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Author Topic: Leap Froggers  (Read 2223 times)
RJ
Former Giant Greenbrier Owner
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« on: March 10, 2013, 03:00:29 AM »

You've been there.

You've had it happen to you.

There you are, happily rolling along in the #2 lane, traffic's light and you're making good time.  You've got the cruise control set to hold at a steady 65 when suddenly here he comes:  The "Leap Frogger" - that driver who cannot seem to figure out whether he wants to be in front of you or breathing your diesel dust.

Could be a car. . . or a pick-up.  Maybe a bob-tail truck or an SUV, but rarely an 18-wheeler.  The worst offenders, though, are the Weekend Professional Operators (WPOs) piloting their Winnebuggys on that magical getaway to indulge in the Jelly Belly factory tour.

So he signals, pulls out into the #1 lane, goes around, signals and pulls back into the #2 lane in front of you, taking away your safety sight lines up ahead.

And then promptly slows down. . .

Since the WPO only gave you half a bus length of clearance, you've got to get on the service brakes to slow and match his speed, which of course is now 57.5 mph.  The lady standing in the aisle with her white dress drinking red wine is not happy she almost spilled her drink, as you get boxed in behind WPO due to traffic.

Clear now, you signal, pull out into #1, hit "Resume" on the cruise and roll on by WPO in his Winnie with the 20' overhang behind the rear axle.  Give him plenty of clearance, signal and return to the #2 lane, continuing on your journey.

Here he comes again. . . and does the same thing.

So you repeat the leap frog. . .

And he does it a THIRD time!

Hmmmm. . . This does not make me look good as a professional if I'm always having to brake for someone who's really not paying attention to what they're doing, and/or thinks it's an amusing way to entertain HIS passengers: "Look at me play with this bus, everyone!"

When the fourth leap frog comes, it's now time to bring out the Professional Bus Operator's secret weapon.  Yup, we've got a secret weapon to be used against WPO's in their Winnebuggies with 20' overhangs behind the rear axle who decide they want to play "Leap Frog" with the bus driver:

The "Bow Wave!"

You know the "Bow Wave" - it's that massive amount of air that the front of your coach tries to push it's way through at speed, and has got to go somewhere as the Detroit happily sings it's song in the rear of the coach.  Yeah. . . that one.

Time for WPO's lesson. . .

Signal and pull out into the #1 lane, giving the appearance to WPO that you're going around him again, but this time. . . this time:

As soon as the front of your coach pulls just past his rear bumper, you match his speed, sit back in the seat with a total poker face and watch WPO's driver's mirror for the reaction.

Let's see: 20' of overhang behind the rear axle, enough "sail" area to power a catamaran in the sidewall, and a 60 mph cross-wind pushing on Winnie. . .

Oh, the facial expressions are priceless!

 Grin
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 08:08:31 AM »

Good one!!
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Mark Morgan    near Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
1972 MCI-7     'PapaBus'  8v-71N MT654 Automatic
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 09:33:12 AM »

And if that doesn't work, just drift over from that position and give him a little Nascar love tap...?

Beware of pissing off tractor trailer drivers, that trailer isn't theirs, and the small scrape from taking your mirror off won't be noticed in a trailer pool...

RJ's strategy is good for invoking the co-pilot warning. He has been the fool, on purpose or by ignorance. Once his vehicle is bouncing around wildly, she makes a cautionary comment about ride quality or trajectory, all to your benefit, as his behaviour smartens up towards you.

And, it is far more likely to be a him who can't keep it up...

Beware busnuts, that it isn't you that is the ignorant leap frogger.

Seriously, the other strategy that can help sooth your nerves is to back the cruise off a couple of notches and hopefully, the next erection the idiot gets, he pulls far enough ahead that his next limp moment doesn't drift back close enough to be a bother.

happy coaching!
buswarrior



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Len Silva
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 09:37:23 AM »

The chances are very good that he still has no clue what you are doing or why.
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 04:48:18 PM »

That is good strategy. I have had similar experiences and next time I'll know what to do! Grin

One time when Becky and I were arriving in LA, coming in on the 15. I had a Lady pass me and then pull right in front of me real close. I layed on my air horn, she looked in her mirror and promptly sped up. We were hoping that it scared her so bad that she would need to make a change!  Roll Eyes
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Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
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Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.
RJ
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 08:57:18 PM »

The chances are very good that he still has no clue what you are doing or why.

Au contraire, Len!

Once WPO wakes up and figures out why he's having so much trouble keeping his Winnibuggy moving in a straight line after looking in his exterior mirror and seeing the motorcoach sitting back there, he then makes a decision. . .

He either puts his foot in it and is now long gone. . . or he drops back far enough to no longer be an annoyance. . . or he takes the next exit to change his shorts.

In ten years of driving charters, I never once had this secret weapon fail to keep leap froggers at a distance.  They really do figure it out!

Fortunately. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 07:35:31 AM »


The best thing I like about huggy is that when He does that I just lay back and get a big running go.

Passing he at speed really sends a bow wave across him. I have watched them move over to the dirt on the side of the road.

uncle ned
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 11:30:44 AM »

Totally awesome. The tip is awesome, but the story was even better. Loved the whole writeup. Thanks!
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 06:52:14 PM »

More!
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