Tractor-trailers are enormous vehicles that could pose numerous risks to those in and around them in any slight lapse in concentration or mishandling. In addition to their huge and potentially intimidating size, tractor-trailers are at great risk of disconnecting from their trailers, jackknifing or even tipping over from mishandling or poor maintenance.
As a tractor trailer driver, you should be fully aware of your surroundings and keep the size of the trailer in mind. You should also constantly check the condition of the tractor-trailer and keep them well serviced for better rides. Here are key mistakes to avoid while driving tractor trailers.
Panicking About Lane Changes
Changing lanes can be challenging for any driver, but it can be especially difficult in a tractor-trailer due to the size and weight of the vehicle. If you panic while changing lanes, you may make sudden, jerky movements that can cause you to lose control of the vehicle and increase the risk of a collision.
You should carefully check your mirrors and blind spots before making any lane changes. Ensure you signal your intention to change lanes and give other drivers enough time to respond. Remember, you are driving a large vehicle that requires more space and time to change lanes, so be patient and take your time.
Forgetting About Your Trailer
Another thing you should never do when driving a tractor-trailer is to forget about your trailer. The trailer is an important part of your vehicle and is responsible for carrying the goods you are transporting.
Without your trailer in mind, you may make too sharp turns, which can cause the trailer to jackknife or tip over. You may also forget to check your trailer’s brakes or tires, which can lead to mechanical problems and accidents.
To be safe, check the trailer regularly and take care of any maintenance or repair issues that may arise. Moreover, pay attention to your trailer while driving, and be aware of its size and weight when making turns and changing lanes.
Going Too Fast
Driving a tractor-trailer too fast can make it more difficult to control your vehicle, especially if you are driving on a winding road or in poor weather conditions. It can also increase the risk of a collision, as you will have less time to react to other vehicles or obstacles on the road.
You should always observe the posted speed limits and drive at a safe speed. You should also be aware of your vehicle’s weight and size, as it will take longer to slow down or stop than a smaller vehicle. If you are in a hurry, try to find a safe and legal way to make up time, such as by taking an alternative route or leaving earlier.
Exercise Caution When Driving Tractor-Trailers
While tractor-trailers require top-tier skills and concentration to get through the road safely, they are manageable if you do everything right. Ensuring you’re in cruise control of the vehicle at every time by moving safely and following basic road rules, you can easily move your big machinery around.
It’s also crucial to maintain the tractor-trailer and optimum condition and functionality, to avoid costly surprises on the road. Contact us to get your big rig ready for safer trips and manageable maintenance.
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