Semi truck drivers have a long and grueling haul from point A to B, often dealing with adverse weather, traffic, and equipment malfunction. They also are a significant part of the backbone of America’s supply-chain network, shuttling necessary goods across the country. New drivers, with a shiny CDL in their wallet or purse, are ready to hit the road. However, there are a few things that even though most seasoned driver should be aware of.
Take care of your truck and your truck will take care of you. Nearly any obstacle is surmountable with a proper mix of skill and a solid well-oiled (literally and figuratively) machine under your control. Do extra research and learn what distinguishes a semi, or any diesel engine, from a standard car on the road. Learn to manage things like your fuel air separation systems to keep your semi running like it was new.
Inclement weather, especially high wind, can be particularly dangerous for semis pulling a load. This high wind can catch the side broad side of your trailer and tip or drag your rig across the road. Keep an eye on the weather and don’t be afraid to pull over if the weather gets too nasty to navigate. Your client would probably rather an intact shipment that’s an hour late than one that doesn’t arrive at all.
Large cities and rush hour traffic are of particular concern for a semi driver. Beyond the detriment it may have on how well you’re keeping time, the extreme blind spots on a semi truck make it incredibly difficult to execute lane changes safely. Use a variety of apps and GPS tools to notify you of upcoming traffic so you can plot a new route and follow that instead of the heavy-traffic route.
Trucking is a challenging, rewarding, and frequently underestimated job. Look for these risks and you’ll have the job well in hand.