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Cruisin Christine pilots safe driving in the dangerous world of Oversize Loads

May 14, 2012
Cruisin Christine pilots safe driving in the dangerous world of Oversize Loads

Christine Thiel is an accredited oversize (load) pilot who works in all states. She travels with a 20ft caravan towed by an 80 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

Christine says she works hard to educate motorists how to behave around wide loads, no matter how wide, through caravan forums and trucking magazines like Big Rig, Owner Driver and Truckin' Life.

"I hope to help keep everyone in the 'loop', from both perspectives - trucks and caravanners", Christine said.

The width of (an oversize) load could be anything from three and a half metres wide to eight and a half metres, Christine said.

The number of Pilots and Police Escorts will indicate the potential volume of what may be following. The more escorts the bigger the load. If Police are part of the escort its a really big one, she said.

When an oversize pilot vehicle approaches with sign erect and yellow beacons flashing the first thing to do is slow down, look for a place to pull off the road, and take safe, evasive action.

Drive as close as practicable to the fog line, the white line along the left edge of the bitumen. As much as possible, avoid riding the centre line, she said.

Allowing room in the centre of the road gives following traffic an opportunity to observe oncoming traffic and road conditions ahead, Christine said.

Pilots and truck drivers are not mind readers. Their role is to ensure the safe transportation of the oversize load and to protect motorists from themselves.

Please take care on the roads, drive as carefully as you know how, according to the conditions, and be prepared for the unexpected beyond your control, Christine said.

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