Driving a big vehicle like a truck can be a challenge, especially for new drivers. Since truck driving usually means long hours of travel, it is crucial to be mindful of health and safety to avoid any mishaps on the road. Here are some errors that truck drivers should avoid while on the road that can help prevent accidents and other injuries. These tips can help you stay more alert.
Going too fast
Being a truck driver, it can get frustrating to be on the road for too long, and rushing to get to the destination can look inviting. However, this is a rookie mistake, not just from a safety point of view but also because the law asks drivers to follow a speed limit. The number on the speed limit signs is not just suggestive and expects drivers to follow the rules. This should especially be followed around curves on the highways, which can be tricky. Depending on any construction happening on the road, or if there are any parked vehicles on both sides of the road for some reason, the speed limit may change, so always be mindful of these signs.
Ignoring road signs
Aside from speed limit signs, it is important to pay attention to the other road signs as well. These signs serve as messages for drivers, offering clues about what to expect on the road ahead. Disregarding these short messages can lead to accidents, which is especially common among new drivers who are eager to reach their destination. Therefore, it is advisable to always keep an eye out for these signs while driving. Additionally, not following these rules can result in a police car pulling you over and issuing a ticket, jeopardizing your truck driving career.
Not communicating with the operations manager
A trucking company will always have an operations manager working with them. You can always speak to them regarding any issues and assistance you may need through your journey and project. Some of the tips for asking for help from an operations manager involve staying calm and speaking clearly about the problems that you, as a driver, may be facing in your journey. If you have any questions or need any clarifications regarding permits, ask your doubts and share your worries. In case there is a mishap on the road, or there is a traffic jam ahead, communicate with them and let them know about delivery delays so they can help communicate with the clients and the team.
Not preparing for the stress
Just like every job has some amount of stress associated with it, truck drivers, too, are under immense stress. They are on tight schedules, away from home, often traveling alone for days or months, and all these can be triggering stressors for a driver.
One of the aspects to prepare for is physical stress. Driving for long hours is a given in such a job, which can take a toll on your body. So, always rest and nourish your body properly before starting your journey.
Mental stress is another aspect of the job, which entails being stuck in traffic jams, unable to drive in bad weather, and so on. These can trigger frustration, irritation, and anger, which can distract a truck driver.
Being away from home can lead to some emotional stress, triggering emotions like loneliness, homesickness, frustration, and so on. This can lead to other behavioral problems, which can add further stress to the situation.
There are laws that say that drivers can only drive 11 hours during their 14-hour shift in the day. The rest of the 10 hours they spend away from the wheel. While this law may protect drivers from getting exploited at work, it still is not enough time to sleep and socialize. So even though drivers may take 10 hours of break before their second shift, they are usually exhausted when they return to work the next day. This exhaustion can accumulate over time, leading to drowsiness while driving, which can cause accidents on the road. In some cases, project managers may also put pressure on drivers to meet tight delivery deadlines, making it even more difficult for them to stay well-rested.
Failing to secure the load
There are many drivers who do not personally load the cargo on their vehicles. Someone else does this job, and the driver moves the cargo from place A to place B. However, drivers are advised to check the cargo load and ensure that it has been secured and placed properly. Since these cargos are heavy, they must be placed correctly so that when the driver drives the truck on the highway, slight movements should not displace the weight completely, leading to a rollover or jackknife accident. If the package is not secured properly in the truck, it may fall out during the journey if met with a bad road.
Losing track of blind spots
If you are driving a big truck, it is very easy to have blind spots. As a driver, it is important to take note of this and be careful of these blind spots while driving on the highway. Thankfully, there are modern vehicles with a camera that allows drivers to see their surroundings extremely well, but not all may have this technology. Therefore, it’s always important to be cautious on the road and watch out for other vehicles, pedestrians, and wildlife.
When the journeys are so long, the possibility of something going wrong also increases. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure the vehicle is thoroughly serviced before commencing the journey. Also, the driver should be well equipped with their toolbox in case any minor maintenance adjustments are needed along the way.
Popular trucks for commercial driving
Some smaller trucks are also used for commercial driving purposes, including the Dodge RAM 1500TRX, Dodge RAM 1500, and Dodge RAM 2500, which are popular choices for drivers. These trucks have good towing capabilities, making it easy to transport cargo from one place to another. Those in the transport industry looking for the appropriate vehicles must look at all sizes and access the features necessary for business.