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 driving tips large truck and heavy equipment drivers should know before going out on the road.
What kinds of things should you check or inspect on a vehicle before starting it up?
It is a good habit to 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. Large trucks are also normally carrying large loads which make moving the heavy equipment more difficult. Be sure to check all mirrors thoroughly and carefully before backing up to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you
If you are driving in fog, is it a good idea to use your high beams?
This tip is not just for large truck and heavy equipment drivers. Everyone on the road, 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 to their self and construction workers from rollovers, collisions, and getting caught or struck by equipment. Be sure to lower speed and take extra caution when entering and exiting work zones.
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 and safely as possible. If your truck is carrying dangerous of flammable materials be sure to call an emergency line for assistance to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.
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