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Old 8th December 2010, 15:24   #46
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post

I have an interesting observation on NH2 from Delhi to Kanpur. They will hog the rhs lane and even move further right to tell you to overtake from the wrong side. However, once they cross Etawah on way to Kanpur they will all of a sudden sometimes give way.
This unpredictable behaviour is the danger. I normally cross from the left only when I am sure that the lorry driver has no intention to give way. Experience on high ways teaches us this. :-)

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Old 8th December 2010, 15:28   #47
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I have an interesting observation on NH2 from Delhi to Kanpur. They will hog the rhs lane and even move further right to tell you to overtake from the wrong side. However, once they cross Etawah on way to Kanpur they will all of a sudden sometimes give way.
I have observed this on the 3 occasions too; on the Jaipur-Delhi highway. They stick to the right lane at 40-60 km/hr and everyone invariably overtake from the left.

At times, every now and then, they even keep switching lanes!

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
As for the ghats there are two problems - underpowered and overladen. Also, quite often the turning circles are not tight enough so they take to longer way round. I have seen this a lot on NH4 just outside Indore.
Exactly the case on the Mumbai-Pune expressway; at the hair-pin bends near Lonavala, trucks go at 5 km/hr and there is terribly huge traffic pile up.

On one occasion a truck broke down just at the turn and at 2am, there was a traffic jam for 3 hrs.
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Old 8th December 2010, 15:48   #48
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

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Originally Posted by gavinimurthy View Post
This unpredictable behaviour is the danger. I normally cross from the left only when I am sure that the lorry driver has no intention to give way. Experience on high ways teaches us this. :-)
It would be a good idea to wait till the cleaner gives the go ahead, though if I am accelerating like mad (well, I can, but only on two-wheels and the speedo jumps from 72kmph to 78kmph in one go) then it just won't be possible for a truck to maneuver so much as to harm me.

I honk just once (for 1s duration) and then pass.

Trucks do go left to let you pass, but it takes ages for them to do so. Its anyday better to pass from the left (but honk as he would see you from left in his RVM) and switching on your head-lamp helps.
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Old 8th December 2010, 16:20   #49
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

@Sheel: The cleaner has no locus standi in the overtaking or for that any other matter. Sometimes I feel like cutting/yanking the arm off!
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Old 8th December 2010, 16:31   #50
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

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@Sheel: The cleaner has no locus standi in the overtaking or for that any other matter. Sometimes I feel like cutting/yanking the arm off!
The cleaner can suggest his guruji as to there is a Car/Motorcycle overtaking from left.
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Old 8th December 2010, 19:18   #51
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

Another reason for thier gentlemanliness could be the fact that they have possibly come to the terms that no matter how rash one might drive or how fast one might drive, conditions on our roads is so unpredictable, that, you never know when you might expect a jam or a road block due to an accident. So it really does not matter if you speed for an hour or so. I have learnt from experience that if you take risks and drive even speed up occasionally all you end up saving is a couple of minutes.

I tried it here on the less conjested free way roads. Even if I speed up and there are short bursts of speed and if you drive +10 the limit (legal) for an hour, you save possibly 5-10 minutes which is useless if you take and hour break or so.
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Old 9th December 2010, 07:13   #52
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

On the Keral highways, these truckers never dip their main beams. All four of them would be blinding you full blast.

Is there a way to stop this bad bad habit.
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Old 9th December 2010, 09:31   #53
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

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Is there a way to stop this bad bad habit.
A set of equally good hellas may do the trick if the truckers are not responsive to light signals.
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Old 9th December 2010, 10:23   #54
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

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A set of equally good hellas may do the trick if the truckers are not responsive to light signals.
Only if the trucks have a functional lowbeam/highbeam switch. Else they would just do blink the lights, that's all.
And the hieght the drivers sit on the truck, a car's highbeam doesn't bother them much.
Best way to avoid them is to try avoid driving in night. But not a possible solution always.
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Old 9th December 2010, 12:13   #55
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

Most of the long route truckers are gentlemen, no doubt. Its the short haul local drivers that are more of a menace. One reason is that they spend so much time on the road that it becomes a habit to them to behave on what they perceive as their home. Another reason is that being arrogant in a distant and alien land is not good for ones health on any given day, so its better to be cautious than to repent later.
The reason for sticking to rhs is the slow moving traffic on the left lanes. As its not possible for heavy trucks to weave in and out or constantly brake for cycles, carts, pedestrians etc they stick to one speed in the rhs lane and let you pass as per your judgement from the left.
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Old 9th December 2010, 13:12   #56
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

Indeed, most long distance truck drivers are helpful to any driver in distress. Several years ago, I succeeded in bogging down my Esteem while trying to take a short cut (regularly used by trucks -- I followed the tyre marks) between two roads in the still-under-development Dronagiri node of Navi Mumbai. Walked back about half a kilometer where there was a long line of trucks and a few small dhabas, hoping to find a phone to call someone to come with a towrope -- this was before the days of cellphones.

The truckers had been watching the whole time, and immediately sent someone to find a driver who had dropped his load and was ready to move out. That good soul took a diversion, tied his own rope and dragged my car to firmer ground, then had to proceed the long way round as there wasn't enough width for him to turn the truck. And true to form, he refused payment, dismissing my offer with something like "If you see someone in difficulty, wouldn't you too offer to help?"

That said, large vehicles without backlights or even reflective stickers are a growing menace. When I was at Panvel/Mumbai, it was usual to start for Goa at around 04:30, and I can remember a massive trailer that was barely visible even with the high beam, the container it carried was so dirty. And that on the 2-lane NH-17.

I'm sure some legislation in respect of working back and stop lights exists, but the fact that these truckers and fleet operators get away with it probably because the only authorities to stop them are on their 'payroll'.

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Old 9th December 2010, 13:50   #57
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

^^^^

If they can't mend their lights, they can atleast stick those reflective stickers on the rear bumper. They are quite inexpensive.

I almost bumped into a stationery lorry once in the night. I had to break so hard that the car behind me too managed to stop just after giving a minor brush to my back bumper.

When will these people start caring for other's lives?

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Old 9th December 2010, 15:23   #58
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

The drivers do not get paid enough to put in stickers from their own pocket. It has to come from the owners. You cant blame them for not doing it.
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Old 9th December 2010, 15:25   #59
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

I used to chat with a 'cook' at a small hotel in Cochin long back, and here is his story about how he ended up as a cook:

He was a truck driver, employed with a local newspaper. He used to take up part time driver work also (without his employer's knowledge). Most of his night driving used to be done 'half sleeping' with a brick on the accelerator pedal. When a panicking car driver coming opposite flashes the lights, he would 'wake up' and 'correct' the steering.

After some years of driving, he started acting as carrier for smuggling drugs, for quick money (He would give a 'lift' to the smuggler and drop him at the destination on the way). Once he was chased by police, but managed to escape by driving through some private estate. After delivering the load of newspapers, he parked the truck at the Newspaper office and went to sleep. But police somehow traced him and arrested him that night (early morning) itself. Though he tried to argue in court that he is not responsible for the actions of people who are given lifts, he was punished and his license 'red marked'. Thus he lost his driver job and started a 'new life' as a cook.

Last edited by jinojohnt : 9th December 2010 at 15:28.
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Old 9th December 2010, 15:35   #60
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Default Re: Why are Most Highway Truckers such gentlemanly drivers?

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The drivers do not get paid enough to put in stickers from their own pocket. It has to come from the owners. You cant blame them for not doing it.
I understand that. But is it not the responsibility of the driver to bring the problems/shortcomings of the vehicle to the notice of the owner?

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