Road Warrior – WNTD & Best Practices: Driving Box Trucks
Over the last couple of weeks, Hype’s News & Views have offered tips and tricks for all the Road Warriors and Tour Drivers out there that may be kicking off their tours in the next couple of weeks or who are interested in booking a summer tour. (If you haven’t checked those out yet, now is the perfect time to learn some tips and tricks and how to obtain a CDL).
We’re wrapping up our Road Warrior series with “What Not to Do When Driving a Truck!” Here are Hype’s NOT to-dos and best practices on the road as a tour driver:
At the Rental Location/Before Hitting The Road:
- Don’t forget to talk to your rental provider about the insurance that they offer; make sure to purchase that insurance!
- Don’t forget to check the truck’s mechanisms with your rental agent; especially make sure to check the lift gate (if applicable) to make sure that it works and that you know how to use it.
- Don’t start driving without making sure that your side view mirrors are adjusted to your liking, comfort levels, and safety!
- Don’t forget to set your wheel locks on your road cases. If your cargo requires straps make sure to have straps and cranks available to keep your supplies safe and secure.
Know Your Way:
- Don’t breeze by road signs! Pay attention to signs pertaining to trucks (weigh station stops, truck or lane restriction signs and overhead clearance postings).
- Leave the guesswork at home. If you’re in unfamiliar territory, do you your research about what routes are best for your size vehicle.
- Use caution at intersections. Before crossing, check left, and then right, then left again.
- When making turns at intersections/side streets, make sure you clear: curbs, tree branches, parked vehicles, pedestrians.
- Always use your turn signals; be aware of vehicles around you on the road, some vehicles may enter your blind spot without you knowing so when changing lanes let your turn signals do some signaling before making your move.
- Avoid making sudden stops or abrupt lane changes. (Remember: No trucks in interstate passing lane!)
- Never tailgate! Trucks require more time and room to stop. Maintain more than one car length between the truck and the vehicle in front of you
- Don’t get stuck in the fast lanes on freeways or interstates, most rental vehicles will max out at 65mph
- Never let passengers ride in the cargo area of the truck!
- Don’t forget to set the emergency brake every time you park, you don’t want to lose your precious cargo or even worse cause a major incident
- Don’t put yourself in situations where the only way out is to back up or three-point turn. Always look for “drive-through” parking spaces.
- If you’re parking your vehicle in a Hotel parking lot try to park in well-lit areas, and better yet in a location that is visible from your hotel window.
Let’s Get Personal:
- Prevent fatigue. Don’t stay on the road for long periods of time, make sure to plan out stops for rest and reenergizing.
- Put your phone away! Don’t allow yourself to be distracted, have your driving partner text or make calls for you (if applicable), if you’re alone don’t text, don’t do it! Pull over and send out your texts if needed, if you’re going to make a call make sure you have a hands-free device.
- No matter how tired or hungry you are, don’t drive your truck through a drive-through; it’s not going to work.
- It’s important to stay hydrated on the road, but be weary of what you’re drinking, opt for bottles without bottle caps so that you don’t have difficulty opening the bottle and so that you can keep one hand on the steering wheel at all times.
- Make sure your GPS device or your phone is fully charged, your truck will have a port for you to plug in a vehicle charger so make sure you have a couple handy before you hit the road.