For a beginner truck driver, taking the road in such a big vehicle brings quite a mixture of feelings. On one hand, you feel happy with the feeling of control and power that such a big vehicle conveys. On the other hand, you feel fretful because you do not have experience.
You are afraid for your safety and that of the other road users. This short article is going to help you take control of your safety and that of other road users.
Familiarize Yourself With The Company Safety Rules
You must know your company’s safety rules. Trucking companies have their safety protocols to ensure their trucks and drivers’ safety and to meet the requirements of the DOT. If you cannot find a way to know all the safety protocols as set out in the company, you can always look them up online in OH&S.
OH&S has a big section on trucking safety regulations and that should be a good place for you to start your research.
The Pre-Trip Inspection Is Very Important
The pre-inspection should include everything. Check the backlights, they ensure you can be seen. Check the pins, the tires, the fifth wheel, and the headlights. Keep a good log too for the pre-inspection because you will be required to show that you did a pre-inspection by the DOT officers.
Remember, even the minute details such as the valve stem covers count. If you need help with compliance there are DOT compliance services available.
Learn About All Of Your Blind Spots
Trucks are big and they have even bigger blind spots. That is why constant monitoring around the truck on all sides is required. Before you turn, look keenly. Before you reverse, look and listen first. When it comes to reversing, you will have the most serious challenge.
Big trucks take a lot of mettle to reverse. However, with time, you should be able to master all the tricks and reverse the truck like a pro. Many drivers have wrecked their employer’s trucks by reversing wrongly. Take it slowly until you have gained enough experience.
Have Enough Sleep
Knowing how to drive a truck safely requires that you be in good health yourself. When you have enough sleep, you will be able to work well. Your judgment cannot be impaired. Too many hours of staring at the road may lead to hallucinations, sluggishness, and poor reflexes.
Thus, you must always stay in top-notch shape if you hope to drive safely. Remember, safety starts with you. Ensure that you take sleep as required between the shifts.
Animals On The Road
The first instinct is always to swerve aside to avoid hitting that deer, dog, or sheep. Unknown to many new drivers, swerving to avoid hitting animals has caused many accidents. Thus, it would be better to hit that animal head on than risk jack-knifing a truck that is all 70,000 pounds heavy.
It will not be easy to make this decision, but it is either for your safety or the animals. One thing that you should always know is that when you swerve such a heavy truck, you not only risk your life but that of many other road users as well.
Deer, alligators, dogs, sheep, and other small animals always run into the road. They are blinded and stupefied by lights. When you spot one, do not swerve, you should hold the steering wheel firmly and drive straight on even as you reduce your speed.
Following And Stopping Distances
A truck has a bigger stopping distance. This means that the distance between you and the vehicle ahead should be bigger. Otherwise, you risk crashing into their rear. When you get to the city or high traffic areas, be extra keen and keep an even bigger distance. There are likely to be more emergency stops in towns than in remote areas.
When you are careful on the road, you can lessen the chances of accidents and unpleasant events. Having the right kind of truck parts too is very important to ensure your truck does not fail you. Say, for example, having comfortable Atlas semi truck seats can make your journey enjoyable as your comfort is very important for long drives.
Similarly, the use of a 5-inch exhaust pipe keeps the noise level created by your truck very low which is good for you and people around. You can find all kinds of truck parts on Iowa 80.