A quote from the book I am reading, Grave Peril, (one of the Harry Dresden series) by Jim Butcher.
" I'd hate to think the universe wasn't conspiring against me.
It would jerk the rug out from under my persecution complex."
My Thoughts On Truck Drivers.
In particular those who drive those big semis and b-doubles carrying huge weights in freight.
There has been plenty in the news lately on trucks that have accidents because of brake failure.
Especially coming down the freeway here in SA, that long descent into Adelaide, which is quite steep in some places.
There are arrester beds these trucks can run on to, but often there is traffic in the way or the nearest one is too far away and now there is talk that we need to construct yet another one, closer to the Adelaide end of the freeway.
Just last Tuesday morning there was yet another out-of-control truck, smoke pouring out of it, speeding down the freeway escorted by police to keep cars out of the way until the truck could finally stop 1.4km into the city. Just up the road from where I live.
Verdict? Brake failure.
Just one more driver who hasn't been properly trained and used his brakes to control his speed coming down the hill. It's a very long hill!
Overuse overheats the brake pads which then fail.
Now hear this.
Last week on Today Tonight (a current affairs program) a South Australian trucker was featured on the program showing the proper way to come down the hill.
By using his gears!
Those huge trucks have multiple gears for a reason!
On steep descents, at appropriate times, the driver must downshift to the correct gear and by doing so, his truck cannot run above a certain speed.
When coming to a winding section or a steeper section, gears must be downshifted again, to keep the speed appropriate.
We were shown a short film with this trucker coming down the hill where most of these accidents occur and the reporter was in the cab with him witnessing the gear changes at the correct times, seeing that the trucker did not touch his brakes even once until slowing down for the lights at the bottom of the hill where the freeway meets Portrush, Glen Osmond, and Cross Roads. It's a four-way intersection.
And that truck did not speed down the hill, but drove safely, still keeping up with traffic.
The trucker then mentioned how too many drivers are not properly trained and use their brakes too soon and too often, thus overheating them, so when they are really needed they fail. He also mentioned that he and his son, also a driver, had driven up and down these same hills for many years, always using the gears, never once having an accident or a brake failure.
So there it is.
The big rigs have many gears and they are not there just to look pretty.
They are there to be used to control speeds instead of overheating your brake pads which will then fail you.
You could die! Do you want to?
You could plow into many other cars, killing many other people! Do you want to?
Learn to use the gears, please.
It's my opinion that instead of another arrester bed, huge signs should be erected at certain places along the freeway telling truck drivers to downshift NOW.
Drivers who don't should get fined. Hugely.
An even better idea would be to resurrect the many defunct train lines all over Australia and send this heavy freight by rail. Get those trucks off roads that were constructed for cars.
(Freight used to go by rail and I don't know why it was stopped and moved to trucks).
Here are my questions.
WHY aren't these drivers receiving the proper training in how to manage a fully loaded (or even half loaded) big rig by using their gears?
Do the companies concerned prefer to write off a truck and its load rather than pay for training?
Their insurance premiums must be huge. Think how much they'd save if their company was well known for safe driving and no accidents. No brake failures. Certainly they'd pick up more business.
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