One of the most challenging situations on the roads is with a truck catching up behind a van and the van driver. The van driver believes they are doing the right thing, unnecessarily slows down and moves to the left. By slowing before the truck has pulled out to overtake the van forces the truck to slow, losing its momentum and road speed, which it then has to recover before attempting to pass again. Though moving left can reduce wind buffeting for the van, with a rough or broken edge it can make controlling the trailer more difficult and can throw up stones from this normally unused section of road. The truck will always have to cross the centre line, so only move left when conditions warrant it. We would recommend maintaining your speed and position until the heavy vehicle pulls out to overtake, and if you wish to assist, lift your foot gently off the accelerator. Once the vehicle is safely back on the right side of the road then regain your travelling speed.
“Caravan CB”, UHF 18 is now widely recognised, and while unofficial (but still within Australian Communication Authority Guidelines) with your van signed front and back, it provides on-road communication between vanners and truckies when needed, and if used during overtaking, takes away the guesswork of what each party is going to do. Caravan CB has been growing slowly now over several years and is promoted through interested caravan clubs, parks, industry organisations and magazines along with, the trucking industry. Truckies generally use channel 40 on UHF.
The emergency channel is five on UHF.
The more who join in and participate in “Caravan CB”, the wider the benefits will be. Signs are available from a number of clubs or you can make your own.
FRONT – UHF 18
REAR – UHF 18 With the option of adding your name, eg Bill and Sue, to ensure you get the right van.
(Minimum 100 mm high letters)
With caravan speeds often limited by towing vehicle manufacturers capacities and or ratings, it is worth considering the capabilities of your combination as a whole in choosing a safe road speed. Secure, suitable mirrors and a proper towing hitch should be included, along with putting your unit over a weighbridge to ensure correct weights and improved safety. A UHF radio should prove a valuable addition. You might consider joining a caravan club to access the experiences of others or look to caravan magazines for information or even attending a caravan clinic to see you start with some experience, rather than learn from scratch on the road, which has seen some learn very costly lessons.
Caravans – When being overtaken, maintain speed and position, only slow when the truck has moved out to pass. Quality mirrors, towing hitches and good advice are priceless. A UHF radio can also be worthwhile. WE FULLY SUPPORT THE IDEA AND BENEFITS OF CARAVAN CB, UHF 18 and the fitting of Caravan CB stickers on the front and rear of your van.