Everyone makes mistakes when starting out at a new job, and first-time truck drivers are no exception. As a new driver, you must study how to safely operate your truck and know the rules and regulations of the road so you can avoid making obvious errors. Here are some of the most common mistakes made by new drivers:
- Misjudging a Corner
As a rookie driver, you may forget about the trailer your hauling and take a corner too sharp (or too wide). Long trucks need a lot of space to complete a turn safely, and it’s common to misjudge how much room is required. This causes problems for several reasons, like cutting off other cars or jumping the curb. As you turn, keep an eye on your trailer to make sure that you clear it safely.
- Missing Signs
If you don’t pay attention, the road signs can pass you by in a blink of an eye. Whether they’re for speed limits, exits, or lane restrictions, it’s important that you watch out for these signs because they’re relevant to your safety.
- Driving too Fast
Most new drivers are used to smaller, faster vehicles, so once you’re out on the open road for the first time, you might forget about the big load you’re hauling behind you. Trucks should keep a slower speed than the general traffic because they need more space and time to slow down.
- Not Paying Attention While Backing Up
It takes time to get used to backing up a trailer. Too much steering can cause the truck and trailer to zig-zag. The smallest angle between the two can cause the trailer to drift sideways. The best advice is to make small adjustments, and get out and look. Check for obstructions and clearance, and use your mirrors, camera, and pavement lines to get you parked safely.
- Getting Lost
You’ll be driving to unfamiliar places, so the likelihood of you taking a wrong turn is high. But, if you plan ahead and study your route before, it will make your trip go more smoothly. In case you do get lost, be sure to have a trucker map handy (and know how to read it!).
It’s easy to get flustered when you first start, which means you’ll likely feel rushed or hurried by other drivers. In these instances, you’ll likely make more mistakes than usual. To mitigate mistakes, take your time, and stay focused.
- Feeling Overconfident
Driving a big rig may feel like you get to rule the road. Don’t be a driver who lets the power go to their head. Remember that you’re sharing the road with other vehicles, and it’s your job to keep them out of harm’s way.
I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of other common mistakes, but it all comes down to new drivers staying focused and practicing safety. Just because you’re a new driver doesn’t mean that you have to make mistakes like one. Follow your safety protocol and listen to your mentors to avoid making these rookie mistakes.
The team at Liquid Trucking, made up of highly trained drivers, takes pride in providing the highest quality liquid transport service out of the Midwest. Liquid Trucking is a leading hauler of food, agriculture, and hazmat liquid goods. We have been in business for over 30 years, and rank in the top 30 largest tank trucking companies in the United States. If you are looking for a liquid hauler that you can trust, visit our website or give us a call at 844-GO-TANKS!