Take it from a European, mandating speed limiters won’t work

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Dear Editor:

Congratulations for the new position as editor of Truck News. As a truck driver I enjoy the magazine and look forward to receiving it each month. I have looked forward to having a magazine that understands our way of life, and your December editorial grants our wishes.

The only thing you need to really enjoy that Calgary-Toronto road trip is trading your Corolla for a Western Star – or any Class 8 truck.

Riding over the traffic and the guardrails and having a much bigger seat and space to breathe – and you even get paid for driving! Then again, we’d lose a great editor, so stick with the Corolla!

To say a bit about myself, I was born in Spain and have been in the long-haul seat (in Europe) since I was 20. I moved to Canada six months ago (I’m 24) and still enjoying trucking.

I want to comment on the speed limiter issue. I was raised with them in Europe, survived it, and I am still driving trucks with speed limiters. I discovered (in shock) that many companies already use the speed limiters (up to 105 km/h) to benefit from lower fuel consumption, safer drivers and cheaper insurance, so whether they are legally imposed or not, any driver will be getting used to them in the near future, and any O/O that is looking to lower his costs and work with a better profit margin will discover the benefits of a speed limiter.

Personally I am totally against having a law about it, because it will interfere with traffic and it will worsen the image of trucking. Has someone pictured the idea of a truck needing several kilometres to pass another truck? It happens all the time in Europe. Sure, one truck will have the limiter clocked at 105.3 km/h, while the truck being passed will be clocked at 104.9km/h.

It depends on the wheels. It depends on the computer. It is impossible to get two trucks running exactly the same. And it is impossible (most times) to match an impatient driver and a driver willing to disengage the cruise control to give a buddy a break.

While in Europe, the OTA must not have travelled the endless French or German motorways at a constant 90 klicks behind an endless series of truck convoys passing each other.

What I am in favour of, is that trucks be limited at the discretion of the company, or the owner, and that way you get several ranges of speeds and don’t interfere with the traffic.

Again, thank you for a job well done.

Roger E. Escuain

Via e-mail

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Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.

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