Transporting oversized loads is a big responsibility (pun intended). While on the open road, accidents can happen. However, there are ways to minimize threats. Learn how to reduce risks while driving a heavy haul truck by reading this helpful post!
Prioritize Preventative Maintenance
Vehicles in good condition are less likely to break down on the road. Preventative forms of maintenance, such as changing tires, installing coolants, and ensuring correct fluid levels, are smart practices. It’s also essential to prepare the truck for heavy loads and prevent system overheating.
For instance, one way to avoid automatic transmission overheating is to install an external transmission cooler on the truck. Since heavy haul trucks handle tough loads, the vehicles experience extra stress leading to overheating. When that happens, you risk transmission failure.
However, taking preventative steps helps your vehicle and avoids damage or breakdowns.
Practice Safe Driving Habits
Reduce risks while driving a heavy haul truck by practicing safe driving habits. Heavy haul trucks are different than average vehicles, and this fact reflects in how you must handle the vehicle. You need to know how to drive on tight roads such as residential streets to protect the vehicle and prevent accidents. Avoid vehicle collisions and damage by watching out for blind spots, driving within the speed limit, and not turning the truck too quickly.
Know Your Route
Depending on your state, heavy haul trucks can only travel on specific routes because the vehicle is so big. Before starting your journey, you must know your route. It’s also best to map out alternative routes in case of heavy traffic, bad weather, or road closures. Make sure that all alternative routes permit heavy haul trucks.
Don’t Drive While Tired
A given rule for driving any vehicle is to never drive while tired. Drowsy driving is a leading cause of accidents on US roads. With the size and weight of heavy haul trucks, the chance of being in a crash increases. If you’re tired, you risk drifting into different lanes and colliding with other cars. Don’t endanger yourself or other drivers. When in doubt, pull over or go to the nearest rest stop. Take a nap and continue driving after you rest.
Create an Emergency Kit
Road and weather conditions can change when you drive long distances with heavy loads. Prepare for unexpected threats by creating an emergency kit. You should prepare a tool kit, contact information for roadside assistance, spare vehicle parts, and a first aid kit. You can also benefit from keeping food, water, and an extra pair of clothes with you, especially if you’re trucking through rough conditions.
Image credit: File #384054596 A very large haul dump truck being hauled By F Armstrong Photo