The simplest engineering matters. We live in an age where engineers have figured out how to produce torque down to 875 RPM on the GHG 17 DD15 engines. That is cool. Mirrors that don't break when they get hit are cool too. It is a simple idea that saves time. Perhaps they have saved a truck stop brawl or two along the way as well.

It isn't just us at Freightliner. Volvo's have them. So does Kenworth. I don't know about the other brands, but I would guess that they have them too. They are a simple idea that can save drivers time and companies money. They go under appreciated in a day with low RPM high torque engines. They are important.

Twenty years ago my mirror got clipped at a customer. It was an inconvenience to say the least. The guy who clipped it was driving a dump truck and was flippant about it. Like it was no big deal. It wasn't a huge deal. The parts to fix it were probably less than $30. The brackets were broken, but the mirror itself was OK. I was able to pick up the brackets at a truck stop and fix it myself. It took me less than 30 minutes to fix it, and the company paid for the parts. It was not a huge deal, but it was a hassle.

About ten years ago I was backed into a very tight dock. The truck next to me on the driver's side started pulling out. I expected him to creep out because it was so tight, but no. The guy grabbed 2 gears on the way out and clipped my mirror with his door. I was not happy. My mirror was all but hanging there. I confronted the guy as he was closing his doors. We went back to assess the damage. He was apologetic. The mirror snapped and fit back into place as good as new. It took less than 5 minutes. We had driver peace and a couple of lessons learned.

Last week there was on parking place left in a small truck stop. As I was lining up, I noticed that the passenger side mirror was folded up against the window of the Volvo that I was backing up next to. I backed in anyway. When the driver came out of the truck stop, I pointed the mirror out to him and told him that it wasn't me. He doubted me. I couldn't blame him. We were looking at his mirror. He was aggravated, I said that I thought that I could fix it. He was a larger man and could not climb up and hold onto the bracket. I did. He pushed on the mirror as I fit it back into the slot. Less than 5 minutes later it was as good as new. Folding mirrors are a simple engineering feat that I appreciate. So did my new friend.

Comments (2)

Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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I don't know. These have been around awhile. They are a great idea. When my mirror broke, I was able to pick up the bracket pieces at a truck stop. I can't remember how much they cost exactly. It wasn't much. It was so much easier to snap the mirror back into place.

March 12, 2016 5:48:48 AM

Technology is wonderful, what will they think of next?

March 11, 2016 14:08:50 PM