|Try passing this one on the right|
The issue comes up especially when one has bike lanes, rideable shoulders, or wide traffic lanes at intersections where heavy trucks might be making right turns. If the cyclist becomes situated to the right of the large truck, the back of the truck will likely swing in on the cyclist leading to the truck overriding the cyclist (which is a bit different from the classic "right hook"). This scenerio has led to gruesome crashes as the cyclist is trapped to the right of the truck as the trailer (rear of the truck) follows a track closer to the curb than the tractor, pinching off the rider's space and potentially, crushing the rider. Its happened with garbage trucks, too. We have an increasing number of large trucks on our roads as the new Smith's Mall/Trinity Site construction proceeds and there are trucks on the DOE site at LANL, especially on Diamond. I think its important to review this issue here.
As John Allen has stated, well designed truck side guards MIGHT, as a last resort, partially protect cyclists from right turning trucks but could just as easily trap a cyclist underneath, smear him into the curb, or do nothing useful at all (many of the examples in the articles John and I critiqued don't look like they would do anything at all). The side guards have other benefits, such as possibly reducing wind blast to overtaken cyclists at high speed, improving truck aerodynamics, and preventing automobiles from submarining the trailer during a side impact or sideswipe.
But to avoid being killed or injured by a truck at a right turn intersection, its important for the cyclist to not ride to the right of the turning truck because in a turn, the rear of the truck pivots towards the cyclist (esp. with a tractor-trailer) and the rear wheels track closer to the curb and indeed can hit the curb even if the driver is adept at his job. Keri Caffrey covers that at Bike Orlando. If you have any doubts, stay behind the truck. Don't get trapped to its right. The danger of trying to pass or filter forward of the truck is "what if I don't get in front of the truck before it starts up and turns?" The answer could be "roadkill".
Perhaps when possible, we should provide bicycle boulevards and truck routes that are distinct from each other. I am sure this is often not feasible in an already built environment. Bicyclists have to know how to coexist with trucks and vice versa for truckers coexisting with bicycle traffic.
Meanwhile, here is a good video by the American Trucking Association explaining right turning safety from the trucker's perspective. What comes through loud and clear is the trucker wants to keep anyone (including you) from getting to his right. Help the trucker out by understanding her(his)his predicament and cooperating with him(her). Don't be the cyclist who supplies the coffin in a coffin corner bike lane.