5 great tips for good Trucker etiquette

You see it in the movies all the time – truckers in the USA refer to each other as ‘good Buddy’, and although we may have other greetings here in South Africa, it is worth noting what can make you a ‘good buddy’ to your fellow truckers.

There are a few basic ways you can show respect to each other, and as these also make for safer driving, it’s definitely worth knowing these 5 great tips for good Trucker etiquette…

1 – Hold the flashing – It has become almost common practice for some truckers to flash their brights to show another trucker that they are safe to merge after passing. This can be dangerous though and is at least quite irritating for fellow truckers.

Experienced truckers say a good trucker will know when to merge anyway, but to be polite, it’s better practice just to turn your lights off and on again (no Brights) quickly to give your good buddy the signal.

2 – Let him pass – When another truck is trying to pass you, and you notice he’s struggling to because he doesn’t have the power, slow down a little and let him past. It’s better to lose a few seconds than to never let anyone pass, or worse still, cause a major accident by being stubborn. When you see him again recommend that he/she gets a FAW truck!

3 – Keep your distance – On the other end of the scale, if you have the power and it’s you who are wanting to pass, please keep a safe following distance until you are sure that you can. This is basic road safety, but at the same time, it shows respect to your fellow trucker.

Move over slowly and with plenty of space in front of you. An experienced fellow trucker will indicate to you when it is safe to pass too.

4 – Put the phone down when driving – This also is basic road safety and showing compliance with the law. Talking and texting at the best of times is dangerous when driving. To do so when passing is recklessly endangering your own and your fellow trucker’s life. In trucks, in particular, only hands-free kits or headphones should be used anyway.

5 – Be a buddy off the road too – Being a good trucker means not only being polite to other drivers on the road, but to conduct yourself professionally off the road too. Be respectful to the shippers and receivers of goods at all times…and show respect to fellow truckers at truck stops at every opportunity. We will cover more on this topic in a future article.

Get the best

Happy truckers are those who drive the best vehicles. As a fleet owner or small transport company, check out the amazing range of top-class new and used trucks available in the FAW stable.

We hope these 5 great tips for good Trucker etiquette will be helpful to you and your drivers. Contact us to find out about our excellent Driver training programmes and our massive network of competent, accredited Dealers nationwide.

Homegrown trucks with an international background

In any country with the kind of economic issues we in South Africa face, international investment is a much-needed injection of capital. Even more importantly, if that investment includes the creation of an established manufacturing facility, which provides much-needed employment, it is to be welcomed with open arms.

Thanks to the astute assessment by successful entrepreneur Richard H. Leiter of the value of a range of Chinese trucks for our harsh and demanding conditions, just such a company was formed in 1994. More importantly, within 20 years of its foundation, a range of homegrown trucks with an international background was born.

History in the making The company formed was FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (PTY) LTD and immediately recognising the importance of their corporate social responsibility, a manufacturing plant, built at the cost of R600 million, based in Coega in the Eastern Cape was established.

History was made on the 10th of July 2014 when the first FAW commercial vehicle, wholly made in SA, rolled off the assembly line. What a significant achievement this was for FAW South Africa and the people who had worked so hard for it.

FAW had finally realised its dream to provide the opportunity for South African’s to buy locally made Chinese origin trucks and today the plant builds an entire 14-model range of commercial vehicles sold in South Africa locally.

In 2016, FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa (Pty) Ltd produced the 2 000th locally built truck at the plant, just two years after the first – a magnificent achievement which has, in turn, lead to the plant’s current capacity to produce over 5 000 trucks per annum!

No ordinary facility

This is no ordinary facility either. The 30 000m² Coega plant has state of the art training facilities and is one of few local OEMs to have built a three 000m² Truck Body-building Shop, together with an appropriate Paint Shop Facility. The paint Shop Facility is equipped with state of the art technologies to produce long-lasting truck body paint and finish.

Always putting its people first, FAW’s compliance with all health and safety, environment and quality (SHEQ) standards is rigidly practised. Designed in accordance with environmental recommendations and standards, the plant is efficient, cost-effective, and the buildings are well equipped with ample ventilation, natural light and wide aisle space.

No ordinary people

We believe that a company that cares for its people is always rewarded. Thanks to our disciplined and dedicated workforce, we have not only maintained standards but have received an international FAW award in recognition for our outstanding quality!

From importer to exporter

The measure of a real success story is in the extent of the final outcome and this is an impressive one. Today this range of homegrown trucks with an international background is achieving international aspirations! FAW South Africa is now supplying trucks not only to the South African market but the rest of Africa as well. The current projections are that eventually only 40% of our products will be destined for South Africa, whilst 60% will be exported. Contact us to receive the personalised attention we so pride ourselves on conveying to all our customers and visit our website to view our full range of proudly South African manufactured vehicles.

We are now a true business citizen of South Africa and have positively affirmed our original assessment of SA with our motto – ‘Built in South Africa, for Africa!’

4 pillars of support your truck manufacturer’s network should provide!

You hear it all too often. People who buy trucks for their vital work fleets who are let down or disappointed in one way or another. They are not backed up with a real support system and so parts, servicing and especially inadequate warranties become problematic, in some cases after quite a short time.

Well, before you even make the decision to purchase your next work vehicle, whether it is a freight carrier, truck tractor, tipper or mixer, here are 4 pillars of support your truck manufacturer’s network should provide …if they don’t, look around until you find the one that does!

1 Parts, servicing and an adequate dealer network

Ensure that your truck manufacturer’s network is adequate. This should cover a dealer network at least in Gauteng, Durban and the Cape. Parts should be immediately available to these dealers and self-servicing customers.

The company’s dealers should be able to provide service facilities with up to date, state of the art equipment and highly trained technicians, able to competently service and repair all your work vehicles.

2 Technical training

For those who prefer to utilise their own workshops and facilities, your manufacturer’s network should be able to offer your people specialised technical training. This will ensure that your fleet is optimally maintained. Customers in need of specialist maintenance should also be assisted.

3 Driver training

Exceptional manufacturers even provide driver training at the customer’s request and in particular for any driver who needs additional training to ensure they are obtaining the optimal output on a vehicle.

4 Warranties, customer service and remote support

FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA (PTY) Ltd who offer an excellent range of FAW work vehicles tick all of these boxes, including offering the following:

Service plans – 3 years on 5-ton vehicles; Full maintenance plans – 3 years on 8-ton vehicles. Good reliable service plans and warranties are essential.

FAW also operates through an approved and accredited dealer network, providing sales and service support across the Southern African region. After-sales agents have been specially trained to provide emergency service support to customers wherever they may need it.

We support our customers 24/7/365, whether on or off-road, with a FAW dedicated number linked to a ‘trigger number’ answered at a specialised Emergency Call Centre. If the incident can’t be immediately resolved telephonically, where required, assistance with towing is arranged.

Find a dealership near you or contact us directly to ensure that when you purchase your next work vehicle, you will have the 4 pillars of support your truck manufacturer’s network should provide!