For a lot of truck drivers, life is a highway. It’s cross-country, miles of asphalt, and lousy food at truck stops. There are also short nights at junky hotels or the mattress in your cab. It also offers a sense of freedom as it’s you and your rig, being one with the road. Being a truck driver is a calling, similar to a call of duty that few can handle. Most of all, it’s moving America forward. Because, without truckers, everything would stop. Part of living your life on the road is safety. There are a lot of careless drivers out there that make your trip unpleasant.
Another issue that seems to always be a problem is road construction. No matter what time of the year, you’ll encounter orange barrels and people working on the road. Construction in all its forms can make things extra challenging for truckers. Here are some tips to make it safely through: read all the signs, keep your distance, obey the posted speed limit, merge early and safely, signal others about what’s ahead, and most of all, watch out for workers.
Detours are more than an inconvenience. They can prove disastrous for you and your rig, and getting off the highway onto back roads can complicate life and slow you down. As any truck driver like you knows, not all roads are built for you and your rig. In these cases, size does matter. Underpasses can be too low, turns may be sharper than you want them to be, ditches are always close to the berm, and some roads are too narrow for safe passage. To help ease some of these issues, there are GPS devices and programs built specifically with drivers like you in mind. They may cost a bit more than you like, but see it as an investment in your sanity and safety.
Weather While on the Road
A winter wonderland is excellent, but only when you’re home where it’s warm and comfortable. On the road, however, it can make for anxiety-ridden and white-knuckle driving conditions at a moment’s notice. No matter where you’re driving, ice and slick roads can make your day on the road challenging. If you happen to be operating in the mountains, ice can lead to runaway ramps to avoid collisions or worse. Even the most experienced trucker can have problems, so making sure you make the best decisions while on the road is essential to your safety, along with everyone else sharing the highway with you. Build relationships with other truckers while on the road. You all are a unique family tied together by asphalt and grit. Radio ahead so others know of the conditions, and they’ll do the same. Make sure you inspect your truck before leaving. As the roads get slick and the weather seems to be turning into a scene from a bad Hollywood movie about climate change, give yourself some space and drop your speed, so you have enough time to make the decisions you need to.
Your life is the road. Rubber meets steel like flesh meets the bone. The sound of the highway calls to you. As you heed that call, keep in mind that your life is essential, and so is your job. Keep safety in mind as you transport your load. After all, as a trucker, you’re the backbone of America regarding transportation and logistics.
As always, stay safe out there.