5 Road Trip Tips
1). Street/Highway Signs- Signs mean everything. Read every sign and by the time you come up on it; make sure you are following it. Example: SPEED LIMIT 35 (slow the truck to 35 before you pass the sign, not after). I was taught this during training and over the next 5 years I have never got a moving violation.
2). Do Not Get Stuck- If you are not sure if you are pulling down a street that is not right or a parking lot that you cannot turn around in, pull over and walk ahead. Before getting your truck stuck somewhere you cannot get out of; get out and make sure it is safe. As a driver, you have a sense that maybe you went the wrong way at times. Stop the truck somewhere safe and legal and work on making corrections before you make matters worse than they already are.
3). On/Off Ramps- Half the states in our country have their on/off ramp signs designed for the speed of a truck. Others are stated for Class C vehicles. Without knowing which ones do, I always went 10 slower than the sign said just in case. While I was hauling fluids, I would decrease my speed by at least 15 miles an hour (weather may imply to go even slower). A huge amount of accidents occurs on ramps because they are not going the proper speed for the vehicle they are driving.
4). Down Hill Driving- Our minds tell us to make up a few more miles and time by racing down the hills. I have seen the greatest amount of violations by doing this. Obviously, the safety department has a problem with this but DOT officers wait at the bottom for you. All throughout the country I see trucks pulled over at the bottom getting tickets and inspections. Fight the temptation because it is not worth the time, money or your safety.
5). Feeling Tired? – We all have some days where we get sleepier than others. When these times hit while driving simply grabbing another energy or coffee will not help. Do not say to yourself “I’ll drive 1 more hour”. As soon as you feel the sleepers coming on; find a place to pull over. If you are not done with your shift that is alright. Pull over, get some air and walk around. When you feel safe and refreshed again, start moving. Moving around and circulating your body will always be as effective as a glass of caffeine, rolling your window down or turning the music louder.