Fuel for Thought

The New Truck's Dash

By Greg Huggins
Posted Nov 1st 2022 5:32AM

The dash of newer trucks are a lot different from the older trucks of years gone by. Today’s trucks have many more electronics for one but they also have many more controls for them. You might have menus on a screen to scroll through rather than just a glance at a simple, single gauge. There are buttons on the steering wheel to control different things like cruise control settings, radio volume or even Bluetooth buttons to answer or end a phone call. There is most certainly a radio of some sort, an AM/FM radio. Again, today's radios are much different from the old ones as well. They may have CD players, satellite radio channels, weather bands, AM/FM channels and even Bluetooth so you can wirelessly listen to your own music or books. Some, but not nearly as many as there used to be, will have another radio, a CB radio. Even the newer CB radios have a lot of fine tuning controls on them, as well as Bluetooth connectivity. Then there will be one or two GPS units. I mean, hey, we have to get good intel to plan our route and make those deliveries on time. The GPS units sure have changed over the years. They now have a lot more features to scroll through, some helpful sometimes, others not so much, but they include them anyway.

The dash of new trucks sure look different from those of the past. Now, don’t get me wrong, they have changed over the years but some things have remained, maybe upgraded a bit, but still there. 

One really neat feature of the truck driver’s dash is the instrument cluster. Sure, it may look different, but it still has many of the same functions and functionality of the past. Things like turn signals. We still have that lever on the LEFT side of the steering column that we can use to let others know of our intentions to move in a particular direction. The new trucks have even retained the indicator on the dash to show the driver not only that the turn signal is on, but it even shows you which one is currently blinking. 

Another great part of the driver’s instrument cluster is the HIGH BEAM indicator. This fancy little indicator will light up the dash to remind the driver that their blinding HIGH BEAM headlamps are currently on so you could dim them for approaching motorists before they get blinded by the light.(Sorry if that last line got a song stuck in your head)

Okay, if you have a newer truck your dash may not include turn signal indicator light or high beam indicator lights, some new trucks now have “digital” lights. These indicators may not be lamps but symbols on your digital dash screen. Either way, these little buggers have stood the test of time to prove themselves useful so, as far as I know, they are included on every vehicle in the past forty-fifty years.

I mention these, and the other dash items, to remind you to actually use them. I know, you may be busy with the GPS or the radio, but when you’re driving be mindful of the dash in front of you. Use those turn signals and cancel them when finished. Dim your lights when you should. When you drive 20 miles or more with the left turn signal on from when you turned onto the road you are on, you are telling everyone that you are distracted from driving or you would have seen the indicator on the dash many miles back if you were actually paying attention.

Focus on the driving, not on all the new electronic gadgets in today’s trucks’

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves. 

 - Albert Einstein

See you down the road,