How to spot an American travelling in Canada
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Started by wglassfo - Aug. 4, 2022, 8:07 p.m.

A long way back, before any one can spot your tags, you stick out like a sore thumb, if the road is a divided, 4 lane high way. Perhaps it is because we and the world use of metric has you confused about speed limits. Do you know what 100 kilometers/hr equates to in MPH??? 

It means if you are travelling at 90 kilometers/hr, or 54 MPH, get the heck out of the left lane

You will travel in the left lane of a 4 lane divided high way at 10 MPH below the speed limit, oblivious to others who have to bob and weave around you on the right lane and then back to the left lane after passing you

You do not seem to see or care to see the signs that say "Slower traffic must travel in right lane"

No: that doesn't mean just heavy trucks. That means all slower traffic, and you are an accident, waiting to happen. Especially as we weave and bob around you and the slower truck traffic..

I have heard more than one person say. Golly you would think they own that real estate.

The next time you hear a polite horn tap, while on the road, check your travelling speed and which lane you might be in.

Just an informal tip. Our OPP traffic cops will generally turn a blind eye to speeds not exceeding 20 kilometers an hr over the posted speed, [12 MPH] so long as you are not in a school zone or residential. Open roads are meant to get you from point A to B. Some places even allow 30 klicks [18 MPH] over the posted speed limit but don't try it as you have to know where that upper speed limit applies.

In general if around Toronto go with the flow, not too slow or too fast but pick a lane and stay with the one ahead of you. That might be any where from 5 - 100 kilometers per hr. Tailgaters are  a no no, even if people cut you off, let them have a go at it. Safety is important, you know. Shoulders are for emergency and the cops. Big trouble if you are caught and cops can't get through, even if your exit is just a few ft ahead

Rolling stops are a favourite for a ticket as I found out one very late moon lit nite, with just me and the cop hiding down the road in the dark. Nobody coming either way but stop means stop. Golly was I ticked. I could not even kick up a dust storm on our gravel road, in an effort to lose him in the dust storm and out run him home, as he simply turned the  flashing lights on

I know some of this is different than what you are used to at home, so maybe this might help, if you have your pass port in order..

I am sure we do things that you can spot as Canadian., such as getting lost and stopping traffic [you might be right behind us] at a cross road as we check the GPS that wants to keep on correcting us to a different route, or we look for a place to eat or sleep and the GPS messes up on us.

My Rand McNally is so heavy my wife can hardly use it

I wore out two of the paper kind when trucking so I bought a laminated one and golly it is heavy and awkward. Can't find the old paper kind I used yrs ago.

Tried a few truck stops and they were all gone.

By metmike - Aug. 5, 2022, 1:23 a.m.
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Thanks Wayne!

Great stuff.

When Deb goes anywhere she asks Google for directions.

We take her 3 year old car everywhere and leave my 21 year old car at home, so she want to use google all the time.

I'm like you Wayne and want a map every time.

I used to have several  Rand McNalley maps.

One in the house to plan trips. Another in the car to use on trips. Now I just use google maps that allow you to zoom in and see other things.

Sounds like you drive an enormous amount of miles every year. I enjoy flying a great deal (including flying into Hurricane Gloria in Sept. 1985) but we always drive on vacations, even to the West Coast.

Drove from Tijuana Mexico, south of the CA. border to Indiana in less 40 hours doing all the driving by myself in 1987.

In college, went to Florida on Spring Break for 5 years in a row, starting from high school. 

One trip with 4 other people in the my sisters car(we all went to the University of Detroit at the time) I drove back from Daytona Beach to Detroit in 18 hours.

That would be a cake walk for you, Wayne.

When it got to 2 am and everybody was sound asleep, I said "hey, who wants to drive next?"


No response.

I thought, "the heck if I'm going to let somebody that sleepy drive the car thru TN/KY and  get us all killed."

So I just kept driving and the other 4 just kept sleeping all night.

When it got to be around 7am and we were in Ohio with daylight,  they started waking up and offered to drive.

At that point, I was tired and knew they would have been ok but was determined to drive the entire way and insisted on finishing the last 4 hours.

By wglassfo - Aug. 5, 2022, 12:01 p.m.
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I don't drive long hrs any more

Yes Google and Map Quest really help When I am tired , that is enough for the day If 4 o'clock, so be it. We travel slow and day light hrs. We are on holiday and the number of days does not matter. We want to see the country, stop and visit, if possible, find a place to stay and a place to eat. Later, a place to eat  might close except fast food, which we try to avoid, motels fill up by 5 o'clock and you never know if there is some thing going on in town and every thing is booked. I hate Best Western, Days Inn etc  Only if every thing is full and I am too tired to go to the next town. Out west that could be 100 miles, easy, more like 200 miles

You have to fly 1st class some time, just for the experience. As of late we fly Business Class which is almost as good as 1st class and much easier on the pocket book. Much more room than with the cattle car, as we call it. We are at the stage were we request two handicap wheel chairs at both ends of the trip

The scariest time I had was one Halloween night coming out of Detroit. One poor guy got a 2 x 4 right through his wind shield. You probably have seen the wire fence on the cross walks over 1-75 coming into Detroit. Well they did not have them back in the day, thus all kinds of stuff was coming down on us. We formed up a convoy, every body said they were good to go. That was when  CB radio was a must in every truck just to keep in touch and maybe where the next fuel stop was etc. So here we are going 70 MPH through Ohio [where they give a truck a ticket for 5 MPH over 60

I had a big Cat engine that would almost touch 80 MPH on flat land. Today they got those stupid chips that top you out at 105 Klicks. Only on Canadian trucks, so a slow truck in the USA on flat land is usually from Canada.  Takes for ever to get to Texas, the Gulf ports or heaven forbid CA.

The speed cops were sitting in the median, that nite, and we could hear them telling us to get going. They would not bother us to-nite. Gradually by Kentucky the convoy sort of broke up and nobody bothered us any more that night. In Detroit, there was chunks of cement on the road and all kinds of stuff. A chunk of cement thru the wind shield sure had us on edge, for sure. We could not stop as that isn't the best place in Detroit, for a truck.

By metmike - Aug. 5, 2022, 3:07 p.m.
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The scariest time I had was one Halloween night coming out of Detroit. One poor guy got a 2 x 4 right through his wind shield. You probably have seen the wire fence on the cross walks over 1-75 coming into Detroit.

Yeah, I grew up in Detroit. When I was 19 years old, a drunk driver  totaled my car(which had been stolen and totaled already several months earlier but I just bought the car back from the insurance company for 20% of the value and didn't fix the damage).

It was a Torino Cobra Jet with wide mag tires and they stole it to get the tires/rims, parked on a 6 lane busy highway in front of the University of Detroit during morning rush hour, at 8:30 am.

I bought the cheapest tires/rims you can buy to replace the stolen ones and drove around with the left side so smashed that you had to get in on the right side for awhile.

Actually, it was after the 2nd total that you had to get in from the passenger side.

I found a phone booth and called the cops while my friend held the guy.

After 45 minutes, no cops. So I call back and tell them the circumstances.

The operator asked if anybody was injured badly enough to need an ambulance.

No, I said.

Her reply was "I'm sorry but police officers are too busy with serious crime to take any car accident calls."

So we let the really drunk guy go.

My car had already been totaled by the insurance company(on the same side in fact, so I just drove it with even more damage. 

By metmike - Aug. 5, 2022, 4:06 p.m.
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After the car was stolen, I learned a new trick.


      How to Install a Hidden Kill Switch in your Car or Truck (Cheap Anti Theft System)

How To Put A Kill Switch In Your Car: A Drivers Guide

I told my Dad about it and he had his mechanic put it in his car and the rest of the families cars.

He still  enjoys telling the story about what happened a few years after that.

Every weekend he would find 6K races to run in around the Detroit area. Alot of the same people would go, so they got to know each other and even what car they drove.

At one race in a bad neighborhood, in the middle of the race, somebody said that a car alarm went off and they thought that it was his car.

He said calmly......."they won't go anywhere in my car unless they can find the hidden kill switch(which was almost impossible to find unless you know where its hidden).........and he finished the race.

Of course his car was still there after the race.