How to stay safe on the road during haulage trips
04/03/2020
How to stay safe on the road during haulage trips

An understanding of risk and being able to keep yourself safe are both essential for any trucker. It can be a tough life out on the road and being prepared for potential issues and aware of where these might arise could one day save your life. So, how do you make sure that you stay safe on the road during haulage trips?
 

  1. Check the weather. Before you go look over weather reports for signs of anything problematic that you may have to deal with. Storms, excessive heat, ice and snow can all make a simple drive dangerous. Make sure you have a bad weather kit in the vehicle with you and stay alert to changing conditions as you’re on the move.
  2. When you arrive, research the delivery area on foot. Park up elsewhere and then take five minutes to walk around the area where you’re going to make the delivery. This will enable you to spot any potential security issues and also evaluate whether there is space to turn etc without getting stuck.
  3. Always be alert on the road. Who is behind your vehicle and who is in front? What can you see happening much further down the road? Do you have a clear idea of the action you’d take right now if you had to act fast? Awareness can be crucial to keeping your truck out of danger and ensuring you’re able to get quickly out of the way.
  4. Take extra care at night. Senses are slightly duller when it’s dark and you might be tired and less alert. Go slowly, especially when parking, reversing or pulling away in the dark and give yourself time to adjust to being back on the road if you’ve been asleep.
  5. Use technology to help you avoid traffic hot spots. Today, tech makes it easy to see where traffic is building up on a route and to take steps to avoid that area.
  6. Consider your stopping distance. It’s often frustrating when traffic is slow and you might be tempted to drive right up close to the vehicle in front to try to get where you’re going faster. However, this can be dangerous if the traffic in front suddenly comes to a halt so leave plenty of space to give you room to stop.
  7. Take regular breaks. This is essential for you so that you can fill up on coffee, get some food and make sure your body and mind are alert. It’s also an opportunity to walk around the truck and check its condition, looking out for issues like soft tyres or leaking oil.
  8. Keep your speed down. This is probably the single best piece of advice for staying safe out on the roads. Slower speeds will enable you to maintain control, especially when you’re taking corners or going up or down ramps – it’s better to hold up traffic while moving the truck than to rush a manoeuvre and cause damage.
 
These are some of the simplest ways to ensure that you stay safe during haulage trips this season.

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