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Damage from trucks

edited November -1 in General Discussion
I've lost light lenses & windshields, had grills/air dams ruined, dents, chips, and broken wipers from truck drivers/companies who do not clean/secure their trucks/loads before hitting the road. So if all of these trucks are "Not responsible for items thrown from the road," who is?
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Comments

  • edited July 2009
    It is the responsibility of the truck driver to secure her or his cargo. That especially goes for those who haul gravel and dirt. What you are finding is lax enforcement that leads to drivers being lazy and not tarping the cargo area.

    If you are talking about debris that gets kicked up by the tires from the road, it is the responsibility of the state or local government to keep the roads free of debris.

    If you encounter a truck with unsecured cargo, you have two choices. You can call your state troopers from your cell phone (in Florida it is *FHP), and report the truck. The other option is to report it to your state's Department of Transportation. Of course, in either case, you will first need the truck number or a license plate number, which isn't always easy to find.

    The best thing to do when you encounter a truck with unsecured cargo is to keep your distance. That kind of debris usually does the most damage to vehicles immediately behind it.
  • edited July 2009
    A responsible driver tarps a load and sweeps the deck of a flatbed/lowboy/gooseneck/gravel/grain etc.,etc trailer.

    I have inspected several vehicles where the driver tracked down the offending semi and they in turn reported this to their insurance companies and paid to repair rock chips, it happens, BUT one must be realistic and know that not all rocks will be/can be removed from the deck.

    The best thing to do is keep your distance and when passing do not take 5 minutes or 5 miles to do it. Some of this is logic, ie, keep away.

    I am asking, not suggesting, with that much damage how close do you stay behind these trucks? For several years I had a job in which I drove 50,000 miles a year and all I got was 2 chips in the windshield ( but I did kill a couple of tons of bugs ).
  • edited July 2009
    I've spent 35 years in the highway construction industry, working around trucks loaded with stone and other construction materials, and I've driven several hundred thousand miles in all weather conditions, both in the city and on the highway. In all that time I've only had ONE broken headlight lens caused by debris kicked up by another vehicle.

    I've seen debris falling from trucks, and I've seen rocks and debris kicked up off the roadway, but even if these items struck my vehicle they did not do any noticeable damage.

    If things are falling from trucks, the drivers/owners are responsible. If debris on the road is kicked up by the vehicle in front of you, that's different.

    How close are you following these trucks that are losing their loads or kicking up stones from the road?
  • edited July 2009
    [quote]from truck drivers/companies who do not clean/secure their trucks/loads before hitting the road. So if all of these trucks are "Not responsible for items thrown from the road," who is? [/quote]

    Er, these are two different issues you raise. If it falls from the truck, then it is not thrown from the road, is it?

    Trucks without fenders or other protective measures around the tire are supposed to have "mud flaps" to prevent stones from being flung up off the roadway into your path. If the truck owner has taken all of the normal precautions, then the occasional thrown stone is considered a road hazard and your comprehensive coverage should cover your losses (assuming you have it).

    If stones are falling from the bed of a dump truck, then I believe it is the truck driver's responsibility for any damage. Although I know of one instance where the person who's car was damaged was rebuffed in small claims court. I was amazed because I thought they had a good case for negligence against the trucking company. Goes to show, you never know...
  • edited July 2009
    Part of the problem--at least in my neck of the woods--is that some very heavy dump trucks seem to have worn out their mudflaps many eons ago. There is still a mudflap of sorts hanging there, but it frequently looks like it is about a foot shorter than it should be, as a result of wear and tear over the years. When these mudflaps are far too short, they do little to prevent rocks from being thrown by the rear tires.

    In fact, on some of these trucks, I have actually seen the mudflaps riding on top of the rear tires, so that gives you some idea of just how worn-out they are. The result is as if there was no mudflap to prevent rocks from being thrown by those big tires. So, in some cases--or perhaps many cases--while the debris in question was thrown from the roadway, the equipment operator is actually responsible as a result of the defective equipment on his truck.

    Regarding this problem, clearly the police need to start pulling these trucks over to ticket them for defective equipment. However, it is also clear that this is not a high priority for the police--hence the problem.

    My solution, as was already suggested by others, is to follow these trucks at a safe distance, which is actually pretty far back. If I need to pass, I floor the gas and get past them as fast as I possibly can.
  • edited July 2009
    Mud flaps are only required on the rear set of tires, and they are only required to come down half the length (or diameter) of the tire.

    When I drove a truck, I was regularly subjected to routine DOT inspections. If you see mudflaps that worn, they must be on local trucks, but as long as they come down half way, they are legal. Many mud flaps start out longer than they need to be.

    It is true that the police don't think this is a high priority, but most states have dedicated DOT officers to enforce these laws.
  • edited July 2009
    We have some fairly dedicated DOT in these parts-but they seem more interested in in handing out so called overload tickets.
    87 Audi, your not out driving around when snow removal is taking place are you?I can tell you about the state of the roads-dirty,there is a little bit of everything laying on the roads.I often stop,where possible and remove nails,metal,etc;from the road surface-Kevin
  • edited July 2009
    "The Road" is not a place for the faint of heart. You pay your money and you take your chances...If you can't afford $1000 windshields and $700 headlight buckets, choose a car with more reasonable replacement parts...
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