Today we are to look at learning why is so important for you to monitor your excessive acceleration.
Now, we are Americans which means we all know and use the expressions same like Ricky Bobby said, “I want to go fast” and the other one where he says “If you are not first, then you are last”.
Well if you are running a mean machine in NASCAR making those never ending left turns, this might be true. But if you’re driving an 80,000 pound big rig, or any class 8 truck, not so much! Slamming on the Jake Brakes won’t help you take that turn!
It’s one thing when you doing excessive acceleration just for the show, and it is other thing when you are out on the open road with other participants in the traffic.
Excessive acceleration isn’t going to help you get to where you’re going. You might be thinking that is a rather dumb statement. Well, on the service perhaps it is!
After all, when you’re watching some trucker movie and there are playing trucker music and songs about having a long way to go and a short time to get there, they are intending to use more than a little excessive acceleration!
But you have to be careful because there are so many other factors to consider besides just going from point A to point B. The first is the most obvious: the weather, than sharing the road with other drivers, law enforcement, and even Department of Transportation officers.
Before we get into all that there are other things to consider. To be honest I am not sure I will be able to cover every single detail related to why monitoring your excessive acceleration is so important.
But as usual I will try to cover as much as I can, so here without delay are the top 10 reasons why you need to monitor excessive acceleration.
So first off, what is meant by excessive acceleration? Is it simply driving too fast? Or it’s the way you operate the fuel pedal? Perhaps is the way you maintain your speed and handle curves and hills? The short answer is, ‘yes’. What I mean by that is it’s all of that, and perhaps more.
Perhaps is the way you maintain your speed and handle curves and hills? The short answer is, ‘yes’. What I mean by that is it’s all of that, and perhaps more.
But let’s break it down into its simplest parts. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines:
So as you can see, excessive acceleration is then exceeding speeds that are appropriate. Keep in mind this can be from a legal point of view, safety related, or regarding other conditions.
Remember a racecar is designed to go fast and handle tight corners while a commercial truck is not designed for that.
Something else to consider is the fact that just because you went through truck driving school and got your CDL doesn’t make you Speed Racer. It makes you a professional truck driver and maybe later on an experienced truck driver too!
So, when you’re driving the open road keep it at a safe speed and refrain from excessive acceleration. As the old commercials used to say, “Drive to arrive”.
This is of course what everyone thinks about when it comes to excessive acceleration. So, I figured I would just jump on the legal train and cover this one first.
Everyone, well most everyone, thinks about the consequences of their action before they do something.
A good percentage of us will often go so far as to think what are the legal consequences for my actions? Of course that doesn’t always stop us!
We as human often tend to look at the risk versus the reward. So from a trucking perspective, if you are able to get from point A to point B faster you will have more time on the road. This means more money in your pocket, right?
Not necessarily, my friend!
If you see lights, rollers, strobes, flashers, cherries and berries… man I could do an article just on slang terms for the police.
But if you see them in your truck mirrors, it usually isn’t good! It means the police have targeted you and you are being stopped. Now it is too late to rethink the use of excessive acceleration!
Something else to consider is that if you get stopped in regular vehicle, and there is nothing else involved with the stop, you are looking at about 15 minutes delay.
Now, if there are other reasons for the stop or other suspicious activity, then the clock runs longer.
But if you’re in a big truck, you could be looking at hours on the side of the road. They would like to see and check everything, from your fuel transfer tank to your truck exhaust, to paperwork and electronic logs!
They have full right to doing all of that once they pull you over!
The national average for a speeding ticking $150! But it does depend on how much over you’re going and in which state you’re driving in.
Top on that few hundreds dollars more, because I am sure they will find something else that’s against the rules or not working properly! It adds up quickly!
Now this is where excessive acceleration can really hurt you! You might be thinking losing a couple hurts of drive time and getting a pick fine hurts enough.
But things that makes the safety rating hurt is that could cost you your job. It could affect your company or the trucking company you are working for.
Furthermore, it could be what cost you potential trim and clients. Chicken Little cried about the sky and I know some of you will say this is what I’m doing here. Well in reality, it depends on the number of tickets and the speed at which it was written.
Of course each state has its own individual point system and such. However, excessive acceleration which gets you clocked doing 20 or more over the posted limited, and it becomes more than a fine!
This information will be reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They in turn compile this information and it becomes a matter of public record.
The FMCSA has their compliance program. They take every accident, ticket, and other violations then put all this information together in the report. From there they come up with you and your organizations safety rating.
From this customers can determine which carrier will most likely do the best and safest job of transporting their products.
Now we all have heard this, excessive acceleration does burn more fuel! There have been numerous studies regarding this fact. How had been up for debate.
It depends on the grade of fuel, your type of vehicle, the vehicles age, and how well it has been maintained. Of course there are other factors such as weather and traffic conditions as well.
But aggressive driving and excessive acceleration truly does waste more fuel than is worth it. This is especially true if you are travelling over long distances.
But as I mentioned, those studies have determined that poor driving habits can reduce you gas mileage by as much as 30%!!!!
You might have company fuel card and think that you can spend that extra gas, but on the end of the day, you might earn an extra ticket for that!
So, don’t use excessive acceleration, or limit it as much as possible. Think if you could save just 15% of your fuel usage how much further you could get between fill-ups.
But, if you insist on excessive acceleration you might as well not have any anti-siphoning protection on your tank either, because clearly you don’t care about losing fuel.
But, it is your tires that take a huge amount of the punishment. They are the only thing that actually contacts the road. You can pick up nails or other hazards while going from place to place.
Even sitting on a truck stop, you could get a screw in your tire! There are also the yards with big rocks that get stuck between the duallies. That can be a real pain to pry them free.
Something else that gets your tires is excessive acceleration. That’s right, going too fast creates friction, heat and breaks down the structural integrity of your tires.
Also if you’re going too fast and need to suddenly break, the added friction will burn away several miles of good rubber.
The last thing you want is to tear up your tires and find yourself stuck in the middle of East-Nowhere with bad tires.
Now you’ll lose time and money getting them replaced, but what is even worst, is prematurely wearing down your tires and then reducing their ability to stop the truck. If this causes an accident you’ll be in a heap of trouble.
Now we all have heard about CO2 emissions and how it is related to climate change. I am not going to get into that debate. You are smart I’ll let your research it for yourself.
Now, there is thing that is not debatable, and that is that pollution is bad. Well excessive acceleration does that, and releases toxins and pollutants in the air.
Your truck muffler system is designed to handle ‘X’ amount of particles. But when it reaches more than that, they escape out your vehicle’s exhaust system.
This added unfiltered dirt ends up in the air we breathe! It can also settle into our clothes, our food, and even our water. It doesn’t just disappear, now we all know some does but there are particle that don’t until they find somewhere to land.
So if you don’t mind smog then you are one of the few! Excessive acceleration really can increase the amount of smog like you see in the major cities!
Here is something I bet you don’t think about when it comes to excessive acceleration. The wear and tear on your truck is directly related to the way you drive.
The harder and rougher you handle you truck, the more it will get beat up and look like one of those bitten trucks you seeing on the truck auctions. I am not really speaking about the body.
No, this goes back to your tires. There can only absorb so much of the highways rough patches and potholes. That is why you have shocks, and why big trucks have their big expensive shock absorbers.
But if you’re racing down the road and bouncing all over the place they have to work overtime. This added stress can really cause more issues with your truck.
As you bounce along the road your entire truck is shaking. Now you might have a good captain’s seat and perhaps a good seat cushion. So this makes it so you don’t feel the road, or not as much, but I assure you the truck does!
And if you are voiced to stop suddenly all that weight will still have the forward momentum. Think if a tissue box can fly across the cab; just imagine the force that is pulling on the rest of your truck. So don’t forget, excessive acceleration really can tear off a truck, more than calm steady driving.
Now I touched on this one already, but then I got to thinking, some points need to be driven home. I can’t stress to you the importance of maintain a proper safety rating. But if you are the type that thinks excessive acceleration is the right way to operate perhaps you in the wrong industry.
If you get a bad safety rating you could lose your job over it. It could cost your company contracts, and could hurt the other drivers who work for the company, as now they can’t get trips. Further, it will affect your insurance rates, if you get ticketed.
There is something else you need to consider about your safety rating. If you lose your job because of excessive acceleration there is a very good chance you won’t get picked up by other companies.
Why should they hire you? After all, they don’t want your tainted record associated with their company and they will hire only the best drivers out there!
Excessive acceleration can harm more than your safety rating, the company safety rating, and the truck. It can actually cause injuries to any passengers that are riding in the truck with you.
That’s right, you risking hurting those you care about. Whether it is your darling spouse, your co-worker (if you are doing team driving), or the person you met in the lot the night before.
The sudden stops can force them to fly out, or they might get whiplash from being jerked against the seatbelt. It could cause an anxiety attack from the fear cause by excessive acceleration.
It could cause epilepsy from the lights whizzing by at ludicrous speed.
Or even worse, if the excessive acceleration causes you to have an accident you could seriously injure or even kill that passenger and yourself! You could also cause fatal injuries to other drivers on the road.
Regardless if the accident was your fault or not, if you’re excessive acceleration made you unable to stop in time; can you guess who is at fault?
If you suddenly, “feel the need, the need for speed”, pop in Top Gun, or perhaps you have some other movies about travelling really fast. But whatever you do, don’t hop in your truck and race down the highway like you are on some unstoppable mission.
Excessive acceleration is one of the major causes for accidents on the road. Keep in mind that the warnings about excessive acceleration is not just about possible speeding tickets, safety ratings, wear and tear on your vehicle, or even the environment. It is about you being as safe as you can. It is about you actually arriving to your destination, in good health.
Are you one to push the limits of excessive acceleration? Have you been pulled for excessive acceleration (speeding)? Share your thoughts and stories with us.