't talking about us overtaking trucks, we were taking about trucks coming up behind us. And with regard to using right indicators, I don't think anyone sensible person is suggesting this is telling the overtaking truck that it is safe to pass, it's merely a way of saying I see you behind me, you probably are thinking of passing, and so I will maintain a steady course and speed while you decide what you want to do. That's my view anyway. Bula

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Bulla, I do not know of any driver that thinks that way. Way back a flick of the RH blinker was an indication that it was safe to overtake, drivers no longer trust that signal but they still remember it.

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Bulariver wrote:

It probably was good advice but we weren't talking about us overtaking trucks, we were taking about trucks coming up behind us. And with regard to using right indicators, I don't think anyone sensible person is suggesting this is telling the overtaking truck that it is safe to pass, it's merely a way of saying I see you behind me, you probably are thinking of passing, and so I will maintain a steady course and speed while you decide what you want to do. That's my view anyway. Bula


 trucks don't need the "flick" of an indicator..all's clear etc, he's got unrestricted view right over the top of you, secondly..."you" caravanner, might think it's now Ok for him to pass, problem tho, truckie knows exactly what he needs to safely pass you, his weight / power / available road length, etc is a big factor, plus road camber could potentially have his trailer/s swaying considerably, causing YOU grief. Easiest way......wait till he begins crossing centre line ( he's deemed it ok to pass you ) then reduce your speed 10....15k, he passes, he's gone. ( radio contact is even better )



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Letting a truck know you are aware he is there on radio is a courtesy - he will then decide when it is safe to pass and normally advise by radio what his intentions are.

The usual signal to give any overtaking truck is a quick one flash of High beam once he has travelled past you enough to come back in. Then it is courtesy to just back off a bit on the accelerator. When he is back in the left lane he will normally flash once left blinker and then flash once right as a thanks signal. It is not legally correct to do so - but it is the normal practice.


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yea, the headlight flick is often used, to be honest tho, truckies know to the millimeter exactly where they're placed on the road, some trucks will hang out on the passing lane for an extended period to create a larger gap between you / him to reduce the chance of stone damages to you. ( many caravanners don't realise that )
Another matter.....often caravanners / cars, will line up behind each other, this then forces truck to attempt passing multiple vehicles at the same time ( dangerous ) unfortunately trucks will at times get partially along this lineup, then be forced to "jam" into the line ( not intended, nor desired ) so leaving larger gaps in these lines can really help. Folks in these lineup groups seem to be quite happy poking along at the slower / current road speed, the vehicle out front setting that slower speed. Trucks by law are required to take mandated breaks, he "plans" his driving to reach "points" that allows him to get off the road, being held up like here, messes up his plan, he can easily find himself out of "hours" and concequences can come of that. Truckies get financially hit by serious amounts, huge fines. Those "traffic monitoring" cameras you see along hwys ( more and more being installed ) these cameras capture the trucks rego and TIME, this goes to a central base where monitoring is policed, if truck has travelled from A....to B, and the time taken is too quick....speeding / no rest break taken ( dept has to the minute what that trip SHOULD be ), driver is in serious breach. So getting held up on the road can cause breaches for him. As i said here above, he "plans" his legs to keep legal, he knows exactly how long his legs will take, he factors in some delay times, but too often those delays just get rediculous by other road users. Regretably some trucks then get agro at times, regretably.
If.....a truck is on your tail, obviously his overall road speed is better than yours, at a suited time let him pass, he's happy, he's gone, and you can relax, putter along enjoying the trip.
( i went over my driving time by 14minutes....for mandated rest time, my fine was just on $400...........for 14 MINUTES over time )....let us pass......PLEASE



-- Edited by jab160 on Friday 25th of January 2019 09:05:13 AM

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I think we are all pretty much in heated agreement! Its been a good and very useful discussion, I think and should help us all share that thin piece of bitumen that wanders around the country! And, yes, those of us who are doing the nomadic thing should be very aware that we have something of a duty to ensure that those who are travelling as work need to be allowed to pass safely to meet their timeframes. Thanks for all the useful contributions. B

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All really usefull information. I have a dash mounted (installing as I type) UHF. My cruise is 80 - 90 in my RV. Am thinking of placarding my RV with a notice that conveys the following; I have UHF and am monitoring - use name "Hanna" to contact. I am happy to comply with overtake requests even if it means pulling off. Am thinking of Tasmania West Coast and also long straights in the Centre. Tips greatly appreciated.

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04/March/2019 I get a malware warning when I try and copy and paste this site

 



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greydave wrote:

04/March/2019 I get a malware warning when I try and copy and paste this site

 


probably malware in what you are copying,,, check,,,, you posted this so this end should be OK 



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Thank you all for the information I've just read. I've learnt a lot. Apparently I have been doing the right things most of the time (sheer good guess work, I think). What I really like is that most truck drivers show their appreciation when we give them the headlight signal to come back in. It makes me want to help them every time. We all realise that their time is valuable while we, the Grey Nomads, are out there enjoying this beautiful country. Thank you truckies for making my trips enjoyable.



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Hi, thank you. Very useful information.

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NEVER EVER use your indicator to 'advise the truckie its ok to pass' 

Its dangerous and illegal

by using your indicator, you are advising all vehicles that YOU intend to turn or change lanes.

many fatal accidents have occurred by people doing this.

 

Once the rear trailer has passed your vehicle, its ok to flash your headlights to tell him he has passed you and that its ok to return to your lane.

im surprised that admin have allowed this dangerous post to remain on the forum

dont do it please

 

 



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MarkAC wrote:

NEVER EVER use your indicator to 'advise the truckie its ok to pass' 

Its dangerous and illegal

by using your indicator, you are advising all vehicles that YOU intend to turn or change lanes.

many fatal accidents have occurred by people doing this.

 

Once the rear trailer has passed your vehicle, its ok to flash your headlights to tell him he has passed you and that its ok to return to your lane.

im surprised that admin have allowed this dangerous post to remain on the forum

dont do it please

 

 


 Most drivers realise that a single indicator flick with the vehicle maintaining highway speed has a different meaning to a continuous right indicator flashing combined with a reduction in speed.

The single flick means you are safe to move out enough to have a clear look without risk of getting hit And decide if it is safe to overtake.

Mention has been made in several posts about flashing hi beams to let a truck driver know he has safely passed.

This is bad advice, especially at night!

The last thing the driver needs when he is looking in his near side mirror is a flash of your 10 million candlepower light bar, temporarily blinding him.

Better to quickly turn OFF and ON your headlights, not long enough to spoil your vision but enough to get the message to him.

Cheers Neil



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I think that the bottom line is, just to be aware that the truckie is behind you, and to assist them to safely overtake

I have seen many instances, where I have done my bit to help the truckie quickly overtake me
Only to come up behind the same truck, further up the track, while they were stuck behind an RV, who was plodding along, with a train of vehicles behind them.

My opinion has always been, that whenever I am in a Motorhome/Caravan, I have been on holiday/retired, with time on my hands
The truckie on the other hand, has a job to do, and they are usually on a tight schedule


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I think MarkAC has completely missed the point. I don't think anyone was suggesting that use of indicators was a sign that it is safe for a truckie to pass - all it is indicating is that you are aware of his/her presence and are going to tuck in to the left just in case he chooses to pass. Read the previous comments MarkAC and you might be better informed!

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Bulariver wrote:

I think MarkAC has completely missed the point. I don't think anyone was suggesting that use of indicators was a sign that it is safe for a truckie to pass - all it is indicating is that you are aware of his/her presence and are going to tuck in to the left just in case he chooses to pass. Read the previous comments MarkAC and you might be better informed!


 

 

Thanks for your input but just because you think its still ok, it is dangerous

 

I will again repeat that it is illegal to use your indicators for any purpose other than to advise others that you intend to turn or change lane. It is illegal for a very good reason

 

I have researched many fatals where the cause was simply down to the forward driver using their indicator

 

Truckies dont need us to tell them when its ok because they can usually see over the top of other smaller vehicles and can see any oncoming vehicles, usually before we can

 

Speak to drivers and they will tell you that the instant they see the vehicle in front use their indicator, they are immediately on alert for them to make a turn

 

PLEASE DONT DO IT

 

Truckies do appreciate it when you call them up on the uhf mainly because they know that you are aware they are following. They know the road much better than us and will have a plan of attack when the best opportunity to overtake is.

 

 

 

 



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Delta18 wrote:
MarkAC wrote:

NEVER EVER use your indicator to 'advise the truckie its ok to pass' 

Its dangerous and illegal

by using your indicator, you are advising all vehicles that YOU intend to turn or change lanes.

many fatal accidents have occurred by people doing this.

 

Once the rear trailer has passed your vehicle, its ok to flash your headlights to tell him he has passed you and that its ok to return to your lane.

im surprised that admin have allowed this dangerous post to remain on the forum

dont do it please

 

 


 Most drivers realise that a single indicator flick with the vehicle maintaining highway speed has a different meaning to a continuous right indicator flashing combined with a reduction in speed.

The single flick means you are safe to move out enough to have a clear look without risk of getting hit And decide if it is safe to overtake.

Mention has been made in several posts about flashing hi beams to let a truck driver know he has safely passed.

This is bad advice, especially at night!

The last thing the driver needs when he is looking in his near side mirror is a flash of your 10 million candlepower light bar, temporarily blinding him.

Better to quickly turn OFF and ON your headlights, not long enough to spoil your vision but enough to get the message to him.

Cheers Neil


 

I totally understand why people think they are doing the right think, I will again repeat that it is illegal to use your indicators for any purpose other than to advise others that you intend to turn or change lane. It is illegal for a very good reason

 

Truckies dont need us to tell them when its ok because they can usually see over the top of other smaller vehicles and can see any oncoming vehicles, usually before we can

 

Speak to drivers and they will tell you that the instant they see the vehicle in front use their indicator, they are immediately on alert re the possibility of the vehicle in front might turn

 

PLEASE DONT DO IT

 

Truckies do appreciate it when you call them up on the uhf mainly because they know that you are aware they are following. They know the road much better than us and will have a plan of attack when the best opportunity to overtake is.

 

 

 

If you have had anything to do with trucks, you will know that they flash their lights when its safe for the overtaking vehicle to return to the land.

 

 

 

 

 



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BW


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I was driving a truck once , and indicated to turn right and the car following passed me !!!

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