From a van driver's point of view...

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
ambodach
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby ambodach » 7 Nov 2012, 8:49pm

Well that's you told Spoonful :) All cyclists good all vehicle drivers bad :twisted:

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meic
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby meic » 7 Nov 2012, 9:12pm

The funny thing is, I have only been a cyclist for the last 8 years (excluding childhood).
My longest jobs have been van and motorcycle courier, I have been a passenger in HGVs through work and army for thousands of miles and even sneakily driven them on occasions.

In my time on the road I have been driven to rage by almost all types of other road users however I can not remember ever having a problem with cyclists.

I think it comes from always having the idea that they had as much right to use the road as anyone else.
Yma o Hyd

Mike Sales
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mike Sales » 7 Nov 2012, 9:16pm

ambodach wrote:Well that's you told Spoonful :) All cyclists good all vehicle drivers bad :twisted:


As far as I can see all the posters in this thread have just tried to provide a different point of view. Certainly no one has said anything remotely like your suggestion. You seem to me to have overreacted.

hexhome
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby hexhome » 8 Nov 2012, 1:11am

thirdcrank wrote:What hexhome will say if he posts on this thread.

(ie This is an anticipatory +1)


Sorry, been on holiday and only just taken an interest in this thread. Quite a bit to say, but not sure whether it will add much to what I've read here.

Large vans and small trucks have several problems. They tend to be underpowered, overloaded and have drivers who have not undergone vocational driving training (though this is improving). I am happy to justify this statement with more detail if required :) Vehicles under 3.5t have a lower standard of mirror requirements leading to genuine blind spots (there, I used my hated phrase). Vehicles up to 7.5t are often operated without regard to ongoing EU requirements such as the new mirror requirements. Often the drivers of this type of vehicle have mixed duties and have problems understanding the very specific requirements of the Drivers Working Time Directive - http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov. ... idance.pdf They often find the demands of driving these often quite large vehicles beyond their experience. As a result, they often find themselves under pressure!

With regard to this specific incident described by the OP. It happens exceedingly rarely. I can only remember one occasion when I remained behind a cycle for more than a minute or two. Modern HGVs are actually surprisingly nippy, especially if not fully loaded (probably 70% of trucks), my current truck has 435bhp and can certainly accelerate safely around a cyclist when a safe gap arrives, especially uphill. I can see that an overloaded 7.5t truck might struggle. The technique I use under such circumstances is to hang well back. This has three benefits; 1, I don't want to 'push' the rider (you would be amazed at how many cyclists try to accelerate) 2, I have space should anything happen and 3, if a safe gap does open up, I can gain speed before committing to the overtake.

Whilst I appreciate it when cyclist get out of my way (and again, you might be surprised how often they do), it is not necessary. A professional driver will not get upset, they may even enjoy the break from tedium. 99 times out of a hundred, the short delay gives us a little bit of empty road before we hit the tail end of the traffic again. Much better that you stick to your pace and continue safe in the knowledge that you have been seen and the driver is waiting until it is safe to overtake.

Gearoidmuar
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Gearoidmuar » 8 Nov 2012, 7:03am

I and my friends will get off the road to let a van or lorry, which plainly can't pass, pass. We are also totally aware of all the visibility issues etc.
OTOH we will dominate the road before a bend where no-one should pass, especially wide vehicles. That causes no problem.
Courtesy is very important and it works both ways. We OCCASIONALLY, like once a year, encounter roadrage. This is actually a manifestation of obsessive compulsive disorder..

byegad
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby byegad » 8 Nov 2012, 9:16am

Alex L wrote:If there is a lorry that can't get past me, I usually do pull over and let them past, the problem is, I can then get stuck. I'll get a wave of thanks from driver but then can get stuck as no one will let me out again. So there is a balance there.


Yes and rather like tractor drivers lorry drivers don't apply this rule when they get a mile or more tailback of cars behind their truck.

I try to let people pass me whenever it is safe but sometimes I don't let a lorry pass. This is when he already has a tail of cars behind him because I just know that almost all of the cars behind will pile past you no matter that there is no room for them, oncoming traffic and me! Too often in the past I waved a lorry through only to be squeezed into the hedge by a car in the tailback overtaking blindly on a bend and meeting an oncoming car. This is a potential death moment and to be avoided, even at the expense of upsetting a lorry driver. So I wait for a farm gate, junction or other decent place where I can pull in to let everyone go AND STAY SAFE!
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

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hexhome
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby hexhome » 8 Nov 2012, 9:19am

Gearoidmuar wrote:I and my friends will get off the road to let a van or lorry, which plainly can't pass, pass. We are also totally aware of all the visibility issues etc.
OTOH we will dominate the road before a bend where no-one should pass, especially wide vehicles. That causes no problem.
Courtesy is very important and it works both ways. We OCCASIONALLY, like once a year, encounter roadrage. This is actually a manifestation of obsessive compulsive disorder..


I should have added that on very narrow roads, it is polite to pull over when safe and convenient, to let a faster vehicle pass. This type of common decency is common in many countries including Eire and Scotland.

hexhome
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby hexhome » 8 Nov 2012, 9:28am

byegad wrote:Yes and rather like tractor drivers lorry drivers don't apply this rule when they get a mile or more tailback of cars behind their truck.


If I get a large tailback behind my truck on a normal A road, it is certainly not my fault and I haven't got time to keep pulling over! Now that the 40mph speed limit on single carriageways is self policed, it is happening more and more. It isn't usually caused by the truck but by the car 3 inches from the rear of it which can't see to get past! The exception to this is on narrow twisty roads where a large proportion of us will pull over occasionally.

Incidentally, that tail back might well be there regardless of the speed the lorry is doing. Like bicycles, they are essential to overtake or pull in front of to get ahead!

Mike Sales
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mike Sales » 8 Nov 2012, 9:35am

hexhome wrote: Now that the 40mph speed limit on single carriageways is self policed,


I don't understand this. If you mean that lorries generally observe the 40 mph limit they certainly don't on the roads round here.

reohn2
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby reohn2 » 8 Nov 2012, 12:12pm

hubgearfreak wrote:
spoonful wrote:I was crawling uphill for miles, while the cyclist passed many many places where he could safely pull over. Now, if I hear a truck behind me for a while, I pull over and let the queue pass.


well done for your patience. how many miles exactly?

What does it matter,if I think I'm going to hold up a vehicle for more than a minute and there's somewhere to pull in and allow it to pass that's what I do.It's courtesy.
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Mike Sales
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mike Sales » 8 Nov 2012, 12:22pm

reohn2 wrote:
hubgearfreak wrote:
spoonful wrote:I was crawling uphill for miles, while the cyclist passed many many places where he could safely pull over. Now, if I hear a truck behind me for a while, I pull over and let the queue pass.


well done for your patience. how many miles exactly?

What does it m atter,if I think I'm going to hold up a vehicle for more than a minute and there's somewhere to pull in and allow it to pass that's what I do.It's courtesy.


Spoonfull said that the cyclist held him behind for twenty minutes. I struggle to imagine this. Like you I find having a vehicle grinding along behind me is something I could not do with for more than a couple of minutes. Since beginning to wander the web I have discovered human nature is more varied and extreme than I ever knew before, but I still have difficulty with the idea that a cyclist could go on like this for this length of time. The wear and tear on my nerves alone would lead me to pull over, never mind normal courtesy. In this sort of situation I worry that the patience of the driver behind will run out and that they will overtake at a dangerous point. So the distance and time this went on is significant. Twenty minutes! Three miles! It seems to me there is something here which does not compute.

reohn2
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby reohn2 » 8 Nov 2012, 12:27pm

horizon wrote:QUICK QUIZ

Please read the following and then answer the question:

1. A man is cycling up a long steep hill on his way to work. He is hot, he is sweaty, it is raining. His legs are aching. As he draws a deep breath he breathes in vehicle fumes. He must do this for the next 10 minutes.

2. Behind him, a man in a van is following him up the hill. This man is sitting on a comfortable seat, listening to the radio and adjusting the heating to his preference. His power steering involves no effort. He is warm and dry. He must do this for the next 10 minutes.

One of these men gets angry - which man do you think it is?

Van driver,but that's the world as we have it.
As a cyclist I'm thinking which is best for me,which very often can be best for all concerned.
Sometimes when it's not safe for a vehicle to overtake I deliberately block it,which isn't always recieved well by it's driver.
The point is if I can help I will but where safety,more importantly my safety,is concerned,it will take preference over convenience or courtesy.
Last edited by reohn2 on 8 Nov 2012, 12:38pm, edited 1 time in total.
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reohn2
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby reohn2 » 8 Nov 2012, 12:37pm

Mike Sales wrote:Spoonfull said that the cyclist held him behind for twenty minutes. I struggle to imagine this. Like you I find having a vehicle grinding along behind me is something I could not do with for more than a couple of minutes. Since beginning to wander the web I have discovered human nature is more varied and extreme than I ever knew before, but I still have difficulty with the idea that a cyclist could go on like this for this length of time. The wear and tear on my nerves alone would lead me to pull over, never mind normal courtesy. In this sort of situation I worry that the patience of the driver behind will run out and that they will overtake at a dangerous point. So the distance and time this went on is significant. Twenty minutes! Three miles! It seems to me there is something here which does not compute.


There's always what I call the "exaggeration factor" so with the OP's accessment I read "unreasonable time behind a slow vehicle" I don't hold him to his description of exactly 20minutes,though I take your point.
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Mike Sales
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby Mike Sales » 8 Nov 2012, 12:49pm

reohn2 wrote:There's always what I call the "exaggeration factor" so with the OP's accessment I read "unreasonable time behind a slow vehicle" I don't hold him to his description of exactly 20minutes,though I take your point.


Quite, I would not think he timed it. How big is the "exaggeration factor"? Was it really 15 minutes, or ten ? I have looked at the roads between Godalming and Guildford, on Google Maps. One is the A3, a dual carriageway. The other is the A3100, which follows a river valley which it shares with a railway line. There seems to be no room for a three mile hill, and part of the road at least has a cycle track alongside. Perhaps Spoonfull was on one of the much more minor roads in this area, but he has not clarified this, though I did ask. Maybe the cyclist was so obstructive that he would not use the cycle track, but Spoonfull did not mention this.
I don't know the area, and Spoonfull has been vague, so perhaps my suspicion is unwarranted. I suspect that his exaggeration factor is pretty big, but I am ready for him to prove me wrong.

johncarnie
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Re: From a van driver's point of view...

Postby johncarnie » 8 Nov 2012, 1:04pm

I see there is plenty of pedantry on this topic! However the OP does make legitimate points. Too often I have seen fellow cyclists approaching large vehicles with no apparant conception of the danger they are putting themselves in. The point about pulling over on hills again is legitimate - I'd rather have the large vehicle in front of me than up my chuff! Unfortunately for the sake of self-preservation we have to cycle defensively!