18 Wheelers

Thursday, September 6, 2012

18 Wheelers, commonly known as transport trucks in Canada, share most major highways in Canada.  Transport trucks haul various goods via the roadways.  Motorists need to share the road with these oversize vehicles.  Sometimes you can see a transport truck that is not hauling a load, and what is exposed is the truck cab.  Transport trucks haul goods by weight and only so much weight can exist in each axel.  The driver of the truck needs to ensure that the weight on the axels is distributed properly.  80,000 pounds is the maximum a transport truck without the driver having to have an overweight permit. 

So, knowing the amount of weight a transport truck may carry may increase your awareness and need for safety when sharing the road with these vehicles.  Motorists need to understand the adherent dangers associated with these trucks to avoid an accident.  Motorists involved in transport truck accidents in general suffer very bad injuries. 

Having an understanding of how they operate may give motorists advanced warning in dangerous driving conditions (such as inclement weather).  Transport trucks lack the agility of small cars and cannot stop as other vehicles on the road.

Here are some precautions to keep in mind and to stay safe while driving on Canadian roadways.

  • Do not attempt to draft (driving as close as possible to reduce drag and to increase fuel economy).  This is simply dangerous as you will not be able to see other vehicles or obstacles in the road, and the transport truck cannot see you!

  • Do not expect the transport truck to be able to perform the same movements as other cars i.e. stopping quickly, changing lanes or being able to maneuver easily.

  • Do not stop on the highway and expect other vehicles to be able to get around you with east (remember the speed these vehicles move and the amount of wind associated with these vehicles).

  • When passing a transport truck, make sure you are closely visible (avoid staying in their blind spot, only cut in when a safe distance permits you to do so).

  • Be careful around transport trucks and their tires.  Tires wear down, and a transport truck is no different.  However, an exploding tire can be fatal.  The speed at which the tire or pieces of the tire leave the track can potentially smash a car’s windshield, or further yet, injure or kill the passengers inside.

Always respect transport trucks.  If you follow the above precautions, you will be more apt to drive safe and do your part to minimize the risk of an accident.