Properly tying down your load is essential for safe and legal transport. It helps to protect your truck and bed, as well as the integrity of the products you are transporting. Below are some basics in terms of securing your cargo.
Know Your Weight Limits
Most states have an 80,000-pound loading limit, but odds are your load will fall well beneath that limit. Avoiding overloading means you will be safer, not putting undue pressure on your axles, and not risking the costly fines that come with being overweight. Your goal is to transport your full load, but always err on the side of caution. It is also imperative that you check the load limits on your truck tires, and never pass a required weighing station, even when you are close to capacity.
Even experienced truckers can brush up on safe driving habits, which is one reason recurrent truck driver training is essential. Modern technology assists with many of the safety tips below, but nothing can replace your firsthand evaluation.
It is understandable that you want to get to Point B as quickly as possible, but you must also get their as safely as possible. Taking breaks is essential for avoiding one of the truckers’ most common causes of accident and injury—overexertion. This includes getting the rest you need, as well as taking the time to stretch sore and tired muscles after sitting for extended periods of time. During your breaks, take the time to walk around your truck to do a visual inspection of your tires, trailer, and for any potential leaks. Do some neck and back stretches to help with circulation and general health. Also, try to plan your breaks around peak traffic times. Who needs the stress of stalled traffic when you could be doing something good for your body and truck?
Training the next generation of truck drivers requires more than teaching how to operate heavy machinery, maintain fuel efficiency, and the rules of the road. In the last decade, there have been significant advances in automotive technology. We are also starting to see a shift in driver skill set and profiles. This creates a shift in how you train your drivers and sometimes requires different training methods for both tenured and entry level drivers.
Training for a Proactive Approach
Your old-school drivers aren’t just drivers, many really understand how the machine they drive truly works. While they may not perform the scheduled maintenance on your trucks—they know what to look, listen, and feel for. In a pinch, they may even do some on-the-road repairs. While many old-school drivers will embrace automated technology, some will have a more difficult time in doing so. At the very least, a harder time embracing some tools over their decades old, intuitive systems.
On the flip side, your entry-level drivers expect the trucks they drive to have smart tools and technology. While they might know some basic maintenance and mechanics, they will mostly rely on automation to guide their decision making process. They even expect a truck that is as easy to drive as a car. This means automatic transmission is a must.
A CB is one of the most important tools for truckers, but sometimes it’s easy to forget why we use them, and that can lead to some major etiquette violations or make other drivers irritated.
CBs Serve a Valuable Purpose
CB communication isn’t just to give bored truckers something to do. This communication is important as it allows truckers a safe way to communicate with each other and let everyone know about road conditions, traffic, or even call for help in an emergency.
Hasn’t technology replaced the CB by now? When it relates to safety, not really, because fumbling around with smartphones on the road is dangerous and the one key action of the CB mic is a far safer alternative. Smartphones will only do you good if you already know the truckers around you, which is a rarity for most drivers.