Rules and Codes of the road

Trucking ethics, courtisies, and unwritten rules and codes of the road.

I. General driving:

A) Anytime passing another truck: When passing another truck always wait until you have at least 200 feet between the rear of your trailer and the nose of the truck you are passing before moving back over. When in doubt give more distance. When a truck cuts a driver off, the driver is now looking at nothing but the rear of the trailer in front and has no ability to see any possible slow downs, accidents, debris on the road, police, sharp corners ets. When you cut off another semi, you are putting that truck drivers life in serious jeopardy. Not cool. Contrary to popular belief it doesn't hurt anything to hang out in the hammer lane a few seconds or minutes longer, and you doing so could save the life or lives of the person/s in the truck you are passing. If the truck is only going just a hair slower than you the rule still apply, if you don't want to hang out in the hammer lane long enough to give the person you are passing ample head room, then please don't pass.
B) Waving at other drivers: Most truckers spend long hours of staring at the asphalt alone in our trucks a lot of time in our trucks by ourselves. When passing or being passed, its nice to see a friendly face in the window of the truck next to us even if its a stranger. A wave as your truck window is along the other truckers window is a nice way of saying "Aye stranger, hows it going be safe out there driver catch ya later" or something like that. Waves from other truckers are most appreciated by the majority of drivers.
C) Stop for a broke down truck on the side of the road if you can: If you see a driver with cones or triangles behind his or her truck, pull over as ask if you can help. Odds are you cant, the broke down driver isn't expecting anybody to really help them, but a really nice gesture. Lets the broken down driver know they are not alone out there. And you never know, maby they are going to have to sit a long time, and could use water, Gatorade, a bit of food ets... Just having somebody to BS with if only for a few seconds really makes the broken down drivers day, not so bad. Everybody will get broken down at some point, I know from experience that it is just the coolest feeling knowing another driver stopped there big rig to see if they could help. Pass on the favor. Same thing for broken down 4 wheelers, but use a lot of discretion for obvious reasons.
D) Always blow your air horn for anyone giving the signal: Little kids love it, even some adults do to. Having this massive big rig blow der air horn is just way cool to most people. Gives us a nice and friendly image as well. Most of the use from my air horn has been public relations. I dig it when people signal me to blow it, and I always do my best to give it to them. Makes me feel I dont know, cool I guess.
E) Don't talk sheit on the CB: Taking smack does nothing, you are not proving anything to anybody. All talking smack does is let everyone know you are a freeking returded, stupid wussy. The trucking world is smaller than you may think, and there are some pretty bright truckers out there, eventually some one will find out who you are and run you off the road, corner you when you stop and make you feel there pain ets... Just not cool on any level, so don't do it.
F) Your personal garbage: Keep it in your truck till you get to a trash can. Do not throw your trash, or urine bottles out the window. This makes us all look like sheet! There is no reason you cant keep your garbage in your truck till you see a garbage can or dumpster. Cans and dumpsters are everywhere, this is for a reason, please use them. Odds are if you throw something out the window, within two hours you will stop someplace which has a garbage are close to your truck, just no reason for it. Most truckers frown on it, many will call other drivers on it if they catch them.
G) Always use the golden rule for every decision you make: Its a very small world even for an OTR trucker. Always do to others as you wish they would do to you. A lot of truckers have very long memories, especially when wronged by somebody. You may get away with disrespecting a trucker today, but who knows a month down the road they may see you and not let you over as you try to get into a crowded off-ramp, may run you off the road 9 months from now if they see you on the ice, ets... An Eye For An Eye. A lot of people have very long memories and will hold on to even a small grudge a very long time. On the flip side, a lot of people have very long memories and will hold on to an IOU for a very long time. When your ace gets in a sling and some stranger who you inadvertently helped out a long time ago may see you and possibly even put there own ace on the line to help you out, as above you probably wont even remember them, but they will dang sure will remember you. 
H) Vigilantism, policing other truckers: This is common practice, although I personally feel its not practiced enough. If you see another trucker doing something wrong, stop them! We are for the most part responsible for policing our own kind in regards to a lot of rules, the federal government has to much policing of us, so its much better left for us to do. This is where say a truck parked in front of you to where you cant pull out when its your time to leave, you go over to the truck blocking you and at the very least give him or her a piece of your mind. If you see anybody in that kind of position jump out and gang up on them. If a trucker is cutting in line at a traffic jam unfairly cutting in front of other trucks, block him by moving your rig partially in there lane, this goes for 4 wheelers as well. If somebody jacks you around, jack them around twice as bad to discourage them. If a trucker throws a bag of fecies out there window, call the cops on them if you cant fight them. ets... In a lot of instances it is necessary for truckers to police and enforce our own policies to prevent bullies, cowards and disrespectful punks from gaining the upper hand. It should be done by everybody. This is to punish bad truckers so they will learn there lesson and become good truckers. Bad truckers beside possibly putting other truckers lives at risk, try to bully there way around which should and a lot of time is stopped. These truckers give all truckers a bad name and image. The only for us to clean up our image is to fight them back by our only means; Vigilantism
I) Bath and wear clean clothes: If you smell like sheet, and are wearing discussing dirty clothing, don't expect anybody to ever do anything nice for you ever. You will get abused by shippers, receivers, bears at scales and inspections, other truckers, attendants at truck stops and any other place you might go, at restaurants ets... Basically if you stink and are disgusting expect to be abused by everybody, and some of these people (at would be me can be downright friggen mean as hell. The less truckers giving the rest of us a bad image by stinking and looking disgusting the better. I personally will do my part to get rid of em, as will many other truckers. You look and smell like sheet, you will be treated like sheet by everybody!
K) Helping out newer or other truckers in tight docks and spots, even giving advice: Some docks are extremely tight and some spots outside of docks are just as tight or hard to maneuver. You see another trucker having a hard time trying to maneuver his or her truck in a tight situation, go out give them a hand, act as a signal person. Give them advice if you have any good advise to give. When I was new not to long ago I had almost zero experience backing on my own and got in many spots I thought were impossible. A lot of times I just had to sweat it out. A lot of times other truckers would come pouring out of the wood work to help me. Talk me threw it, let me know it was OK we all went threw it, really made world of difference to me. Most everything I learned i learned on my own or from other truckers who all worked for different company's. Some of these old timers are extremely bright and helpful. There advise almost made the difference between me succeeding and failing at my job. I now do what I can to pass in on as we all should having been a new person once or just being an older trucker who accidentally got themselves in a stupid bind which does happen to even the most experienced truckers. Just the feeling of helping someone out and there gratitude is sooo worth the effort. I was docked at a tight freezer in Atlanta. This place was super tight, this guy comes to dock in next to me, my truck and trailer on one side another truck on the other side of his slot. He was struggling like hell for a while, I got out looked thought there is no way in hell this guy gonna be able to put it in. Had him stop, disconnected my tractor parked it always down the dock giving him more room, helped flag him in. The dude was just so incredibly appreciative to me, just made it so worthwhile. To have him show me that much appreciation was just the coolest. Anytime you can give advise to another trucker no matter what company he or she works for do it. Anytime you can make another truckers life easier, do it. The rewards are ten fold the effort you put into it.
L) Dont drive in the fast lane with a slow truck: (Thanks for idea Tanker Yanker) Just as Tanker Yanker put it. A slow truck in the fast lane holds up everybody and caused massive congestion behind them. Be respectful of fellow drivers both truck and 4 wheelers. If you are driving slow or slower than the rest of the vehicles stay to the right. If you have trucks or cars passing on the right, put on your right blinker and move over to the slow lane so as to let the faster vehicles go at there speed in the faster lanes.

II Truck stops:

A) Watch your speed! Any noob can throttle it threw a truck parking lot, zooming in high gear threw truck stops doesnt prove anything. It scares the hell out of some drivers, annoys most, and pizzes the hell out of the lot of truckers parked in a truck stop. No matter how tight your run is, dropping to 3-5 MPH when driving threw a truck stop will never hurt your time. 
B) Dont hold up the fuel lines! When getting fuel, be fast and motivated about it. This is where a lot of drivers on tight runs do loose a lot of time, putting them behind schedule and even possibly threatening there job, at the very least making them run a lot faster putting there lives that much more at risk, and definatly making it so they have less leeway time for restroom breaks, or breaks in general to help thwart off fatigue. When getting fuel get it done as fast as possible, then move forward. Once forward of the pumps in the pay area, take a 10 minute break it will take the trucker fueling behind you that much time to finish his business. Dont take anymore than 10 minutes. If you think it will take you longer just find a spot to park in the parking lot. Parking a truck for most only takes an extra couple minutes, then you can take as much time as you want for a shower, food just whatever. This way you will not threaten the truckers livelihood who are waiting behind you. If you are in a rush and you will be, and you have to wait 30 minutes on a tight run for the truckers parked in the pumps to eat ets... and you will encounter this you will know exactly what I mean. Dont be one of them, they put other truckersjobs on the line, tighten up already tight runs of some truckers, take away breaks from truckers on tight runs, force them to push harder and faster putting there lives and the lives of other moterist at risk, and taking away the little slack time they have on there tight run makes there job expiantialy more stress full.
C) Do not wash your pretty chrome fuel tanks with the window washer squeegee! Sounds like common sense but a lot of truckers do this. Obviously it puts oil in the window washer bucket which puts fuel oil on all the windows of the truckers behind them who try to wash there windows with it. Most all fuel pumps have paper towels, use them! If you need to wipe down your pretty tanks grab a wad of free paper towels at the fuel pump dip it in the washer bucket and wipe away, then throw you oily rags in the garbage which is right there beside you.
D) Do not throw your urine or poop collection out at the fuel pump. This is where all truckers half to walk constantly, they do not want to get urine or poop in there truck by way of there shoes, there is a plethora of places to dump these things if you do this kind of thing, and it will not negatively effect any other driver.
E) NO JAKE BREAKS IN PARKING LOTS WHERE TRUCKERS ARE SLEEPING, This means anytime! Truckers sleep around the clock. I like sleeping during the day driving at night, I do swing shift and day shift a lot because I have to as do almost all truckers. We need our down time to wind down, relax, sleep ets... No Freekin reason to fire your jake breaks in a parking lot. It doesn't do you any good at a few miles per hour. It aint gona save your breaks one dam bit by running them in parking lots. It aint gona over heat your breaks. Just no reason for it, other than pizzing the hell out of all the other truckers. It is a small world out there even for an OTR driver, you do it often eventually one day a pizzed off trucker in a really pizzy mood will find you and kick the snot out of you. The only reason to run jake breaks in a parking lot is to pizz off other truckers. When there is a lot of pizzed off truckers in a parking lot and only one of you, just aint a good idea.

III Night driving

A) Parking at night: 1) As said above dont speed, especially at night when people walking threw trucks or between them ets.. are a lot harder to see. Please turn off your headlights when safe to do so and you are in a truck stop aether getting fuel or parking. 2) Turn off your headlights! Most truck stops have lots of flood lights so you dont kneed your headlights on. Running threw a parking lot with your headlights on pizzes off most truckers who are awake. A lot of truckers just got off the road same as you did, sitting in there cab finishing up a bight to eat, finishing there logs, having a smoke break before they hit the sack, or just sitting looking around aimlessly as they wind down from a long days drive. Having bright truck lights shine in there cab pizzes the hell out of everyone. There will always be an exception to this rule when safety requires it. Most understand this as they probley had headlights on as well when they were parking, but do keep your lights on as short as possible, and as soon as you feel its safe to do so promptly turn them off.
B) Passing another truck at night: First thing use rule A. Second thing is when approaching a truck at night, always dim your lights, and turn off your fog lights way before you get close to the slower truck. 1) Being passed at night: When you are being passed at night and the other driver has cleared the 200 foot mark, or you are comfortable with them pulling back in front of you flash your lights at them to let them know your comfortable. Flashing consist of turning your lights off for one to three seconds then turning them back on. It is courtesy of the truck who passes the other to thank them with there tail light interrupter, it flashes there tail lights, most trucks have a little push button for just that reason. If your truck doesn't have one on and off whith lights couple times will be a nice way to say thank you to the other driver.
C) Never run with your fog lights on.There is simply no need for them, they dont really add that much visibility, and in my opinion are completely pointless and should be illegal. To my knowledge there only purpose is solely to pizz off other vehicles. Be respectful and don't use them. They blind the hell out of oncoming trucks, blind the hell out of trucks in front you. Don't use them any time anywhere.
E) Dont flash your brights as a signal its ok to pass. A trucker passes you turn headlights on and off to be nice and tell them its OK to move back over. Flashing your headlights in our barn door sized mirrors blinds the hell out of the truck in front of you and is gonna seriously pizz off that driver.