Road trains and the LAW

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:24
ThreadID: 58885 Views:2971 Replies:22 FollowUps:26
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Do they apply to road trains?. Is speed and size (threat) used by all drivers all the time in order to save fuel/time/effort?. Is it condoned by police, or is it that it happens because its the HE man outback where anything goes?.
What is the mental state of the road train drivers? Does anybody (authorities) care?
Is this simply a 'city slicker' mentality?
Is this Hollywood wild west behaviour?
Would 'continental' drivers expect this behaviour?

Rational replies please, remember, its just a question...
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Reply By: Member - Phillip S (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:30

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:30
Survival mate....give them room...live to fight another day....
AnswerID: 310485

Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:35

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:35
I always give trucks room in both dimensions IF ITS SAFE FOR ME but I am not too keen on risking a roll-over to make way if its not
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Reply By: Member - Serg (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:39

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:39
Been traveling on road with huge road trains traffic and failed to see much problem. On the contrary – I found out that road trains drivers in general cooperative, polite and dependable. Just remember that they drive huge machinery with mammoth mass and therefore they cannot brake, accelerate and turn quickly. They work hard and nature of their work is far away from driving a car – it more like skipper of big ship. Be a bit respectful and cooperative – give them a bit more room and there will be no problem.

Cheers
Serg
AnswerID: 310486

Follow Up By: Member - Fred G (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 19:58

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 19:58
That's a great comment Serg. Let's say for example, , If your coming up the shipping channel in your tinny, what goose is going to demand right of way from a bulk carrier. A lot of drivers would be in unfamiliar territory here, as common sense has to prevail, not to mention self preservation. Nothing to do with bending the law.

Fred.
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Follow Up By: Super (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 19, 2008 at 15:55

Thursday, Jun 19, 2008 at 15:55
Actually Fred, the International Rules for Prevention of Collisions at Sea require ALL vessels to give way to a vessel manoeuvring in restricted waters. So if you were in your tinny and DIDN'T give way to the bulk carrier you could be charged.

In my view, the same law should apply to road trains and other vehicles. Given the size and difficulty of manoeuvrability of these monsters it makes sense that drivers of smaller vehicles (which are, by their nature more easily controlled) give way.

I know I do.
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Phil

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Reply By: Vivid Adventures - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:42

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:42
I see a lot of roadtrains, but don't see road trains as any more lawless than others nor are drivers generally driven by fuel/time/effort considerations - they are usually paid for what they work, and someone else pays the fuel one way or another.
Why would the mental state of road train drivers be a problem more than other road users? The ones I talk to are pretty balanced, are working within log book restrictions and are couteous roadusers.
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Reply By: Rock Ape - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:43

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:43
I work and travel with road trains all the time and never have a problem, give them plenty of room/signal your intentions early and remember that last trailer can move about quite a bit.

If they come up on you move off the road early and let them go, that way you are out of their hair and they are out of yours.

I move off the road automatically when one is approaching and give him heaps of room. If I want to overtake I will call and let them no I am on the way, sometimes passing them on the inside to keep out of the dust.

You may have struck a couple of bad drivers but 99% are good drivers making a living and trying to get home safely.



AnswerID: 310489

Follow Up By: Terry Cann - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:14

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:14
Is it advisable to move off the road and stop both when the road train is approaching from the front and behind?
Terry
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Reply By: Steve63 - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:52

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:52
Not sure what you are talking about. I have found most road trains behave more courteously and are more likely to be doing the right thing legally than a lot of other road users. They are driving large vehicles often with heavy loads in difficult conditions. If I meet one on a dirt road I am more than happy to pull over if it looks like they need the room. Most are very cooperative if you wish to overtake even on the dirt. There are rules for driving times and speed and they are enforced. Most people driving long distance would be in far worse shape than the truckies. Just look at the number of single vehicle accidents. A large percentage are cars. Roads in Europe are busy and there are a huge number of trucks going much faster than any in Oz. From what I have seen continental drivers are very capable of being nutters. 140km/hr on the dirt road to Mt Dare for example. Reason for 140, vehicle would not go any faster!!

Steve
AnswerID: 310491

Follow Up By: Ken - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 21:07

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 21:07
Steve, no issue with your comments on road train drivers but you are way off the beam saying there are huge numbers of European trucks travelling much faster than in Oz. Utter carp mate, they are strictly limited to 90 kph, travel only in the slow lane and are only allowed to overtake if there are no vehicles in the adjacent lane.
Each driver has a smart card which is plugged into the truck computer, a real one not a black box that can be tampered with. Drivers can be and are, pulled up by cops and the card run through the cop computer which prints out all of the drivers trip details. It is a very well enforced system and catches out those driving longer than permitted, moonlighting for other companies etc. As a result there are long lines of trucks all doing 90 kph, in 4 weeks we saw no run off the road accidents no tailgating motorists and all the other stuff cowboys here get up to.
The classic Aussie truckie response about our greater distances and therefore the need to go faster for longer are also exposed as rubbish by the European example. Trucks travel from one side of Europe to the other, equivalent distances to ours, it is not uncommon to see trucks from Russia and Finland in southern Italy.
In addition the roads are 100 times better than ours, there are no B doubles or road trains. Prime movers are the same as we have Volvo, Mercs, Scannia, and 99% single drive.
We could learn a lot from the European experience if the Aussie trucking lobby wasn't so powerful and the gov't had a good look at what happens over there.
Ken
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Follow Up By: Steve63 - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 at 10:10

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 at 10:10
Must admit thast the speed bit is from a fair few years ago (probably over 10). There are still a large number of trucks on the roads in Europe. I agree that the trucks travel long distances in Europe and that there roads are ususally much better than ours, though weather conditions can be much worse. The truckies in Europe must be making money so I would assume they are getting paid fairly well. I am sure that truckies here would like to drive less hours if they could still earn enough to live. Wage arangements are often a bit different in Europe. Can't speak for truckies but a nurse I worked with about 10 years ago, who came from Germany earned close to double in Germany and got 8 weeks paid leave. At the time migrating to Oz effectively gave her a pay cut in real terms ie buying power. She wore this because of the life style changes.

I think that truckies here would accept 90km/h and 10 hours per day IF they could still earn a reasonable living and if they were an owner driver they could still operate there business. Putting in a system that would make owner operators insolvent would force them to break the law. I don't think legislation that effectively created an oligopoly (by eliminating the small business operator) would be a good thing for anybody.

Steve
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Reply By: Wizard1 - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:53

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:53
You need to get up north a bit more.

Its pretty simple physics. A. Is it easier for a 2000 kg 4WD to slow down, pull off the road and perhaps stop or is it B. Easier for 100+ tonne of road train trying to keep 3 trailers straight to do the same safely.

I pick option A. If you think you are that important that a road train and don't take second fiddle, then go ahead and play chicken, I know who will loose.

Its about common sense and safety, not the law or who owns the road or testosterone.

When I come across an on coming road train, I get on the UHF let him know he has the road, I pull over and stop. Its safer and less expensive than replacing a windscreen.

Its just the way it is, get used to it or don't drive where there are road trains.
AnswerID: 310492

Reply By: Member - Tessa (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:54

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:54
David
sounds like you have had a bad experience - why don't you tell us about it instead of making wild accusations. You are using a very wide brush to paint a whole industry. I was in a convoy once when our leader, talking to a road train driver on the radio made the comment "go for your life, you're out here making a quid, we're only out here having fun!!!" I think that's a good point to remember. And as has been said above, those things take a lot of getting going and a lot of stopping, so if we "having fun" can make their lives a little bit easier by getting out of their way,why shouldn't we? There's one thing about them, at least you can see them coming!!!

tessa

AnswerID: 310493

Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:21

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:21
I simply asked difficult questions as a response to Wizzard 1 who said on the preceeding 'topic' that '' .......they will force you off the road''. Take the matter up with him if you think its an unfair comment
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Kath - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 22:09

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 22:09
David, your comment should have been on THAT post rather than add another one. I couldn't see the relevance of you setting up this post and still have difficulty understanding what you have been getting at.

For some reason you think that people sort the posts in posted order. Mine may be sorted in post order once every ten days
Cheers,
Who?
John

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Reply By: _gmd_pps - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:58

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 11:58
A caravan with 80 is more of a problem than a road train with 120 .. especially when it rains.
have fun
gmd
AnswerID: 310494

Reply By: Member - BUNDY BOY (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:07

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:07
David ..another thing to remember .....they are on the open road everyday .not just on weekends or vacation time...so they know a lot more about what's going on on these roads .than the tourist driver ...so give them a break...and the room.they need ..trying to pull up ...or go round some one that's hit the brakes or sits on the center line ...is hard and down right dangerous for everyone....these things can weigh...a great deal more than you would think..so .being in a car that's 3 ton max and a lot more manoeuvrable than ANY truck ...give them the road...see them on coming ::back of the right foot.sit your left wheel on the fog line .the more distance from them the better.....then they can see what your doing .and line themselves up as to keep it safe for both of you..:.that way we all stay on the black top....don't get dusted by rocks (cause someone's hogging the road)and the truck has to drop of the side ...which in itself is bad enough to handle.......think back to when we first drove a car with a lg caravan behind........scary ...hell yer .so triple that and then ...give them room ...................

Cheers Bundy
AnswerID: 310495

Follow Up By: Vivid Adventures - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:25

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:25
Look out for Bundy Boy coming the other way though!

How you doing Bundy? Last time I saw you was at Walebin or whatever it's called!
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Follow Up By: Member - BUNDY BOY (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 18:41

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 18:41
Hy there .yer it was .and a while back to if the old memory serves
hows things .?doing well i hope........need any help im always up for a drive ...lol
Cheers Bundy
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Follow Up By: Vivid Adventures - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 19:06

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 19:06
17th May as I recall ;-)
Was off up the Canning. Ya truk's hard to miss!
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Reply By: Member - Mark G (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:08

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:08
DAVID P; whats the hurry to get there when you are on holidays? last time i checked you didnt need a logbook to tow a van or go on holidays.try working in our industry, then you'de see on the other side of the fence,cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:30

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:30
Mark,
I drive a bus as a professional driver and get as frustrated as anyone BUT I can't get away with ''.....push you off the road'' (see previous reply).
I guess I want to know are these roads wide enough for me to not endanger myself. I am still in the planning stage for the outback.
I know all about self-preservation, I am not that stupid, just cautious
cheers,
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Follow Up By: Member - Serg (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:40

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:40
Then give them way willingly and you win, or force them “push you off the road” and you loose.

Serg.

NB. I am NOT saying that all truck drivers are angels, but I strongly believe that there are much more courteous and dependable ones among truck drivers then among city slickers. In any given day I would rather deal with road trains then with morons of our urban road, but unfortunately I have no choice.
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Follow Up By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:45

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:45
The roads are bad but the road edgers are worse.

The big thing with road trains pushing car of the road is if your the road train driver and you have drop wheels of the road for some car driver the chance of tipping the last trailer over is increased....some roads have a 6 inch drop off and then the shoulder tappers down hill.

Most road trains track very well are a quite stable and it does not upset the truck too much is you drop the steer off the road but trailers are a bit different.

I think most people are scared of trucks in general.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:51

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:51
DAVID P; you wont ( or rarely) get any road that is ever wide enough,more so where these guys run out west. driving in the city is one thing but out in the bush is another.the same principal applies no matter where you drive... courtisy.... every one needs to exercise it.hope you have a good trip,cheers.
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Reply By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:25

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:25
most road train drivers are safer than the average person driving around town. They have only got their licence from very hard work and they are not just given out to anyone. They have strict conditions in which they need to drive and log books that ARE checked. So yes - authorities care.
Did you see the other night on telly about the coppa's stopping every single vehicle crossing the nullabor??? EVERY single one was stopped and sure about 12 truckies weren't allowed to drive for 12 hrs or so due to various reasons.

I really hope you dont trust everything that ACA ir today tonight or anyother show tells us. They tell us what they want us to know - that trucks are dangerous.....sure they are - if our stupid around them!

I every respect for trucks - whether its a little MR, right up to the road trains.

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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:34

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 12:34
Don't worry, I have NEVER lent my brain to ACA or TT
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 13:19

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 13:19
Yes, and how many of them were found to be exceeding their hours or had taken or were in possesion of drugs ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 13:25

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 13:25
KIWI KIA; and how many car drivers do they test every year and find guilty of taking drugs???mmmm
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 14:41

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 14:41
Hi Mark,
You are right of course. Just thought I would bring a few people who think that all truck drivers are God's gift to driving back down to earth :-)) Had a large truck and trailer unit nearly take me and the wife out south of Bateman's Bay a little while back. The truck started to overtake a car & caravan on dble solid lines then saw me coming towards him - there was so much smoke I could not see the road in front as we passed by each other, he must have big flat spots on at least 20 tyres ! The idiot was talking on his uhf and made some smart comments as to who's fault it was to the person he was talking to not realising that I was listening on the same channel - he blamed the caravan towing driver - boy did I give him some choice words ! I am traveling around 25,000 km on Australian country roads this year as we are traveling around the block so I see a lot of trucks and most of them show courtesy. As I trundle along at about 90 k's in my Troopy camper I co-operate with them but they are not all saints. Last month I had a big rig pass me near Lightning Ridge, you wouldn't believe the amount of dust and assorted other light weight rubbish that was blowing off the top of his uncovered load.


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Follow Up By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 14:49

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 14:49
your right kiwi kia but how many more went through without a hitch!
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Reply By: Member - Russnic [NZ] - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 13:08

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 13:08
Hi David
I admire those guys and gals that are up at the sharp end of the road train.
I respect the skill and the patience and perseverance that they need to do their job.
Last trip coming back I stopped at Mitchell ,brief chat to some drivers and helped guide a dog into the trailer.
Did it because I know and appreciate the skills that those operator's have.
They are only doing their job to the best of their gear and ability.
GET TO HELL OUT OF THE WAY
The driver might have 2 decks of cattle on the rig, they will move a little until you are on the road for a while, and then will sleep or semi comatose state, get suddenly aroused by the driver having to react because of some silly bugger, cattle all move! trailer swings .
GET OUT OF THE BLOODY WAY.
Don't make it happen.
What are you skills like backing a single axle?
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Reply By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 14:40

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 14:40
Love the guys.

Use my brain and the mirror, give 'em heaps of room.

I listen in on the uhf and know where the 'law' is, what their doing and always stop for a feed where they stop. Then you know the tuckers good.

Cheers.....Lionel.
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Reply By: Member - Hugh (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 14:53

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 14:53
Hi David,

I know you've just asked a series of questions but the nature of the questions implies you think that road train drivers are above the law. Have I got this right or are you just fishing?

I've always treated these guys with respect, perhaps more to do with common sense and self preservation. However last year I was involved in an engineering development program getting road trains operating on LNG. During this time I spent a lot of time in the LH seat (yeah the one without air suspension ... bugger) on bitumen and dirt roads. These road trains were big (2 trailers at 100T carting crude or 3 trailers at 140T carting iron ore). My experience is that the drivers of these rigs are very professional, courteous and lawful road users. As has been mentioned, the laws of physics as they apply to momentum, vehicle width, weight, etc do not allow for these rigs to be as readily handled as other road users. I can remember one trip there was a trailer tyre blow out on the Brand Hwy. Stopped to inspect but at 100T could not pull over onto gravel shoulder to replace and too dangerous to do on road, so had to travel 20kms to next truck bay at ~ 20kph. I'm sure a lot of road users were annoyed but anyone with UHF would have known that the driver could not have done a better job of explaining his predicament or being courteous.

I would recommend UHF and be courteous in advance. I think you'll find most truckies will appreciate the fact that you care to talk and respond with the same level of courtesy.

Regards,
Hugh

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Reply By: Rock Ape - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 14:53

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 14:53
David,

There are so many strips of bitumin in western and northern qld that are road train rated I would be here till the cows came home to name them.

Many people drive these roads tourists, caravanners and the like, most do not have a hastle if they follow common scence.

As you know, don't frustrate others by your actions, you would come across this all the time in a bus. So if people get off the road the danger has been removed, if you can't get off call the truck and he will let you know where you can pull off for him or her.

Mate was pulling a double near Winton and a carravan overtook him, sadly when the van pulled back in he lost control and it went under the truck. Both killed. If they had waited a short time they could have overtaken with ease.

Have a safe one
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 16:10

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 16:10
I prefer to chalk up miles at night when travelling often I see no other vehcles than the truckies (its when they do mostof their tavelling as well). been doing it in slow vehicles that travelled under 100 and was often overtaken by the truckies and faster ones where I was doing the overtaking.
Since the early 80s I have NEVER seen an excessvly speeding truck
and I have
ONCE
had an incident (easily avoided by me) with a truckie and it was in the city very early morning where a trckie i guess didnt expect anyone to be around and changed lanes while ging through an intersection in Wingfield

Id suggest most people that complain about truckies are dangerous drivers that blame others forthere mistakes on the road
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Reply By: blown4by - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 16:14

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 16:14
Mate I have to agree with the general theme of all the replies. I think if you put yourself in the position of what these professional operators have to do, the size of the vehicles they have to manoeuvre (which has to be done very slowly & takes a lot more room than a car), the stopping distance, the distance it takes to get up to cruise speed from a standstill, the idiot car drivers and caravan towers they have to put up with day in day out then I think they do a pretty damn good job. In my experience dealing personally with them and via UHF they are very professional in the main.
Should you wish to seek rational replies might I suggest you frame your question in a rational tone and just be forthright and come straight out with what your problem with them is instead of beating around the bush and not really making any rational point
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 17:07

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 17:07
To All who reply; your support here and on the road IS appreciated and to just have a chat on the UHF is greatly received especially at night when tired eyes think its bedtime.i myself will if i can call a caravaner to let them know i will be coming around when i can safely pass.we all need to get somewhere on our roads and if we can all help each other to do so i should be an easier trip.that just my feelings (ramblings) anyway,see you out there on the roads :-)
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Reply By: Dave B (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 16:57

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 16:57
I guess I better reply to this, as I have just come home from driving a road train 900Kms in the last 13 hours.
And I will do it again tomorrow and the next 3 days after that.
Over 80 tons gross,and some are going over 100 tons with 3 trailers.
It ain't exactly got BMW handling, I can tell you.
David P If you drive a bus, you should know the laws for heavy vehicles as far as speed limits and driving hours are concerned. Or do you drive a mini bus which doesn't measure much more than a family car.
What is the difference in handling your Jeep and a Corolla size vehicle up through hills and around corners and parking etc....
The Jeep would be like driving a wet sponge in the bath compared to a nimble small car. PLEASE, I don't mean to offend Jeep drivers, it's just a comparison.
Road Trains have a speed limit of 90 KPH and B Doubles can do 100 KPH.
It's quite frustrating when someone in front is meandering along at about 85 KPH in the holiday vehicle.
We just can't jump on the accelerator and slip past unless we can see a couple of kilometres or more in front. Acceleration is not a big ticket item.
If we are held up behind a vehicle for maybe 15 minutes or more, and it does happen on some roads, that might just be the difference between us getting to a rest area within our log book hours.
We get big fines for not taking the prescribed breaks at the appropriate time, and we can only safely pull up in the truck parking bays.
The authorities have heard every excuse under the sun as to why the said driver hasn't stopped for his break, and getting caught in traffic is not likely to bring a smile to their face, except when they hand you the fine.

Take a tip when you see a road train on an outback road too, there is probably more than 40 wheels spitting out all sorts of rocks and gravel and #$@# at you as you go past.
Give us a break and give us a bit of room.

We don't want to break your windscreen with rocks,and we don't want to put more chips on your car than you would see in a fish & chip shop.

And we are not above the law, there are about 4 different departments that can issue us with fines or strip our licence away from us.
A bit different to the average motorist just worrying about a speed camera.

I'm off to bed now for a sleep.

Dave
'Wouldn't be dead for quids'

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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 17:50

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 17:50
Don't worry about me Dave, I always do my best to get out of the way. I was just responding to the preceding thread suggesting that if you didn't ''.....get out of the way they will shove you off the road'' which I think you would agree should not go unchallenged.
What I want to know is, are the roads of the inland ALL wide enough and safe enough to get over to the left without endangering yourself.
Is the bitumen wide enough for both or is the shoulder safe ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 17:57

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 17:57
our supposed to be NO1 highway (pacific highway) is not even wide enough.at least the outback roads have some sort of shoulder,just travel at a speed that is suitable for the conditions.
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Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 18:34

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 18:34
My intention, being semi-retired and with the current cost of fuel is to travel at 80 and keep as far left as safe, for me the question is 'what's the rush'
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 18:45

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 18:45
zachery!!!
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Reply By: Holden4th - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 19:12

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 19:12
We must not confuse the road train drivers with the the truckies we see on our major hghways. The latter can be under huge pressure to deliver their load on time and any number of factors can frustrate that intention and their driving behaviour can vary because of this. A double B is hardly a road train!

My experience with road train drivers in the outback has been 100% positive. They are very aware of the 4WDer like me and having had a number of bad experiences themselves know how to drive when guys like me are around. My approach is simple. If one of these behemoths is heading towards me on a narrow outback road I pull over and stop giving the driver full advantage of all the bitumen available (or wel out of the way of the dirt he is kicking up). Where possible I use my UHF to tell him what I'm doing. I'd rather lose a few seconds than a few hours when, because of my lack of courtesy, I've forced his left wheels onto the shoulder kicking up all sort of windscreen shattering objects. driving with a shattered windscreen is no fun.

To sum up, it's nothing to do with threat - just road room. Don't giveway to him at your own peril for he has to take action to avoid hitting you. The last thing he wants is his multi-wheeler sliding off the soft shoulder. Do you blame him?
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark G (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 19:23

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 19:23
HOLDEN4TH; licence wise a b double is the same as a road train.
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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 20:13

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 20:13
One of my most memorable exchanges with a road-train driver occured south of Katherine on the Stuart Hwy. We were heading south and after leaving Katherine I started to build up speed after road works. I was running the old 4.2TD Patrol with the Ultimate hangin' off the back. A lot of cars were overtaking to get ahead and then I came up behind a 2 trailer road-train doing about 75k/h. I soon realised that he was stuck behind a grey nomad in an old Kingswood and towing a large caravan.

I got him on the UHF and had a yarn to him. The road was windy and slightly up hill. After about 5klm of this, I saw that there was a straighter section of road ahead where I had clear vision for a couple of klicks. I asked the bloke if he'd like to go around the caravan and he responded that he didn't have enough room to build up to the necessary speed in the available space before the next crest.....he invited me to go around. I overtook him and c/van safely and managed to get quite well ahead to the top of the next crest. I saw that the road was clear for at least another 3 to 4 klm and advised the trucky of this (not knowing whether he'd trust me enough to take my word for it). He did and was able to safely overtake the old bloke, even though that meant that he was, at one point, on the wrong side of an unbroken line.

We continued to talk to one another for the 200+ klicks, until we decided to pull into Daly Waters for some tucker.

We got to know each other pretty well during that hour or so. I was conscious that maybe he didn't really want to be talking to some stupid tourist in a 4by and I asked him a couple of times if I was disturbing him. He was genuinely pleased to have someone to talk to on that long, boring trip.

It turns out he was on a Darwin/Adelaide turn-around, returning hire cars to Adelaide that had been driven one way etc. Even though he spent 6 days a week on the Stuart, he said that he'd had a few days off a week or so earlier. When I asked him what he did on his days off, he said he loaded up his young blokes off-road motor bike and took him down to Alice Springs to compete in a race!!! I said words to the effect that he MUST BE JOKING!!! He said he loves driving his truck down the highway, but doing it in the 4by with the motor bike trailer on the back was just plain hard work....!!!! hahahah

Anyway, I've long had a lot of respect for truckies in general. Sure, there are cowboys out there, but the same can be said for just about any job/career/profession you care to name (especially doctors and politicians etc....IE: white collar, so called "professionals").

Some of my best mates are truckies and I'd trust them with my life.

Roachie
AnswerID: 310605

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 20:59

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 at 20:59
David,

Advice given to us some years ago by a bloke who manages a road train base in Mt Isa was:

"Indicate that you're pulling off the road, or use UHF to do so, and do so well before you meet the road train." Whether you stop, or drive along the shoulder is up to you.

You only have to attend a road train roll-over, to witness all the dead, or injured cattle, to appreciate what these drivers' responsibilities are.

Its a bit hard to be a"cowboy" in a triple, that has worse acceleration than a Ford Anglia!!!!!!

Someone mentioned fines. How would we 4WD & car drivers feel if the cops started to fine us 3 points & $600 for being 15 minutes over our allocated driving hours?

Treat 'em with respect, and they'll do likewise to us.

Hooroo,
Bob.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 310630

Reply By: Wizard1 - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 at 09:11

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 at 09:11
David

Seems fairly unanimous from what I've read, despite your obvious objection to my comment about "forcing you off the road".

GET OUT OF THEIR WAY!

They may not do it intensionally but when I see 100 tonne road train come towards me and he isn't moving over on a road with steep shoulders, guess what you do?

Its a case of common sense not who is right or wrong.
AnswerID: 310715

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