3 Points of Contact:
Remember to employ three points of contact at all times when entering or exiting the tractor, trailer, or climbing onto or down from the catwalk. This means always having both hands and one foot or both feet and one hand in contact with your equipment. Making this a habit can prevent slips, trips and falls!
Seven Second Rule:
Consider seven seconds to be the minimum safe following distance under ideal conditions. Remember to leave extra space if conditions are less than ideal.
Do not use cruise control in less than ideal conditions. Using cruise control can be dangerous on wet or icy roads, as well as in areas where many speed corrections need to be made, such as on winding or hilly roads, in heavy traffic, and in urban areas.
Keep both hands on the steering wheel in the 9&3 o’clock position. This allows the maximum steering wheel movement in either direction without having to reposition your hands, giving you the most leverage and control of your vehicle.
School Zones/Construction Zones:
For everyone’s safety, slow down to posted speeds when approaching school and construction zones and be prepared to stop. Obey all signs and workers who are directing traffic.
Tractor & Trailer Lights:
Keep your headlights and clearance lights on at all times when driving. Also, always make sure to keep your lights clean. Being visible is extremely important to your safety. Driving with lights on will allow a fellow motorist to see your equipment sooner. This will allow other drivers more time to adjust to any potential hazards.
Safe Loading and Unloading Practices:
Ensure that vehicles and freight are properly secured when loading or unloading freight. Apply tractor and trailer parking brakes and turn off your tractor. If available, use chock blocks for extra security. Do not pull out of a loading dock until the dock plate has been removed and you have verified that the loading/unloading has in fact been completed and that no equipment or people are still working in the trailer.
Wear a properly adjusted seatbelt at all times. In a team driving environment, as a sleeper-berth occupant, use belts and/or netting during operation of the truck. Do not occupy the upper bunk unless the truck is parked. Seatbelts are the most effective vehicle safety device, saving thousands of lives annually.
To ensure your personal safety and the safety of those around you, travel at or lower than speeds of 62 mph (100 kph) or the otherwise posted speed limit of the roadway being travelled. Always adjust your speed to a safe level as determined by the various driving conditions.
Blinding glare caused by low sun, sunlight reflecting off snow, other vehicles and/or buildings can be potentially lethal. This danger can be greatly reduced by wearing sunglasses with polarized lenses that filter glare. Choose sunglasses that have curved lenses to protect in front and to the sides, and thin frames to free up peripheral vision. Always remove sunglasses when entering tunnels.
When it comes to summer driving, it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself in some heavy rain. This is especially true for all of the men and women truckers who spend their days behind the wheel. Driving in heavy rain isn’t fun, but with these truck driver safety tips, you can keep yourself (and everyone you share the road with) safe and sound.