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Travels of a Trucker Those little signs mean something

January 23, 2012

This is more of a continuation of my other post about signage on Trailers, but it is something that should be addressed. Oftentimes, I see driver’s totally disregard it and it has happened with me on occasion. Every driver should also be aware of it and usually they are pretty good about it. There are two signs I am referring to in particular. The first sign is the pinch point sign showing the truck and trailer making a right hand turn with a car and the sign says “Caution, wide turns”. The other sign you will often see is the “If I cannot see you in my mirrors I cannot see you sign”. I will explain these signs in greater detail.

The pinchpoint wide turn sign which is often found on trailers is a warning sign to indicate that the trailer makes wide right turns. It is imperative of course that #1 the operator of the trailer is watching for any traffic creeping up between his/her turn and the trailer to ensure they do not become a statistic of the trailer wheels running over their vehicle when the truck is in the blind spot of the corner and cannot see his trailer fully. The operator of the motor vehicle behind the trailer doing the turn should also be aware if the truck is making a turn. There are a number of signals which give clue that a trailer is going to make a turn. First the most obvious would be the turn signals on the a.) the trailer at the rear. b.) a side trailer turn indicator and c.) the tractor turn signal. The truck could also give an indication by running what is called a zipper. He/she will be occupying two lanes running on the dotted lines of the two lanes which is an indication a turn is about to happen. The reason for this is to clear the trailer around the corner without hitting any obstacles such as poles or running over the unknowing bystander who happens to be standing close to the curb.

There are many cases where cars have been completely oblivious to the fact that the truck and trailer are making a turn and as I stated it has happened to me on occasion with an ambulance who should know better squeezing between me and my turning point. I got out once and asked the driver of the ambulance if he could not see my turn signals on and he said he was not paying attention. If I had not been paying attention I could have easily created an accident here. As it was, I had to rethink my turn strategy. I was already committed to making my turn and traffic was trying to follow the ambulance, so I did the safe think, I stayed in the intersection and allowed traffic to finish being asses and made my turn when it was safe to do so.

This is why sometimes you will see trailers doing a cross cut through traffic. It is to keep their trailer close to the sidewalk preventing traffic from impeding, but it also allows the tractor the two lane clearance room to go wide and pull the trailer wide. Next time you see these signs, please be aware and be cautious.

The second sign you will see is the “If you cannot see my mirrors, I cannot see you sign”. This is an often overlooked sign and many people totally disregard this vital sign. Other drivers are just not paying attention to the signs which are there for safety and obvious reasons. Just like a sign on an Ambulance or a Fire Truck which says keep back 10 meters, there are reasons. If the Fire Truck or the Ambulance need room to turn, they need the space to back up if they have to turn on their emergency lights. If you are impeding them and have blocked them in being too close, you can be putting other people’s lives at risk and not only that you can face a fine if they are stuck because you disregarded that which is called a traffic control device and that is what it is a traffic control device except it is attached to a moving object.

Anyways, back to the point,  this sign is aimed at keeping you safe enough away that if the truck and trailer have to make a reverse move, again you are not going to be run over. Imagine this for example. It is a busy road and you are too close and there is a low structural bridge. The truck obviously has to turn around. If you are too close and the rest of traffic is right behind you, where will the truck and trailer go? Not only will he/she now be holding you all up further because now you all have no where to go. Add to the frustration of the driver that he would already be feeling and everyone else around and it is a good recipe for a case of road rage.

So these signs are there for good reason. There are many other signs which we could discuss, but as always, I leave it short, simple and to the point. Thanks for reading and keep it shiny side up. If you like my blogs, be sure to follow along by email or you can find me on twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/truckerofbc you can also follow me on my Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Travels-of-a-Trucker/256861804368734

Remember, you have until tomorrow to impress me with your best reason for going to work. I will pick a winner when I get home from work. If you are a sponsor reading my blog, I am always looking to try out and test new equipment and electronics. You can send me an email to rogerdsims2002@yahoo.ca

Thanks for reading

Trucker

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