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Sunday, July 31, 2011

lot of driver two

Well I made it back from my summer camping trip. Caught a lot of fish and watched a lot life in the wilds. My last post I talk about recreation vehicles (RV) and the way people drive them.  Now most people who drive them only drive them on a summer vacation. It doesn’t take long to see who know how to drive one when they start to back their trailer into a camp site.  I could here “turn the wheels the other way. Daddy can I go play in the water? Stop your running over the fire pit! Mommy, I ‘m hungry? I want the trailer over there it to close to the rocks!” Plus enough cussing to make a sailor blush it took an hour and a half to park the trailer before the fellar ask if I could help. I had ask him if he would like some help.

I look at the whole thing from a number of perspectives. The first is well! I am an RV user, then I am or was a commercial truck driver, and I am also a former peace officer. Driving a combination of a vehicles and trailer requires more skills of a driver then day to day driving does.

Here is what I do and most commercial drivers do every day, starting with the walk around, we walk all the way around the rig, look at the tiers , hook up and safety chains.  Then we fire up the rig and drag the setup half the length of the setup and panic stop to see how well the brakes hold, then we get out and do the walk again. We make sure that our load is secure.  First chance we get once we are on the way to our destination we pull over at a safe stop and do the walk. Every step we take save lives.

If you are a weekender or a vacation driver of RV’s here is a tip or two. A week or two before you take your vacation hook up your trailer and find a big empty parking lot. Practice backing and backing the trailer into a parking stall. Put a mark as a starting point then bring your tow vehicle without the trailer up to ten miles per hour and panic stop.  Then get out and walk back to your starting point.  Then do it again with the trailer in tow.  See how much farther you have to walk back.

Next plan your rout, find out about road conditions, fuel stops.  Once you are on the road read the speed signs. Just because the sign says 70 MPH. you are now drive a combination vehicle. And most state law tells you 55 MPH for truckers.  You can be stop and give a speeding ticket for reckless endangerment. If road conditions slow you down to 10 MPH below the post speed limit for trucks, that is forty five MPH you are required by law to put on your four way flashers.

Here a big tip at 60 MPH you should be three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you to have a safe stopping distance. If that vehicle is big rig it is about 88 feet long that is one second.  If you are going to pass safely you will need 15 seconds to that.  Fifteen second is one forth of a mile at sixty MPH, and you will need to see clearly one half a mile of the road just in case someone is going to do the same thing, coming from the other direction. In the picture to the left you are driving a truck and trailer, can you safely pass the vehicle in front of you? please give your answer in the comments, but think about the what if's.

I had a safe fun trip did some fishing and had a lot of fun. Thank you for stopping by and God bless.



Debbie said...

Roy welcome back from your trip, its great to have you back. Glad you had fun and caught some fish.

I would be one of those people that could drive the trailer (used to drive with a boat trailer hitched to the back of my SUV) but I couldn't ever get the backing up and parking it properly down. I'd always turn the wrong direction, I know you must turn your wheel the opposite direction of where you really wanna go. (or I think that's how they told me, time after time)

Safety is first as you've shown, checking your hitch is secure etc. and the route you are planing to take needs to be checked as well, low over passes etc.

Great post thanks for sharing, and WELCOME BACK!! you were missed


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Jessica M said...

Welcome back Roy! Glad you had a great vacation...and that you caught a lot of fish!

Great post, very informative. You won't catch me driving anything with a trailer hitched to it...I'm pretty mindful about safety too and I would probably undoubtedly knock into something! I trained for a bus driver position one time and busted a window the very first day of training by hitting a sign! Better someone else driving it than me I suppose! ;)

Jan said...

Love the post. No you can't pass safely it is a yellow line on your side.

Just Another Thought Online said...

I'm glad you expanded on your earlier post with instructions for the inexperienced RV and trailer drivers. I personally don't think it's camping if you aren't sleeping in a tent, but to each their own.

I agree with Jan that it is unsafe, but in addition to the fact that there is a solid line (demarking that it is illegal to pass) I am also unable to see the 1/2 mile you said is necessary to pass safely.

Roy Durham said...

@ Debbie
a drive of a big rig has to back in a straight line for one hundred yards, and slow he can park to the blind side or passenger side, As well as the driver side. It takes a lot of practice. Thank you for your comments and god bless.
@Jessica M
Don’t feel bad about the sign. In my younger days when I was about twenty two I was driving a lumber deliver dump truck and grab the wrong shift lever and dump the load lumber all over the intersection, taking out the traffic light. Thank you for your comments and god bless.
Jan you are right. The sight distant is at minimum and there is a downhill slope at road horizon. The solid yellow line is there to tell it is unsafe to pass. There have been a number of fatal crashes at that location, People into too big of a hurry to get to their destinations. Thank you for your comments and god bless.
@ Just Another Thought Online
For me camping is a bed roll, camp fire and the stars over head. Wake up I the morning face wet dew. Thank you for noting the solid yellow line. Many drivers don’t and there has been many crashes at that location because of people into too big of a hurry. Thank you for your comments and god bless.

Rachel Hoyt said...

Man oh man do people driving huge RVs and trucks with trailers make me nuts. I think you should have to get a special license to prove you're a competent driver. It just isn't the same as driving a normal car.

I'm glad you had a nice vacation!

JIM said...

It is a little scary when you see all these on the highways, I wondered how much training was needed to be licensed. Real Scary !!

I was gone the same time as you were, think people might think we the same person???? lol

Roy Durham said...

@ Rachel
at the present the is no licencing for RV drivers or a training program. there is a lot that goes into driving a bus or combination vehicle.
there are many time they are the cause of a accident and drive on down the road unaware of the problems they have caused. thank you for commenting and god bless

Roy Durham said...

@ Jim
for a commercial driver licence it takes three month of school and three month of student driving then passing a written test and and driving that includes passing, backing, and braking, and parking. and around 5000 dollars. then you are on probation for six months. For RV's all it take is a standard drivers licence and a trailer, RV, or boat and hit the road. no required training or testing.
Thank you for commenting and i don't think that we are the same person but may be we should at-least compare note before we take a leave of absents God bless

Kriti said...

Welcome back from your trip Roy. You were sorely missed. I had the toughest time to learn driving a normal car so you are someone I should really put on a pedestal! Thank you for this great post!

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