Tuesday, November 2

True Professional

Another Trucker, Being Careful While Stopped in the Left Lane
This week has the darkest morning commutes of the year. Due to “Daylight Savings,” sunrise is nearly a full half hour later in North Texas than it will be when the winter solstice arrives. Riding in the dark for an hour is fun. Riding in the dark for 6-8 hours a week gets a little old. Yesterday was a good time to encounter a pro amongst my motoring companions.

In this blog, in the past, I’ve mentioned my experience that professional drivers, such as the ones that drive 18 wheelers and my concrete trucks, are some of the most polite and considerate motorists I encounter during my commute. That impression was reinforced due to a true “Knight of the Road.”

I was riding north in the I-35W Service Road right lane; getting ready to make a leftward lane change prior to making a left turn onto Westport Parkway, when I saw a big rig with a trailer coming fast a lane over. It was unclear whether I’d be able to safely make the lane change ahead of the truck, or if I’d need to wait until the motorist passed. In such cases, I’ll often wait and defer my signal until after the motorist commits to, but there were already a couple of cars at the four-way stop ahead, the truck driver was already starting to slow, and I wasn’t sure if there’d be room behind the trailer at the upcoming four-way stop, so I signaled. In this situation, a commute cyclist should be ready to either go or wait, depending on the actions of the motorist with the right of way. Not only did he/she slow further to let me in, but the driver flashed the truck lights so there was no question I was expected to take the lane change ahead of the truck, which I did promptly thereafter. Conveniently, a left turn signal turns into a wave of thanks simply by opening up the hand and raising the arm a little.

As in the case of “Eyes of a Motorist,” I never saw the driver’s eyes, but I sure did see that truck’s wheels slow down, and the headlights signal. Once again, I salute a true professional; their superior communication makes it easy for all those they share the road with.
Charley's - My Concrete Drivers


Oldfool said...

As an exbigtruckdriver I can tell you that drivers appreciated the signal of thanks.
Believe me drivers notice when a non truck driver indicates that they know what a truck needs and gives it. When that used to happen to us SWMBO would say "ah that must be a truck driver or is married to one". I'm talking about things like stopping far enough back from a corner to allow a truck to make the turn.
I have found most truck drivers to be professional. Unfortunately here in SE Louisiana there is a group of local drivers that choose not to be. I'm giving up my license in March.

John Romeo Alpha said...

I wonder if there's a truck driver blog out there with a post this morning about a sighting of that rarest of creatures, a cyclist on the road driving legally and predictably, signaling clearly and communicating with other drivers.

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