Thursday, January 26, 2012

A chicken in every pot and a longer, heavier truck on every interstate?

When it comes to Big Trucking’s claim that trucks with more axles will be the future of trucking AND save the nation, it’s not hard to kick all the glittering claims to the curb and ask some stumping questions.

One consideration that is being overlooked but can’t be ignored in the debate is how your everyday motorist – your wife, your mom, your next door neighbor – are going to safely interact with longer combination vehicles on the highways we all share.

We have asked truckers if they think the average four-wheeler knows the difference between an 80,000-pound truck and a 100,000-pound truck. In one unscientific but revealing web poll we did, a overwhelming 98 percent said NO. Then we followed up with another poll that asked if truckers thought four-wheelers are savvy enough to drive differently round LCVs. It, too, was a resounding NO.

Now that all may seem to be a “duh” to the inth degree, but those responses say a lot. They say that truckers are convinced that we’ve got a long way to go before the “civilian traffic” can handle going up and down the road, side by side, with longer, heavier trucks.

Let’s face it. You pro drivers out there might be able to pilot twin 53-footers as slick as Cousin Carl Edwards handles the #99 car – but it’s still not likely that the people in four-wheelers will know how to safely share the road with you.

Now that’s scary.