Trucks at Work

Courtesy on the road

It's a ubiquitous sight that greeted me this morning -- a squat concrete mixer truck, obviously fully loaded and heading for a job, inching ever so slowly up Old Keene Mill Road (well below the posted 45 mph speed limit) through greater Springfield, VA. I think to myself, hey, it's rush hour and people are going to be whipping around this guy at ninety miles an hour, flipping him off along the way: we'll be lucky if an accident doesn't occur.

Except ...

First, the driver of this medium-duty International mixer truck (the drum painted in red, white, and blue stripes, just like the American flag) has his yellow hazards on -- and in the misty morning gloom, those flashing yellow lights give all the drivers coming up behind him in the right lane ample time to psss on the left.

Second, at every turn lane or bus lane on the right hand side, he moves over to let traffic pass, again giving time for commuters to get around him safely. He makes smooth lane changes (and it's no wonder -- with the concrete drum turning, he's no doubt worried that a sharp manuever may cause a rollover) and doesn't drive in typical "run fast downhill, creep slow uphill" mode, giving everyone the ability to pass, regardless of the roadway incline.

This is professional driver courtesy in action -- courtesy no doubt completely overlooked by the hundreds of morning commuters plowing past him well above the speed limit. Yet if he (or she -- I couldn't tell from my angle) didn't drive their concrete mixer in this fashion, the hue and cry by way of car horns, flashing headlights, and muffled epithets would've been hard to miss. But all of that got short circuited by a truck driver taking pains to make his journey less of a hassle for others.

Wish I knew your name or that of your company, my friend -- for your efforts, trivial as they may seem to other drivers, did not go unnoticed. Keep up the good work!