This is the second article in what will now be an on-going series on great trucking advice. Trucking is a robust and sometimes tricky business. It requires a high level of professionalism by highly trained Drivers.
We know from facilitating our own Driver’s training program that good truckers take great pride in their ability to deliver any load safely and whenever possible – on time. We hope, therefore, that this series is helpful. Much of it will not be new to trained Drivers, but one never knows what can be learned from others.
The lives of the Driver and everyone he encounters on the roads is the primary concern of every capable and conscientious trucker. These are a few safety tips – basics really, but those which could be refreshed from time to time to ensure you stay alive and accident-free.
- Be Alert
There is a great reason this is the number one tip – it is the most important. To ensure one is awake and alert at all times should be the first consideration of every Driver. Be aware at all times of who’s in front of you and behind you.
Plan an escape plan for any eventuality, do you have enough area of the road around you to take evasive action? Are you fully awake and capable of remaining so throughout the journey? If not, plan to stop and refresh yourself and stick to your Driver schedule, which should allow for enough rest.
- Be alone – Whenever possible
Short and sweet – avoid heavy traffic whenever possible. Try to arrange to be as alone on the road as often as you can.
- Be weather-wise
Knowledge of weather changes and continuously checking the weather conditions facing you on the journey is all part of proper trip planning. There is no excuse not to either, with many useful weather apps available on all phones.
It goes without saying, when there is rain, fog or any other form of more reduced visibility – ensure you increase your following distance. Trucks are long and heavy vehicles that can take a long time to stop in wet conditions!
- Be delivery smart
If you are not familiar with the delivery depot or truck stops for that matter, take the time to pull over and take a few minutes to do a walkthrough to know what any possible hazards may be there. Will you be able to park safely without getting parked in?
Will you be able to turn around when you’re done and avoid reversing? Statistics show that many safety records are blemished by truckers striking objects when changing. Don’t let it happen to you!
- Be rested
All it takes is some regular stops at lay-bys on the road to refresh yourself a little. Get out and take a walk around your truck – this also gives you a chance to do a quick safety inspection – Check your load. Look for soft tyres, air leaks, check under the truck for any fluid or oil leaks.
Be a great Driver and get the trucks that keep you safe – and keep you going
FAW South Africa has some of the most reliable and toughest vehicles on the road, all with great warranties, enabling every trucker and trucking company to have ‘peace of mind’ on and off the road.
With the purchase of any new FAW truck, we also offer Driver training, which is available upon customer request. Should a customer determine that a particular driver needs additional training for optimal output on a vehicle, FAW is always happy to oblige.
We hope you have found this article on great trucking advice – Safety tips – Part 1 useful and informative and that you will watch this space for part 2. Contact us if we can be of service to you be careful out there – Happy trucking!