Don’t nip and tuck
Truckers’ plea to holiday drivers: ‘be part of the flow, not the start of the stop’
THE South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) said fewer Saffers are going on holiday this year and among those who do plan to travel, most are going to Durbs by the sea.
This means a lot more holiday drivers on SA’s busiest highway — the N3 — and a lot more stress for the professional drivers who use this corridor each day.
Year after year, these truckers and taxi drivers have one plea to the holiday drivers — be part of the flow, not the start of the stop.
But as holiday drivers continue to rush to their destinations, nipping into non-existent gaps in front of trucks only to have to brake hard, this year Wheels is have a different message for the holiday driver — over six in 10 trucks need over a 100 metres to stop because they do not have working brakes. Patrick O’Leary, publisher of
Fleetwatch and organiser of regular Brake and Tyre Watch spot checks on SA’s highways, told
Wheels 68% of the trucks pulled over have faulty or no brakes.
At Duzi Brakes in Pietermaritzburg, Darryn Evans, who is rated a leading air-brake diagnostic technician in southern Africa by German braking companies Wabco and Knorr-Bremse, said they see these trucks daily.
Evans agreed with O’Leary that the majority of commercial vehicles on SA’s roads have faulty brakes. “A truck with good brakes will stop safely, but not instantly, but over six in ten don’t have good brakes,” he told Wheels.
Six tips to drive like a pro
Wheels interviewed many trucksecret ers and even taxi drivers for their advice to make holidaymakers drive more like professionals: • On a long journey, going as fast as possible just guzzles fuel but will win you only minutes in total travel time over an 80-km/h driver, even if the fast driver does not stop. Slower is smarter. • Maintaining momentum is the to saving fuel. Keep the rev needle low, the gear lever high and feed in just enough fuel to hold the speed. • Bad drivers brake, good drivers regulate. Be the latter and steer clear of those whose brake lights flash often. • The journeys one remembers always involve a stop for good food with nice people in a place with a view. Any journey without these is just commuting. Explore. • Get out of the rat race mindset by counting your blessings — you have a family, and a car, and are going on holiday in a country tourists all rave about. • Focus on the flow, not the phone. • Listen to audiobooks, a good story will have everyone quiet and entertained. • And finally, don’t brake in front of trucks. They cannot stop.
‘Look ma, no brake drums!’ Over six in ten truck trailers pulled over on the N1 had faulty to no brakes. These behemoths only stop slowly.