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Passing oncoming trucks

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Fab73, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. Hi all
    In 1 month I plan to do a road trip from adelaide to port lincoln a distance of 649km over 2 days and spending a week there. It will be my first time on highway and the route is notorious for trucks. Whats it like passing them at 100kmh and do you have any tips.

  2. Use enough gun, what do you ride?
    Edit: You ride a bmw single? Use low gears for passing, do it quickly.
  3. Welcome to NR :).
    I used to hate going past oncoming trucks at 100kph. It would always push me back and sometimes I felt like I'd have to hang on for dear life.
    Firstly, you will build up muscles necessary for bracing in these situations. Just like you do for travelling at such speeds.
    Secondly, and I don't know if this is the right thing to do but I always prepare when I see a larger truck coming and steer to the left of my lane a bit. Not only does it reduce the buffer a little bit it's a reassurance that if you were to come off you're more likely to come off on the side of the road
  4. Oncoming trucks.
    Stay to the left side of your lane. This also gives any vehicles stuck behind the truck some chance to see you coming and hopefully, they will not swing out to overtake the truck, giving you a nasty surprise.
    With wind blast, just duck your head slightly, so your head does not feel like it's being torn off.
    If it is a narrow road, you may have to pull over to let them pass.

    Trucks going your way.
    Don't tailgate them, anything can be spat out from between the wheels, that could wipe you out.
    Sit back a bit, hopefully the driver will spot you and your intentions.
    Pass them quickly, don't sit beside them.

    If a truck comes up behind you and you choose not to 'out run' them, don't hold them up, this frustrates them!
    If you see them catching you up, pull over to the LEFT (if safe to do so) and let them go! Never try to turn right, if one is right on your tail.
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  5. Be mindful of crosswinds, if they are a factor. For oncoming trucks, A big wind from the right will give you a bigger blast from the pillow in front of the truck which will push you to the left initially then the relatively still air will have you moving back towards the truck a bit. Make sure you give them plenty of room, but don't ride so close to the road edge so the initial blast could push you off the road edge. You can also get predictable effects when overtaking as you move into the "wind shadow" of a truck and hit the "pillow" in front of it. Again, plenty of room. the unpleasant effects are most noticeable when passing or overtaking on the lee (downwind) side of the truck.

    When following, and intending to overtake, I like to hover about near centre line for a while where I can see the drivers mirror. If you can see their mirror, while behind them, they can see you. As soon as you begin to overtake, you will move into a very large blind spot which you will not get out of until you are nearly in front of them. Move through this area quickly, so they know where you went. Then move up the road and get away from them, otherwise, stay well back, and make sure that they see you, as you disappear into the horizon behind them.

    Good road manners include recognising when you are travelling slower or faster than other vehicles, and then either making it easy for them to overtake you or get around and get away ASAP. Space is your friend.
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  6. And that is why their should be more riders on the road. There would be no road rage
  7. When I first started riding bikes, the wind from oncoming trucks was a big concern of mine given how much it affect you in a car. But does anyone else feel it's not as much of an issue? Or was I imagining it to be so bad, my expectations couldn't be met?

    Anyway, some good advice above.

    I would add that keeping relaxed in the upper body will help you from gripping the bars too tight and making it harder on yourself by steering the bike accidently as you get buffeted around.
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  8. As per jstava's reply above, the only time it's really an issue is in heavy winds.
    If you have a noticable headwind or cross wind then the blast as you pass the front of an oncoming truck is magnified.
    If you are overtaking one then the side wash is the one to watch, and as you pass the cab.

    For an oncoming truck in windy conditions, just stick to the left of your lane to minimise it.
    For overtaking, move to the far right and you should be OK.

    Once you've gotten through the first couple it will be easy, and in light winds you won't even notice them.
  9. I think the toughest thing about riding in conditions which include strong crosswinds and big traffic relates to this specifically.

    Gripping the bars too tightly, and being tense about riding makes your responses "wooden" and lengthens reaction time generally. One of the harder things to learn/develop for newer riders is in distinguishing between the amount of grip required to brace against a blast you know is coming, because one needs to hang on, and gripping so hard that control is compromised. Then relaxing between times where traffic is heavy and this needs to be done repeatedly. Fatigue sets in quickly where someone is permanently tensed.
  10. It's all been said above, but let me emphasise that if you are passing B-doubles, triples or quads, once you have chosen to go, go quickly.

    You should always plan to spend the least amount of time possible on the other side of the road, and be aware of trailer swing, particularly on triples and quads, because that rear trailer will whip about with the bumps and bends in the road. You do not want to be sitting next to long trucks (some are up to 53.5 Metres) because you will be hard to spot from the drivers seat, and there is a huge distance between the front and the rear of the unit if you are just sitting in the middle of it when it starts to merge to the right to perhaps overtake a slower vehicle in front of it.

    As a further consideration, always try and see if there is a vehicle hiding in front of the road train, because once you decide to go, you don't want to get to the front only to find a car and caravan sitting right in front of the road train, giving you something extra to overtake that you didn't see beforehand, and you don't want to be jamming in between them if you run out of road.
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  11. Thanks for the replies guys I found them very very useful . Im just gonna do it .
  12. It will be worth while to have a fair bit of riding experience leading up to your trip. Just so that if something does happen it's not in the middle of nowhere :)
  13. Good points, a very small steering correction results in the last trailer flicking around all over the shop. And you don't want alongside the last trailer if the driver decides he want to overtake that caravan ahead.
  14. Yep Fab73 Just do it. We're starting to over think this thing. Why the preoccupation with wind? - It can be windy out that way.

    Your trip is not long - a couple of easy days, lots of time to look around. Have a nice trip.
  15. With oncoming trucks I tend to pre-empt the buffetting to the left by just leaning my upper body to the right a bit just before it hits. If you do move across to the left of your lane make sure its done well in advance. If you're still steering to the left as the wind blast pushes you to the left, you may run out of bitumen rather quickly.
  16. One thing with overtaking trucks with low risk sit back and in a spot that the you can see the driver in the mirror meaning he can see you and most truckies such as myself know that it is hard to see past a big truck to guarantee you have enough time and room to overtake we will actually hit our right blinker a few times to tell you its a safe time to pass. It also gives you the comfort of the driver knowing your there and wont accidentally merge into you. P.s alittle off topic but sort of relevant have fun be safe
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