If you are a professional truck driver, you will probably experience many breakdowns in your career. It is essential to know what to do in the event of a breakdown so that you can remain safe and make it to your destination. Depending on where you are when you break down, you could be vulnerable to crime or dangerous animals. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to limit your time on the side of the road, get your truck back on the road, and find help quickly so you can get to your destination.
Get Off the Road if Possible
If your truck breaks down on a highway or busy street, your number one priority is getting your vehicle safely away from drivers. Get the truck off the road quickly, preferably at least 3 meters from any traffic, but make sure you park it in a stable location. Put the hazard warning lights on and ensure they are clean to be visible from a reasonable distance. Exit the vehicle on the side away from passing traffic, wearing a reflective vest. Place hazard warning triangles at the required distances.
Call for Help
It is helpful to call your dispatcher and inform them of the situation immediately. The dispatcher will be able to send help out to you or any parts needed to repair your truck. Let your dispatcher know where you are and what you may think caused the breakdown so they can send the appropriate assistance. If you have access to truck insurance, it may be beneficial to reach out to your insurance provider as well. This could potentially save you hundreds or thousands of dollars for something like a towing service or flat tire repair.
Breakdowns are unpredictable, but you can ease the frustration by keeping things in your truck that will help you in the event of an emergency or breakdown. Having the right tools and supplies with you can make a great difference, here are some items you should consider keeping in your truck:
- Fire extinguisher
- Non-perishable food
- Flashlight and/or headlamp
- Cell phone
- Wrench set
- Vice grips
- Electrical tape
- Duct tape
Take Preventative Measures
Of course, the best way to handle a breakdown is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This is why regular maintenance and repair of your truck are vital. During long hauls especially, pre-checks, post-trip checks, and on-route checks will save you the fear of breaking down in the middle of a journey.
Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star for all Your Trucking Needs!
Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or 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.