So today I was leaving Nashville going east on I 40. There are 3 lanes going down to 2 within sight about 1 mile away. In the far right lane is a convoy of military units about 4 tractors with no trailers and 2 other straight trucks going about 63 mph. JB Hunt was in the middle lane going about 65mph. I was in the left lane going about 70.
The speed limit was 70, which is the top speed of our truck. I wasn't going to be able to pass JB hunt in time before that far right lane ran out.
I slowed down to JB Hunts speed so that he could come on over in the
left lane and let the military convoy could get out of the far right
lane before it ran out of highway.
After flashing the light a few times and then flashing it like a mad man without JB taking action to come over, I grabbed the microphone.
I said, "JB, why don't you come on over now instead of waiting until the last minute so that everyone isn't trying to figure out what everyone else is going to do when that right lane runs out. Take action now so I won't wonder if your coming over and the convoy won't wonder if your going to move over and you won't be wondering if I am going to speed up on you.
JB never responded but he did finally come over into the left lane and the convoy moved over into the middle lane just in time before the right lane ran out.
This kind of thing gets to me because its the difference between making traveling a smooth ride for everyone and creating avoidable confusion on the highway. Never wait until the last minute to take action you plainly see needs to be taken.
Observe, analyze, execute in a timely fashion.
So I was already trying not to saying anything else on the radio for fear of letting my mouth say more than needed to be said but guess what?
This ordeal was not even over...
After JB got in the left lane going about 65 he slowed down to the speed of the convoy which was about 63 mph. Now of course the 2 or 3 mph really isn't the biggest problem in the world, its not going to make or break a record.
What is so nerve wrecking is the principle behind the action. Why on earth would you slow down in the left lane to the speed of the traffic in the right lane for no reason. Remember, the speed limit is 70 mph. Ridiculous.
So politely the convoy slows down to about 60 so that JB can go by and what does JB do?
JB slows down too! Some of yall know what I am talking about cause I have seen other four wheelers and big truck drivers do it too. Lol. I just doesn't make sense. The convoy speeds back up to 61, 62, 63 and of course JB speeds up too.
By this time the traffic behind me is getting frantic and running all over the left white line like it's me holding them back in the 70mph zone.
The military convoy slows down again to 60 and JB slows down. The convoy just holds it there and finally JB eases up to a speed slightly greater than the convoy and passes. It took a while but JB finally got around the convoy and jumped in the right lane.
Once JB got in the right lane. It took all I had to pass him. Yes that means he sped up way faster than he was going the entire time he was in the left lane to pass the convoy.
Do you know how irritating that is. Well, my first impulse after all this was to get on the radio and let him know how much of a clown he was.
Then I thought (and don't ask me how I managed to pause to think) you know this whole thing is over now, what's the point of saying anything else and further more, that guy could have just gotten out of driving school yesterday.
If that's the case, then you can't really expect him to drive like a professional 100 percent of the time, us experienced drivers don't drive like professionals 100% of the time.
Then I said out loud to myself in quit a stern voice,"You been driving for 10 years and you don't drive perfect 100 percent of the time." I hate when I talk junk to myself, but i was right.
thought about the light, I once backed into. The turns, I have missed,
and other unpleasant thoughts. I quickly calmed down and just rode on
by JB waving and smiling. I got on the radio and told JB, "Thanks JB,
have a nice day"
So there was 2 lessons there.
1. Do not wait until the last minute to take action, it does indeed create unnecessary chaos. It causes confusion and can easily create emergency situations
2. We must practice patience when traveling on the highways. You only know what your situation is. You never know what the situation is for the other people or person involved.
3. When encountering people driving in a way that you
find consider less than professional, remember, You make mistakes, and
do stupid things at times too. Maybe that is the dumbest thing the
driver you see has done in his/her entire life. OR the driver could be a
student, trainee or new driver who has never spent time on the highway
until getting into the truck. Hold your critical tongue.
He/she is not going to start off as defensive or aware of all of the detail immediately. Just how it goes.
Just take deep breaths and count to 10.
Besides, mastering patience will pay off in so many aspects of life. Why miss a perfect opportunity to grow! So you have it when you need it.
Furthermore, what could I have done differently? I could have just kept my stride and let them deal with that lane ending or I could have slowed down even more earlier. That might have made it easier for them to act earlier.
My actions are all that I can truly control anyway.
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