A Few Unspoken Truck Driving Rules
The semi truck driving community is very tight-knit. There are a number of unspoken rules and courtesies that truckers follow that aren’t covered in CDL school. These unspoken truck driving rules are passed down from driver to driver and generation to generation. We talked to drivers who shared a few of the unspoken rules they’ve learned over the years.
Spacing and Passing
A common pain point for many semi truck drivers is when cars zoom around and cut them off with little regard for their safety. This behavior is frustrating, but it’s much worse when it comes from a fellow semi truck driver. If you have room, use it. Don’t cut it short if you don’t have to.
When passing another semi truck driver, make sure you have at least 200 feet of distance from the back of your trailer to the front of their cab. This may seem like too much space, but it’s really not. Being any closer could mean that the driver behind you can’t see their surroundings, which could be disastrous if they need to make a sudden stop. Drive as far ahead as you can, and don’t wait until the last moment to make a move.
Don’t Talk About Your Haul
This is a big one for many new semi truck drivers. While you may trust the person you’re talking to, you never know who could be listening in, especially if you’re stopped at a truck stop or gas station. Telling others about your haul is a high-risk, no-reward situation. You don’t gain anything from telling someone your freight, and you stand to risk a whole lot by doing it.
This tip could seem a little too over-cautious, but there’s good reason for it. According to the FBI, $139 million was reported stolen via cargo theft. The best way to avoid being part of this statistic is to keep what you’re hauling close to the chest.
While this is a problem for regular drivers as well, it’s worse for truck drivers. Why? Drivers are on a tight schedule and need to get moving as quickly as possible. Your quick trip to grab candy and a drink could be costing a fellow driver money.
Get Your Gas and Go
This unspoken rule is more common courtesy than anything else. Don’t be that semi truck driver that sits at the diesel pump for an extra 15 minutes while you grab your snacks and go to the bathroom.
Be thoughtful of the other drivers and move off the fuel pumps. No parking at the pumps or area just ahead of the pumps. Just get your paperwork and park in the lot if you want to buy lunch, take a shower, sleep, etcetera.
Follow Lot Courtesy
Lot courtesy goes a long way in trucking. Make sure you’re driving carefully and following all posted speed limits in any lot, especially at night or when it’s crowded. Also, make sure to respect semi truck drivers who may be sleeping. Don’t sit there side-blinding a guy with your headlights when they’re backing up.
The last thing they want to see is someone blasting their headlights while they’re already parked in a space. And if you’re planning to catch some shut-eye, take a quick look and make sure you’re not blocking anyone in who was there first. Do not block someone in! If they were parked there before you got there, common sense should tell you that their break will be up before yours.
Honking for kids has been a trucker tradition for generations. Kids love doing it, and it can make their day while on a long car trip with the family. And who knows, your honk could be inspiring the next generation of semi truck drivers!
Here are some of the unspoken rules of trucking, but remember that the industry is always evolving, and new ones may emerge. If you think we missed any, please share them in the comments below.
Also, if you’re looking to purchase a quality and serviced truck, remember that DRS Truck Sale is always ready to accept and assist you with your choices. Contact us, and we’ll be delighted to help you make the right choice for your business.