20 Apr 7 truck driving tips
Safety is a very important issue in the road transportation industry. As a truck driver, there are simple things you can do every day to ensure your own safety and that of other road users.
Transport Econo Nord is glad to share some truck driving tips to help make the roads safer.
1 – Take the time to check weather conditions
There are many types of weather conditions truck drivers should take into consideration when operating a vehicle. Icy roads, reduced visibility and high winds are just a few examples of conditions that should be considered when truck driving in areas like Quebec, Ontario and the Northeastern United States.
It’s important to be aware of the weather in your area before you get behind the wheel and take the time to listen to the weather reports as often as you can during the drive. That way, you can adapt your driving to the conditions, by reducing your speed or keeping more distance between your vehicle and the one in front, for example.
Also remember to check the dates of the thaw period, as load limits may be imposed at certain times of year to limit damage to the roads.
2 – Drive carefully in construction zones
Drivers who have been in the truck transportation business for a long time know that in construction zones, there is less room to maneuver and a much higher risk of distractions and unforeseen events. That’s why you need to be especially vigilant when driving through a construction site.
Also remember to respect the reduced speed limits around construction sites. The roadway near a construction site may be covered with dust or gravel, which significantly increases braking distance, and the dust thrown up by a large vehicle can reduce visibility for workers and other road users.
3 – Don’t forget your blind spots
Truck drivers have to deal with those notorious blind spots too! Particularly when driving an unfamiliar vehicle or using a new type of trailer, you need to know how to locate your truck’s blind spots and measure their size.
When you’re on the road, watch for approaching vehicles so you know when they enter your blind spots.
4 – Remember your turning radius
Many truck drivers who have ventured into residential areas to make home deliveries have run into problems because they forgot about their turning radius. A lack of attention and poorly executed turns can result in accidents like damaged traffic lights, wrecked trailers and vehicles getting stuck.
Always remember that a truck with a trailer has a very large turning zone, which must be clear before the turn is executed.
5 – Never follow too close to a smaller vehicle
When driving a heavy truck, it’s never a good idea to follow the vehicle in front of you too closely. Instead, leave enough distance between the two vehicles to allow for safe braking and evasive action if necessary.
Since smaller vehicles usually have a much shorter braking distance than heavy vehicles, you need to keep your distance in order to avoid colliding with the car in front if it brakes suddenly. You should also learn to anticipate the times when the distance should be increased, such as during inclement weather.
Some car drivers may also be intimidated by the sight of a huge truck grill in their rear-view mirror. Be respectful and leave enough of a buffer zone for them to feel safe and comfortable.
6 – Make sure your cargo is secure before you leave
Most regions have cargo securement standards that road transportation companies must follow. These standards are meant to ensure vehicle stability and prevent cargo from falling and colliding with other vehicles on the road.
7 – Don’t skip circle checks
A circle check is a visual and auditory inspection of the components of the vehicle you are about to drive. Circle checks are done to detect problems early so that the owner can be informed and the truck can be removed from circulation before an accident or breakdown occurs.
If you want to avoid the potential injuries and delivery delays caused by mechanical problems, always do your circle check or make sure a colleague has done it for you before hitting the road.
At Transport Econo Nord, we follow these recommendations to the letter
Learning to drive a heavy vehicle is not just a question of taking a class 1 driving course and getting your license. There are some things you learn with practical experience. You need to be aware of your vehicle, your environment, and potential threats at every moment while driving.
At Transport Econo Nord, we take all necessary precautions to ensure that our road transport services are as safe as possible for our drivers and other road users. Our drivers follow the recommendations outlined in this article at all times.