Glynn Moore

News editor and local columnist for The Augusta Chronicle.

Tractor-trailer drivers have it out for me

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Do you remember when big-rig truckers were the best drivers on the road? What has happened to those days?

I hate to brand a whole group of people, but most of the semis I’ve come across lately have tried to come across one or more lanes to flatten me. I’m not saying it’s a conspiracy – maybe the drivers invading my space are merely drunken, texting or asleep – but it’s starting to get on my nerves.

Here’s what happens: Late at night, I have the run of the interstate. Before long, though I will come up on a tractor-trailer. If it’s in the slow lane, I will move over to the center lane to pass, because I know it will slow down at the next hill. If it’s in the center lane, I will stay in the slow lane.

As I get close to the truck, though, it will suddenly move over in front of me, even though nothing around us has forced it over: No cars have entered the highway on a ramp; no one else has shifted lanes; no alien craft have landed ahead of us. Then it will slow down, forcing me to pull around and pass, which is what I was trying to do in the first place.

It’s almost as if the truckers are doing that on purpose. Why, though?

If you’re a courteous trucker, I apologize for lumping you in with those drivers. Maybe you can tell me what those other truckers are up to. Hurry, though. I don’t know how many more semis I can dodge.

WORTH THE COST: Library fines in our area are going to double in July.

Late-book fines are one expense I have never minded. That’s good, because I almost always owe the library money.

I’m not a scofflaw; I just can’t read books as fast as I used to. I read so many short news stories at work that my attention span suffers.

I also just don’t have that much time anymore to get absorbed in a thick novel or nonfiction book. In fact, I usually don’t even get around to opening library books until they are due back at the library.

LAST OF HIS KIND:
I never had trouble reading anything written by Ray Bradbury, who died last week at age 91.

He was one of the science fiction masters I grew up on, and now he has gone to join Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov – writers who took up much of my early years.

Bradbury was especially good at short stories. I remember one in our ninth-grade English reader: There Will Come Soft Rains, published before I was born.

It was set in 2026, when an automated house has been left empty after a nuclear war. Its outside paint has been burned off, leaving on the walls the silhouettes of the family’s last moment: parents gardening, a boy and a girl playing catch.

Then, time catches up with the timeless house.

That was the sort of story Bradbury was good at: a mixture of nostalgia and worries about runaway futuristic technology.

I miss him already.

Comments (5) Add comment
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copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 06/10/12 - 08:28 pm
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0
Passing on right is illegal

Passing on right is illegal and the trucker has limiited vision on the right. The right side has a LARGE blind area-avoid passing on the right if at all possible.

smokeysbandit
257
Points
smokeysbandit 06/11/12 - 08:51 am
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Noticed you mentioned the

Noticed you mentioned the truck being in the center lane....since obviously you are overtaking it instead of moving/staying in the granny lane (right lane) try moving to the hammer lane (outer left lane) as most trucks will stay out of that one. Copperhead is right...it is illegal to pass on the right. But then again maybe the driver is just trying to be courteous by moving to the right except from your position he seems "out to get you". :)

itsanotherday1
48335
Points
itsanotherday1 06/11/12 - 09:01 am
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0
Another trucker annoyance:

Another trucker annoyance: Why do some of them get so much clearance after passing before moving back to the right? I'm well aware of the need to ensure you are far enough ahead that you don't endanger the passed vehicle, but sometimes it seems like a full tractor-trailer length and then some. Wouldn't 30-40ft be a sufficient safety margin considering you are pulling away from the vehicle being passed?
That is just my common sense speaking, there very well may be "rules" if not laws governing that.

smokeysbandit
257
Points
smokeysbandit 06/11/12 - 09:43 am
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itsanotherday1...while a

itsanotherday1...while a truck length may seem sufficient to you as a safe distance what you may not realize is that at normal highway speeds it can take a fully loaded truck (80,000lbs) more than the length of a football field (300ft) to come to a stop. Yes, I know they have "18 brakes" but that's another topic on another day. It is not uncommon to pass a truck then merge in front of that truck only to have traffic in that lane start coming to a sudden stop. The physics of driving a heavy vehicle is completely different than driving a passenger vehicle. Whenever a truck is involved in a crash the truck driver is automatically looked at as being at fault. Doesn't matter if a drunk driver crosses the median and hits a truck head-on the police will check that drivers logbook to see if its right. Believe it or not, if said driver is found to be even 15 minutes off on his logs he will be charged with the accident! The reason given...that driver should not have been there at that time therefore he would not have been in the position to have been hit by said drunk driver. Thus, it is incumbent on any driver to take the most reasonable precautions when driving his truck even if it means inconveniencing a 4-wheeler for a few moments.

itsanotherday1
48335
Points
itsanotherday1 06/11/12 - 11:09 pm
0
0
Thanks for the feedback. That

Thanks for the feedback. That helps me better undertand why they do what they do.

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