Becoming a truck driver can be a challenging yet deeply rewarding career decision. For new drivers, understanding the essential tips on safety, health, truck stops etiquette/practices, etc. are all crucial to successfully finding your initial “forward momentum.” So, to help you navigate this new stretch of open road, we’ve compiled a list of essential tips from experienced truck drivers at varying career stages. Kindly read along below to familiarize yourself with these so you can get truckin’ all the sooner.
With great (i.e., 80,000-lb…) vehicles comes great responsibility! Safety must be top priority for all truck drivers, and simply cannot at any time be overlooked.
- Remember to G.O.A.L.: “Get Out And Look” before backing up your truck
- Pre-trip inspection: always conduct a thorough walk-around check before heading out
- Don’t rush!: well, never at the expense of adherence to safety guidelines, at least
- Get enough sleep: driving while tired is as dangerous as driving under the influence
- Maintain a safe following distance: remember, commercial trucks have a longer stopping distance
- Pay attention to weather conditions: …and adjust your driving accordingly
- Swing wide when making turns: a tried-and-true method to avoid hitting obstacles and/or rolling your truck over
- Pay attention to road signs: especially truck route signage and low bridge clearances
- Heed all low clearance and weight warnings: stop, set your brakes, and call local law enforcement if need be
- Practice defensive driving: always anticipate potential hazards on the road as a way to prepare for their occurrence
Truck stops are a vital part of a truck driver’s journey, but keep these pointers in mind.
- Plan ahead: look for available parking spaces your rig will have no trouble pulling into and out of
- Be aware of your surroundings: constant vigilance!
- Reflexively lock your doors: ensure your safety and security against would-be intruders
- Stay in well-lit areas: and, you know, avoid poorly-lit ones when possible
- Keep important documents at hand: you never know when these might prove useful—or crucially needed
- Don’t neglect your hygiene: shower, brush your teeth, change clothes regularly… -You know the drill. No reason to abandon it now.
- Stay connected: This one seems simple but is of critical import. Keep in regular touch with friends and family. It can get lonely out there on the open road.
Health and Wellbeing Tips
A healthier truck driver is a safer truck driver.
- Eat healthy: avoid the temptations of fast food and go with more nutritious options instead
- Exercise regularly: stretch, walk, have personal/highly-localized solo dance parties—just keep the much-needed bodily activity coming
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
- Get enough sleep: aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per day
- Plan for regular breaks: take short breaks as needed to rest your eyes and stretch your legs
Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star for all Your Trucking Needs!
Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or are simply interested in the latest trucking technology, you can rely on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star. We have provided top-notch service for the trucking industry for 30 years and would love to assist you in buying a new top-of-the-line truck, finding the specialty parts you need, or repairing your truck. Give us a call toll-free at 800-832-7278 or locally at 410-685-4474, or contact us online. To find out more about what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.