Even for long-time truckers, common trucking mistakes can crop up where you least expect them. If you’re just starting out, learning about these mistakes is usually something you just come to terms with through experience. Instead, you can just read this list!
While some of these mistakes might seem obvious, and you think “I would never make that mistake”, you would be surprised. It’s easy to get complacent and forget the basics when you’re driving hundreds of kilometres each and every day.
1. Hurry, Hurry, Hurry
If you have a strong company behind you, they will ensure you can make the trip in the time allotted without breaking the speed limit or taking unnecessary risks. Period.
Not to try and scare you, but when you’re driving around a 30,000-pound truck, mistakes can be fatal for you and other drivers on the road. Life is worth more than any package.
So, what does this actually mean? Taking adequate breaks, avoiding tired driving, maintaining a proper speed and distance, and more.
2. Worrying About Lane Changes
Stressing less about lane changes is definitely something that just comes with experience.
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get over to your exit and keep lane-changing in general to a minimum. Also, when getting onto the highway, drivers almost always see you coming for a while, and they’ll either speed up, slow down, or move over. They’re much more manoeuvrable, and they know that.
3. Not Taking Mental Health Seriously
No one should expect truck drivers to just “man up” and deal with the stress that comes with daily trucking. Your mental health matters and a package isn’t more important than your health.
Take breaks, stay in contact with loved ones, eat healthy, stay active, and most of all, try to have a little fun! We have another blog all about having fun on the road because we know how important it really is.
4. Not Checking The Load
It only takes a few moments but can save you a massive amount of time and money.
One of the worst things that can happen to a trucker is driving hundreds of kilometres only to find out you hooked up the wrong trailer. Even if you’re very confident you’ve got the right one, double-check it to make sure!
5. Relying On GPS For Everything
Don’t get us wrong, the GPS is our best friend (it was actually the groom at my wedding), but sometimes it can miss things.
Technology isn’t perfect. It might tell you to go the wrong way down a recently changed one-way street or fail to update you on a speed limit change. Make sure you’re using your eyes as well as your GPS, keeping them peeled for road signs and more.
Finally, always (always, always) be on the lookout for clearance signs. The internet is full of videos of careless drivers getting the top of their trailer sawed off by a low overpass.