Driving a truck comes with incredible responsibility. Mistakes can cost the life or good health of other road users.
A truck driver’s responsibility starts long before dropping the handbrake and pulling off. Failing to complete all necessary checks could lead to disaster.
How must truck drivers prepare to hit the road?
However late a driver is running, they must do the following before leaving:
- Ensure they are well-rested: Partying ’til 3 a.m. before driving at 8 a.m. would be inexcusable. Yet most fatigue issues are less clear-cut. A driver may have been unable to sleep due to money worries. Or perhaps the heavy schedule of the last few months has finally caught up with them, and they are still shattered despite eight hours sleep.
- Ensure they are sober: Drivers need to calibrate how much they drink in their downtime and ensure it is all out of their system by the time they need to drive. Trucking employers should have testing schemes to spot issues.
- Check the vehicle: While others may perform most maintenance, drivers cannot pass the buck entirely. It is a federal requirement that drivers fill in an inspection report before setting off.
- Check the load: A trucker cannot rely on someone else telling them their vehicle has been correctly loaded. As the person who will drive with it, they must check.
- Check the weather: Forecasting services are excellent. Drivers should adjust their route in the case of bad weather to avoid high-risk spots.
Truck drivers may feel under pressure to drive regardless of issues. If they cause a truck crash that injures you, get help to determine whether you need to claim against the driver, the company that pressured them, or both.