The Truck Friendly program is designed to help car drivers, caravan owners and RV drivers better understand how to work with truck drivers on Australian highways, in rest stops and other areas where the various groups come in contact.
Although originally written for the Queensland market this can easily be expanded to Australia wide distribution.
We have the annual Grey Nomad season here in Queensland and there will be thousands of caravanners and RV’s on our roads as they migrate from the colder southern states into sunny Queensland and beyond for a warmer winter.
As a caravan owner myself, I have seen both sides of the argument between who is right and who is wrong in the Truck verses caravan debate on our roads.
As you may be aware statistics show 93% of all fatal car verses truck accidents are the fault of the car whether they have a caravan in tow or not.
Countless hours are wasted by truck drivers who are slowed to arrive at their destination on time or pushed out of truck stops, due to caravanners not knowing how to or not wanting to help trucks on the roads.
Resulting in many truck drivers spend extra time on the roads away from family and loved ones.
Currently, people can buy a caravan, hook it up behind their car or 4x4 and tow it around Australia without any formal training of any sort. The result is a severe lack of knowledge on how their 13 + meter rig can affect other road users including the lifeblood of our country the trucking industry. It should also be remembered that many caravan and RV owners are aging retirees, in holiday mode, with slowing reflexes and other medical concerns.
A small amount of education on what to do, and what not to do, will go a long way to making our roads safer and less stressful for all road users.
I have written the ‘Truck Friendly’ program to help with this education and ask for assistance to help to get it launched.
The program in brief:-
I am a caravanner and I help truckies where ever it is safe to do so by pulling over or giving them a call on the UHF to let them know I want to help. This web site explains many ways that caravanners and RV drivers can help.
However, I understand some caravanners and RV drivers can be a pain to both truck drivers and other road users including other caravanners by their lack of knowledge or concern for how they are affecting other road users and the knock on effect that this has. I have also seen many ignorant drivers of trucks and other vehicles as I am sure you all have.
After reading and understanding the information on this web site or booklets available soon, a 'Truck Friendly' green sticker can then be stuck onto the back of caravans and RV’s that have UHF on channel 40 and are prepared to assist truckies where ever practical. This sticker would be placed in the upper driver’s side of the rear of the caravan or RV and therefore is easily identifiable from a distance by drivers behind the RV or caravan in tow.
Only caravanners and RV drivers with UHF on 40 / 18 and prepared to help trucks should get a sticker.
This approx. 300 - 350mm sticker will change in design in line with new sponsors / advertisers once they are on board the project. Although all stickers are basically the same, different sponsors can be promoted on the bottom of the sticker to help spread cost of printing and promote different user groups such as sponsors like CIL Caravan and RV Insurance, caravan or RV organisations, trucking companies, retailers, fast food and many others.
The project also includes education on overtaking, using truck stops, parking and other issues where trucks, RV’s and caravans coexist.
I am sure that a second, and similar, ‘Supporter Sticker’ on the back of trucks would also help promote interest in the project and start discussions.
How many hours per month are drivers behind a truck in traffic just looking for something to take their interest in the form of something to read on the back of a truck?
( i.e.; “I support the ‘Truck Friendly’ program”.)
Is this something that would help build a relationship between the different road user groups and help make everyone get home safely and less stressed?
The truck drivers I help appreciate it. I would also welcome some additional feedback from you and your workmates and friends on the road.
Sponsorship is needed to print and distribute the booklets and stickers, promote and run this program including this web site. Many commercial organisations would share the web site link I am sure.
CIL Caravan and RV Insurance have already supported this program to help get it to this stage and Caravanning Queensland supports the project and has also offered assistance with distribution through their network of member caravan parks, dealers and other industry professionals.
I am sure there are many truck drivers and companies who will throw a box or two of booklets on the back of their truck to help distribute them.
Advertising within the booklet will help offset the printing costs.
Once launched, main stream media (News and lifestyle programs etc.) can be contacted to help promote the project and its sponsors.
Caravanners are a social bunch and this can be used to our advantage at 4 o’clock drinks when others see the large sticker on the back of the van and ask about it.
For maximum impact, I believe having this project supported from both the trucking industry and caravan / RV organisations is our best option.
Promotion of the project, once launched, through the trucking companies to their drivers will also assist greatly in a cooperative and understanding attitude from all road users. Owner Driver magazine have offered to do a story for their magazine on the project.
Currently, I am doing this as a private citizen with my own funds and time and not through any organisation and need assistance with costs and any photographs that may be suitable for printing as described in the booklet and would welcome receipt of any suitable photographs to help get our message across. I would also like to hear from any organisation able to assist with this project.
As a private citizen, I cannot access the many Government funding grants available for projects such as this that may be accessable to community not for profit organisations and corporations.
Bundaberg is my home town (postcode 4670) and has the second highest caravan population density in Australia.
Thank you and I look forward to any feedback or offers of assistance you may have.