By: A. H. Bosley
In today’s time, people are in need of constant contact with family and friends. Using the computer, laptops, iPads, cell phones with all the texting, instant messengers, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and a number of other programs. So why is it that we have stopped using the C.B. Radio? It is the ONLY way for truckers to communicate with each other.
I have heard the many comments about why some of you feel you don’t turn on a C.B. Radio. Many say there is too much hate, vulgarity, and/or lack of any meaningful communication. We need to take back our air waves. Turn on your radio. Let people know it is unacceptable (or ignore them) and they will stop. Must of them are only looking for someone to take their bait. They get a laugh when they find someone to upset with ease.
Recently there have been several accidents where a trucker ran into the back of another vehicle that was at a complete standstill on the highway. A very tragic situation and one that has happened over, and over due to three main reasons, in my opinion.
I don’t speak lightly on this subject, as I personally know people who have been on the receiving end of a tractor trailer running up on them while being stopped in a traffic jam – with deadly results. I, myself have ran up on a very slow moving vehicle without noticing until the last second that the vehicle is not moving as fast as it should be, or should I say expected it to be.
On the highway we all expect traffic to run the speed limit or close to it. I have said it before, there is an optical illusion that happens and along with our expectations we don’t see the difference in speed traveling in the same flow of traffic in front of us.
There are three things I think will make it safer out there for us as truckers and even lessen the accident rate for truckers and that is to communicate with each other.
By using your C.B. Radio you could or would already know that there is a backup on the northbound side of interstate ? at mile marker ?.
I just came around a curve yesterday to find the flow of traffic had stopped, yes STOPPED dead. As we know, this is a gear jamming, break stomping, looking for that out, all-in get ‘er done, cheek clincher, all-hands-on-deck STOP!!!!!
I ALWAYS HAVE MY C.B.ON, YES, ALWAYS!
If someone would have mentioned the backup on the radio, hands down, I would have already geared down, and thus been ready for what was around that corner.
So here are my three things:
1. Use that C.B. say what you see. It is not all about bears and speed limits. Since the governing of the tractors, we have stopped listening in. So turn your ears on.
2. Vehicles that are moving slowly, 10 to 15 miles under the speed limit should TURN ON THEIR FOUR-WAYS. Again, it’s that red toggle with the triangle on it. Makes that clicking noise… This helps everyone notice you and that something is wrong or different with you or around you. CAUTION! CAUTION! CAUTION! Each state has different regulations with regards to using your flashers. BUT THEY ARE ON YOUR VEHICLE FOR A REASON. No officer will give you a citation for using them to caution others.
3. Pay attention. Expect the unexpected. Be alert to your surroundings. I was going eastbound on I-40 in Tennessee a few months ago. I noticed a vehicle that just didn’t look right, then I noticed, daylight hours, I’d seen white lights. It was an elderly woman headed westbound in the eastbound hammer lane. Both hands gripping her little steering wheel. Not sure if she knew what was going on, but we all moved over, got on the C.B. also flashed the high beams, called 911 etc… what could have ended tragically didn’t, thank GOD!
We all have at least one story a day, at least one, where we avoided a possible accident. 99% of the time it’s not the truckers fault.
I feel we could lessen the truck driver faults if we just talked to each other. If you have a C.B., turn it on. If you don’t have one, get one and turn it on. A C.B. is a trucking tool, one of the best we have. Turn it on. Everyone turns it on after the backup, after the accident. Wanting to know what happened then what lane followed by what mile marker. Sometimes finding out how to get around the backup. People ask these same set of questions one after the other as each driver turns on what should have already been on. Get informed and inform those who are coming up on a possible situation. The C.B. is as important on a truck as it’s tires. You should never travel without it.
Coming out of the valley in CA on I-15 just past the weight station, there was a tractor trailer broke down on the right or should I say almost on the right shoulder. The corner of his rig was still in the granny lane. With heavy traffic and construction, lane closures, I could have used a little notice. But no word came cracking through my speakers of my C.B. I know the trucker was worried and I’m sure there wasn’t a thing he could do. Except let us know we all needed to move over one lane due to the breakdown. It would have taken less than a minute, and would have saved us all the last minute scramble. Anyone who knows this section of road knows the grade is steep and taking my foot off the accelerator was a power loss and huge inconvenience to everyone around me. Communication is the key, always. Just like every driver says about his/her dispatcher, just communicate. It would be better with a little communication. Knowing what’s coming up in advance. With the C.B. you are never alone on the highway. Turn it on, there is no good reason not to.
Talk to ya soon,
I’ll be 10-10.
TRUCKING IS NOT JUST A PROFESSION, IT’S A WAY OF LIFE.