Cruising down the highway with the tunes turned up sounds great, but it is quite a responsibility! It's very important to always be ready and take the proper precautions while operating a rig. You have to remember not only your safety but also that of others on the road. But that doesn't mean you can't have any fun while driving the open road! How much do you know about staying safe while trucking?
Do you know where all the blind spots are on a truck? What about the places where you should take extra caution? Do you know how to secure all of your cargo to make it safe? It's very important to know all the rules of the road to make sure that you are well prepared for any situation. It also helps to know the way that your truck works and to be comfortable driving it.
Do you know the elements of your truck that should be replaced regularly? Do you know what tools you might want to take on the road with you? Can you name some things that you should be on the lookout for? It's helpful and important to know.
So if you think you're prepared to hit the road as a trucker, then you'll have to prove it! Take the quiz to see if you know all the basics of truck safety.
As a driver, it is true or false that you will have a safety rating?
This is true. Inspections and ratings are important for truck drivers. Depending on the type of driving you do and the cargo you're carrying, you will get inspected every now and then to ensure that you and your rig are traveling safely.
Should you disregard any safety practices to make it to a job on time?
Safety is the most important factor when operating a rig. It is important to put safety first for the cargo, others on the road and also for yourself. Accidents can happen to anyone, no matter your experience level.
What should you ensure is secure before leaving on a trip?
Securing your cargo is very important for a few reasons. It is the product that you must deliver and needs to be secure so that it doesn't get damaged. It is also important to secure it so that it doesn't hurt someone else on the road if it falls off or shifts the weight of your load and changes the handling of the vehicle.
Should you always follow the speed limit?
Following the speed limit is very important when operating a vehicle — but as a truck driver, going below the speed limit at times is not a bad idea. For example, going lower than the speed limit around corners is a smart thing to do, as it is when weather conditions are messy. Speeding, however, is never encouraged!
What should you not use slippery surfaces?
A compression release engine brake — also known as a Jacobs brake or a Jake brake — is used mostly in fair conditions but there are many requirements to be sure of before using it. While using the Jake brake can extend the life of the vehicle's regular brakes, it creates a lot of noise and is prohibited near residential areas. Also, on icy or slick roads, it can cause the rig to jackknife, so be mindful of it!
What is one way to keep yourself stress free while being safe?
A safe and stress-free way to travel is by avoiding high-traffic areas. The fewer people there are around, the easier the drive will be. It will also be safer as fewer people will be around you and your rig.
What is one way to avoid stress when reaching your destination?
It's not a bad idea to go and find a parking place before making the trip to your destination. If it's too far to visit beforehand, Google Maps can give you a good overview of the area. The internet is your friend in situations like this!
What should you never do while operating a rig?
Tailgating can be very dangerous when you're driving a truck. Since a truck is so much bigger than other vehicles, it can do a lot of damage to the car in front of you and can't stop as quickly as the car can. It's always important to leave enough room to stop in time.
What situation might a truck driver find difficult?
Lane changes can be quite difficult for a truck driver. When changing lanes, it's usually best to do a check, put your signal light on, then proceed slowly, with caution, into the lane in which you need to be. Make sure you have plenty of time and space!
Where is one of your blind spots when operating a truck?
Directly behind the truck is one of the blindspots to look out for when operating it. These spots can be a huge danger not only to yourself but others on the road. Don't forget to do your best to overcome these limited-visibility areas!
If you feel that you're in a dangerous situation, what should you do first?
Slowing down in dangerous situations is very important. Often, braking hard can be even more dangerous, so slowly pushing the brake is recommended. Once you've slowed down a bit, focus on steering.
What is a good way to keep yourself alert while driving?
Everyone needs a break at times, especially truck drivers! It can be very tiring putting all your focus onto the road so it is beneficial for drivers, as well as for others on the road, to take well-deserved breaks. It benefits everyone's safety!
Which is most important to check before getting on the road?
The lights on your truck are very important to check as they are needed not only for you but for other drivers as well. They can help you see — and help others to see you — as well as indicate when you are braking or turning.
What is important to have, just in case?
Insurance is important to have on any vehicle, but it's something that truck drivers must think about. Things like accident insurance are important when your job is being on the road for long periods of time!
What incident can take place while driving a rig that can be hard to get out of?
If a truck jackknifes, it can be dangerous for everyone around it. It happens when a truck goes into a spin and the trailer slides in toward it. These situations can be fatal, so it's important to take as many precautions as possible to avoid this situation.
What is important to have on hand just in case?
Sunglasses are important not only for the protection of your eyes but also so that you can drive without interference from the sun. Some other handy things to have are jumper cables and extra straps, just in case.
What is important to have in order for your truck to perform its best?
Tires are very important when it comes to trucking. Making sure that your tires are in good condition and are properly inflated for the weather will make your trip both smoother and safer.
What can affect your safety as well as that of others while operating a truck?
The weather is a huge factor to consider while driving. It's important to know what to expect so that you can be prepared for it in advance. If the weather is too bad to drive, then you should be prepared to stop and rest while the storm rolls out.
What should you do if you can't find a location?
Pulling over and phoning the office or the location you're going to is a good option when it's unclear. You never know when your destination may have a hidden entrance, has moved or is a little more complicated to get into than first thought!
What might be handy to have while on the road?
You never know when the weather will take a turn for the worse. A snow brush can help you out in times of need, such as when your truck is parked for the night — or even for just a couple of hours.
Is it true or false that it is important to pay attention to all road signs?
This is true. Road signs are important for any driver, but they have very important information for truck drivers that aren't strictly based on safety, including the nearest truck stop or if there is a toll booth ahead.
What can help keep traction when driving?
A heavy load on the back of a truck can help to weigh it down when traveling on the road. Of course, you also have to make sure that you're not overloading your truck since that could be bad news as well.
When backing up, what should you do?
Backing up a rig can be difficult, and one of your blind spots is directly behind you. Get out and take a look to be safe and ensure that everyone around you is safe and out of the way as well.
What should you replace regularly?
It is important to replace the windshield wipers regularly as they can impact your vision while driving. If they're cut or not even, they may not clear out your line of sight effectively.
What must you do to make sure you are being safe on the road?
It's very important that, as a truck driver, you keep yourself healthy. By doing this, you'll be able to get your job done better and more effectively.
As with any vehicle, what must you not forget to do?
One of the first rules in driving is to fasten your seatbelt! You need to be secure and safe in your rig. You'll be glad you used it if anything unexpected ever happens.
When should you always be on high alert?
When trucking, you should always be attentive, but this is extra important when driving at night. Taking into account that there is lower visibility and being ready for anything is a great way to stay prepared for any surprise situation.
What must you make sure is secure before hitting the road?
It is very important to make sure that your cargo is secure before leaving. It can be dangerous if, for example, the cargo comes loose on the road and starts flying off. Take the extra time and ensure everything is locked down.
If you need to go around an approaching object quickly, what should you do?
When approaching something, it's important to slow down as much as possible and maneuver your way around the object. Be mindful of the other lanes, as it's important to avoid causing an accident at all costs.
What is an important thing to do before operating your truck?
Doing a comprehensive check on your truck is important before starting out on a trip. This way, you can be sure that everything is operating as it should be and you can make a safe trip to your destination.
What parts of the truck should you make sure are still in good shape a few times a year?
As with any vehicle, tires and brakes are critical to the performance of your rig. Check them every time you are going on a trip, but also do a more-thorough check every now and then.
What is one area that you must be especially careful of when traveling?
The mountains can be a very dangerous place for a truck driver. The roads along a mountain can be narrow and difficult to travel on, and often have large cliffs or drop-offs of which you must be careful to avoid. Brake overheating can also become an issue during long downhill stretches.
What should you always be looking out for when trucking?
When driving in general, you should always be on the lookout for anything. Accidents can happen so fast that it may be hard to react in time, but if you're on the lookout, then you'll be that much more ready.
Your comfort is important when trucking. How can you make yourself more comfortable?
Getting a seat cushion can help you feel more comfortable during your long days on the road. You'll spend a lot of time in the truck, so it's best to be comfortable. The better you feel, the happier you'll be in the driver's seat, and the more alert you'll be for the unexpected!
What can make it easier to get to your destination?
A GPS can only make life a lot easier for a truck driver. Sometimes, you may be unsure of where you're going, so why not use a little satellite-powered help along the way?
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