If you’ve selected a career as a truck driver, you will in all likelihood have to spend a fair bit of time at the loading dock. This won’t make up the bulk of your hours on the job, but sometimes it will feel like it. It isn’t the most glamorous part of truck driving either, and it can take some time to learn how to load as efficiently as possible. Here are some tips for how to handle your time at the loading dock.
No two loading docks are like. Each one will have slightly different rules and regulations—implicit or otherwise. If it’s your first time visiting a particular loading dock, it pays to learn as much as you can about it ahead of time. You can try asking coworkers who’ve been before to see if they have any pointers.
Another aspect of preparing yourself for a visit to the loading dock—whether it’s your first time or not—is to have all your paperwork in order. This will make your time there go more smoothly.
You might think that a majority of truck accidents occur when on the road. In fact, relatively few accidents take place on our nation’s highways. Far more tend to occur in out of the way places, such as secluded country roads, parking lots, or—yes—loading docks.
Use the same alertness you would on the highway when you’re at the loading dock. They can be chaotic places, so keep your eyes peeled and ensure you don’t collide with another truck or individual on the ground.
Speak Up for Yourself
Generally speaking, the most difficult part of navigating loading docks is backing up to load or unload. Unfortunately, people don’t always make it easy for you. Every now and again, you are bound to run into inconsiderate people who don’t make adequate room for you.
If you find yourself in this position, speak up. Under no circumstances should you try to back up into a space if you don’t feel safe doing so. Examine the space carefully and, if you must, ask dock workers to help clear some room.
Take It Easy
Navigating loading docks can be stressful. It’s natural to feel stressed, but don’t let it get to your head. No matter how chaotic it might feel, try to keep a calm and relaxed demeanor as much as you can.
Every now and again, you’re bound to come across some uncooperative dock workers or fellow truck drivers. This is unfortunate, but it’s just part of the job. At times like these, remind yourself what you enjoy so much about truck driving. It might not be the loading dock, but keeping your eyes on the prize will make your time there much more enjoyable.
Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star for all Your Trucking Needs!
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Tags: loading dock, trucking basics, turck driving