You’ll find the cruise control technology in many small vehicles. It is an impressive technology that reduces stress on drivers. But surely, semi-trucks are too big to have cruise control, right?
Many semi-trucks have cruise control. Some older models with manual transmission have it too. Cruise control in semi-trucks helps to improve driving efficiency and fuel economy.
This article tells you everything you need to know about cruise control in semi-truck.
Cruise Control in Semi-Trucks
Truck drivers, especially OTR drivers, often travel miles unending. In a semi-truck without cruise control, they would have to keep their feet on the gas pedal all the while, which can cause fatigue and muscle cramps. But with cruise control, the drivers can ease their foot off the pedal without stopping.
The cruise control of a semi-truck or any other vehicle does something similar to what plane autopilots do. When you turn on cruise control, your truck remains at a set speed without matching the gas pedal.
However, truckers have to ensure they always keep their speed limits below the legal speed limit of where they’re driving. This way, they’re not going too fast to stop in an emergency, and they don’t pose a significant danger to other vehicles that get stuck in their blind spots.
Talking about blind spots, there’s a cruise control technology for trucks that intuitively slows the semi-truck down when other vehicles get too close.
Adaptive cruise control works like regular cruise control, only that it automatically slows your semi-truck down when vehicles get too close. Only the latest semi-trucks, however, have adaptive cruise control technology.
Benefits of Cruise Control In Trucks
Cruise control is not just a fancy technology. It has practical purposes that can save lives, save fuel, and preserve the truck driver's health.
Fuel economySlow traveling and at a constant speed saves fuel. Some trucking companies even advise their drivers to use cruise control, but with caution.
Reduced stressStress and muscle fatigue are common problems among truck drivers. Constantly matching and releasing the accelerator pedal can stress the muscles excessively. But cruise control relieves truck drivers of that stress, allowing them to get some stretches in without losing time.
Proof of legal speedIf an accident happens when your cruise control is on, the ECM of the truck can be your proof that you were driving within the legal speed limit. And this piece of information can be what exonerates you from undue penalties after investigation.
Of course, this could quickly go against you if you were driving above the legal speed limit at the time of the accident.
Tips on Using Cruise Control In Semi Trucks
For truckers looking to take full advantage of their rigs’ cruise control, here are tips that should keep them in control.
1. Be wary of highway hypnosis.
Cruise control takes the responsibility of always having to match the accelerator pedal off you. However, don’t get so relaxed with your cruise control engaged that you doze off or fall into highway hypnosis.
2. Don’t use cruise control in bad weather.
Cruise control is only meant for when the driving conditions are favorable and the road is dry. You want to be in complete control of your semi-truck in bad weather, not a computer.
Some trucking companies even have rules that prevent their drivers from engaging cruise control in bad weather conditions.
3. Don’t use cruise control at high speeds.
You shouldn’t even be driving at high speeds at all, as a truck driver. And if you do for any reason, do not engage your cruise control. Instead, be in total control of your semi-truck to avoid accidents.
Semi-trucks have cruise control, and it is an impressive piece of technology that helps them relieve stress, save fuel, and drive efficiently.
But before you engage the cruise control in your truck, remember only to use it during favorable weather conditions and at reasonably low speeds. Also, get good rest before you drive so that you don’t doze off while your cruise control is engaged.