Trucker Tips: Tractor Trailer Driving
The foremost concern of any responsible driver is the safety of themselves, their cargo, and fellow road users. Within this article, the TLI team will delve into an expansive collection of three truck driving safety tips specifically tailored for tractor-trailer drivers. These insights are aimed at fostering safety not only for the drivers themselves but also for all those sharing the road. From adherence to Hours of Service (HOS) regulations to cultivating beneficial personal practices and preparedness for unexpected situations, Translogistics aims to provide a comprehensive guide.
Hours of Service (HOS) Rules
Insuring truck driving safety hinges significantly on adhering to Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. These guidelines are purposefully crafted to curb driver fatigue, mitigate accidents, and enhance overall road safety. Fatigue in drivers leads to diminished reaction times, compromised decision-making, and a greater propensity for critical errors. By stipulating limits on consecutive driving hours and mandating periodic rest breaks, HOS regulations significantly diminish the likelihood of accidents stemming from driver fatigue.
To Maintain compliance:
- Observe mandated rest breaks and abide by driving time limitations.
- Steer clear of surpassing the maximum allotted working hours.
- Keep meticulous and current logbooks.
Tractor-trailers have large blind spots. Drivers must consistently check mirrors to stay aware of surrounding vehicles and adjust them properly to reduce these blind spots, commonly known as “no-zones.” These zones, significantly larger for truck drivers compared to standard vehicles, are areas around the truck that aren’t directly visible through mirrors.
Primary blind spots of a commercial tractor trailer:
- Front Blind Spot: This area is directly in front of the truck’s bumper and can extend several feet. It is usually a blind spot for drivers of all vehicles but is especially critical for trucks due to their longer hoods.
- Rear Blind Spot: This area is directly behind the truck and can extend for several car lengths. It is especially challenging for truckload drivers when changing lanes or backing up.
- Right-Side Blind Spot: This blind spot extends from the passenger-side mirror and can hide other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists. Trucks often have a more substantial right-side blind spot than the left.
- Left-Side Blind Spot: The left-side blind spot is typically smaller than the right-side blind spot but still poses a significant risk, especially when making left turns or merging onto highways.
Use a Commercial Trucking GPS
Prepare before driving by meticulously planning your route, stops, and rest intervals. Having a pre-defined route helps evade hurried choices that might jeopardize safety. Advanced trip planning empowers drivers to take preventive measures, minimizing potential risks. By preemptively studying routes in a commercial trucking GPS, drivers can pinpoint hazards like construction, severe weather, or heavy traffic areas. Equipped with these lane specific insights, drivers can adapt schedules due to weather adversity, consider alternate paths, or delay trips if safety is at stake.
The key difference between truckload GPS and Google Maps GPS lies in route customization. Google Maps prioritizes routes for standard vehicles, potentially overlooking crucial restrictions for large trucks, like weight limit along with low bridges. Truckload GPS is tailored for commercial drivers, offering customizable routes that consider vehicle size, weight, and specific restrictions, ensuring legal and safe paths. Opting for a truck-specific GPS system is essential for truck driving safety through ensuring accurate and secure routing.
Truck Driver Safety
To be a safe and conscientious truckload driver, it requires a blend of rule adherence, good decision-making, and prioritizing your physical and mental health. The mentioned tips are just a starting point—tasks like adequate rest, vehicle inspections, and numerous other responsibilities demand attention. By embracing these extra safety measures, you not only promote a safer road but also pave the way for a prosperous, confident and satisfying career in trucking. If your trucking company prides itself in safely operating on the open roads, please be sure to partner with TLI today!