Road train

How to navigate around road trains

How to successfully navigate around road trains

Road trains are part of Aussie life and all drivers have to share the road with them at one point or another. Road trains are the life blood of many industries and the drivers sacrifice a lot of time away from their families. When we know how to navigate around road trains, we make the journey for both ourselves and the truckies much safer and enjoyable.

Type of trucks on the road

Trucks on the road can be anything from a rigid truck, semi-trailers, road trains which can be double, triple or quad, buses, grain and livestock transporters, tanker trucks, cement trucks and oversized vehicles.

How do you drive safely in the vicinity of one of these heavy beasts?

Stay out of their blind spots. Where are the blind spots of heavy vehicles?
Immediately in front of the vehicle, beside the truck driver’s door, on the passenger side of the truck, this runs for the length of the truck and extends out three lanes, and directly behind a truck.
Keep your following distance when you are driving behind a truck. If you can't see their mirrors, they can not see you.

Keep your following distance when you are driving behind a truck. If you can’t see their mirrors, they can not see you.

I have seen stickers on the back of trucks declaring that if you cannot see their mirror they cannot see you. It is there for a reason – they really cannot see you. It is very important that you are visible.

Following distances are very important when driving in front of road trains

Never before has following distances been so important as they are when you are driving behind a truck. If you are directly behind a heavy vehicle you cannot see ahead. You have to allow enough time and distance to stop safely.

Stopping distances are different for road trains than for other vehicles

A truck takes approximately 83 metres to stop at 60km/h whilst a car will take only 73meters. At 100km/h a truck will take about 185 meters to stop compared to a car’s 157 metres.
Can you see why it is not a good idea to swerve in front of a truck and suddenly slam on your brakes. You are making it virtually impossible for them to stop safely and not harm you.

Overtaking road trains

Heavy vehicles marked with a warning, DO NOT OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE, have the right to take up more than one lane to turn at corners, intersections and roundabouts. When a heavy vehicle is turning, rather keep behind them.

When you want to overtake a heavy vehicle on a highway, wait for the overtaking lanes whenever possible. Overtake only when it is safe to do so, and be aware that there may be strong wind as you pass the vehicle. Overtake within the speed limit and maintain your speed once you have overtaken. Hills and curves are not the place to overtake a heavy vehicle, your vision is limited and you are endangering your life as well as that of the truck driver.
At Southern Cross Driving School I teach you not only what you need to know in order to get your P-Plates, your continued safety on the road is very important to me. That is why I have been posting these Facebook notes and blog posts recently.
If you want help to pass your P-plates, please call me on 0448866306, email me at or send me a PM and I will get back to you. My fees are affordable, and I have packages available. If you are a parent thinking of a birthday gift, why not buy driving lesson vouchers as a gift to your L-plater?
Rennie Till, Owner of Southern Cross Driving school

Rennie Till, Owner of Southern Cross Driving School