Having gained confidence as a new truck driver, hitting the open road might still seem intimidating. Handling a heavy truck can be challenging, even with proper training. Moreover, long-haul truckers often find long hours of travel difficult. Nevertheless, this article provides essential tips for thriving in truck driving.
Have a Well-Organized Fitness Plan
Truck driving can seriously affect your physical well-being. Since you might spend extended hours sitting in the same position without breaks, it’s common to feel fatigued rapidly. Thus, abide by your mandatory breaks and learn simple exercises to relax your body. Lunges and neck rolls effectively improve blood flow in areas where circulation tends to slow down.
Practice Defensive Driving
Being aware of your surroundings and anticipating potential hazards is essential as a truck driver. Avoid aggressive driving and maintain a safe following distance. By doing so, you can prevent accidents and ensure road safety.
Have a Trucking Lawyer
In the trucking industry, having access to legal advice or representation can be beneficial. Like any other motorist, truck drivers may encounter various situations on the road that could lead to legal issues. These might include accidents, traffic violations, or issues with employers or insurance companies. Here is where hiring a Colorado truck accident lawyer comes into play.
Plan Your Route
Carefully plan your route before hitting the road. Determine the best way to avoid traffic, construction, and possible delays. Have a clear plan for fuel stops, rest stops, and other essential halts. Doing this lets you stay on schedule and minimize unnecessary delays during your journey.
Ensure Everything Works
Ensure everything is in working order, especially during winter when road conditions are challenging. Besides daily pre-trip inspections like assessing hub seals, frame rails, lug nuts, and tires, check the heater’s and defroster’s functionality. Inspect and top off windshield washer fluid, drain moisture from air tanks, and use a towel or rug to clean mirrors, windows, and lights. Be vigilant in removing ice and snow from cab steps, airlines, and handrails.
Pay Attention to Weight Warnings and Low Clearance
If you accidentally take a wrong turn and encounter a bridge with insufficient height or strength for your vehicle, the safest action is to stop immediately. Avoid proceeding in such situations, as it can lead to costly consequences.
Ensure You Always Get Enough Sleep
Regardless of your profession, adequate sleep is crucial. Insufficient sleep can result in sluggishness, slower reactions, headaches, impaired immune system, and even hallucinations, among other effects. Thus, the law mandates truck drivers to obtain adequate rest between shifts because insufficient sleep while working can jeopardize their lives and the lives of other road users.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Colleagues
Establishing a connection with your dispatcher and safety department officers is crucial, as they can significantly assist your career. Similarly, building friendships with fellow drivers and respecting your peers can create future opportunities. Being courteous to everyone you meet is essential, as you never know when someone might lend you a helping hand later.