The trucking industry is a demanding, hard, and dangerous career. From being around heavy machinery constantly, being in ever-changing weather conditions, to driving itself, this job is not for the faint of heart. Here are just some of the dangers in truck driving and how to avoid them.
While this one is a no brainer, as everybody knows the risk of driving while tired, it’s still a very common thing for drivers of any kind. Be smart! If you are fatigued, stop and park somewhere safe to get some rest.
You should never text and drive, no matter what vehicle you are driving. Put the phone away, out of reach even, and focus on driving.
Driving too Fast for Road and Weather Conditions
It’s crucial to stay aware of everything that is happening around you while driving. Drivers judge the safety of a situation and how to react, including road conditions.
Road, and especially weather conditions, are big factors of how fast you should be going. Don’t be scared to slow down and take your time if needed.
Avoid parking and staying overnight at deliveries located in bad areas. Most places will tell you if you shouldn’t park overnight, but it’s a good idea to ask too!
It’s a good idea to do a walk around while fueling up, parking, at your pickup/delivery or any other time you need to stop to make sure your truck is in tiptop shape.
Things to check:
• Visually check the tires
• Thump the tires
• Visually inspect bolts of the hub
• Check the undercarriage of the trailer as you walk down
• Visually check airlines and listen for links
• Check lights at the rear of the trailer
• Check trailer doors for visible damage
• Check the seal of trailer doors (if it is a sealed load)
• Check your airlines and power cord from your truck to trailer
• Check your bumper for any visible damage
Pinning up to a Trailer
I think we can all agree that going under a trailer not coupled to the trailer is a big no-no! But if there is a situation where you need to, for example, to remove a pin lock, you should place the back of the truck’s frame underneath the trailer. This way, if the landing gear fails, the ruck frame will support the trailer.
Keep your Eyes Open at Truck Yards, Loading Docks, and Parking Lots
A lot of the places where you stop will have tons of heavy machinery and other trucks going by! Keep your eyes open, and never assume that people can see you. It’s a lot easier for you to see another truck backing up or a forklift whipping by than them seeing you walking by.
Air Bags can Settle when Working Under a Truck
Again, it’s never ideal to be under your truck, but if you must, have another person with you! If the airbags settle, they can seriously injure you!
Please, Don’t Mess Around with the Brake Chambers!
Do not mess around with the brake chambers! This is a job for the trained mechanics to handle as there are very powerful springs in the chambers that can kill you if mishandled.
Watch Your Footing on the Truck Frame or Trailer Deck
Every step you make while on the truck frame/catwalk or trailer deck should be done with thought and care! It is very easy to lose your footing, or even have your foot get caught and end up falling off in a great deal of pain!