Tips for 4-Wheelers Introduction

Last Edited: September 3, 2016 // by TruckerScape, Inc.


These articles on how to deal safely with large trucks (18-wheelers) are primarily intended for student and novice drivers of personal vehicles.  Initial basic tips should seem obvious to experienced drivers, but these drivers may find some of the finer points more informative.


Large tractor trailers—“big rigs” or “18-wheelers”—are understandably viewed by many drivers of personal vehicles as nuisances—big, slow and in the way. Their relative size and weight and their maneuvering limitations also make them candidates for the label “killing machine.”

Nevertheless, trucks are a necessary and increasingly numerous user of our streets and highways. They are a vital and integral part of the economies of our nation and the world. According to a recent USA Today article, about 70 % of all U.S. goods are transported at least in part of their journeys via truck. There are over 3 million of them in the U.S., and the number is growing as our population and economy grow.

So big trucks are not going away, indeed they are proliferating. It would seem wise for drivers of personal vehicles—“four wheelers”—to know how best to coexist, i.e., “share the road” with them.  This section of TruckerScape Inc.’s website presents a series of observations and suggestions that this truck driver has gathered over his years of driving. I do not claim to speak for all truck drivers, but most should agree with the majority of them.

Most of these could be deemed obvious common sense and should already be part of any experienced driver’s knowledge. As such they are primarily intended for the student and novice drivers.  However, as I will detail, every day on the road I see bad practices and risky maneuvers performed by all kinds of drivers.  So all drivers are welcome to review this section. Just one reminder picked up and practiced by each of you could mean one accident averted, avoiding damages and injuries and even saving the lives of you, your passengers, other drivers and their passengers, and also the life and/or career of a truck driver.

NOTE:  The terms “truck,” “tractor trailer,” “big rig,” “18 wheeler” and “semi” are commonly used interchangeably in traffic contexts.  “Truck” is the simplest and perhaps most frequently used term for a large tractor trailer and is the one we will use most of the time in Tips for 4-Wheelers.  We will use “tractor” and “trailer” when referring specifically to those two components of the “truck.”


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