We all agree that the trucking industry has a significant contribution to the U.S economy. How significant? Here are a few numbers that should drive the point home.
If you have a commercial trucking company, you may have tried to sensitize your drivers to the potential hazards on the road. Being out on the road, on a long trip can be a test of one’s self-sufficiency. Drivers have to take on and overcome all the obstacles, small and large, that the road throws their way.
Confidence comes with experience and adequate training. But that apart, all drivers should have a checklist to tap into before starting any journey.
In this post, we are going to help you create such a list of things to check before starting a ride.
Before a trucker sets off on a trip, it’s necessary to check the condition of the truck, to avoid trouble while on the road.
Here’s a checklist for truck drivers:
- Check if there is any liquid leak – The best thing to do is back up the truck from the area where it was parked and see if the road underneath has any mark on it. If there is, report the problem to your supervisor and see if any other vehicle can be arranged within the short span of time. Liquid leaks, especially oil leaks, can have serious consequences if not dealt with properly and on time. It is not advisable to drive a vehicle that is showing signs of such a leak.
- See if the headlights are working properly – A trucker planning to drive at night must make sure that the headlights are working perfectly before starting the journey. Night drives are hard, especially in low visibility. Other vehicles could come out of nowhere and fail to notice the truck if its headlights are not clearly visible from a distance. many accidents that occur while driving through foggy conditions are caused by reduced visibility. Hence, it is vital to check the headlights before setting off.
- Check the traction of the tires – In the winter, the tires tend to lose traction. This could be due to fresh snow or melted snow forming black ice on the road. It is important for every driver to check the condition of the tires for the condition of the treads and the traction they provide. See if special winter tires need to be installed. These tires will provide enhanced control and better traction while navigating.
- Examine the condition of the mirrors and the windshield – It is advisable to clean the side view and the rearview mirrors every time a driver is about to set off on the next ride. Moreover, the windshield also needs to be clean to prevent impaired vision. Poor visibility CAN cause accidents.
- Adjust the driver’s seat – All drivers should take the time to adjust their seats before starting a new journey. See if you are comfortable and whether you are able to reach the pedals and other controls of the truck while being seated. It may seem quite a general thing to do, but when in a hurry, we tend to miss such small things. You may have moved the seat pitch or recline. You may have touched the rear-view mirror and it could have moved. In itself, each of these is quite insignificant. However, if a driver is not seated comfortably, the chances of accidents increase.
- Check the condition of the brakes – This is one of the most crucialthings to check for. Before starting any journey, make sure that the vehicle’s brakes are in perfect condition. Driving with under-performing brakes is an absolute no-no.
- Check the hours of service – As you know, all commercial truckers have to maintain strictly regulated hours of service. Before you start a new ride, check the ELD software installed on your mobile phone. Map it back to the HOS guidelines and create a mental schedule accordingly.
A lot of the rest of the drive is in near auto-pilot mode. The experience of the driver takes over as the ride flows along. But it’s worth adding a bit of routine to the start of each ride. This helps ensure drivers don’t miss anything. Following that routine will ensure they have a hassle-free journey and reach their destination on time.