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Truck Driver Tips: Safety and Control

One of the hardest jobs is that of a truck driver. It’s enough to deal with fuel prices and the instability of the job market, but driving a big rig is no easy task either. This is why it's important to know the right way to handle your vehicle on the road. Here are some tips which can help you stay safe while out there! zipmentsstuff

  • Three Points of Contact 

When getting off or onto truck, the three points of contact rule helps keep your body protected. It means when climbing onto or off your truck, use two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the truck's steps or handles at all times to avoid slips. Firm grip on wheel, get butt out of truck first and then climb onto or off of your truck. Do not jump off your truck: this isn't American Ninja Warrior! 

  • Lights ON

Even if you’re driving during the day, it’s important that your headlights are always on when driving. This will ensure that other drivers can see you at all times—even if they don’t happen to be looking in your direction at the moment.

If you notice any problems with any of your lights or bulbs, fix them immediately before hitting the road again. This can help prevent accidents from occurring if you happen to operate in poor visibility conditions without realizing it until it's too late – then there might be no turning back! Remember, weather can change from one small surface area to the next, so stay prepared. 

 

  • Speed Limits 

Speed limits can save you and your fuel. You can save money, and even your life, by driving at or slightly below the speed limit. Speeding makes it difficult to react quickly enough to avoid an accident or get out of the way in time. Going at a slower speed also increases your fuel efficiency, which in these economic times is important. 

  • Maintenance 

The truck should always be in good working condition. Make sure you check all key parts of the truck before heading off, including brakes, light bulbs, exhaust system, windshield wipers, and oil. You should also check load bearing chains or straps for wear or damage.

Specifically check your brake padding drums and wheel seal conditions on the trailers, for safety, as well as airbag condition! 

You should not fill your tanks right up to the brim of the cap! Diesel fuel systems require about 5-10% air at the top of the tanks for fuel return. It builds pressure in the tank.

  • Sunglasses

Using sunglasses is one of the most important ways to protect your eyes and improve vision.  Sunglasses can also help reduce glare and eye strain, which you will need to think about when driving long hours.

  • Avoid Distractions

You don't want to be fumbling with things while you're driving, so keep everything within easy reach: cell phone, CDs/radio presets, your drink. 

Don't text while driving! It takes an average of 4 seconds for people who are texting while driving at 55 mph need before their reaction times slow down enough that they can miss something right in front of them - like another car coming into their lane! Save your breakups and difficult conversations for when you are safely parked somewhere. 

  • Seven Second Rule 

Try to leave about seven seconds worth of space between you and other vehicles you are following. Trucks need about twice as much space to come to a stop than regular cars. Weather conditions are uncertain, and truck drivers cannot always tell if the road is slippery due to rain or previous snowfall, so it's important that you give yourself enough room to react should something happen.

Defensive driving may be annoying, but it does work.                                                  

Being a trucker is a noble profession and requires a high level of responsibility. No matter how long your trip or how often you’ve gone, you can never be too safe or too "used to" the road. The job is unpredictable. You may be great, but others may not be so great at their driving. These tips may seem like common sense things to do, but they can make a big difference in your life and the lives of others. Safe travels and keep on trucking! 

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