Post Date - Sep 23, 2022
Safe operations may seem to be second nature to most professional truck drivers, but we all need to be reminded from time to time of the basics for keeping ourselves and others safe on the road. Here’s a quick refresher on managing space, controlling speed, and more basic safety protocols.
To be a safe truck driver, you need space all around your vehicle. When things go wrong, space gives you time to react appropriately. The space ahead of you is the most obvious area to manage in case you need to stop suddenly. To determine how much space you need, one good rule of thumb is at least one second for each 10 feet of vehicle length at speeds below 40 mph. At greater speeds, add 1 second for safety. For example, in a 60-foot rig, you'll need 6 seconds. Over 40 mph, you'd need 7 seconds for a 60-foot vehicle. To know how much space you have, wait until the vehicle ahead of you passes a clear landmark on the road, then count off the seconds until you reach the same spot. Compare your count with the rule of one second per every ten feet of length.
You can't stop others from following you too closely, but there are things you can do to make it safer.
There are many reasons to keep speed under control but the main one is that speed is a direct influencer on the amount of stopping distance a driver needs. The faster a semi-truck hauling a full trailer travels, the longer it needs to come to a complete stop. Here’s an equation you should know: Perception Distance + Reaction Distance + Braking Distance =Total Braking Distance
The faster you drive, the greater the impact or striking power of your vehicle. And the heavier the vehicle, the more work the brakes must do to stop it, and the more heat they absorb. Remember that the brakes, tires, springs, and shock absorbers on heavy vehicles are designed to work best when you’re fully loaded since empty trucks have less traction and need greater stopping distances.
Hazardous roads or object
Truck drivers have to be hyper-aware of potential hazards at all times. Here are some common hazards to watch for.
Avoid Distracted Driving
We can’t say this enough: Stay focused on the road! While you may follow all the rules related to cell phone usage on the road -- it is illegal to text while driving, and mobile phones must be hands-free – you have to be aware that many automobile drivers around you are doing it so you must watch out for them.
Eating, drinking, interacting with a navigational device, reading maps, or any other activity that takes the focus off the road can be extremely dangerous for truckers. If you must attend to an activity other than driving, exit the highway or pull over – it’s not worth the risk.
At Montgomery Transport, we work to keep safety top of mind at all times! It is the foundation of everything we do because safe operations are our top priority. If you’re looking to work with a carrier that focuses on your safety and career satisfaction, connect with Montgomery Transport today!