Driving a large truck isn’t like driving a minivan. That’s evident in the type of license you need to operate a commercial truck. To get behind the wheel of a large truck, like an 18-wheeler, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The CDL consists of a general knowledge test and a skills test. To drive heavy haul in Aurora, CO, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate stopping, backing up, making turns, driving on city and highway roads and weaving a truck through a “serpentine” course. Here are some tips to ensure you’re operating in a safe capacity at all times.
Watch your space cushion
Whether driving down the highway, backing up at a rest stop or sitting motionless at a stoplight, truckers need to be cognizant of their surroundings at all times. They need to maintain a safe space, or space cushion, around all sides of their trucks. Drivers also have to watch their height while going through an underpass. They must be careful while driving on uneven roads because they don’t want to bottom out. They need to watch the driver side and passenger side of the truck while parking and driving down the road, because you can never be too sure that other drivers are paying attention when they decide to switch lanes. On a similar note, they need to be aware of what cars are doing both in front of and behind the truck.
Maintain a safe stopping distance
Believe it or not, a fully loaded semi-truck doesn’t stop too quickly. If you add in other factors like slippery roads, or trying to stop on an incline or on a curvy road, your total stopping distance is quite far. While driving heavy haul in Aurora, CO, make sure begin slowing down way before other vehicle on the road.
Plan your trip ahead of time
Factors like bad weather, accidents on the road and detours due to construction can seriously slow you down. In order to stay on schedule for your deliveries, you need to know the route you’re taking like the back of your hand. There are numerous apps for smart phones that truck drivers can use to plan out their route before they hit the road.
Be aware of blind spots
Every vehicle has blind spots. It’s unavoidable. The size of blind spots on semi-trucks is just way bigger than on most other passenger vehicles. To combat these blind spots, put extra mirrors on your truck cab. These will help limit the size of the blind spots, but it won’t eliminate them completely. Most drivers probably know that truck drivers have a hard time seeing who’s behind and next to them, but don’t rely on drivers to always make the best decisions. Give other motorists plenty of time to get over or get around you before you try to switch lanes.
Maintain your truck
Before going on a run, make sure every aspect of your rig is in tip-top shape. Check the oil levels, ensure your tires are properly inflated and that all of your brakes are up to code.
If you’ve followed these safety tips for heavy haul in Aurora, CO, you should be able to enjoy a safe and uneventful driving experience. For more tips, contact the team at Osage Specialized Transport today.