TRUCKIES VS CARAVANNERS

10 tips for being truck friendly

GUIDE Trucks and Caravans – Part 5

WORDS MARTY LEDWICH, IMAGES MARTY LEDWICH AND COREY KELLY

Don’t park in truck parking areas. It’s as simple as that. Even if you find the caravan parking areas are taken up with cars, its best to move on to another location rather than infuriating truck drivers by using their bays. If you are feeling fatigued and a truck parking area is the only immediate option for you to rest, try to park in such a way as to leave as much space as possible for trucks to park. Refresh yourself and move on. Do not camp overnight in truck parking areas.

1

Combined truck, caravan and trailer parking area

If you’re travelling in convoy with other caravanners, keep your distance from each other in order to allow trucks and other vehicles room to overtake one of you at a time. By bunching in too close together, you make it almost impossible for overtaking traffic to get past safely.

2

Friday 7 - Sunday 9 FEBRUARY

Newcastle Entertainment Centre & Showground
Opens 9:00am Daily

Come along and check out everything that’s new

Over 160 Exhibitors

All the latest RVs & products
Loads of accessories
Great holiday destinations
Free Entertainment & Parking
Huge Range all in One Location
Buy tickets at the gate

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

If you’re about to be passed by a truck, do not panic. Maintain your speed until he has pulled out from behind you and is halfway through passing you. Then back off your speed slightly until the rear of the trailer has passed the front of your car. Signal to him that he is clear by flashing your high beams or advising he is clear over the CB radio.


Having a sticker on the back of your van advising you are monitoring channel 40 is the first step in improving communications with trucks. Step 2 is actually switching the unit on

4

On the subject of UHF radios, if you have one fitted to your tow vehicle, turn it on and have it monitor channel 40. Granted, you may have to put up with some colourful language from time to time, but at least you can be informed of what’s happening around you and truckies can contact you if needed. It’s good to advertise you’re listening to channel 40 by putting a sticker on the back of your van advising so. If you do have this sticker, make sure your radio is on. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to contact someone and not getting a reply.


If you’re going to be towing a caravan for extended periods of time, fitting a UHF CB radio to the tow vehicle is a good investment. One of the biggest problems with using a UHF CB radio to communicate with other road users is that often it is difficult to understand what someone has said. Our Uniden UH8080S has a replay button that replays the information.

5

If you’re driving on a major freeway or highway, pick a speed to travel at that allows other motorists to pass you safely. You may as well accept the fact that everyone wants to overtake the caravan regardless of what speed you’re doing. We have found that driving at 95 in a 100km/h zone means we are not unnecessarily holding up traffic but we are also making it safer for other vehicles to overtake us.

3

If you’re travelling along a single lane road and you come to an overtaking section, keep left and slow down. This will allow as many vehicles behind you to get past you safely. Stay in the left-hand lane right up to the merge. Indicate that you are merging early to give motorists behind you warning that their passing opportunity is closing. Be prepared for other motorists to wait until the very last second to get past you and drive accordingly.

6

Before you head off each day, check to make sure all your trailer lights are working properly. Trailer plugs are notoriously unreliable. One day they may work perfectly and the next day the indicators stop working. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting behind a vehicle and not knowing what their intentions are as far as turning and stopping are concerned.


Trailer plugs should be part of your daily check routine

9

Keep an eye on what is happening behind you, especially if you are driving on a single carriageway road. If you start to notice a number of vehicles queuing behind you, look for a safe opportunity to pull over and allow the faster traffic to pass.

10

All trucks will display ‘do not overtake turning vehicle’ signs on the rear of their rigs. It is the law to obey these signs. If you are approaching a roundabout at the same time as a long vehicle, do not try to get past them on the roundabout. Pull in behind them and go around in turn.


8

You must have adequate vision behind your rig. For heaven’s sake, fit extension mirrors. You may think you can see behind you but remember, if a driver behind you can’t see your face in your side mirror, then you cannot see them. Consider fitting a rearview camera to your caravan. These can provide additional vision behind your rig where even extension mirrors can’t access. Remember, rearview cameras are no substitute for extension mirrors.

7

Even if you don’t think you need them, fit extension mirrors anyway. They increase your rear field of vision, so you have more chance of being away of what is happening in traffic behind you

In the last 18 months of travelling around the country full time, this is what we’ve found the vast majority of parking areas look like. Pretty much empty

This war may be played out between caravanners and truckies but to only point the finger at these two motorist groups would be a failure to recognise the bigger issue. Our nation’s roads are becoming busier with a lot more motorists of all persuasions using them and the infrastructure that supports them. Truck drivers are trying to earn a living on these busy roads but they also have to contend with rising costs of fuel and maintenance combined with increased time pressures. It’s no wonder they feel they are being treated unfairly compared to other road users. Unfortunately, caravanners are an easy target for their frustrations at times and that is something that has to stop.

Rather than being a part of the problem, we are calling upon all caravanners and other RV motorists to be the first part of the solution. By being more considerate of the needs of other motorists and by adopting a few simple behaviours, we can improve the situation, not just for other road users, but for ourselves as well.

That said, we also call upon the general motoring community to show more respect and courtesy towards all other road users. Everyone that has paid their registration, has a current driver’s licence and is driving within the rules has as much right to use the roads as anyone else.

Poor driver behaviour is not restricted to any one particular group. It transcends drivers of all types of vehicles. It’s about time we all came to terms with this fact and started to look at our own faults before pointing the finger at others.

‘He that is without sin…..’ John 8:7

‘The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up’ – Chuck Palahniuk

Conclusion

THANKS
We acknowledge the support of Trucking Nation and Share the Road and their continued efforts to improve the awareness of truck driver’s responsibilities and harmony between all road users. These videos have been used with permission and you can find lots more at the website address. Thanks also to Whiteline Television.

GUIDE Trucks and Caravans – Part 5

TRUCKIES VS CARAVANNERS

10 tips for being truck friendly

Don’t park in truck parking areas. It’s as simple as that. Even if you find the caravan parking areas are taken up with cars, its best to move on to another location rather than infuriating truck drivers by using their bays. If you are feeling fatigued and a truck parking area is the only immediate option for you to rest, try to park in such a way as to leave as much space as possible for trucks to park. Refresh yourself and move on. Do not camp overnight in truck parking areas.

WORDS MARTY LEDWICH, IMAGES MARTY LEDWICH AND COREY KELLY

Truck drivers have a lot of pressure on them to meet their delivery schedules.

1
2

If you’re travelling in convoy with other caravanners, keep your distance from each other in order to allow trucks and other vehicles room to overtake one of you at a time. By bunching in too close together, you make it almost impossible for overtaking traffic to get past safely.

Friday 7 - Sunday 9 FEBRUARY

Newcastle Entertainment Centre & Showground
Opens 9:00am Daily

Come along and check out everything that’s new

Over 160 Exhibitors

All the latest RVs & products
Loads of accessories
Great holiday destinations
Free Entertainment & Parking
Huge Range all in One Location
Buy tickets at the gate

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

If you’re driving on a major freeway or highway, pick a speed to travel at that allows other motorists to pass you safely. You may as well accept the fact that everyone wants to overtake the caravan regardless of what speed you’re doing. We have found that driving at 95 in a 100km/h zone means we are not unnecessarily holding up traffic but we are also making it safer for other vehicles to overtake us.

If you’re about to be passed by a truck, do not panic. Maintain your speed until he has pulled out from behind you and is halfway through passing you. Then back off your speed slightly until the rear of the trailer has passed the front of your car. Signal to him that he is clear by flashing your high beams or advising he is clear over the CB radio.


3

Having a sticker on the back of your van advising you are monitoring channel 40 is the first step in improving communications with trucks. Step 2 is actually switching the unit on

4

On the subject of UHF radios, if you have one fitted to your tow vehicle, turn it on and have it monitor channel 40. Granted, you may have to put up with some colourful language from time to time, but at least you can be informed of what’s happening around you and truckies can contact you if needed. It’s good to advertise you’re listening to channel 40 by putting a sticker on the back of your van advising so. If you do have this sticker, make sure your radio is on. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to contact someone and not getting a reply.


If you’re going to be towing a caravan for extended periods of time, fitting a UHF CB radio to the tow vehicle is a good investment. One of the biggest problems with using a UHF CB radio to communicate with other road users is that often it is difficult to understand what someone has said. Our Uniden UH8080S has a replay button that replays the information.

5

If you’re travelling along a single lane road and you come to an overtaking section, keep left and slow down. This will allow as many vehicles behind you to get past you safely. Stay in the left-hand lane right up to the merge. Indicate that you are merging early to give motorists behind you warning that their passing opportunity is closing. Be prepared for other motorists to wait until the very last second to get past you and drive accordingly.

6

You must have adequate vision behind your rig. For heaven’s sake, fit extension mirrors. You may think you can see behind you but remember, if a driver behind you can’t see your face in your side mirror, then you cannot see them. Consider fitting a rearview camera to your caravan. These can provide additional vision behind your rig where even extension mirrors can’t access. Remember, rearview cameras are no substitute for extension mirrors.

All trucks will display ‘do not overtake turning vehicle’ signs on the rear of their rigs. It is the law to obey these signs. If you are approaching a roundabout at the same time as a long vehicle, do not try to get past them on the roundabout. Pull in behind them and go around in turn.


7

Even if you don’t think you need them, fit extension mirrors anyway. They increase your rear field of vision, so you have more chance of being away of what is happening in traffic behind you

8

Before you head off each day, check to make sure all your trailer lights are working properly. Trailer plugs are notoriously unreliable. One day they may work perfectly and the next day the indicators stop working. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting behind a vehicle and not knowing what their intentions are as far as turning and stopping are concerned.


Trailer plugs should be part of your daily check routine

9

Keep an eye on what is happening behind you, especially if you are driving on a single carriageway road. If you start to notice a number of vehicles queuing behind you, look for a safe opportunity to pull over and allow the faster traffic to pass.

10

This war may be played out between caravanners and truckies but to only point the finger at these two motorist groups would be a failure to recognise the bigger issue. Our nation’s roads are becoming busier with a lot more motorists of all persuasions using them and the infrastructure that supports them. Truck drivers are trying to earn a living on these busy roads but they also have to contend with rising costs of fuel and maintenance combined with increased time pressures. It’s no wonder they feel they are being treated unfairly compared to other road users. Unfortunately, caravanners are an easy target for their frustrations at times and that is something that has to stop.

Rather than being a part of the problem, we are calling upon all caravanners and other RV motorists to be the first part of the solution. By being more considerate of the needs of other motorists and by adopting a few simple behaviours, we can improve the situation, not just for other road users, but for ourselves as well.

That said, we also call upon the general motoring community to show more respect and courtesy towards all other road users. Everyone that has paid their registration, has a current driver’s licence and is driving within the rules has as much right to use the roads as anyone else.

Poor driver behaviour is not restricted to any one particular group. It transcends drivers of all types of vehicles. It’s about time we all came to terms with this fact and started to look at our own faults before pointing the finger at others.

‘He that is without sin…..’ John 8:7

In the last 18 months of travelling around the country full time, this is what we’ve found the vast majority of parking areas look like. Pretty much empty

Conclusion

‘The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up’ – Chuck Palahniuk

THANKS
We acknowledge the support of Trucking Nation and Share the Road and their continued efforts to improve the awareness of truck driver’s responsibilities and harmony between all road users. These videos have been used with permission and you can find lots more at the website address. Thanks also to Whiteline Television.

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