Channel 19

Todd Dills

Four-wheeler scare-quotes ‘professional’

| October 08, 2012

A four-wheeler letter writer to the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune’s “Ask a Trooper” column, and I quote:

It seems to me that too many “professional” drivers let the “power” sensation of operating such large, powerful vehicles overtake them so they go so heavy on the gas and crowd anyone who happens to be in front of them, but who has the same right to the road they do.

Now I might come to this with no shortage of bias, but the letter writer quoted here it seems to me could be suffering from tunnel vision, that common inability to see things from another’s perspective. The self-proclaimed 40,000-mile-plus yearly auto driver contends there’s a veritable epidemic of big-truck speeding and aggressive driving on the nation’s highways that he then asks the Tribune’s contributing trooper to confirm.

Perhaps most unfortunately, the trooper does little to argue with the contention. “I think we are pulling them over, but perhaps not enough,” he starts his response, then to his credit goes on to plead for a little four-wheeler / police / professional driver togetherness on safety issues. Falls a little flat, in the end, however.

What do you think? Big foul? Or just more evidence of prevailing attitudes in the negative for the American trucker?

Find the full exchange on the News Tribune site here.

  • Don Lanier

    I think training needs to go both ways, Cars need to recognize the space, blindspots, and need for room to make turns etc…this should be taught in drivers ed, and should be a mailer sent to all license holders. I recognize it for cars, I work hard to leave braking space only to have as many cars as possible ZOOM pass me into my safe braking distance, or ride along next to me for miles, or brake suddenly right in front of me…THIS IS A TWO WAY STREET….none of us are perfect and we should realize EDUCATION for both cars and trucks will help prevent accidents.

  • Martin Groseclose

    True see it all the time by big trucks. Yea I’m looking right at ya out my Peterbilt drivers window when your doing it. Bad trucks, bad four wheelers? NO bad American I’m first, at all cost drivers.

  • mousekiller

    In all honesty I think the letter writer has only seen the non Professional drivers and thinks we are all like that.. I wonder if he kept a score card of all the trucks that were around hm. Speeders or non speeders?
    First let me say this. Seldom do you see or notice the professional driver as they do nothing to be noticed doing with few exceptions. You see them driving a Sharp looking truck or maybe a oversize load that gets your attention or simply giving you the go ahead at a tough intersection.
    Far too many people think they do not need trucks.
    This letter writer for sure has tunnel vison and only looks for the speeders. I bet a dollar to a donut hole he seldom drives at our under the speed limit and just doesn’t like it when he gets passed by a truck. Professionals try to stay on top of their job every minute of the day and it can be stressful due to having to deal with the many poorly equipped skill wise that are driving a car..
    A lot of the goody two shoes drivers in their cars are oblivious to what is going on around them and when a truck begins to pass they speed up as if the passing truck just woke them.
    It seems that, do people driving cars really look at a truck when they get ready to pass them? I would say 99 % don’t see the placards on the 4 sides of some trucks.. So they just pass and cut in way too close for highway speeds and telegraph their lack of driving skills and knowledge of the rules of the road allowing letting the turn signal blink only once or twice if we are lucky..
    Seldom do the drivers of the cars take responsibility for their lack of driving skills and blame the first truck that they see.
    I often hear from drivers of non commercial vehicles that say “ I have never had an accident” That leads me to wonder how many they have caused?
    To be honest here I do know that some drivers of trucks do speed. Some way too fast but those are the extremely small percentage of the 3 million plus drivers in the USA.
    Next time you see a truck going down the highway think about what is he or she hauling? Medicine so you can get well? Food stuffs for a grocery store? .clothing, building materials ? One thing for sure is that it is something that will keep the people of this country clothed, healthy , warm and entertained. Including the complainers.

  • Minder Kat

    I’ve seen some wisdom shared on the other day and the subject were fourwheelers. If you are going to allow them fourwheelers to get you stark raving mad, you had better park that truck and go work at McDonalds. ‘Em fourwheelers have no idea what sort of skill and patience it take to drive a big rig, and they are clueless regarding safe driving. If I had to leave 100 yards following distance on the interstate, I would be backing up my rig for miles on end to make room for fourwheelers breaching my following distance. Clueless, ignorant, arrogant. Put it in your pipe and smoke it.

  • jescott418

    I was going up a grade that required all trucks to stay in right lane. I had a lady trucker pass me and when I just mentioned on the CB that all trucks should stay in the right lane. I got every four letter word told to me. Sad this is what is becoming standard for the professional driver. Bad behavior like this does not deserve respect from the motoring public. Yes, automobile drivers are bad too. But then again they do not claim to be professional drivers.

  • mousekiller

    Your confusing the professional drivers with the non professional . She demonstrated the she had a long way to go to reach professional level. I doubt she will ever get to that level in her career.

  • Maria

    Bravo! Very good response and I agree 100% with your reply to this letter writer. I am not a driver, but the wife of a driver who has spent many a trip in the passenger seat. I also drive on the interstate as a four-wheeler locally near my home since I live right near a major interstate that’s regularly used by local drivers. People in cars and other 4 wheel only vehicles need to be educated immensely on the requirements truck drivers need in order to maintain safety on the roads they travel. They seem to “not see” the cars and pickup trucks that FLY by both 4-wheel and 18-wheel vehicles. My husband is still trying to salvage a very reputable career that he prided himself on. He is an extremely safe driver with a great safety record however, when a 4-wheeler decided she was going to attempt to pass his big rig on the RIGHT-HAND SIDE of the interstate, at an extremely/excessively high rate of speed, this great safety record was down the tubes. Even-though his truck/trailer NEVER TOUCHED HER! Even-though he was NOT CITED! Even-though she could not speak English and as a result had a very hard time answering the State Trooper’s questions. This accident went on his DAC/CSA reports as a preventable accident on his part????!!!! WTF?? He had his signal on and was moving back over into the right lane when she appeared in his mirror. He immediately moved back over into the left lane, never touching her vehicle. However, she over-corrected and ended up 150 feet down the side of the interstate in a ditch. She traveled 100 feet IN THE DITCH! But this is haunting him still. I could go on but would probably stray from the point I’m trying to make. 4 wheeler cars/trucks whatever, are probably more negligent while driving on the highways than OTR drivers. From my experience they think the roads belong to them and the OTR drivers are supposed to be psychic and know what and when they are going to do something they shouldn’t. The 4-wheeler is allowed to speed, drive in the wrong lane, drive sporadically and do whatever else they please however, if a trucker makes a mistake the entire lot of them are labeled and berated for it. The 4 wheelers need to take responsibility for themselves and stop pointing fingers. There are bad drivers on both sides of the coin that doesn’t mean that ever truck driver is a danger on the road!!

  • William S Janoch

    lets see have a four wheeler ask a four wheel if the agree big trucks are moving to fast.An of course the one driving a police car has never cut off a big truck with it[well no more than twice a year]. He always has his lights flashing when he does [he meant to] the first four wheeler did not just pass the big truck [big bad truck] an slow down four times. No nothing wrong here

  • Richard M. Gaskill

    The NHTSA requested comments on a petition to mandate speed limiters on all trucks over 26,000 lbs. GVW . They had over 3,000 comments supporting the petition . That was in 2006 but they expecting to go ahead with the mandate within a year .
    It doesn’t matter they were wanting trucks slowed down because of acts by nonprofessionals . It seems the number of nonprofessionals is regularly . strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.