How Truckers Confront Dangerous Situations Daily
Whether handling local deliveries or operating over the road, truck drivers have a reputation for being a particularly spirited group of men and women. The conventional truck driver, in the minds of many, is someone unphased by situations and circumstances that would make most of us turn the other direction. They exhibit grace under pressure and, as they say,keep on trucking.
But to think truck drivers are a bunch of fearless road warriors would be going a bit overboard. It is their skill and ability to confront dangerous obstacles on a daily basis which prepares them to face situations that would be terrifying to most others, thus becoming among the safest drivers on the highway.
Here are several examples of how truckers confront dangerous situations on a daily basis:
Truckers are constantly on the lookout for bad weather and routinely adjusting their driving to account for changes in precipitation. When an owner-operator looks for a Mack sleeper or a Peterbilt day cab for sale, he makes a point to research how it will maneuver in inclement weather. Learning how a particular rig behaves in wind shears and icy conditions, as well as how certain types of loads affect the situation compared to others, is a requirement for becoming an ace trucker.
Efforts to crack down on drunk driving, such as installing a breathalyzer in your car, have helped to make the roads safer, as have laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving. But the fact remains that bad drivers are always on the roads. Truckers have to be constantly paying attention to the vehicles around them in the event a bad driver decides to make a dangerous maneuver. The time it takes for a big rig truck to come to a complete stop is significantly longer than that of a passenger vehicle, so truckers have to be able to react exceptionally fast to unpredictable situations on the road.
11 Foot 8 Inches
There’s an infamous railroad bridge in Durham, North Carolina nicknamed the Can Opener, which is only 11 feet, 8 inches high and subsequently can’t be accessed by trucks. Almost like clockwork, the bridge is the site of at least one truck colliding with the overpass every month. While this the extreme example of a low overpass, not making the clearance under a bridge is something many truckers have to take into consideration on their routes, especially those just starting their trucking careers. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for truckers to avoid low overpasses, mainly by sticking to major roads and interstates. With that said, every truck driver knows they’re out there somewhere, just waiting for an inadequately trained greenhorn or negligent driver to ram into it.
New York City
If you’ve ever looked at employment opportunities in trucking, you may have encountered the following statement in more than one job posting: “No New York City.” So what’s the big deal about the Big Apple? The reasons why it takes a certain type of trucker to make a delivery to New York extends to most major cities throughout the American northeast. Not only is there usually no place to park, taking a wrong turn can take an hour to correct due to the traffic density, one-way streets, and block sizes in a city like New York. With that said, those who are able to rise to the challenge of taking trucking gigs in major urban centers are certain to make a good living due to the demand for qualified operators. In other words, the ability to drive a truck in and out of Lower Manhattan on a Friday afternoon is a badge of honor among truckers.
Truckers are known for being hard to intimidate, but it is their abilities and skill that allow them to overcome the obstacles that most drivers would be afraid of facing. Fortunately for all of us, they manage to keep on safely trucking.
© 2018, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.