Helpful Tips to Safely Drive a Heavy Vehicle

21 December 2015
 Categories: , Blog

If you are responsible for driving a large truck or piece of heavy equipment, it is essential to do so safely. Prior to getting behind the wheel, be sure to acquire heavy vehicle licences. Once you have this, there are a few additional tips to consider.

Create a Space Cushion on the Road

Any professional driver who practices safe driving habits will constantly monitor their 'space cushion'. This is the amount of space around the truck. It is important to ensure you do not become too close to other things in and around the road, regardless of if they are moving or stationary. The things you need to remain aware of are not just next to the vehicle, it also includes:

  • The height above, including low clearances, overpasses and tunnels.
  • The surface underneath, which includes uneven or sloped road surfaces, speed bumps, accumulated precipitation, slipperiness, weight restrictions, road hazards and pot holes.
  • Space in the front, which includes how close you follow another vehicle and how much space you have to turn.
  • Space behind, which includes backing space and how close the vehicles are behind you.
  • Side space—both the driver's and passenger's side.

Plan Your Trip

Getting to know the travel conditions, such as the flow of traffic and weather, as well as the terrain prior to actually starting your journey in a larger truck or piece of equipment will help you make safe driving decisions while on the road. When you plan ahead, you will be able to avoid any situation where you may be involved in an accident. Be sure you allow a bit of extra travel time for issues such as mountainous or hilly terrain, construction projects, inclement weather or traffic. 

There are now a number of apps and devices that can help you predict the traffic and weather that you will encounter. This makes it easier than ever to be safe while driving a large piece of equipment on the road.

Monitor Your Speed

Speed is an important factor to consider when driving a larger truck. If you do not drive at a safe speed, then you will not be able to stop safely if an emergency occurs. It takes much longer to stop a large truck than a typical passenger vehicle, and this is something to keep in mind while on the road.

When you use the tips here, you can feel confident your trip will be safe and that you will not have any issues arise. Operating heavy equipment and trucks is different and therefore you have to utilise safety tips to keep yourself, as well as others, safe while on the road. To learn more, contact companies like All Onsite Training and Assessment.