If you’re considering driving a truck for a living or even for fun, then you’re going to need to get yourself a truck driving license. Of course, getting the license is challenging but it is also only the first step in your journey. Hauling cargo means the responsibility for valuable loads is in your hands as well as the potential to cause serious accidents. Serious accidents can be caused especially by commercial vehicles which may lead to some asking what is considered a commercial vehicle? Essentially, it is any vehicle that has a gross combination weight of over 11,790 kilograms which is why they can thus cause such serious accidents. Driving your truck safely is something that you must do every time you get behind the wheel. Here are a few tips to ensure you stay safe:
1. No Cell Phones
Technically it is legal to talk on a hands free device while driving. However, even talking on your hone can be a distraction and one that you can’t afford when driving such a large vehicle.
Stay safe and avoid using your cell phone, if you need to make a call pull over when it’s safe to do so and then call.
2. Speed Limits
The speed limit is usually lower for trucks than it is for cars. You’ll also find that in some places there are specific signs relating to the speed of your truck. These signs are there to help ensure you have the stopping power and room if necessary, if you break the speed limit you’re more likely to lose control of your truck.
3. Route Planning
More and more drivers are relying on GPS to get them where they need to go. Unfortunately this has resulted in many incidents of trucks being sent to bridges they can’t get under or even to a road that simply ends. Bearing in mind how difficult it can be to reverse or turn a large truck you should always be aware of the route you intend to take before you start your journey.
4. Turning & Cornering
Trucks corner wide, this is a simple fact due to the size of these vehicles. You need to be aware of corners in advance and adjust your speed to suit. This won’t just help you to stay in your own lane; it will also help to reduce the risk of you tipping the truck over.
5. Know Your Space & Own It
It is essential that you are always aware of what is behind you, in front and each side. This will help to ensure the movements of your truck don’t cause an accident alongside or behind you.
6. Stay Healthy
It can be tempting to grab food at snack shops along the way. Unfortunately these are not normally beneficial to your health. You need to eat a balanced diet and get plenty of rest. This will help to ensure you’re capable of driving the truck and are alert if anything should go wrong.
7. Be Weather Wise
The weather can change quickly, especially if you’re driving long distance. That’s why it is important to regularly check the weather and stop if necessary. You may even be able to plan your route to avoid the worst elements of any weather system.
Remember high winds and heavy rain can seriously alter the handling of any truck.