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Showing posts with label rookie drivers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rookie drivers. Show all posts

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Todd McCann Shares, "Truckers Go Turtle Racing"

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ExpressTaxTax learns about turtle racing
Today we have a special gift for you because Todd McCann has agreed to share his turtle racing article and podcast with us. Todd McCann has been a truck driver since '97 and reports on his experiences on the road as he hosts his trucking podcast/blog, Trucker Dump. Check out what he has to say about turtle racing. Read the article here or listen to the podcast here. 

Truckers Go Turtle Racing


Turtles are cool. If I see one trying to cross the road, I'm the kinda guy that'll pull over and carry him across the road to safety. That is, unless it's one of those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If I see one of them in the road, I'm gonna stick out my tongue, close one eye, take aim, and hit the accelerator. Man, those "dudes" are annoying.

So why would I go out of my way to help a turtle cross the road? Well, like I said, they're cool, but it's also because The Evil Overlord likes that about me. What can I say? I'm a sweetie. Still, the main reason is simply because he's so freakin' slow. By the way, I do always assume it's a male turtle crossing the road. My thinking is that the only thing that could make a turtle jump out into traffic is a lady turtle batting her eyes and wiggling her sexy little tail around.

So anyway, why all the talk about turtles? Well, because the trucking industry has its own version of turtles. Only no one likes them. I'm talking about speed-limited trucks. Specifically, I'm talking about two speed-limited trucks trying to pass each other out on the highway. You know; Turtle Racing.

Whether your vehicle has 18 wheels or four, we've all experienced a Turtle Race. You're tooling along in the fast lane, when some trucker jumps out in front of you. You calmly slow down and follow while this truck slooooooowly creeps up and passes the slightly slower truck. I assume you were calm, right? I mean, it only took five minutes for dillmunch #1 to pass dillmunch #2.

Notice that I called both of these drivers "dillmunch." Besides the fact that I have no earthly idea what a dillmunch is, I still say the turtle race was both of these driver's faults. It takes two to do the Tango and it takes two to race. If you were to ask most drivers whose fault it is, they'd blame the guy trying to pass. I agree... and I disagree. Let's take a look at that.

Okay. Say my truck will go a mind-blowing warp speed of 65 mph. I'm coming up on a truck going 64 mph. Sure, I could tap my brake, lower my cruise control, and stare at his trailer doors all day. After all, I am looking pretty smokin' in those reflective doors. But why should I have to slow down because my truck is faster than his? Wouldn't it make more sense to let the faster truck get on with his business?

The thing is, it takes two drivers with common sense, professional attitudes, and the willingness to put themselves in the other driver's shoes. Those are three attributes that are sorely missing in today's trucking industry. Nowadays, everyone is out for themselves.

Drivers can't be bothered to let you go around them before they take ten minutes to back into a wide-open parking spot. The same guys don't have a second thought about butting in line to get to the shipping clerk's window. Nor do they mind parking in front of the fuel bay while they mosey into the truck stop, stand in line to get their fuel receipt, take a dump, fill up their thermos, and grab some to-go food; hopefully in that order. 

Todd McCann explains how to avoid turtle racing to ExpressTruckTax
These are the same drivers who see the faster truck coming up behind them. They're the drivers who see you in their mirror as you pull out to pass. The same jerk who can see the traffic stacking up behind you. The worthless puddle of dog vomit that refuses to tap his brakes, even though he can clearly see you're going to pass him eventually.

Here's how I try to deal with this. First, I give the driver the benefit of the doubt, trusting that as soon as he notices me, he'll let me around. Hey, it could happen. Once I've caught his beady little eyes looking at me in his mirror, I wait a few seconds to see if he's gonna back out of it. If he doesn't, I resort to a drastic step. Well, it is for me anyway.

I break out the "Official Communication Device of Hell", otherwise known as the CB radio. Again, I'll be nice at first. Maybe he's into a good audiobook and the situation just hasn't registered in his puny little brain. I'll key up the mic and say in a friendly voice, "Hey driver. How about a little driver courtesy here?" Sometimes that works. Other times, the guy doesn't have his CB turned on. Can't say as I blame him for that. Still other times, you know you've got a real winner on your hands when he picks up the mic and says, "If you can't pass me faster than that, it's not my problem." Oh my. What do you do with a guy like this?

That's when I take a deep, calming breath and explain to him that we as drivers are never going to get respect and cooperation from the public if we can't even get it from our fellow drivers. I'm often filled with awe from their insightful comeback. Something truly wise, like, "Shut up, stupid."

This is what we're dealing with out here. All this could be avoided if drivers just had a little common courtesy towards each other. Instead, we're all faced with turtle racing every day. And as for you four-wheelers, don't think you're exempt either. The only thing more frustrating than being stuck behind turtle racing trucks, is to be stuck behind turtle racing four-wheelers. For the love of Pete, folks. Trust me on this. It's okay to turn your cruise control off. The car manufacturers have thoroughly tested these devices. You're not gonna break anything. Except for my forehead, which is decisively bashing into my steering wheel with a head-banging force usually reserved for Slayer songs.

So here's my plea to all drivers. Just get off the road and let me do my job. Okay, I guess that's a bit impractical. So practically, let's do this.

- First, keep your eyes open and pay attention. They key to avoiding turtle racing is knowing when it's actually happening and then doing whatever it takes to help the situation.

- If you need to instigate a turtle race, wait until most of the traffic behind you has cleared. If traffic is heavy and you're going to be holding people up, just tap your brakes and follow the slow-poke until traffic thins. Then mount your attack.

- If you're the slower driver, be a sport. Tap your brakes and let the other driver around. It's not like you're approaching 88 mph and if you don't reach it in time, you'll be stuck in the past... or future.

- If you're the faster driver, use the CB to politely ask if the dimwit will let you around. My suggestion would be to NOT use the term "dimwit" when addressing said dimwit.

- If the slower driver ignores you, or worse, laughs at you, feel free to wave at him as you drive past his window. I leave the amount of fingers you use entirely up to you.

- If you're the faster driver, and Captain Slo-Mo just won't let you around, even after multiple attempts, be the bigger man (or woman). Back out of it, get behind him, and let all the backed-up traffic go on their merry little, un-speed-limited way.

- Now for the final and most important step. Concentrate hard and wish for the next toilet seat he visits to be infested with crabs. Now, don't you feel better?

Thanks For Sharing, Todd! 


We hope you enjoyed learning about turtle racing as much as we did. Who is better to learn from than an actual driver?! If you have any thoughts to share about turtle racing please post them in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.

Bio: 

Todd McCann is a 20-year trucker, producer of the Trucker Dump podcast/blog, and author of two ebooks; How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job and Trucking Life: An Entertaining, Yet Informative Guide To Becoming And Being A Truck Driver. Learn more at AboutTruckDriving.com.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Preventing Road Rage: Stay Calm And Keep Driving

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ExpressTruckTax emphasizes the importance of trucker safety
We have all gone hulk once or twice. Maybe it was for acceptable reasons and maybe it was a tragic overreaction to something. Either way, since birth people are taught to be in control of their own emotions because anger can be dangerous, especially when it enters our roads.

Recent Road Rage…


The Nation’s highways are already filled with dangers such as driving tired and driving distracted, and that’s only made worse when people are driving angry. Recently, in Allentown, Pa, a trucker named Ernest S.Weisburg was so consumed with road rage that he began hurling rocks out of his window, striking a van.

The victims followed the trucker until state troopers were able to pull the driver over, and when they did they found 3 more rocks behind Weisburg’s passenger seat. This is an example of incredibly dangerous road rage that could have lead to major wrecks and traffic deaths.

Thank you for being a responsible trucker and doing your part to keep other motorists safe, even though an influx of four wheelers can really test everyone’s patience. Let’s continue making our roads safer by taking a look at preventing road rage.

Identifying Road Rage


Road rage is known as aggressive or violent behavior coming from a driver’s uncontrolled anger towards fellow motorists and truckers on the road. Many things can cause road rage from a bad day at work to running late.

Often times road rage beings with aggressive driving such as speeding, tailgating, and not using a blinker. If you notice yourself doing these things take a moment to calm down before your situation escalates.

Road rage is extremely dangerous because it’s distracting. Usually when involved in road rage drivers are looking at other motorists instead of the road, making it easy to run into objects or other vehicles.

Drivers also have the tendency to make obscene gestures at other motorists, meaning they don’t have both hands on the wheel. With only one hand on the wheel is can be much easier to lose control of your own semi truck.

Those involved with road rage may also speed up and maneuver dangerously around each other, putting themselves and other drivers at risk. In severe cases, vehicles will try to push each other off the road or use weapons to cause harm.

Road rage could result in the loss of your life, traffic deaths, vehicle damage, physical damage, fines, going to court, going to jail, and more. It’s best to just keep calm and avoid it at all costs.

Preventing Road Rage


The best way to avoid road rage is to ignore other drivers, even if they are truck drivers. We sure you encounter a lot of angry people on the roads, and you’re good at not letting them get to you. Avoid eye contact with them and give them enough space to pass you so they can be on their way.
 
ExpressTruckTax wants truckers to stay safe
You can also play calming music or an interesting podcast to distract yourself from other drivers. If they seem to be getting to you just take a deep breath and go to your happy place for a few minutes until drive away. You can also pull over to gather your emotions or count backward in your head. Thinking about the consequences of your actions can also help you stay calm.

It’s a good practice to be mentally prepared for your drive. You can most likely expect other drivers who are upset during their daily commute, so go ahead and let that stress go before you even get in route.

If you find yourself in a situation that could quickly escalate into road rage it helps to wave and mouth the word ‘sorry’. Remember it’s much better to be the bigger person than another victim of road rage.

Keep On Trucking


As the holiday season approaches and more motorists get on the road remember to keep calm and continue driving safely. Road rage accounts for a high amount of traffic deaths and can be completely avoided by keeping your cool.

Please share your tips for avoiding road rage in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.
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