Driving a cargo truck may seem quite simple, but given the size and power of these vehicles, safety is critical. Logistics software company CartonCloud states, “When it comes to truck driving and logistics, safety must always be the priority.” That is why a significant part of all truck driver-training programs is dedicated to teaching people how to drive correctly. If you are planning to enter the world of cargo trucks, this article is for you.
1. Transport the cargo carefully
If you are responsible for loading the products to the truck, be very careful with the way to do it, so you will avoid certain problems when you get on the road. Remember that the more cargo you have, your truck will need more towing force. Likewise, properly distributing the load will not only help you control and maneuver your truck better, but you can also keep your tires in good condition.
2. Understand the blind spots
All vehicles have certain areas known as blind spots. For larger vehicles, such as cargo trucks, common blind spots include the side sides, just in front of the cab; directly behind the side mirrors; and behind the truck itself. It is important to take extra precautions when performing certain maneuvers, such as backing up or changing lanes.
3. Reduce cornering speed
Speed limits, especially on roads with many curves, are aimed more at drivers of much smaller vehicles. Larger trucks are not to reach those high limits, especially around corners and curves. Driving too fast in an area with many curves or corners can increase the chances that your cargo truck will tip over. Whenever you are driving in these areas, you should reduce the speed below the limit of the signs.
4. Drive defensively
There are many things you can do to ensure that your driving is safe, but as you will inevitably share the route with other drivers, it is important that you also consider them. Always pay attention and stay alert to any situation, so you can avoid hitting another vehicle unexpectedly.
5. Drive with caution in construction areas
Believe it or not, many accidents often occur in construction areas. This is why the training for cargo truck drivers should include detailed instructions on how to drive in those areas.
6. Check your cargo truck
Before leaving for any type of road trip, you should make a thorough inspection of your cargo truck. You should report any potential problems and correct it immediately. Keeping your cargo truck in good condition will drastically reduce the amount of safety incidents that occur on the road.
7. Stay calm
Another important lesson is to remain calm in any situation. For some, it is easier said than done, especially in stressful situations, such as heavy traffic or delays. However, to remain safe and prevent potentially dangerous accidents, it is essential to always remain calm.
8. Watch your health
Driving a cargo truck can be a tiring job, especially if you face your menstrual period, but given the inherent risk associated with the profession, taking care of yourself is of the utmost importance. For example, making sure you always get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel is a way to never fall asleep while driving. Eating well, exercising regularly and enjoying free time are also good practices. By doing so, you will stay refreshed, which will lead you to safer driving.
9. Get ready for bad weather
Approximately one quarter of all speed-related accidents and cargo trucks are caused by the weather. It is important that you reduce your speed when traveling with rain. A good tip is to reduce the speed by a third when the roads are wet. In case you meet with snow or ice, reduce the speed by half. Before changing lanes, wait longer than normal for other drivers to see your light signals. If you notice that other drivers are stopping, it is advisable to do the same.
We can’t handle the weather but we can adapt our driving to it. The most advisable thing is to avoid driving in heavy rains. Delay the exit or stop in a safe place until the intensity of it decreases, is ideal. But in case it should be followed, we bring some tips to preserve your safety.
Driving in the rain is not easy. The asphalt gets slippery, the water gathers in the gutters and cords and the “spray effect” affects visibility. In these cases, it is essential to be focused and pay attention to the rest of the drivers and pedestrians. It is necessary to maintain a greater distance than usual with respect to the car that is going ahead since the braking time is slower. In addition, it is very common for the glasses to fog due to humidity and temperature change. To avoid this we recommend turning on the air and directing it towards the windshield.
Many times, you have to maneuver not to go through a puddle or wet those who are on the sidewalk. It is important to avoid sudden movements and not to invade the side rails because, with the wet street, it is very easy to lose control of the vehicle. To slow down, there is a technique: do it gently and with short treads to dry the moisture of the pads and not block the direction.
It is also advisable to slow down at least half of what is allowed on dry pavement. If you go through a flooded area and you feel that the car is sliding on the water, do not press the brake or turn the steering wheel sharply. It is better to slow down and keep the steering straight to regain traction.
As always, you have to pay close attention to the signs and indications, beyond reducing speed and turning on the lights. The latter will make it easier to see and be seen while we move.