5 Tips for First-time Truckers

If you want a job with a lot of personal freedom, trucking probably calls to you. It’s straightforward work with good pay and benefits. If you’re a fan of audiobooks and podcasts, it gives you a lot of time for quiet contemplation and a reprieve from the stresses of the world. The following tips will help you keep (or start!) truckin’.

Don’t Speed

Always travel at the recommended speed for your weight. Even when you’re driving responsibly it can take thousands of feet for your truck to stop. By traveling the recommended limit, you reduce risk and keep difficult situations manageable.

Stay Focused

Music, podcasts and audiobooks are fine, but you should avoid doing anything that takes your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road. This includes eating. While it may save time to take your burger on the road it can lead to distractions that result in property loss, injury or worse.

Texting behind the wheel is straight-up illegal, and the risk is potentially greater for truck drivers than drivers of passenger vehicles. If you want to keep in contact with someone back home, installing a hands-free phone system is the easiest solution.

Size Matters

When you drive a truck, you’re often the biggest vehicle on the highway. Unfortunately, a lot of roads and underpasses were made with only passenger vehicles in mind. Stay alert for signs indicating a height limit and narrow turns.

Keep Fit

When you’re driving a truck you are often sitting for eight hours a day, sometimes more. Even though you’re not physically active, this can still wear on your body. Make sure to keep up with physicals and doctor appointments, and to exercise at rest stops. This will help prevent blood clots and heart issues.

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Also, be aware of the “health” of your truck. Be prompt with safety inspections and regularly check your tires and breaks. Find out if your diesel fuel filtration is optimal, and always check the stability of your load. Unsecured or unbalanced items can fall off and create road hazards for other drivers, or even make your entire truck lose balance and rollover.

Don’t Drink

Or smoke, or eat anything that will intoxicate you. Medications that cause drowsiness should also be avoided. Just because it’s legal to take, it doesn’t mean it’s legal to do while driving.

When you’re driving a truck, you simultaneously have a lot of alone time and great responsibility to others. Have fun, but be safe.