2013 Trucking Guide – How Truck Drivers Can Navigate Through Big Cities
The first thing that drivers should do when driving through big cities is to always make sure that they are early for the delivery. If going to a place such as downtown Chicago, then the driver needs to call ahead and find out what the overnight parking situation is. If he has a place to go to overnight and it’s not located in a horrible part of the city, then he should go in the night before, and spend the night in his place. If it does happen to be located in a bad area of the city, then he should plan on arriving at around 4:30 to 5:00 AM, which is well ahead of rush hour, and take a nap in before they arrive. So the main advice is to always arrive at his destination as early as possible, before the rush hour begins.
The next thing that the driver needs to do is to confirm directions by using simple multiple sources. He should call the customer for directions, or check his GPS map, or even check his company’s directions over at Qualcomm. He also needs to make sure that at least two of those three resources seem to match up. The directions of the company o Qualcomm are actually going to be the least reliable. But if the driver can match up to the directions that the customer has given him with what he sees on his GPS, the he should be good to go. He should also need to verify that there are no low bridges on the route.
Another thing that the driver needs to do is to download Google Earth and use it to zoom in on the customer. He can usually figure out where to pull in, and also find out where the docks are located, which can be a very big deal. He rolls through a crowded city and sees the place up ahead, but where does he pull in? When he calls for directions, he needs to make sure to ask this, and then verify it on Google Earth. If he also passes the place in a crowded city, then it could be a bit of a nightmare trying to get turned around somewhere.
One more thing to do when driving through big cities is to figure out where he could turn around if he passes the place. Sometimes, something freaky would happen, such as a road construction blocking the normal route, or a detour that takes the driver to a different direction. These kinds of things happen, so he needs to try and get a feel for the area on Google Earth. The driver also needs to watch out for residential areas. He should know where they are, and makes sure that he avoids them.
Of course, the single most important aspect of driving a truck is to not panic, and just relax. Even if a nightmare scenario plays out and he causes a major disruption in the traffic… It doesn’t matter. In the end, there is always a happy ending. So whatever happens, he should not panic and hit anything. If he can pull the brakes and park it until he can figure out what to do, then he should do just that. If people get mad, then he should not care. And if the driver has to drive to the nearest ocean or river port to pick up their goods since the trucks weren’t bringing them to local stores, then these customers would just have to wait.
Truck Drivers’ Safety Tips
Truck drivers also need to have good safety habits while driving on the road. A lot of drivers mistakenly believe that because they are driving a large truck or a tractor, then they will be safe when it comes to accidents. This is a big mistake. Trucks also get involved in a lot of accidents, and truck drivers, as well as the occupants and passengers of other vehicles, are also injured.
Drivers should also make sure to get enough rest so that they will be alert while on the road. They should also make sure that they have enough things to eat and drink. If necessary, they should also keep extra snacks and drinks in their truck.
The best thing that drivers need to do before driving their truck is to conduct a pre-trip inspection. A pre-trip inspection usually involves a basic overview of the truck. This always includes an overview of the engine. The engine’s coolant levels and fluid levels of the windshield and transmission should be checked. He will also need to check the brakes, lights (including signal lights), and windshield wipers.
If the driver is hauling cargo, he needs to make sure that it is secured in the best possible way. This may include being sure that it is blocked, braced, tied, chained, or a combination of those four. For types of cargo that require the use of a tarp, make sure that it is properly secured. Trucks are also prone to rollover in certain types of accidents, so it is always important to secure cargo.
For road safety, always fasten seatbelts. Always leave enough space between the truck and the vehicle that’s ahead of the truck, since trucks can’t stop fast and also because trucks will need a wider distance in order for them to stop safely. The driver should always use his turn signals, since other drivers don’t know what his intentions are unless he informs them. He should also use his signals to allow those other truck drivers to plan their actions accordingly.
He should also need to know how to drive in extremely bad weather conditions. These include strong winds, heavy rain, sleet, and snow that often contribute to the cause of vehicular accidents. Drivers should also know when to stop driving when there is a sense of danger—It is always better to make a mistake on the side of caution, than to take unknown risks.
Drivers should always keep a cellphone or some other type of communication device that they can use for communication, as well as to be updated on road conditions. This is important to be able to report stranded motorists and accidents.