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5 mistakes that should be avoided by rookie truck drivers

5 mistakes that should be avoided by rookie truck drivers

Trucking is a serious business. Drivers are not only responsible for safely transporting their cargo in pristine condition but are also responsible for ensuring on road safety while driving big rigs. It takes years of practice and thousands of miles of driving to get trucking right. The competition is tough, and the stakes are high. That is one of the more important reasons to pay attention and avoid these mistakes by rookie truck drivers.

Not prioritizing safety
Not paying attention to safety can translate into costly and even life-threatening mistakes. Safety does not only mean putting on the seatbelts and going under the speed limit. Trucks should be handled with care to avoid endangering other motorists on the freeway. Additionally, rookie truckers need to be aware of the weather, driving conditions, and even stop to examine patches of road or terrain that look unsafe. At times, drivers might even underestimate the time and distance it takes to actually come to a full halt, depending on the load. So, it is necessary to monitor the lane changes, speed limits, handling maneuvers, and be extra careful driving at night.

Not driving properly
Rookies are advised to stay under the speed limit and not push the truck to its limits. This is crucial while going downhill as the brakes can wear out or overheat, locking individual wheels. Drivers must pay attention to the trailer and gauge the clearance on both sides, and even at the top around tight corners. One mistake and the trailer could cause some serious damage.

Always driving with a full tank
Driving full tank seems to be the smartest thing to do for long distance hauls. But expert truckers recommend against filling up the tank before a weighing station stop. The extra fuel will only increase the total tonnage of the vehicle. On some roads, these massive rigs may not even be allowed. It is wiser to fuel up at frequent intervals by planning out the route in advance.

Not asking for advice
Trucking comes with a steep learning curve. It pays to listen to the experts who have been trucking all their lives. Many reputed motor and transport organizations provide numerous references and resources that rookie drivers should check out. For example, the American Trucking Associations, the Women In Trucking Association, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are reliable resources to check out for state and national motor highway mandates.

Not being flexible
Handling logistics is a dynamic process, so truckers should be able to adapt to sudden and unplanned changes. For example, mechanical problems or delays on the highway can push deadlines off course. Changing weather and driving conditions will take a toll on the body affecting overall fitness. Routes and dispatches can change any time on the drive. Truckers should be able to adjust and adapt as conveniently as possible. The situation may get out of control at times, so rookie truckers need to understand that and be able to think on their feet.