You see it in the movies all the time – truckers in the USA refer to each other as ‘good Buddy’, and although we may have other greetings here in South Africa, it is worth noting what can make you a ‘good buddy’ to your fellow truckers.
There are a few basic ways you can show respect to each other, and as these also make for safer driving, it’s definitely worth knowing these 5 great tips for good Trucker etiquette…
1 – Hold the flashing – It has become almost common practice for some truckers to flash their brights to show another trucker that they are safe to merge after passing. This can be dangerous though and is at least quite irritating for fellow truckers.
Experienced truckers say a good trucker will know when to merge anyway, but to be polite, it’s better practice just to turn your lights off and on again (no Brights) quickly to give your good buddy the signal.
2 – Let him pass – When another truck is trying to pass you, and you notice he’s struggling to because he doesn’t have the power, slow down a little and let him past. It’s better to lose a few seconds than to never let anyone pass, or worse still, cause a major accident by being stubborn. When you see him again recommend that he/she gets a FAW truck!
3 – Keep your distance – On the other end of the scale, if you have the power and it’s you who are wanting to pass, please keep a safe following distance until you are sure that you can. This is basic road safety, but at the same time, it shows respect to your fellow trucker.
Move over slowly and with plenty of space in front of you. An experienced fellow trucker will indicate to you when it is safe to pass too.
4 – Put the phone down when driving – This also is basic road safety and showing compliance with the law. Talking and texting at the best of times is dangerous when driving. To do so when passing is recklessly endangering your own and your fellow trucker’s life. In trucks, in particular, only hands-free kits or headphones should be used anyway.
5 – Be a buddy off the road too – Being a good trucker means not only being polite to other drivers on the road, but to conduct yourself professionally off the road too. Be respectful to the shippers and receivers of goods at all times…and show respect to fellow truckers at truck stops at every opportunity. We will cover more on this topic in a future article.
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We hope these 5 great tips for good Trucker etiquette will be helpful to you and your drivers. Contact us to find out about our excellent Driver training programmes and our massive network of competent, accredited Dealers nationwide.