Driving Us Mad! Safe Driving Tips for Large Trucks and Heavy Equipment


Drivers of large trucks and heavy equipment must use extra caution in order to safely navigate and share the roads with smaller vehicles. There are things that must be considered when driving large vehicles or operating heavy equipment in order to ensure the safety of operators and people who are nearby. They include maintenance, blind spot awareness, how to safely back up, dealing with inclement weather and poor road conditions, summer driving considerations, construction and work zone considerations, and minimizing in-cab distractions.

Here are a few key items you should know before you go out on the road.

What kinds of things should you check or inspect on a vehicle before starting it up?

Check fluid levels, lights, horns, other signals and alarms, mirrors, and hose connections and fittings, especially those associated with the brakes and other hydraulic equipment.

How are large vehicles and heavy equipment more difficult to back up?

They have larger blind spots and are less maneuverable than smaller vehicles.

If you are driving in fog, is it a good idea to use your high beams?

When driving in fog, do not use your high beams. Instead, turn on your fog lights, if available.

What kinds of risks do construction and work zones pose to drivers of large vehicles and heavy equipment?

Drivers of construction vehicles risk injuries from rollovers, collisions, and getting caught or struck by equipment.

What should you do if your vehicle starts to overheat and you are stuck in traffic?

Briefly put your vehicle in Park and lightly depress the accelerator to help circulate the coolant, and then pull off the road as soon as possible.

Additionally, drivers should know the following:

  • Limitations that large vehicles and heavy equipment have when compared to smaller vehicles
  • How high winds, standing water, driving in rain or snow, potholes, and sun glare can be hazardous while driving
  • Steps you should take if your vehicle begins to overheat or hydroplane
  • The main reasons large vehicles have longer stopping distances

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