Public exposure: Bad truck driver behavior
These entries concern service and delivery drivers whose behavior toward me and others on the roads warranted some sort of action. Pictures occasionally provide excellent evidence of malfeasance on the road, as well as a reference for determining exactly which truck [and thus which driver] was responsible at a given date, time and place. Zero tolerance for such antics says that these cowboys should lose their jobs over such incidents or at the very least be placed on the sternest possible warning status. They cause any more trouble and continue sullying their own company's professional image, they walk.
Our trouble began on the run down toward Georgetown, when this one got right on my butt [with a clear passing lane available] and took a lot of convincing to finally pass me, whereupon he started the same thing behind Jud's car. It was bad enough that I fired up the camera for a run past both of them. Called in a couple of days later, and pictures sent to their fleet manager as proof. They could identify the driver via the Ryder "unit number" on the front fender.
An obvious hazard on the hoof, approaching Cincy on the return leg. Called in on the fly. No excuse for this crap, no matter who or what they're following or their somewhat ill-chosen company name.
Possibly the most terrifying encounter of the whole journey. Most Schneider trucks I see are perfectly courteous, but this numbnuts must have been on a really bad day -- he screamed up behind a small pickup truck that was behind me in the final few miles of US 6 in PA, thus pushing the pickup toward me and requiring repeated requests to back off. The pickup was trying to, but Schneider here was so close behind him that it was difficult and really not the pickup's fault. Note that this was all at an average speed around the posted limit, so it wasn't like I or the pickup were impeding any progress. Hell, I wanted to get home too. When the road finally opened to four lanes the Schneider truck jumped abruptly over and blasted by both of us with turbo a-screamin', and rapidly vanished into the distance at well over the posted speed limit. Called in a few minutes later after I could stop. Required a little detective work and help from a nearby motel's phone book to determine Schneider's number, since it was *obscured* off the back of the trailer with spray paint or something. The number we looked up happened to reach the local dispatch handling this truck, rather than some huge national office, so they were able to deal with it immediately. The motel desk people were very helpful and concerned, and actually knew that there was the local Schneider office in the area. I really hope this asshole got pink-slipped that very afternoon, and then laughed out of the JB Hunt human resources office just to rub it in.
This one learned the hard way that it's not much use trying to draft a Prius in the right lane of I-84 in Connecticut. Refused to go around for quite some time, and would not back off in the meantime. Called in both to the third- party agency on the "how's my driving" sign and W.B.Mason itself, with the obvious answer being "lousy and downright scary".
You can help
Dispatchers are generally *very* interested in getting these reports, since they have no idea what's going on out on the roads and most people don't have the wherewithal to call in reports for bad behavior. I would like to once again propose a new motor sport: truckspotting. Teams of two ordinary citizens go out and drive the highways with a camera and some sort of internet-enabled wireless device usable by the passenger. When people who are supposed to be professional drivers are observed behaving in an overtly aggressive manner like this, evidence is collected and efforts to contact the company's fleet managers are made. It is generally fairly easy to find them, either by using numbers posted on the trucks or finding the company's main number, and asking for "whoever manages your trucks and drivers". A full report including specifics about the vehicle is given, and pictures can optionally be posted or emailed. Law enforcement has really fallen down on this job, even though it could really be one of the easiest sources of revenue out there. Go figure. But if enough people went out and did this and word got around that a new and difficult-to-detect means of enforcement was happening, maybe the rudeness that seems to have developed among the trucking industry over the past ten years would begin to reverse itself. It needs to be made clear to these guys that positioning a large heavy vehicle like that any closer than THREE seconds behind another makes it into a dangerous weapon and is flat-out unacceptable. Safer driving practice would also save these companies a lot of fuel -- this is well known in the trucking industry, but often ignored and/or falls victim to an excessively tight logistics schedule. That's got to change.