5 common mistakes that rookie truck drivers should avoid

Beginning a new career, especially one that involves driving across the country, can be exciting. Truck drivers transport everyday essentials, whether it’s phones, clothes, or construction materials, making their job crucial for the functioning of businesses and households. However, many rookie drivers can make mistakes in their first few days on the job. Some such mistakes can cause significant damage to life and property. So, here are common lapses that rookie truck drivers should avoid:

A common issue most truck drivers face is fatigue. High levels of fatigue are common considering the long work hours on the road. However, there are unions and organizations that ensure these drivers are not exploited to avoid vehicle crashes when drivers fall asleep at the wheel.

Going too fast
Truck driving regulations in the country allow up to 20,000 pounds per single axle and up to 34,000 pounds per tandem axle, meaning the load can exert a lot of pressure on the wheels. Driving too fast may result in a loss of control and subsequent overturning of the vehicle or an accident. This is why it is best to practice caution while driving the truck, and remember that an accident can slow you down way more than driving at reduced speeds. Rookie drivers should be even more careful when going downhill, as downshifting and slowing down may become tougher in that stretch of road.

Ignoring road signs
One of the most common rookie truck driver mistakes is not paying attention to road signs. While navigation systems can be helpful, they may not be 100% accurate all the time. Look out for signs indicating speed limits, clearance markers, and one-way streets, among others, to ensure a smooth driving experience.

Overlooking the trailer length
While it may seem impossible to forget about the long trailer attached to the truck, it can be a common hurdle for rookies. As new drivers may not be used to taking into account the length of the vehicle, they may find it difficult to make turns or check for blind spots. Rookie drivers must be especially careful while judging turning distance or maneuvers to avoid accidents on the road.

Fuelling up at the wrong time
Every gallon of fuel weighs roughly 6 pounds, and the two 150-gallon tanks on a truck can affect your gas mileage, trip time, and weigh-in number. Rookie truck drivers must keep a keen eye on when and how much to fuel. Carrying a full load and fuelling up right before a weigh-in can make the truck seem heavier than the permissible limit. So this common rookie truck driver mistake can be avoided by planning ahead to figure out available fuel stops.

Being unprepared
Rookie drivers may struggle with double clutching and downshifting, straight backing, adjusting the driver’s seat and mirrors properly, making right-hand turns, starting from a stop at an incline, and figuring out how to parallel park. It is important to remain patient as time and experience will help you develop a knack for solving these issues. Rushing the process may hinder your learning and cause costly accidents. If you are a new truck driver, have a backup plan for when things get rough. Maintain a list of contact numbers to access roadside assistance services and have a roadside assistance plan in place for issues like accidents, a dead battery, tire change, or mechanical troubles to ensure a safe driving experience.

Truckers should also get the latest Electronic Logging Device (ELD) installed to record important information about their vehicle. A load board is another helpful device to help truckers find loads of their choice posted by shippers and brokers.

If you’re looking for a truck that is powerful and value for your money, you could check out the Ram 1500 and 2500 models. Both these trucks offer massive towing capabilities, great pickup, easy steering, and much more. If you do not want to purchase one, you can simply lease the Ram 1500 or 2500 truck at the best lease deals and specials.

You can check out local listings and classifieds to locate the nearest Dodge pickup trucks dealers and Toyota Tacoma dealers to get the latest offers. The prices will vary depending on the trim variant you choose.

Those who are just beginning their trucking journey can try their luck with smaller vehicles such as Jeep’s range of cars, minivans, and trucks, such as the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Renegade, Compass, or Gladiator. Learning to maneuver these vehicles may help rookies have better luck when moving to trucks.

Apart from these automobile options, one could also purchase an RV camper. While a trailer includes living quarters designs that can accommodate more than one person, it lacks an engine. On the contrary, an RV features an engine. Therefore, one does not need another vehicle to haul the motorhome around. There are several websites, including RV Trader, Camping World, and General RV, where one can purchase new or pre-owned RVs. Since an RV involves several parts and accessories, one should always read the safety guide before hitting the road.