Tanker lorry, spot on driving

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Tonyf33
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Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby Tonyf33 » 25 Nov 2014, 11:26pm

Coming home from Letchworth town centre there is a longish sweeping 40mph road that leads directly onto the A1 & A505 Cambridge route, it's the main road for a large portion of traffic from North Herts and beyond so gets very busy. 3/4 along there is a pedestrian refuge that was installed a few years back (which is barely ever used as there are two crossings and an underpass close by), it had no safety assessment done beforehand yet it significantly narrows the road enough that a car & cyclist cannot pass together safely despite the road being much wider than most.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.97156 ... rU0gmA!2e0

Anyhow, I normally adopt a very central position well before the refuge, I over the shoulder check and hold my position, saw a large tanker behind me this time and expecting it to rumble right up behind me as most vehicles do but no, it didn't accelerate to close the distance down and held a nice 30-40m gap all the way to the give way at the elongated roundabout.
By the time he caught me i was turning off left so stuck a big thumbs up as he was passing. :)

it was so nice to be able to go through without worrying whether someone was going to try squeeze me out or come bombing up to the back of me as is the case quite often.
Whoever you were mate, cheers, exemplary driving, just wish there were more of you. :D

reohn2
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby reohn2 » 26 Nov 2014, 9:56am

That's not so remarkable IMO,I find HGV drivers do that sort of thing on a regular basis.
The true pro driver IMO realises the hazard/obstruction/problem,etc,well in advance and the vast majority aren't ego tripping just doing their job and generally doing it well as in this case.
They realise there's nothing to gain from bullying and threatening other road uses with their bulk,occasionally I get the odd one who's an idiot but find their driving for the most part driving exemplary :)
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mike_dowler
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby mike_dowler » 26 Nov 2014, 10:25am

OTOH, I had a bus driver yesterday who started encroaching on my (already narrow) cycle lane, so I banged on the doors to alert him. His hand signals in response indicated that he didn't understand the issue.

Phil Fouracre
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby Phil Fouracre » 26 Nov 2014, 11:51am

Not enough posts like this! I'm afraid it always seems to be the case that you only get the negative stories. I've emailed a few local haulage companies over a few years with positive comments, and yes, they do appreciate it. Added on one, 'bet you don't get many of these' to which the reply was that mine was the first!!
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

Psamathe
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby Psamathe » 26 Nov 2014, 12:12pm

When I experience such things I like to try and note the company name, look-up later and e-mail them thanking the driver. I did once to a local building merchant except I went in to order stuff and said about the excellent clearance he had given me (I knew the last part of the reg and they immediately knew which driver), and word went through the company and back to the driver - which must have helped his standing. And now all the drivers know me and say hi when I call-in.

So I recon my good feedback has probably "inspired" all the drivers to be considerate to vulnerable road users (or maybe just cyclists).

Ian

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Si
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby Si » 26 Nov 2014, 2:22pm

We regularly have HGV drivers into where I work - they come for bike-lorry interaction training. Strangely enough ( :wink: ) they are just average people and when they are taken out to experience things from the saddle they come back very understanding of a cyclist's needs out on the road.

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ArMoRothair
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby ArMoRothair » 26 Nov 2014, 3:25pm

Si wrote: and when they are taken out to experience things from the saddle they come back very understanding of a cyclist's needs out on the road.


It's great to hear that.

I just wish there was a way of making this a mandatory part of the HGV licence.

Tonyf33
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Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby Tonyf33 » 26 Nov 2014, 6:24pm

TBH Rehon2 I just don't experience great driving from larger vehicles, in a significant % of the time interaction with them isn't what i would call pleasant, sometimes to the point of thinking you're going to die (of which I've suffered 2 or 3 times & never with cars). I don't actually see HGV drivers and the like as professionals, their license is adequate for the type of vehicle they drive, it gives them no more driving skill above & beyond what a car driver receives for their vehicle. The difference is that a much larger vehicle presents much larger risks to every other road user, the trainingand test one receives must by definition be more intense/complicated by comparison. it doesn't make that larger vehicle any safer than a car when driven and the statistics show clearly that they aren't. Maybe the HGV/PSV testing is inadequate (as well as the vehicles themselves), I bet the drivers of larger vehciles don't undergo pyschometric testing, how many undergo an advanced driving test/course, probably a minute amount of the latter. The other problem is money, time IS money, its why most commercial vehicles can't be ariss'd to wait for a cyclist or take an extra 20 seconds for a space to overtake 'safely'

That said when roads are tight I often wave through larger vehicles even when it's my right of way/priority. I understand what it's like to be in traffic as a driver, it isn't a great environ to be in often enough and at the end of a tough day you just want to get home as swiftly as possible. Waving through an HGV/tanker/Bin lorry or whatever just eases the traffic a bit and often for the cost of just a few seconds for me.

I do it because it makes sense to do it (& often wih cars too) and isn't a big deal for me, also that hopefully some of the drivers will pass on that courtesy to another cyclist somewhere else.
So when you get a situation like mine it makes you smile, it makes you know that there are considerate people out there that understand what it might be like to have a vehicle right up your trumpet and how uncomfortable that can be, more so when you know there is a large speed differential and a hazard to negotiate.

reohn2
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby reohn2 » 26 Nov 2014, 8:42pm

FWIW I'm acutely aware of the damage HGV's are capable of,as I suppose most cyclists and indeed most road users are,I also try to help other quicker road users as much as I can in the same way you indicate.

My encounters/interactions with HGV drivers is overwhelmingly positive,if I do have bad encounters with drivers of bigger vehicles it's usually,in ascending order of bad driving either stupidly or deliberately are cars,vans in various <35cwt,4x4's,7.5tonners,buses,HGV's.Which could be in proportion,excepting 4x4's,numbers on the road.
That's my experience which I can only relate.
That said,Monday before last I had what I can honestly say was a rare encounter with a HGV,a 10ton(?)box van,which on a clear wide empty road,came out of a side road opposite on my right,an entrance of an industrial estate with wide radii good site lines,there was no way he didn't see me as I made eye contact.
It didn't stop him almost taking me out with his nearside front corner,I was close evough to bang on his nearside door.I then accelerated and sat in front of him in primary for around 500m,by which time the TL up the road had changed and there was a stream of traffic coming the opposite way preventing his o/take.
I'd decided he'd have to drive over me to get past,I think the term is 'I was steaming' :evil:.
On seeing the oncoming traffic clearing I moved over and let him go.He gave me plenty of room on the o/take and the TL changed to green so I didn't get chance to ''have a word''.
I'm convinced it was a deliberate 'get out of my way,I'm bigger than you,you mean nothing to me' attitude.
That sort of encounter with HGV's is extremely rare IME,I'm more likely to experience the kind of encounter you mention in your OP.
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snibgo
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby snibgo » 27 Nov 2014, 1:58am

I'm out in the country, not far from Letchworth.

The last few years, I've had very few bad encounters with HGVs. Hardly any, and the worst is when they are too impatient to overtake and sit on my wheel. Perhaps catching my slipstream, ha! This is self-defeating, as it makes it difficult for me to pull in to the next farm entrance, to let him past.

Ten to 20 years ago, they used to be far worse, squeezing past me at high speed and far to close, sucking me into their slipstream.

Perhaps being a fair distance from a town, hence possible drop-off/pick-up points, is in my favour. An HGV driver is less likely to be running up against a deadline. Perhaps improvements over the last decade reflects better diver training. I don't know.

HGVs are involved in a disproportionate number of cyclist collisions in London. Perhaps this is deadline pressure, or the general pressure of driving big vehicles in cramped London streets. Touch wood, they seem to be saints around here.

Flinders
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby Flinders » 27 Nov 2014, 7:33am

Milk tankers round here from Muller are very good, I find. And bin lorries going to the local site also, which is on a narrowish road; they never try to overtake, drive too close, or hassle. On the bike, I always pull over to let them past as soon as I can find a safe place to. Same with our local heavy haulage firm.

However, as a driver, on motorways and dual carriageways I'm increasingly finding that the overall standard of HGV driving is plummeting to dangerous levels. Drivers wanting to overtake other lorries just pile out in front of me, often only signalling after they have started to drift over the line, leaving me only a few yards at most in front of me. Even if they signal before, it's on the 'coming ready or not' principle.
Now I would always allow an HGV to pull out in front of me if it signalled its request, but I need enough warning to slow down and give sufficient space for it to pull in safely, as the space I leave in front of me is, in heavy traffic, about 2s between me and the vehicle in front, it isn't usually going to be big enough for a lorry and its stopping distance as well.
On occasion, when I have not been in a position to move out and there simply hasn't been space, as I've been already alongside the lorry before it started to signal, it has pulled out right in front of the vehicle behind me, and flashed, and then driven so close I couldn't see its number, which is very frightening.
This didn't used to happen. And it needs to stop.

BearOnWheels
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby BearOnWheels » 27 Nov 2014, 8:34pm

Well dear OP, you found one too!
What we should all be doing apart from identifying, naming and shaming the companies and their drivers that scare the living daylights out of us is doing the opposite as well. Get the registration number, the company telephone number and ring them and say 'I'd really like to commend your driver of XXX for a fabulous piece of sage driving.' Most transport managers will initially suspect you are nuts, but I reckon given half a chance they might really take to it!

So come on CTC how about a 'Transport Company of the Year' award and a 'Driver of the Year' award - I am sure that such an award would do something for a company's reputation and maybe even their insurance premiums… you could even get an insurance company to sponsor it!

Encourage the behaviour we all want (as well as catch those who kill and maim)!

reohn2
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby reohn2 » 27 Nov 2014, 10:32pm

Just one point,if I have to stop and take note of every professional driver that shows me courtesy and then phone their company to commend all those drivers I'd, a)never get anywhere when I went for a ride,and b)I'd never be off the phone!
I'm guilty however of not complaining enough to companies whose drivers treat me like something they picked up on the bottom of their shoe.
But that maybe because every time I have complained,I've had the distinct feeling the transport managers I've spoken to couldn't give a monkeys!
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Psamathe
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby Psamathe » 27 Nov 2014, 10:36pm

reohn2 wrote:Just one point,if I have to stop and take note of every professional driver that shows me courtesy and then phone their company to commend all those drivers I'd, a)never get anywhere when I went for a ride,and b)I'd never be off the phone!

Maybe just the exceptional ones e.g. the one that prompted you to start this thread. I just remember the company name and do an internet search when I get home and e-mail.

I assume that notable driving does not happen many times each ride (as I've not seen many threads like this). Even if you miss 3 good ones and just do one occasionally it would help, word would get round, managers at the company will be pleased (people love getting praise) and driver will "like" cyclists and other drivers will probably think a bit more ...

Ian

reohn2
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Re: Tanker lorry, spot on driving

Postby reohn2 » 27 Nov 2014, 10:47pm

Psamathe wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Just one point,if I have to stop and take note of every professional driver that shows me courtesy and then phone their company to commend all those drivers I'd, a)never get anywhere when I went for a ride,and b)I'd never be off the phone!

Maybe just the exceptional ones e.g. the one that prompted you to start this thread. I just remember the company name and do an internet search when I get home and e-mail.

I assume that notable driving does not happen many times each ride (as I've not seen many threads like this). Even if you miss 3 good ones and just do one occasionally it would help, word would get round, managers at the company will be pleased (people love getting praise) and driver will "like" cyclists and other drivers will probably think a bit more ...

Ian


I take the point of praising people reaps rewards but it would need something really exceptional for me to want stop note the reg and then make contact with the company,to say thanks.
I maybe a lesser person for this,but I like to get on with my life,and think a thumbs up to the driver at the time is all that's needed.
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