A list of helpful hints for new drivers, and few of you old truck drivers too. The following is a list of helpful hints for newbie drivers.
1) Be professional.
2) Avoid accidents. Even minor ones are costly. Backing, blind spots,etc. Never get out from behind the wheel of your semi truck without setting the brakes. Do not use your truck as a snow plow during the winter, bent bumpers or any other minor accidents pulling off mud-flaps, backing into fixed objects, etc are not good and could cost you your quarterly bonus from your trucking company if you get one.
3) Report any damage no matter how small immediately. This includes damage to customers sites (backing over grass near driveway,backing over curb and damaging it, or anything that wasn't damaged before you got there.) Unreported damage can result in termination for new drivers from your trucking job.
4) If you get any tickets, warnings, or inspections (good or bad) turn them in as soon as possible.
5) Turn in your logs at least once a week.
6) Drivers always do pre-trip and post-trip inspections of your semi truck. Also make sure you have the proper equipment do do your job.
7) Make sure you always start in 1st gear, clutches are expensive.
8) Obey the rules of the road. Written warnings are as bad as tickets for new drivers.
9) Maintain your vehicle. This also means cleanliness inside and out.
10) If you get into a loaner truck for any reason respect the truck your in, don't make a mess of it for someone else to clean up.
11) Always check your trailer number against the bill of laden. Check, check, and recheck. A few extra minutes could save you a lot of heartache for new drivers.
12) Always read comments on bill of laden on every load, no matter how often you go to a customer. Comments can change at any given moment.
13) If you know of a problem ( #'s not matching, weight issues, etc) while at shipper, you need to fix it at the shipper. Do not leave shipper and bring to your yard and expect everybody to jump through hoops because you transferred a problem from an outside yard to your trucking company.
14) Always completely seal a trailer and record a the seal # on the B/L. Never tamper with a seal en route to a customer. Example if you get stopped at a scale and they need to open your trailer notify your dispatch so they can notify the customer. Always throw old seals in the garbage not on the ground at the customer.
15) New drivers Always notify your dispatch if you are running late for a pickup or delivery, you should know the day before if you are going to be on time or not depending on your hours of service.
16) Know your log book. You should know if you have the hours to make a load on time at the time you are dispatched on it. If you don't have the hours you need to notify your dispatcher.
Be The professional
New drivers consider these safety practices when you're out on the road.
Please Take Care Of Yourself
Get plenty of rest before driving. Eat well and stay fit. driver fatigue and lack of attention can significantly increase your risk of a crash. Hours of services violations are serious and can threaten your livelihood or even your life. Stay healthy and well rested, or don't drive!
Please Slow Down In Work Zones
Watch out for highway construction. Stay alert.
Almost one-third of work zone fatal crashes involved large trucks. Most of these crashes occurred during the day. Take your time going through work zones. Give yourself plenty of room, and expect the unexpected.
Be Aware Of Your "No-Zone"
Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your blind spots. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the No-Zone areas around a truck. Adjust your mirrors an be vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the No-Zone.
Always Keep Your Distance
Always leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
In rear-end collisions, regardless of the situation, if you hit someone from behind, you are considered "at fault." Large trucks, given their mass, have a much greater stopping distances than 4-wheelers. Take advantage of your driving height, and anticipate hard breaking situations.
Always Maintain Your Vehicle
It can save your life. New drivers Inspect your vehicle before each trip, and check your brakes regularly. Brake defects are the most frequently cited out-of-service inspection violation. learn how to inspect your brakes,identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life, and others, on the highway.
Always Drive Defensively
Avoid aggressive drivers and maintain a safe speed. two-thirds of all traffic fatalities may be caused by aggressive driving behaviors. Keep your distance and maintain a safe peed. The only thing excessive speed increases is your chance for a crash.
Please Fasten Your Seat Belt
Buckle up for safety and vehicle control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt will save your life and that of others. It will keep you in your seat and allow for you to maintain control if your truck. New Drivers increasing seat belt use is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injures on our roadways.
Be careful out there!
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