Are you new to the trucking industry? Are you worried about how your first few trips will go? Well, we’ve got you covered. AllTruckJobs paired up with Carlisle Carrier Corp to help new drivers feel at ease when they hit the road. Being nervous is normal, but as long as you follow these 10 safety tips for new truck drivers, you’ll be driving like a pro in no time.
Safety Tips for New Truck Drivers
1. Pay Attention to Parking
Figuring out where to park is one of the most important safety tips for new truck drivers. Finding the right place to park is crucial if you want to stay safe. The right space will also ensure that your vehicle won’t be damaged or broken into. Once you’ve found a good spot, make sure that you pay attention to any landmarks around your rig. This will help you find your truck quickly whenever you go inside or walk away from it.
2. Plan Your Trip
The transportation industry is built around schedules and deadlines. This means that you need to have your trip planned out ahead of time. Even if you’re using a GPS, you should have an idea of which routes and exits you’ll use. Knowing every turn you’ll make before you get behind the wheel will cut back on your “lost” time while you’re on the road.
3. Secure Your Vehicle
It may seem like common sense, but it’s still worth mentioning on our list. Whether you’re in your truck or not, you need to roll up your windows and lock the doors. This will keep you safe when you’re taking a snooze in your sleeper and ensure that all of your belongings stay in your possession at all times. Even if you’re in a familiar area, it’s still better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to locking your rig.
4. Stick to Well-Lit Areas
Staying in well-lit areas is important because it helps you see what’s around you and it keeps you in view of other people. This visibility helps avoid accidents and it keeps you safer when you’re exiting your vehicle. No one is going to try anything if you’re in a public, brightly-lit space, so avoid the shadows and stay in view.
5. Maintain a Safe Stopping Distance
No matter the size of your vehicle, you need to maintain a safe stopping distance between you and the car in front of you. Other drivers can be unpredictable, but one thing you do have control over is the amount of space you leave between your vehicle and theirs. Maintaining a safe following distance will give you more reaction time and help to avoid an accident, especially if you’re behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle.
6. Be Your Own Weather Man (Or Woman)
You’re going to cover a lot of ground as a truck driver, so it’s best to check the weather as much as possible. Just because it’s sunny when you depart doesn’t mean it’ll be sunshine and rainbows along the way. Being aware of and preparing for bad weather is crucial if you want to avoid accidents, so make sure you know what to expect on your trip!
7. Stay in Your Lane
Adjusting to the limited visibility in your rig is challenging, so it’s best to avoid lane changes whenever possible. Make sure you’re checking your mirrors constantly and try to stay in your lane unless moving is the only options. If you’re just starting out as a trucker, it’s best to drive conservatively.
8. Steer Clear of Low Clearances
One of the first things you should memorize as a new driver is the height of your truck. Once you know this information, you’ll be able to gauge clearances. Whatever you do, don’t get cocky with this. If a particular bridge seems like a tight squeeze, avoid it. It’s a lot easier to explain a 10-minute delay than a topless trailer.
9. Use a GPS for Truckers
This ties back with tip number two. Even if you know the route you are taking, it is still a good idea to use GPS. Your GPS will help you prepare for traffic, construction, and any alternate routes that may save you time. Utilize this technology to make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.
10. Don’t Skip Out on Self-Care
Last but not least, you have to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet, try to stretch once in a while, and get some steps in when you can. Sitting all day in a truck can take its toll on your body, so it’s up to you to do what you can to help yourself. Taking care of yourself is not just physical. Loneliness and homesickness on the road can lead to many mental struggles for truck drivers, so try to find ways to keep your morale up on the highway.
Are there any safety tips for new truck drivers that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!