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Vladimir

Hiring a "trucker" to be your navigator.......

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Years ago, during the 55 mph speed limits I learned to follow the truckers.  If they were speeding....so was I. If they were going 55 MPH so was I.  I must have been pretty funny since I was driving a 1600 cc Datsun pickup in the middle of semi's.

Later while towing through urban freeways I learned to follow a "thru truck".  Yep, they pretty much knew the lanes to stay in and ALL I had to do was stay far enough away that it was safe to follow and allow the "urban" drivers the ability to pass in front of me.  But IF I kept the following distance close enough, none of them lingered there.

Well, today I was heading south on I-5 in the Stockton area and picked up a "trucker navigator".  He was going somewhere between 5 and 10 over the speed limit.  His load was light enough that he never had to slow down on the slight uphill sections. 

In California, three of more axles and your at 55 mph.  So there I am with my 1-ton truck and 3000 lb trailer doing 55 mph. 

So I thought I would just follow him.....IF he and I were speeding then the CHP really SHOULD pull over HIM and not me.  And he was a good driver.  He did know how to pace the traffic and his passes were generally limited to one every 20 minutes or so.  

It was great for almost 150 miles!!!  He would pass and I would wait for car traffic to clear and then pass and once again pull in behind him.  I quit worrying about making decisions when to pass, who to pass, where to pass, etc.  I just followed my "trucker navigator".

Best trip ever...down I-5. Picked up a blues station and listened to that for the entire time.  Totally comfortable, without a concern in world.  I did have to follow far enough back for safety, but close enough that NOBODY wanted to slip in between us.  I did have a great advantage that my one-ton diesel and small trailer meant I could pass quickly and easily after my "navigator" had completed his pass.

I did catch him a couple of times turning slightly left and right so he could see me in his mirrors. 

He was probably wondering why I NEVER passed him!!! Well, you never want to get ahead of your navigator!!!

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Yeah, I know that....I tried to stay as far back as possible and in position where he could see me in his mirrors.

But I-5 is such a straight shot that you really do need to wig and wag to check on traffic behind you.

The issue is unless traffic dictates I really didn't want people pulling constantly between him and me.  After all it was I-5, but a fairly light traffic day.  I did drop back whenever I thought a semi or larger rig really did need to pull in between us.  Only happened once in the 150 plus miles!!

A friend of mine did it with his Camry and drafted a truck for several hundred miles.  They both pulled off at the same exit and the trucker walked over asked him if my friend was going to buy him lunch with all the gas money he saved drafting the truck.

Oh, I forgot I got plenty of warning on potholes and bumps on the road surface when he tried to avoid them.

Edited by Vladimir

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Depends on where (in CA) you are.....

In the So. Cal sections of  I-5 you could be on his tailgate and cars and pickups (of all sorts) would try to slide in between you and your "navigator".  So, I'll pass on your "sandwich technique" when I'm towing.

Two wheel traffic normally flows at 75-80 (speed limit = 65),  truckers will be at 65-68 mp (speed limit = 55).  However, you don't want to be the "point man" in your Civic or Benz at 85,  LOL.

I've been on (both the I-5 and 405) where a pickup (or) will be towing a boat or trailer in the 3rd lane out from the shoulder (supposed to be limited to the first two)  at 65-70mph - - as well as a guy doing same in the HOV lane (not legal) for 20 some miles - thinking he's bound to get a "greetings" from the CHP - but his luck held, eventually made his move and took an off ramp.

Ponch and John can't be everywhere!

.

 

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as one of those pro drivers please keep away from us.

hijacking does happen, as well as insurance fraud.

most drivers will do things to shake a  (censored) off our tails.

then some are dumb and you will be involved in there accident.

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I often followed trucks in urban areas to know what lane to be in but I stayed back where I could always see his mirrors. I didn't care if other drivers got between us because I could still see him and that's all I needed. Of course, I almost got caught once when my navigator took an exit I didn't really want. Oops.

Linda Sand

Edited by sandsys

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thats one other problem. i guy i knew decades past was following a rig in the valley fog. 

thought strange when the truck turn a couple hard turns.   then stopped and turned off his lights. he had gone home. my friend was lost miles away from the freeway. and had no way to get back to it. ( the driver was a mexican. could not speak english).

peps have gone asleep watching the pretty lights in front of them  and crashed.

as a driver i have enough to do, i do not need more having to be “your driver”.

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As a truck driver, retired, if you were close enough to keep people from getting between you , you were WAY to close.  I also would have been trying to get rid of you WAY before 150 miles. 

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I generally wait to see what happens, but if that tail isn't gone within a reasonable time, I'll get off an exit or rest area to shake it off. I don't care to have a vehicle behind me for an extended period that I have to constantly monitor. Jay

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35 minutes ago, D&J said:

Why would anyone want to watch the back of a tractor trailer for 150 miles 

Agree, especially since that tractor can straddle an alligator which could do considerable damage to our vehicles.

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15 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

If you can't see his mirrors, you're too close and he can't see you...

Exactly!  In addition, you cannot see in advance why the trucker must make a panic-brake; the usual outcome is rear-ending the tractor-trailer rig.

 

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Ok, serious question.....

Going down I-5 your going to have somebody tailing you ALL THE WAY to LA.

So why wouldn't you prefer to have ONE vehicle behind you, instead of a different vehicle every couple of minutes??

I understand the need to see people behind you.

I try to stay far enough back that the truck can see me AND most importantly I can stop before I meet the vehicle in front of me. Really, when you come down to it most folks driving cars do NOT realize how long it takes to stop a semi or RV.

I was almost killed by a semi that did NOT notice my left turn signal on a two lane highway.

I don't know if he was on the phone or fiddling with the radio, but I quickly turned right into the ditch and he had his brakes locked and smoking and finally came to a stop about a 1/4 mile from me.

I was mad as hell at him, but since I was driving a government vehicle I thought it probably was not a good idea to drive down to him and start discussing highway safety with him.

There is no reason not to drive safely. Just today between Yuma and Tucson it was interesting.

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Anyone pacing and following a semi for miles and miles and miles is suspect.

Harmless? Think again. 

When I hauled 'high value' loads, I was especially aware of anyone tailing me for long distances, and I would use a variety of methods to change the motorists annoying behavior. Cargo theft is real, and professional drivers are very aware of the risks when being followed for long distances, or they should be.

Put yourself in that scenario. Suppose you went to a bank, withdrew $100,000 and headed out on the highway, and a car followed YOU for 150 miles, matching your every move.

Me thinks you would be suspicious, annoyed, maybe worried, and fully justified calling the cops or taking other actions to change the scenario.

Make your OWN travel and driving decisions, don't put that burden on someone else. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by podwerkz

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34 minutes ago, podwerkz said:

Anyone pacing and following a semi for miles and miles and miles is suspect.

Harmless? Think again. 

When I hauled 'high value' loads, I was especially aware of anyone tailing me for long distances, and I would use a variety of methods to change the motorists annoying behavior. Cargo theft is real, and professional drivers are very aware of the risks when being followed for long distances, or they should be.

Put yourself in that scenario. Suppose you went to a bank, withdrew $100,000 and headed out on the highway, and a car followed YOU for 150 miles, matching your every move.

Me thinks you would be suspicious, annoyed, maybe worried, and fully justified calling the cops or taking other actions to change the scenario.

Make your OWN travel and driving decisions, don't put that burden on someone else. 

 

 

 

 

Exactly that.. Jay

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1 hour ago, podwerkz said:

Put yourself in that scenario. Suppose you went to a bank, withdrew $100,000 and headed out on the highway, and a car followed YOU for 150 miles, matching your every move.

Me thinks you would be suspicious, annoyed, maybe worried, and fully justified calling the cops or taking other actions to change the scenario.

 

 

 

 

 

If I withdrew $100,000 from a bank, it would most certainly belong to someone else, and I would expect the cops to be following me.  😁

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Quote

Anyone pacing and following a semi for miles and miles and miles is suspect.

Many years ago, with a load of specialty vehicles at night in PA mountains, cell phone was a bag phone, I picked up a tail. I could tell there were more than one in the car. I couldn't shake it. It didn't matter how slow I went they wouldn't go around on a four lane interstate. I couldn't get a signal on the phone and didn't want to get off to look for police because I didn't know the area. I had just bought fuel so I figured if nothing else I could run them out of gas.  Most truckstops were closed that time of night. , I wasn't about to stop. They followed for over 200 miles before finally dropping off.

I can think of no good reason why someone in a car or light truck would follow a semi for very long, especially since most places cars travel faster.

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2 hours ago, somewhereinusa said:

can think of no good reason why someone in a car or light truck would follow a semi for very long, especially since most places cars travel faster.

I get why you need to be carefull but   I have seen many people that just don't like to pass anywhere if they can avoid it.  They may only be going at the same speed and don't see the need to pass if they have to speed to pass.  Some folks respect a good truck drivers judgment and find it somewhat reassuring to tag along so to speak even if it isn't always a good idea.  Sometimes stuff happens.  I had to tail a trucker on I10 from just west of Deming to Lordsburg at night with just park lights due to a generator failure trying to make the battery last so I wouldn't have been stranded with an infant in the middle of nowhere.

 High value or high security loads are not marked for sure so the average driver doesn't have a clue. I guess none of this is ideal but in most cases it is harmless even if misguided sometimes.  Seems like common sense to me.

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8 hours ago, podwerkz said:

Anyone pacing and following a semi for miles and miles and miles is suspect.

Harmless? Think again. 

When I hauled 'high value' loads, I was especially aware of anyone tailing me for long distances, and I would use a variety of methods to change the motorists annoying behavior. Cargo theft is real, and professional drivers are very aware of the risks when being followed for long distances, or they should be.

Put yourself in that scenario. Suppose you went to a bank, withdrew $100,000 and headed out on the highway, and a car followed YOU for 150 miles, matching your every move.

Me thinks you would be suspicious, annoyed, maybe worried, and fully justified calling the cops or taking other actions to change the scenario.

Make your OWN travel and driving decisions, don't put that burden on someone else. 

 

 

 

 

Hey, thanks for that information.   I was totally clueless about "high value loads".  

Hmmm, maybe next time....a Wal-Mart driver??  But seriously...thanks for the info....it never crossed my mind.

I must confess, particularly on two lane highways I will always drive behind a semi.  Living in rural areas,  there is not much survivability in a head-on-crash.  Nobody, wants to have a head-on with a semi....a car seems so much safer to them.

 

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'High Value' can mean anything that cargo thieves want, and can easily sell, and might be willing to hijack the load, using force, or violence, etc. 

It could be meat, pharmaceuticals, electronics, power tools, baby formula, TVs, cigarettes, name brand shoes,  even diapers. NO I'm not kidding, it has happened. Believe it or not, any commodity or consumer item that costs money at the stores and especially if it does NOT have serial numbers, and you have a whole trailer load of it, can be 'high value'...

If the driver is hauling a half-million dollar load of TVs or 10 million dollars worth of pharmaceuticals, trust me, he will be nervous if you are behind him constantly for many miles.

Annoyed truck drivers sometimes will do things to annoy you in return. I could provide examples but I wont. Point is, after 10 to 15 miles, surely another truck has passed you both, go follow THAT one for awhile...then the next, etc. 

In other words, don't be a dick.

 

 

Edited by podwerkz

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I once worked the recovery of a hijacked Frito-Lay truck that had been emptied and ditched in a swamp. Apparently that was "high-value" enough for someone... ;)

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Sometimes cargo theft is a crime of opportunity, but more often it is a planned operation. Thieves with the knowledge of how to do it, and the information about the cargo and other facts, can make off with the entire rig pretty quickly.

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note to vladimir:

i would not call then “clueless” just unknowing.

and as in my pu truck being behind another is NOT safe from having a head on accident. 

very lucky for me, i am here to say so.

other way driver lost control while passing by the two ton truck a safe distance in from of me.

that small car ( dodge neon) at 100 mph took out my 3/4 ton truck. i was doing 45-50 mph at that time. the chp had a very hard time believing nobody was dead.

but just last week a full sized car crossed the line. head on to a semi. the front bumper of the car was in its back seat. sad anyone in the car did not make it.  if there had been anyone behind the rig. could they have stopped safely?  truck full brakes stopped in two and one half lengths. could see from the oil car / truck parts on the road.

so watch out out there, if tired stop and rest, sleep helps.

the push-push deal is a real killer.

and being behind a rig is just as bad if he is sleepy-tired, and  you are also. ( even happens mid day) you could follow him right off the road.  read the state, county,  hwy accident reports.

Edited by packnrat

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If you think that motor home with a toad is going to hijack you're truck. . . .well. . .

CR England trucks are the most law abiding trucks on the road.  They hug the speed limit and are very safe.  If you're a no-hurry driver, hang back a few hundred feet / yards from a CR England truck and enjoy the drive.

 

 

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