Truck driving is a skill that will take time to fully master. As someone who just starting as a truck driver, we recommend you read these tips from experienced drivers who were once in your shoes. Practice these tips every day, and eventually, they’ll become natural and good habits for you, too.
Tips from Experienced Drivers
- Pay Attention
- Pay attention to the road ahead of you, but also the drivers around you. Be cautious and drive carefully when sharing the road. Additionally, pay attention to your route, take a mental note of your exit or your turn so that you can remember how to get back there. You don’t want to waste precious time trying to find your way back.
- Master Parking
- Parking your truck can be a daunting task, and G.O.A.L (Get Out And Look) is the best advice you’ll get when it comes to parking. When you’re backing into a spot, take your time and don’t take your spacing for granted. If you’re unsure about your path, get out and look. As you reverse, follow your trailer tires to help keep you on track, and use lines on the pavement to help judge your angle. Don’t worry about other waiting drivers, as they’ve probably been in your position before as well.
- Double Check Your Truck
- How many times have you accidentally left a light on or blinker going? Probably more times than we’d all like to admit. Switches and knobs can easily get bumped when getting out of your truck. So, the best solution is to do a double-take on your truck as you walk away. Make sure that everything is turned off and locked up. It’s little things like that that can keep you on track and your mind at ease.
- Be Aware of Your Trailer
- Don’t underestimate the difficulty of driving with a trailer. One drift across the line or a sharp turn could put you or others in danger. It’s important to leave room between your truck and the vehicle your following. The extra weight can make it more difficult to slow down. In addition, when taking turns, give yourself a wide-angle so you can avoid curbs, other cars, or running off the road.
- Follow Through on Your Pre-Tip Inspection
- Make sure your load is safe and properly operating before you hit the road. Check under the hood, walk around the truck, and fire up the engine. If you notice any issues or damages, fix them right away. It’s better that you’re proactive on your inspections rather than getting stopped by the DOT during your haul.
- Don’t Swerve to Avoid Animals
- Contrary to what most people believe, swerving to avoid animals is the worst thing you can do. You might think by swerving that you’re avoiding an accident, but you’re likely creating a whole new hazard. Swerving can result in hitting a tree, guard rail, or another car. The best advice is to stay buckled, drive slow, drive straight, and honk your horn if you have time.
- Invest in Trucker Maps and Truck Stop Guides
- Not only does truck driving require you to pay attention, but you also need to know where you are going. Truck maps (or GPS) specifically for truck drivers will be very helpful – it can help you figure out where to park, which roads to avoid, where loading docks are, and much more. Additionally, it’s nice to know when trucks stop and fueling stations are coming up on your drive.
Many new drivers could benefit from the experience of seasoned drivers. At Liquid Trucking, our experienced drivers have been an incredible resource for our younger drivers. We work as a team to help each other learn and find a solution.
Liquid Trucking is a Top 30 Bulk Liquid Carrier in the United States. We are proud to be providing the highest quality liquid transport services out of the Midwest. We transport materials from agriculture, food, and hazmat sectors throughout the country and Canada. To get a quote, please call 844-GO-TANKS!