As a driver, you’re an active traffic participant. However, while driving a truck, you’re at a far greater risk for general safety. Your vehicle is larger and harder to control. While it provides you with a greater level of protection, the truth is that that the potential damage that you may cause might also be significantly larger. Moreover, you’re transporting potentially valuable goods, which means that the stability of the ride (and all the factors that go into it) are also important. With that in mind and without further ado, whether you are a professional driver or a beginner, here are several tricks that all new truck drivers need to know.
1. Keep it clean and organized
When you come to think of it, you’ll spend more time in your truck cabin than you do at home. This is why it’s so important both for your organizational abilities and your health that you keep the place clean. As a driver, actual driving is just one part of your job. The maintenance of the truck and its preparation for the long-distance voyage is just as important. A huge part of this is knowing how to clean your truck and keep it organized. First, you should always have some cleaning supplies on hand, since spilling or dropping something is an instance that can occur at any moment. Carrying around a small broom is another great tip.
2. Stay alert
Another thing you need to do is organize your schedule so that you’re alert at all times. No, caffeine (no amount of it) is a substitute for a good night’s sleep. Your physical shape will affect this, as well. Driving a truck is physically demanding. Moreover, how focused can you be on the road if you’re thinking about the back pain that you’re currently feeling? Also, what happens when your posture is ruined because you’ve spent years sitting behind a wheel. You should do all that you can in order to avert any of these scenarios.
3. Pay attention while learning how to drive
Driving instructors are not just people with experience, they’re someone who is experienced with dealing with people without any background in heavy rigid driving, which makes them invaluable. They are aware of common problems and uncertainties that new players face and might offer some insight into how you can handle these problems. So, while actively working to get your truck license, you should put a much greater emphasis on soaking up all the experience offered by a seasoned instructor.
4. Essential truck driving skills
Then, there is an extensive list of essential truck driver skills that you need to adopt as soon as possible. Moving the fifth wheel, learning how to double-clutch or shift an 18-speed transmission are just some of the things that will make you into a veteran truck driver. Now, while some of these skills are highly technical and don’t take much to grasp, the truth is that until you’ve spent enough time behind the wheel, you won’t be able to handle them as reliably. In other words, don’t show off just because you’ve learned something new.
5. Visibility is key
Parking a truck, especially at night at the docs can be quite a traumatic experience. Visibility is generally a disadvantage of the truck, seeing as how their massive size obstructs the view in a lot of directions and rearview mirrors don’t necessarily fix everything. Now, you can rely on your intuition or experience but it’s far better to wait until the coast is clear and use some tricks to help you out. For instance, you can lay a flashlight on the ground near the wall if you’re parking at night. You should always have a flashlight in your truck and this way you will be able to see all the lines.
In the end, these are merely pointers that should help new drivers get a grip on things. After a while, your driving experience will intuitively make you adopt some of these driving and maintenance patterns. Still, listening about the experiences of seasoned drivers and actively trying to apply some of these tips early on can help facilitate the process as a whole. It will help you develop necessary skills and behavior patterns a lot sooner.