Write down the truck number Print
News - Briewe
Thursday, 22 April 2010 16:29
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Carla Bruin from Klipkop writes:
Happily driving along Lynnwood Road on a Saturday afternoon, one never suspects something like this. A concrete truck was coming from the opposite direction heading towards Pretoria. When it sped past me at 100 km per hour, it showered a spray of small rocks onto the road, which caused my windscreen to receive five stars. Now if I were in the hotel business that would be great news.

I looked back, and saw the name of the company on the truck. Unfortunately what I didn?t see was the truck number. Now, for all you who haven?t had an encounter with a concrete truck, I just want to stress the vital importance of this truck number. Without it you will have to claim the damage from your insurance company, and ruin your safe driving record. Without it you can forget the bonus that you will receive from your insurance company, which is due to you within the next six months.

Just to stress the importance, let me give you the scenario that you should follow: regardless of the two cars behind you and the oncoming traffic behind the truck, once your windscreen has been hit by stones, make an immediate U-turn.

Do not stop for any traffic. Then race after the truck, revving your engine until it sounds as if it wants to jump out of your bonnet, because how else would it be possible to catch up to the speeding bullet flying down the road? Incur numerous more stars in your windscreen while trailing the truck. Overtake the truck, do a movie stunt to stop the truck. Locate the truck number and proceed to write this down.

Because once you phone the company to which you believe that the truck belongs, they are so prepared for your call. I was asked to write a fax explaining what had happened and to attach a quotation for a new windscreen. Two days later I am phoned by the manager, who starts off the conversation by explaining that the trucks are on sub-contract, so the company does not take responsibility for damage.

If I do not have the truck number, as the sub-contractor would be responsible for the damages, then I cannot be helped. The truck number will indicate who the sub-contractor is. Irrelevant is that the name of the company is on the truck. Irrelevant that I do not want to involve my own insurance company, because why should I suffer those consequences for negligent concrete truck drivers?

How can it be that a company, who should be familiar with phone calls like this, does not have liability insurance for just such situations? But then again, I suppose it is easier to just shift the blame to the sub-contractor because that is the easy way out.

As I had not noted the truck number (which to me seems a near impossible task), the manager thought it best that I involve my own insurance company and let his company take care of the excess. I suppose I have to be grateful for that, but this implies that my bonus from the insurance company is gone. It also implies that my insurance premium will be higher after this incident. So, thanks a lot!

Moral of this story is the following: when you see a concrete truck approach you from the opposite direction; before you get too close, just make a note of that vital truck number, you never know . . .