Being a truck driver entails being fully present with what you're doing and what's happening around you. Driving a truck also requires being constantly aware and compliant with safe driving rules.
However, there are some cases when either a new or seasoned truck driver may be too complacent and relaxed while driving and start ignoring the things they should do to maintain their safety and the safety of the people around them.
In the following, our truck driver recruiting agency shares tips on the five essential things that professional truck drivers should never do.
1. DRIVING TOO FAST WHEN GOING DOWN THE HILL
Truck driving, especially in mountain passes and steep hills, can be challenging for a beginner and seasoned truck driver. The same goes when driving under conditions – e.g., icy roads, snow, and rain when the roads are slippery.
When driving down a steep hill or mountain, the faster you are, the harder it will be to control your truck because it picks up speed quickly. And if you don't pay attention, the top downhill speed can make you lose control of your vehicle.
So, when driving down a steep hill, what should you do? First, you must take the hills slowly for your safety and the safety of other drivers. There is no need to drive fast, especially if you're unfamiliar with the roads.
Mind your speed taking into account your capacity. So if you're running at total capacity, your heavy weight will push you down the steep hill. Even if you apply your brakes, you cannot slow the truck down without burning them. So try to go slower by five mph than the posted speed limit.
Before going downhill, determine the gear you should be using as well. And importantly, take note of the signs, such as steep grades along the highways, for guidance.
NOTE about loads: Consider if your truck is full or empty because your capacity will affect your hill navigation. If you're carrying over 25,000 lbs, reduce your speed by up to 10 mph below the posted speed limit if one exists or 35 mph if none.
*This tip for driving down a hill applies when the road conditions are favorable. Meanwhile, make a judgment call and reduce your speed, considering if you're empty or loaded under other road conditions.
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2. LETTING ELECTRONIC LOGGING DEVICES (ELDs) MAKE THE DECISION ALL THE TIME
Electronic logging devices, which plug into the vehicle's onboard diagnostics port, collect data on the engine, speed, location, and miles were driven and record driving time and hours of service for commercial motor vehicles.