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Truck Driving Tips for New Truck Drivers

If you are new to driving you have probably already experienced a pretty steep learning curve already. Want to make it even steeper so that you can become even more productive earlier in your career? Then read, we have some tips for new Truck Drivers below.

Firstly, revving the engine before letting out the clutch to take off is not necessary. Its one of the most common mistakes that new truck drivers make and just burns through the fuel unnecessarily.

Be careful whom you work with. Ask questions, and if you don’t get the right answers then don’t drive for them. If the company is not committed to your safety then don’t risk it – your life depends on it! Your safety and the safety of others on the road should come as a priority over everything, including speed, efficiency and timing. So if your safety comes at a compromise then just say no.

An important aspect of the safety is fatigue management. The only cure for fatigue is to actually stop and sleep so do what’s important and fair for all driers on the road.

It’s worth investing in a defensive driver-training course to deal with the unexpected. There’s always going to be a motorist cutting in, or there may be slippery conditions to deal with or blowouts to handle so you need the skills to deal with these challenges.

Check out the best apps for Truck Drivers to get the latest traffic info, loads, bridge heights, and nearby stops. Having said that your GPS is not always going to be 100% accurate so don’t take it as gospel, you still have to have a good idea of the roads in the area you are driving so pay attention. For example Melbourne Drivers will have to take special note of the tramlines, and the often-complicated roading that divides up this city. If you don’t take note of what’s happening around you and get stuck in bad weather for example, you could end up getting stuck. In Northern Australia truck drivers are plagued by the wet season, in which if you get flooded it could be 6 months before getting your truck out!

Don’t talk or text while driving. It’s dangerous and distracting, and will lead to accidents that you just don’t need. If your mind and eyes are on your mobile phone then you may end up missing the brake lights of the car in front you and crash, or even worse not see someone on the road and hit them.

Instead of texting or talking while driving, make sure you take rest times and call them. Its critical for Truck Drivers’ mental health to stay connected to loved ones and can actually help to keep us alert and awake just like chatting with a passenger.

Be professional on and off the road. Don’t talk about drugs, sex, swear or gossip. Its unprofessional, and will give you a bad reputation. Ultimately talking about these things on serves to show your age in the industry.

Make sure you stop to get some exercise along the way. Melbourne is famous for its parks and the surrounds have many open fields and easy places to stop to get out and get some fresh air and exercise.

In Australia Truck Drivers working on longhaul shifts learn quickly that Kangaroos don’t bounce so stay alert and expect to create some roadkill along the way, but as a truck driver its just part of the job. Hitting large animals like Kangaroos can cause havoc for the truck so another important tip for a new Truck Driver is to have regular maintenance on your truck (if its your own, if not insist that the company you are driving for does) to keep the brakes, steering, transmission, wheel bearings and tyres in working order.

Understanding and patience is also critical. Sometimes you will have to wait for hours to have the truck loaded, unloaded, changed over, for the traffic to move or for the roads that you need to take just aren’t that good and you will have to go slowly. All of this means that you need steely nerves and patience to withstand the challenges on the road. Your patience even needs to extend to things like the use of a dirty toilet, shower and the inability to create a regular routine.

We hope you found these tips helpful and relevant. If you would like to contribute please email us at jobs@drivers.com.au so that we can add more.

 

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