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Stickers on Trucks - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
Stickers on Trucks
Lots of semi-trucks have stickers on them -- messages to those of us driving behind them. A perfect example is one that's been around for years: Warning, this vehicle makes wide turns.

A more recent one that I've always thought was useful is: If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you. It's a good reminder, a simple way to stay visible to trucks and other vehicles on the road.

I suppose these stickers have become a bit too common. Or maybe there is just a trucker out there somewhere who is trying to jolt me into awareness. It is, after all, very dangerous to pass a truck on its right, especially when it is in the process of making one of those wide turns they love so much.

At any rate, today I saw a big truck in front of me with two stickers on the back. They were both standard bumper-sticker-size, both in simple black and white. The one on the left read: Passing Side, with an arrow pointing left. The one on the right, with an arrow pointing right, read: Suicide. They surprised me until I voiced the words inside my head.....

It's certainly harsh, but it did a good job of shocking its point home.

Oh, and why do they call one of these things a "semi-truck" when it's so much bigger than other trucks?
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Comments
specialagentm From: specialagentm Date: September 8th, 2006 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Semi-truck is just a shortening of "semi-trailer truck":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-trailer

So, it's the trailer that is semi-something, not the truck.

(cues up "The More You Know" music)
elizilla From: elizilla Date: September 8th, 2006 03:40 am (UTC) (Link)
They call themselves "bigtrucks", said like it's just one word. Pickups and cars are all "four wheelers".
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: September 8th, 2006 09:29 am (UTC) (Link)
What're motorcycles? "Speedbumps?"

(That's just comedy, BTW. On the whole, I trust "bigtruck" drivers a lot more than "four wheeler" drivers.)
marsgov From: marsgov Date: September 8th, 2006 10:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Somewhere here I just read about the sticker on the back of a Baby Ruth truck... ah, here:
Best Semi seen on the trip: In Ohio, one semi had a large picture of a Baby Ruth candy bar at the bottom of the trailer's back doors. Above the picture, filling up the rest of the space, were the following very large words: "If you can taste the whole peanuts and creamy caramel, you're too close."
rmeidaking From: rmeidaking Date: September 8th, 2006 11:49 am (UTC) (Link)
"Oh, and why do they call one of these things a "semi-truck" when it's so much bigger than other trucks?"

Have you ever seen one without a trailer? That's why. They're basically an engine, a cab and a whopping big trailer hitch. I remember thinking, "Yep, that's half a truck." It's still really tall, and has six wheels, but it's short and stubby. It also makes more sense when you're in Indiana or somewhere that allows three-trailer road-trains. The little part at the front is the truck; all the rest is trailer(s).
johnridley From: johnridley Date: September 8th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Semi" means semi-mounted. I know the term from farm implements, though I'm not sure if that's the base origin.

There are basically three kinds of implements.

Trailer implements - the implement is completely self-supporting, and just attaches to the tractor via a trailer hitch (which might actually support a bit of weight, but not much). I think most modern implements are trailers, because they've gotten so large that mounting them becomes impossible.

Semi-mounted - the tractor supports a large part of the implement. On a farm implement this means it will be attached to the 3-point hitch, but will have some of its own wheels to support the load. In the case of trailers, this is a 5th wheel trailer, where the rear axle of the pull vehicle supports a large percentage of the weight of the trailer.

Mounted - there aren't many of these in terms of farm implements. Small moldboard plows fit this category; they're entirely supported by the tractor's 3-point hitch at all times. This is only possible for very small plows; 1 or 2 bottoms. If you get beyond that you can't support it, since in operation moldboard plows pull down hard, and the tractor doesn't have enough weight to hold against the pull. I don't know if there's an analog for cargo vehicles, though maybe a skip loader would count.

OK, there's a 4th kind; self-propelled. Combines, dedicated sprayers, etc. Things with their own drive system built in.

Semi-mounting implements doesn't really make sense anymore, the implements need to be lifted off the ground when not in use and they are too big for the tractor to cantilever against, and it'd destroy the really quite expensive tractor tires to put that much weight on the rear axle. But it's the perfect solution for large over-the-road containers.

When I'm on the road, I trust truck drivers immensely more than drivers of passenger vehicles. Truck drivers are pros, and as long as you respect the fact that they're doing really a very difficult job and have significant handling and visibility issues, they almost always act in a professional and predictable way. For the most part people have trouble with semis when they don't give them the respect that something going at speed weighing dozens of tons should get. They just can't manuver quickly, and if you do something that requires them to, you're going to become unhappy.

By contrast, I always assume that passenger car drivers are either half-asleep, inattentive, distracted, think that they own the road and you're a worm for daring to be in their way, or at least are ignorant of most basic traffic rules/law. To be fair, that might only describe about half the drivers on the road, but it's the safe assumption to make.
drteeth26 From: drteeth26 Date: September 9th, 2006 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)
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<<Oh, and why do they call one of these things a "semi-truck" when it's so much bigger than other trucks?>>

For the same reason you can park in a driveway and drive in a parkway. :)
mrdisco99 From: mrdisco99 Date: September 9th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I saw this pair on a trailer once...

<-- guts | nuts -->

mbumby From: mbumby Date: September 11th, 2006 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

another punnish pair of stickers

When I was quite young I was introduced to a new word and a fun concept when I saw the following 2 stickers on a truck:

<-- Overtaker Undertaker -->
rj_lupins_kat From: rj_lupins_kat Date: September 17th, 2006 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent. Those stickers are accurate and jolting - as they should be.
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