Rookie Truck Drivers: Safety Tips for Your Initial Trucking Trips

Posted on: 27 April 2017

If you have just joined the truck driving profession, then welcome aboard. The business is all about doing deliveries and ensuring that business ventures have all they need to keep their enterprises going. From the petroleum industry to ordinary retail business, trucking is the backbone of many logistics and supplies departments. With this job, you will make many trips to destinations you may or may not be familiar with. You will also be dealing with a large vehicle weighing several tonnes, which comes with its fair share of risks and safety concerns. Here are some safety tips that will help you kick-start your career on a high:

Don't Be a Bully on the Road

Driving a vehicle with more than twelve wheels makes you a real heavyweight on the road. The size of your vehicle and the momentum it generates is intimidating on the road. This means that other drivers will be intimidated by your truck and always find a way of avoiding any confrontation with your monster. On many occasions, newbie drivers often let this go to their head and forget about the dangers they pose to both themselves and other drivers. Overtaking with an oncoming vehicle in sight, switching lanes with little regard to other drivers and unnecessary hooting are some of the common bullying attributes exhibited by truck drivers. Make sure you do not fall in this statistic!

Be Careful When Backing Up

It is very easy for most rookie drivers to drive and manoeuvre a truck forward. Talk of backing up, and you will find that very few rookies can do it confidently, let alone do it properly. Reversing a large tractor-trailer truck is difficult because of angular jack-knifing and blind spots. If you are not sure of the angular inclination of the trailer, some important reminders will help you ensure safety. First, always go out and look if you are not sure and cannot see using your mirrors. Secondly, avoid frequent backing up unless it is really necessary. Lastly, blow your horn before you start to back up to alert people of the incoming trailer.

Avoid Distractions

In a truck, you have a better line of sight compared to someone driving a smaller vehicle. Your seat is slightly elevated, reducing the angle of sight between you and the surface of the road. Since truck drivers can see further than everyone else, it is common to fall victim to distractions because they have more time to anticipate events on the road. However, it is important to remain attentive at all times.  Avoid smoking, operating electronics, eating and taking beverages. Your mind and body should be focused on the road.

For additional advice, contact a company that offers truck driver training.