Q&A - What do the Police Think about Heavy Trucks?

Q&A ImageI drive a semi tractor trailer for a living. I was wondering what cops' take is on slowly rolling through a stop sign at 5 kph, after scanning the intersection in a rural area and seeing no traffic.

Reason for this is this type of driving saves the truck. Coming to a full stop in a fully loaded semi (and even more so with a fully loaded super B is incredibly hard on the truck, the transmission, clutch, and drive train.

I also want to know what cop's take is on running hills. Say there's a downhill and then an immediate up hill after, I will usually let the truck "go" to between 120-130 kmh for a short period and when I hit the other hill it slows me down to the speed limit or quite often way below it.

While I realize that heavy commercial trucks have a harder time doing some things in comparison to light vehicles, there is still no excuse for not following the law. That is the best advice that I can give because those are the rules and if you break them, regardless of wear and tear on your truck, you risk picking up a traffic ticket for doing it. Too many of those and you're looking for a new job if you want to look at it selfishly and a risk to other road users if you don't.

In reply to by DriveSmartBC

Good response.  I was expecting that, I have watched cops roll through stop signs as well, I really don't hold it against them, pretty well everyone has done it at some point, including yourself I imagine, perhaps I am wrong? I don't see the danger of rolling through the intersection at a 4 way or 2 way STOP sign at 5kph when after determining it is safe and clear to do so who would be in danger in this instance.  The running of the hills I can see being more risky due to the extra speed and potential tire blowing out if one is weak, ok granted.  But I have ridden as a passenger in a semi and my friend who was driving ran a hill and we got radared or gunned whatever you like to call it by CVSE or DOT and at the top of the hill when we were passing him at 30 kmh he just stuck out his finger and waved it at us in a NO NO NO motion, which I thought was pretty cool and understanding of him.  It was just a question I had that's all

Although I do my best not to make mistakes when I am driving. Hopefully I'm not guilty of drifting through stop signs as I figure it's a bad habit to get into. One day you slide through and don't see something you should have, but it's too late.

Like you, I'm often frustrated by the way I see police vehicles driven. Unless it is an emergency, officers have to drive following the same rules as the rest of us. Again, all that I can say is take the unit number and complain. If the officer racks up enough complaints the supervisior has to take some action or they are negligent too.

I drove a super B for 8 and a half years,fully loaded in canada 63,500kgs,in the states 105,500lbs.

This hard on truck,,,transmission,,drive train,,,clutch,,,???????????

Sorry but I drove the same truck the whole 8 plus years (95 Freightliner)

The only clutch work I had done in 2,000,000 kms,was because the seal broke,and caused the clutch to be contaminated.

I Never had a transmission issue of any kind,,nor with my drive train.

And never reciving even 1 point on my licence,and stopping fully at all stop signs,My opinion is simply,,,you need to learn to drive still,,,maybe more practice will help you.And a better attitude to the vehical you are operating,with conseration to others around you.

Your licence says Proffesinal,,live up to that.

A clutch, is a wear item. Rolling through all the stop signs in the world won’t really buy you a whole lot of time on your clutch life. My experience is that using the clutch as per the manufacturing company’s instructions, ensures maximum life from that item. I’ve never seen an operators manual that said to “roll through stop signs, it’ll save you a bunch of money”.

I would hope you made enough revenue in a million miles, to afford a new clutch. After all, a professional always saves a percentage of the trucks revenue for maintenance. At $3,500 for a new Eaton, or $5,000 for a Lipe ( which will easily will outlive you or I) I can’t justify to myself, rolling a stop sign, for that kind of money. But that’s me.

Running a hill? It is called “road management” and is not only condoned, but encouraged, by Ruhl, the company that used to decipher my tachograph cards. (While I pulled A, B, & C trains, throughout Canada and Pacific NW US)

You could say it’s like having sex with a farm animal. It may be great, just don’t let anybody see you do it.

Well keep driving your taxi then Mister.  I am pro, and will be.  If I roll through a stop sign at 5 km/h because there's no one around doesn't put anyones life in danger.  The running of the hill well that may be breaking rules but don't tell me cops never bend rules.  Also learn how to spell and fix your keyboard,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

anyones life?? YOURS,,are you not someone?

Not trying to be smart,but those extra 30-40 kms/hr while loaded,could be catostrofic,say should an elk or 2 ran out,,or maybe a human.And should you lose control(just sayin)and flip that truck(as many pro,s DO everyday)

Well now your blocking that road,which will inturn Effect Many Lives,you don,t have to kill them to Effect them.

My Opinion:I don,t think any driver is a Pro,Until Thier Attitude catches up to thier Proficency to Operate that vehical.

And sorry for my spllin.

You didn't strike anything, just the commas and spelling make you sound like you have some issues.  Well yes 30 more km/h with weight pushing you makes a huge difference.  Unfortunately the elk moose or deer will be killed if struck.  Or human for that matter which also has a brain and knows better than to walk in front of a moving vehicle.  I always try and move over to the next lane when passing vehicles parked on shoulder and slow down by 10 kmh, more for cops and tow trucks.  You are a professional driver yourself being a cabbie.  I've never heard of a 2 million km clutch on a truck bro.  You will be lucky to get that out of an ENGINE with proper regular maintnance let alone a clutch.  At most 1 million under the best of circumstances. Bush trucks will typically see 400,000 to 600,000 kms before needing a clutch replacement.  Yes trucks flip, accidents happen, some are preventable, and others are not. It will not however cause me to drive the truck at 80 or 90 in a 100 or 110 kmh zone just because deer or other animals can run onto the road.  All this would do is piss other truck and car drivers off and hold up traffic.  

And ya I could have Issues,But I don,t lie about my driving.If Your ever by Freightliner in Cranbrook,as alought of the staff still works there when I was Trucking,and can Verify my statements.I was,nt a bush driver I was a longhaul Hwy driver,Mostly Super B,s. And Yes in 2,000,000km,s I had the clutch replaced ONCE! The seal broke and contaminated the clutch,so I told freightliner here to just put a new one In. Only clutch I ever had replaced,same truck for 8 and a half years.My Engine I had an Inframe done When I bought the truck,after driving it for the past 5 and a half years.Jack the older mechanic called guys over when he opened it up,because you could still see the crosshatching in the cylenders,,He was totlly Amazed.Not my story,ask him.The only reason for doiing this was I just bought it off the company I was working for,and I want,ed a fresh start,apperently not even really needing it.Then drove it 3 more years,with very little work,mostly reg maintinance. Varifyable truth,

And my opinin,,,,theres not much  worse on the hwy,than a know it all Pro in a semi,with a bad attitude. I Know,I lived through that stage Myself,and lucky for me I did,nt kill myself or someone else,My profincancy to operate the vehical saved  me and others, Until My Attitude Caught up.Then I found out what a professinal driver was all about.I drive a taxi now,but am still learning,somthing I hope you don,t stop doiing.And Yes I still drive as profesinal as I can,4 wheels or 30.


I was taiking of Me,a truck driver with an attitude.But I am sure alought of truckers,Beiing we do have a Great Skill and ability,and Have proved it allready by obtaining a class 1 licence.Almost like we are born to drive.

Our Knowledge of the rules are greater than a vast majority of drivers,Our proficancy to operate a Vehical is higher,so we know we are better with the expieriance we have.Human nature kicks in though when faced with all the totaly unbelivably incorrect driving on the Hwys we see everyday,almost seem like every minute of the day somtimes.The longer we drive the more others seem like,How did they get a licence,by the end of a long day they start to grate on your nerves and now it is starting to effect you.

This is the point,I have learned is when I have to get off the road and sleep,as once it starts it can turn a pro into a bad driver cause we know better,we are Pro,s

It,s a visious circle that is dictated by human nature,and until I came to this realization I was a knowitall pro with a bad attitude.Learning to smile and wave was a whole lot harder lesson for me to learn,than beiing proficiant at operating a motor vehical,even a 30 wheeler.Ignoring all around you while having to pay attention,Its a catch 22 situation.

I am sure you will agree