Entering the trucking industry can be appealing in a number of ways. For one thing, trucking jobs generally require only a high school education, possibly bolstered by some amount of training, depending on where workers are hired. In addition, the profession allows for the opportunity to make a good living, as well as potentially own a truck or even one’s own fleet one day. But before you start dreaming big, you first have to learn the basics of truck driving safety, in addition to the regular rules of the road. Here are a few safety considerations that will help you to deliver every load safe and sound.
The first thing you need to learn to do is properly maintain and service your vehicle. If you’ve never taken auto shop, now is a good time to sign up for a class at your local community college or adult continuing education facility. You can certainly rely on agencies like AAA to rescue you in a pinch, but if your rig breaks down in the middle of nowhere, it behooves you to have some mechanical skill to see you through, as well as a basic toolkit to complete repairs. Even if you’re able to arrange for roadside assistance, you could find yourself waiting for hours, losing time that could be better spent driving toward your pickup or delivery destination. At the very least you should know how to check fluid levels, identify engine components, and look over your engine for anything that might be out of place.
Before you even get started running cargo you should also figure out how to properly load a truck or shipping container. This means distributing weight as evenly as possible to avoid the potential for tipping, especially on turns. And you should learn how to place and strap down cargo so that it is less likely to shift or suffer from damage during transport. If you happen to transport hazardous materials or refrigerated items, just for example, you may have to observe other practices, as well, but you’ll likely undergo specific training for this purpose.
And once you’re on the road there are several safety practices to consider. For one thing, you’ll need to watch your speed, following speed limit signs specifically targeted at large trucks and slowing for turns, hills, and work zones. Knowing the dimensions of your vehicle and knowing how to use your mirrors appropriately is also important for changing lanes, turning, and parking your truck. And when you’re driving, you need to be aware of yourself and your surroundings.
If the weather turns ugly, you need to adjust your driving habits accordingly to compensate. And if you get tired while driving, it is important to pull over and rest so as to avoid the potential for an accident that could cost you your cargo, your job, or even your life. Ideally, you can find a partner to split the duties of driving a truck, allowing you to take long-haul trucking jobs listed on JiggyJobs.com without having to worry about stopping for rest. But if you’re going it alone, observe all necessary safety precautions and stop as needed.