Experienced drivers rarely have any significant trouble on the road. However, it’s always possible for something to go wrong. And if your career involves driving a massive haul truck down the highway on a regular basis, it’s absolutely crucial to remind yourself of safe driving and conduct every so often.
Haul Truck Safety
A haul truck is a huge, heavy, sometimes hard-to-navigate vehicle. Even experienced drivers have to relearn quite a few things when they start a trucking career. If you’re looking for a reminder on a few basic safety tips for your haul truck, keep this list in mind:
- Watch your speed
- Check your blind spots
- Load strategically
- Don’t neglect your health
- Watch the weather
1) Watch Your Speed
Most drivers slow down when approaching a curve in the road. This is particularly important for haul trucks that have to swing wide to make the curve safely. On a particularly curved road, even the posted speed limit may be too fast. Keep your truck under control when you have to turn.
Work zones also pose a hazard. Take note of any and all hazard signs and don’t rush. It’s better to be a little late on delivery than to run over a construction worker.
2) Check Your Blind Spots
Every vehicle has blind spots, but the blind spots on a cargo truck encompass significantly more room and pose more risks to other drivers. Most cargo trailers have stickers warning other drivers about these blind spots, but it’s ultimately your responsibility to check before you turn or change lanes. Remember, your haul truck is significantly larger and heavier than the cars on the road. If a crash occurs, you could do a lot of damage.
Pro Tip: Haul trucks have different blind spots depending on their design. However, the most common places for blind spots are directly behind the trailer, just in front of and next to the cab, and right behind the side view mirrors.
3) Load Strategically
Poorly packed cargo can slide or tumble over in the trailer. Aside from damaging a shipment, this also leads to unevenly distributed weight in the rear and can make driving hazardous. When you load your trailer, distribute the weight evenly and secure everything to prevent your cargo from shifting en route.
4) Don’t Neglect Your Health
Trucking demands long hours and sometimes monotonous work. That’s why self-care and attention to your own health are so important for truck operators. Take the time to get enough sleep, make healthy diet choices, and look after your own mental health. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll be more focused on the road and able to drive in a safer fashion. Your health affects your work life more than you think.
5) Watch the Weather
Bad weather poses enough of a hazard for small cars. For a truck driver, heavy rain or ice on the roads can be disastrous. Cut down your speed by at least a third in the rain and half in snowy weather, and give yourself (and other drivers) plenty of time to signal before you change lanes or turn. Finally, don’t be afraid to just pull off the road entirely if weather conditions are particularly unsafe. Making a delivery late is a small price to pay for your safety.
Haul truck safety is a crucial part of any trucking career. If you don’t take care of both yourself and your truck, you unwittingly increase your chances of an accident. Don’t put yourself at risk! Brush up on critical safety guidelines and be vigilant on the road.
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