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Do Trucks Have Cruise Control?

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Do Trucks Have Cruise Control?

Many people are aware of the long distances that most truck drivers have to cover due to the nature of their employment. This can result in certain unwanted effects, such as driver’s fatigue. Cruise control is a way to reduce the amount of effort it takes to drive a vehicle.

Most trucks have cruise control as a way of combating driver fatigue, and there are many truck drivers who reap the advantages of this feature. It allows them to focus their attention on other important tasks.

In this article, we’ll talk more about cruise control in trucks and why it’s important. 

What is Cruise Control?

Cruise control is a feature included in many modern vehicles that allows the vehicle to run consistently at a speed that is set by the driver. This feature makes it impossible for the vehicle to cross that set speed limit. It is a common feature, included even in affordable vehicles such as sedans. 

Using the driver’s inputs as a model, cruise control mimics the driver’s actions to maintain a constant pace. However, it does not rely on the driver to keep their foot on the gas pedal; rather, it employs another system to maintain a consistent cruising speed.

At first, the system relied on a cable to operate the accelerator (throttle valve). These systems are still quite common in older vehicles. 

By using a cable-operated actuator, it could change the vehicle’s speed by opening or closing the throttle. The throttle valve controls the engine’s output of power and velocity. So, the system automatically altered the throttle position based on the driver-set speed.

As technology has advanced, however, the cruise control system in today’s vehicles is now totally electronic. 

Rather than a cable, modern systems rely on a computer (the ECU, or Electronic Control Unit) and its associated sensors to exchange information with the throttle. The electronic control unit then determines the throttle position and wirelessly activates the throttle in response to the speed setting.

Regardless of the circumstances of the road, the system will always keep to the speed you specify. If there’s a hill up ahead, for instance, the cruise control will change the throttle to keep the same pace.

Do Trucks Have Cruise Control?

Most trucks do come equipped with cruise control to help with lengthy travel by simulating human driving. By utilizing an actuator, this function allows the driver to ease off the accelerator pedal.  

For at least the past fifteen years, trucks have had access to cruise control and a variety of technologies that perform automatic braking and allow you to select your distance and speed relative to the vehicle in front of you. 

They’re now found in almost every truck. Some manufacturers refer to it as “adaptive cruise control.”

Why Trucks Need Cruise Control

Truck drivers frequently experience issues with exhaustion. This phenomenon is called driver’s fatigue. Nothing tires you out more than keeping your feet on the pedal nonstop for ten hours. 

Since most commercial trucks have their speed limits lowered to comply with the law, this is effectively what you do most of the time whenever you’re driving on the highway.

Even using cruise control does not absolve you of responsibility for remaining attentive while driving. You still have to stay in your designated lane and watch out for traffic. It’s also important to read road signage at the same time. 

In contrast to driving a car, where you can subconsciously change lanes without thinking, truck driving requires your full attention at all times. You need to plan and pay close attention behind the wheel.

However, physical exhaustion, rather than mental exhaustion, is the primary cause of driver fatigue. At this point, the convenience of cruise control becomes apparent.

How to Use the Truck’s Cruise Control Efficiently

This section will discuss some important advantages and instructions on when to use cruise control.

Maintaining Legal Speed

When using cruise control, drivers can almost always go just under the legal limit.

By adjusting the cruise control, drivers can have a generous amount of space in front of the vehicle. When the cars behind the truck want to get past quickly and get around the truck, it leaves a wonderful safety zone in front of the truck. 

You can relax and enjoy the ride without worrying about how fast you’re going because the cruise control has an upper limit.

In the event of a collision while using cruise control, the truck’s electronic control module will show that you were going no faster than the posted limit. The accident investigators may find this to be crucial information. In addition, the ECM stores your current speed and allows you to download it later.

Poor Weather

If you’re not going too quickly, you’ll have an easier time maintaining control of the truck if the weather or road conditions suddenly worsen (which can happen frequently).

When the road surface suddenly changes from dry to wet,it is recommended not to step on the brakes; instead, immediately turn off the cruise control.

Slippery Surfaces

It’s never a smart idea to hit cruise control on slippery roads. There may be stringent rules in place on this at some trucking businesses. If the ECM reveals that the driver had the cruise active at the time of a severe weather accident, the company may terminate the driver’s employment.

Don’t let yourself be tricked into moving too quickly; with the way traffic flows today and the pressure from dispatch to hurry, it’s easy to be fooled into doing so.  In the event that something goes wrong, it will be you who will be responsible for paying the price.

Keep in mind that you are the one accountable for maintaining safe vehicle operation at all times. 

Never use the cruise control unless the road is entirely dry. As soon as conditions on the road shift from dry to wet, you should disengage cruise control. A tragic accident can occur if a truck is in cruise mode and hits a patch of ice.

Using Cruise Control to Regulate Your Speed

Maintaining command of your pace is a crucial safety factor in avoiding collisions. At 60 mph, the vehicle and trailer can be maneuvered into a safer position than at 70 mph.

Conclusion

Cruise control can be a lifesaver in many cases, especially for truck drivers who must travel long distances at a time. Thankfully, many trucks today come with this feature. It’s important that drivers know the advantages of cruise control and how to effectively use it.