road trains

Submitted: Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00
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ok have the whistle on and no roos on the bull bar. in the rear vision mirror i see a road train bearing down on me . what do i do ?. well i normally pick up the uhf and call the driver on channel 40 and tell him that i intend to slow down and move left for him to pass on the bitumen. this seems to work but in this months caravan world they say thats not correct but do not say what to do . please help as i tow a caravan and although i travel at 100 kph as you are aware most road trains move at a brisker rate than that on the flat or down hill. regards peter
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Reply By: Savvas - Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00

If it works for you, then by all means pick up the UHF and contact the road train. I can't see what is wrong with that and I'm sure the truckie will appreciate it.

Turning on your left indicator, and pulling to the side my also do it. But if conditions are dusty, the truckie might miss that hint all together.

AnswerID: 9253

Reply By: Bob Y. - Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00
Peter, Your method with road trains is both sensible and safe, whether they are overtaking or passing you. If you don't give them the bitumen, then you run risk of rock damage to your vehicle as they thunder past, or worse still, being side swipped by a dog trailer, as it sways about after being edged off the black stuff, onto often loose road shoulders. Whether its dusty or not, the use of indicators is highly recommended by people in r/train industry.
Peter, wonder what Caravan World expect you to do? Levitate or something, or maybe make the driver stick to the legal limit by not allowing him to pass? Not good for road courtesy!

Be interesting to hear what others think. Know a couple of blokes that used to be in the industry, and they afford the same courtesy to current drivers, as you do Peter, so what's wrong with that?
AnswerID: 9259

Reply By: Raymond Charlton - Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Peter
I do the same as you, give them a shout on UHF, tell them I will pull off as soon as it is safe. I have found them to be great, they often travel in 2-3 in a group and they will tell me this. I would rather pull off and have them in the centre of the road. I also pull off for on coming road trains on narrow or dirt roads, sure keeps the damage to the vehicle down. I find many will slow to go past to reduce the amount of dust.
I also do not bother to overtake road trains unless they are very slow and I also inform them that I am coming, remember if you cannot see their mirrors they cannot see you either
AnswerID: 9260

Reply By: Truckster - Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00
Dont believe everything you read.

Simple as that.

If it works for you, it works. I drove trucks for 8 yrs, and to me I couldnt think of anything more sensible....
AnswerID: 9262

Reply By: flappan - Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00
Provided you're telling them what your doing, I recon they would appreciate it. Its only when you do it unexpectedly and they have to change their mind would you expect any trouble.

Keep doing what your doing.
AnswerID: 9266

Reply By: Member - Mal - Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00
I had an interesting experience up at Cape York. I came up behind a triple road train on a very dusty road. I asked the driver if I could pass. He said he would let me know when and that I was to pass on the left side of him. Blimey!!! I asked him to confirm left and he did. He then said go and he pulled over to the right. I could see the side of the truck and the side of the road but nothing to the front. I sucessfully passed and thanked him and asked why left? He said that he could see everything to the front and would slow and pull in behind me if something was comeing. In the same situation now I stop and have a beer and let them get well ahead of me. Mal T.
AnswerID: 9268

Reply By: Ray - Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Peter,

Depends on whether your stopping completely or just slowing down. Also what your towing, camper, caravan or boat. Generally the only real time that you have full control of a rig (car and van etc) or for that matter a vehicle is under acceleration. So if you've backed off and a large truck or road train accelerates past there is a small possibility of the van either being pushed away from or towards the truck as it goes past. I didn't know this until I read it in a caravan mag and then heard it repeated at a forum at the 4x4 show in Brisbane. Turns out it's mainly with slab sided vans and depends on how much your decelerating and how much they are accelerating etc. Supposed to have happened quite often in Aus. Since then I've spoken to a number of long term vanners and most have said they learnt the hard way to maintain speed or pull over.

AnswerID: 9271

Reply By: John - Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00
Having driven Trucks and Roadtrains in Outback QLD for a while, while I was trying to figure out wha carreer path to follow I can tell you this much, Road trains are very hard to stop in a short space of time and are even harder to get up to cruising speed, So having to stand on the brakes and slow down to deal with another road user that doesn't seem to know where he/she is going or going to do next can be a major frustration........
Time is lost and fuel is burnt in the exersize, so a call on the radio to let us know your intensions is a welcome call , hopfully well in advance of the monouver (sorry bout the spelling)......
Remember you will unfourtunatly find cowboys in all industries, but the vast majority of Truckies don't want to shower you with rocks or run you off the road, so Communicate it will make a safer trip no mater what the do gooders say.
Ch40 UHF or Ch 8 27Mhz
And remember Patience is a great virtue.......
It can take a while to get to a speed and find a spot to move the big rigs into a safe position to carry all this out.
Always give the Truck right of way, as they can be all but imposible to move off the shoulder of the road without disaster.
and last it is curtious to remember that you are traveling the road as a holiday maker but the truckie has to travel the road for his livelyhood. Peter Good work mate, I hope if I ever go back to driving road trains, are still using your radio.

AnswerID: 9278

Reply By: OziExplorer - Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00
What works is correct.

Write them a letter and ask them what they recommend you do?

I tow as well and what you do is one of the things I do.

I do wish that Tachographs were law on all trucks. In the majority of other countries they are.
AnswerID: 9284

Reply By: Dion - Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2002 at 01:00
As John has stated in a couple above, Road Trains take a bit to get back up to cruising speed. Don't slow down as the RT approaches your tail. Maintain the same speed. If you can communicate with the driver and (s)he would like you to slow down, (s)he will ask you for that. If you do slow down, and so does the RT, what could have been a good passing oppurtunity may have been lost, as the driver can't accelerate sufficiently to complete the movement.
If you are not able to communicate, maintain the same speed until the driver of the RT has assessed that he can safely pass you. Now if you wan't to help the driver out, Only slow down when the RT is clearly clear of your vehicle on the other side of the road.
Another nice gesture also is, when the last trailer of the RT is clear of the front of your vehicle, a quick (nano second quick) flash of the lights of your vehicle will indicate to the driver that it is safe to pull back in, in front of you.
As I have both UHF (ch40) and AM (ch8) in my Rodeo, there is a 95% chance that I can communicate with the driver. I tell the driver I am maintaining speed, and will slow down when the truck is clearly on the other side of the road. If I have communicated via radio with the driver prior to the overtaking manouvre, then I also use the radio to tell him(her) that (s)he is clear in front of me and it is safe to pull back in. Using this method, I usually get a "cheers mate" or "thanks mate" as they are pulling back in, in front of me.
We all need to be learned (not like me English) and tolerant of other road users, and how other road users vehicles have different needs and we can make Australian roads so much safer.
AnswerID: 9297

Reply By: royce - Sunday, Dec 08, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 08, 2002 at 01:00
Whatever..... I reckon one of the dumbest things you can do is put the right indicator on to tell someone to overtake. Friends put on their indicator to show they were turning into their drive. Truck behind thought they meant 'overtake' and took them and their horse-float out. No person or beast hurt too bad.. but what a mess. I still see the single right-hand blink used though.
AnswerID: 9424

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