A lot of you really enjoyed my post about Trucker Lingo so I thought we could talk about road signs today. There are signs all along roads or highways, but until I became a driver I didn’t really notice how many.
All drivers should pay attention to all the signage along their drive, but some of the signage doesn’t apply to “4 wheelers”. This one is pretty basic, but do you know what all of them mean?
Let’s say a city puts up signs to keep trucks out of their down town area. This could be for several reasons – narrow roads, low branches and signs, etc. The shops in downtown need supplies though so often you’ll see signs like the one above. They don’t want semis driving through the town, but they are allowed to if they have a local delivery.
We just discussed Wide Turns last week, but it’s worth repeating. Do NOT try to go around a turning truck no matter how much of a hurry you’re in. The more narrow the streets are, the wider the truck will have to swing out in order to make the turn.
When you go around a curve or exit the interstate do you ever see signs like this? Trucks not only have to take wider turns, but they have to go around them more slowly. Basically I’d translate this sign as, “You better slow down or you’ll flip your truck taking this curve”
So this isn’t really a road sign, but it is a truck sign and it affects driving. This means what it says. Thing about your blind spots in your car. A semi truck has much bigger blind spots. Be respectful if you see them with their blinker on and try to stay out of those blind spots.
Most 4 wheelers weigh between 1 and 2 tons. A ton is equal to 2,000 pounds. A fully loaded semi truck can weigh 80,000 lbs which is 40 tons! There are older roadways and bridges that just can’t take the weight from a semi truck.
This sign means that there is a steep decline coming up. Trucks need to stay in the same gear when going down a mountain. If they try shifting during the decline they can actually lose their gear and that can be disastrous. So this prepares a trucker to get it in one gear and stay there to go down the decline.
This one kind of goes with the sign above it. Not only do truckers need to stay in the same gear, but they have to be careful with their brakes as they can actually catch on fire from trying to brake that much weight going down a mountain. A runaway truck ramp is for truckers that are going to fast and can’t slow down. You basically drive onto it (it’s an upwards dirt roadway) and it will stop you. It can hurt your truck so we try not to use them if they’re not needed but it’s nice that it’s there for emergencies.
Those are some basic signs to get you started. Have you seen any that you’d like me to explain?