Here’s What Truckers Say Wyoming Drivers Are Doing Wrong

You're traveling along the vast emptiness of Interstate 80 and you pull into the left lane to pass two 18-wheelers when the first one pulls into the passing lane right in front of you. Do they do that on purpose?

Jake Nichols

April 24, 20239 min read

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Here’s a common scenario. You’re barreling down the interstate, maybe somewhere on that desolate stretch of Interstate 80 between Rock Springs and Rawlins.

It’s a lot of flat, boring Red Desert where the antelope play.

This is why cruise control exists, you think to yourself as you lock yours in at 88 in an 80 mph zone. Even that feels slow. No one on the road except two semis in the slow lane about a mile ahead, or 5 miles ahead. It’s hard to judge distance in a state sprawled out like a Faulkner sentence.

You’re just about make it to the back bumper of the trailing semitrailer, ready to roar by when it pulls into the passing lane right in front of you to get by the truck he’s been following since, probably, Nebraska.


Bad words slip out of your mouth as you hit the brakes. Thankfully, kiddos in the backseat have their headphones on glued to their iPads. The wife wakes up and shoots you a look.

Is it Murphy’s Law of interstate travel? The only three vehicles on the road in Sweetwater County at the moment are you and two 18-wheelers battling for the same space? Do truckers do that on purpose?

Road Rage

Truckers annoy passenger vehicle drivers and vice versa. There are things both groups do that can appear on the aggravation spectrum as anything between mildly inconsiderate to pre-determined malice.

As for the aforementioned scenario, truckers are not usually intentionally trying to hack off what they refer to as four-wheelers (pretty much any vehicle on the road that’s not a semitrailer). 

It’s like this:

“Most of the time, these guys are using a speed limiter of some kind, especially the bigger companies like Swift, for example,” said former heavy-haul trucker and small company owner Dan Sabrosky. He operated out of Bar Nunn for years until he retired in 2017.

“Their rigs are usually governed at around 65-66 mph. They feel if you govern the truck down you save on fuel, and wear and tear,” he said.

“You’ve got one truck governed at 60-62 mph and he’s trying to get by a guy maxed out at 58-60 mph. That pass can take a while and when he’s ready to make it, it doesn’t matter that you are coming up behind him,” he explained. “What you don't see is he’s been trying to make this pass for the last 20 miles and he doesn’t want to give up his momentum.”

Truth be told, truckers often get peeved at each other as well.

“Honestly, the guy getting passed can also be to blame,” Sabrosky added. “The courteous thing to do is back off a little and let that pass happen quicker but sometimes you get lazy or defiant about switching off cruise control.”

These minor misconceptions can lead to unhealthy grudges between commercial haulers and the general SUV-driving public.

“It’s annoying, I know,” Sabrosky said. “Even being a trucker, when I'm in my personal vehicle and I just want to get from Point A to Point B, I learn to deal with it like everyone else.”

Trucker Zayy Bullard shares this ph too of an RV driver who purposely took multiple spaces in a Love's parking lot.
Trucker Zayy Bullard shares this ph too of an RV driver who purposely took multiple spaces in a Love's parking lot. (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Fueling And Parking Faux Pas

Another place of friction between tractor-trailer and roller skates, as smaller cars are dubbed in CB lingo, is at service stations. Truckers use specified truck stops like Flying J, Pilot, Love’s, TA Travel Centers and the like.

Drivers of passenger vehicles and RVs also prefer truck stops for their additional services like sit-down restaurants, showers and expanded shopping opportunities. Fuel tends to be a bit cheaper there as well.

It’s easy for a non-trucker to break unwritten rules at these stops, mostly because they are unaware of truck stop etiquette. In general, John Q. Public is not on nearly the regimented timeline commercial truckers are.

Long-haul truckers like Zayy Bullard, who’s been in the business for six years, points out obvious inconveniences from bad parking to ill manners.

“I saw this the other day actually — a young lady at the trucker fuel pumps putting air in the tires for her car,” Bullard said. “A lot of Flying Js and Pilots, now that they’ve merged, have started closing down some of their fuel lanes.

“That limits how many truck drivers can get fuel at any one time. Cars have their own place where they can get air. When we get to the fuel lane, that is essentially for us because we are on the clock.”

Truckers have long since had to keep a logbook that shows they take 10 hours off for every 14 hours of driving. The logbook of old now takes a digital form as an ELD (electronic logging device). These no-lie electronic monitors often have truckers trying to beat the clock to their destination.

“Our 14-hour clock is still ticking even when we are stopped, until a 10-hour break. A lot of our aggravation comes from wasted time. It’s the reason why we get a little touchy, because every minute counts,” Bullard said.

Sabrosky added that, “Truck stop etiquette is a two-way street. I’ve seen what they call ‘camping at the fuel pump’ by some of the newer generation truck drivers. They pull up to the pump and take on fuel while they go inside to shop, eat, maybe even take a shower.”

RV drivers taking up multiple spaces in truck stop parking lots is a top pet peeve for one long-haul trucker who talked with Cowboy State Daily.
RV drivers taking up multiple spaces in truck stop parking lots is a top pet peeve for one long-haul trucker who talked with Cowboy State Daily. (Photo Courtesy Zayn Bullard)

And then there are people who like to think they’re truckers.

“One thing I see a lot is more and more RVs parked in trucker spots. It’s one thing if those are the only over-sized parking spaces at some stops, but I see them in ‘truckers only’ spots,” Bullard said. “And sometimes these massive RVs are parked diagonally over two or three spots just so they think they won't have deal with anyone near them.

“I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think they are aware of stuff they are doing that rubs us the wrong way. But the guy who pulls in his RV across three spaces, he knows. He doesn’t want anyone parking next to him.”

Bullard said he’s also seen pickups hauling trailers in those spots as well. One user on Truckers Report with the handle Ditch Doctor said he gets aggravated at his peers parking bobtails (semis with no trailer attached) in full truck spots when there are bobtail spots available.

There's an explanation why it seems truckers already driving slow seem to crawl past even slower trucks.
There's an explanation why it seems truckers already driving slow seem to crawl past even slower trucks. (Photo Courtesy Dan Sabrosky)

On the Road Again

Tailgating, speed inconsistency, crappy merging — these are just some of the complaints truckers lodge against the average four-wheeler. Just about every aggravating situation results from most motorists’ lack of understanding.

After all, for commercial truckers the highway is their office. These men and women spend all day and all night, some OTR haulers logging 500-600 miles a shift.

“The challenges of trucking over-the-road like I was are mainly that four-wheelers are just not aware of big trucks. And they absolutely do not understand the dynamics of what it takes us to get up to speed or whoa ourselves down,” Sabrosky said. “The result is they end up getting in the way and they become frustrated.”

Bullard agrees.

“The way four-wheelers change lanes and merge lanes annoys me,” he said. “The reason there is a merging on-ramp when you are entering a highway is to get up to speed. When I see people merging on and going 35 mph, I don't always get over for them. It is not required that I get over. It is simply the courteous thing to do. But when you are not even trying ...”

Kiddie Kenworth: A New Generation

Before Sabrosky got out of the game he noticed more and more younger drivers who didn’t seem to have the same set of standards as his generation of gear jammers.

“Some of these younger drivers come from McDonalds or wherever they were working a couple months earlier. They get their CDL and suddenly they are on the road. There is so much more to driving truck than six weeks of training is going to give you,” Sabrosky said. “I remember when I was out there driving I would see some of the younger drivers with one foot on the dash and watching a video on their laptop.”

Older was better, Sabrosky says.

“The older generation truckers in the 1970 through the 1990s, we really got it. Trucking was a vocation. We looked out for each other,” he said. “Now, with deregulation in the ’80s, everybody is able to start a trucking company. You have newer drivers from Russia, Mexico the Middle East.”

And they seem woefully underprepared, Sabrosky said.

“I remember this one time in Arizona, I pulled over at an off-ramp to double-check my destination and this truck pulls up behind me,” he said. “Out comes a Middle Eastern gentleman. He walks up to my door and asks in very broken English if I could give him directions to Tucson.”

“You don't have a map or GPS?” I asked him.

“No, I was only told to go to Albuquerque and take a right,” he answered.

Sabroksy knows the challenges the industry faces. Ever-increasing federal and state government pressures. Eroding public perception due to the bad behavior of a small minority.

“It’s easy to make truckers a target,” Sabrosky said. “But remember, everything in your life involves a truck getting it there.”

Jake Nichols can be reached at:

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Jake Nichols

Features Reporter