Sharing the road with heavy equipment
A common complaint amongst highway drivers always seems to be getting stuck behind a large semi truck or farm machinery.
The delays lead to being late for that important meeting or a buildup of frustration because they are not moving at a pace they see fit and the rules of the road become squandered behind the red coloured glasses of road rage.
The Drumheller Mail spoke with Staff Sergeant Kevin Charles of the RCMP and Moon Heavy Hauling owner Bob Davidson on some important tips and stories when sharing the road. The Alberta Government advises that motorists should stop and wait for the driver with a heavy load if they deem the road impassable.
“Farming is an important industry and with our rural areas there is a lot of transportation and movement of these farming instruments and we have to be patient and understanding and give them lots of room because these are large vehicles,” said Charles. “Don’t be in a rush to pass, make sure you pull over to the shoulder if it’s on-coming and give them lots of room.”
Davidson has seen first hand the extreme level of malpractice on the road during his 40+ year, trucking career including cases right in Drumheller.
“I was bringing a wide load in one day from Calgary; a beautiful day, just got in to Drumheller where I take up two lanes coming past the Western Chev going towards McDonalds and there is two little cars behind me,” described Davidson. “As soon as I started making my turn, they jumped out on my drivers side, passed me on the left and both hit the meridian that was coming up. They both bounced over the meridian and I’m thinking ‘ Oh well they are travelling together’ and they both drove in to McDonalds. They couldn’t wait 14 seconds for me to make the turn and go.”
Davidson explains that it doesn’t particularly matter what kind of large vehicle or load you have when it comes to impatient drivers.
“You see that stuff all the time, they have to get in front of you,” said Davidson. “It doesn’t matter if I am driving my motorhome [...] and I’m doing 115 km/h they have to go around you. They have to, they cannot sit back there.”
The communication between truckers can even become problematic.
“What’s aggravating is other truckers, I wish they would turn their CB on because they are listening to their music,” said Davidson. “If they turned their CB on I could say ‘Hey, I’m turning in one kilometer, just stay behind me’ but oh no they got to pass so no communication but it’s new Canadians.”
The veteran trucker wants the public to pay attention. The flipped car located by Harper’s Tire that has the “Still Texting and Driving?” sign was put in place by Davidson as a key reminder for those that are attached to their devices.