The holidays make everyone excited. Work is about to be put on hold, schools out and people are traveling from near and far to be with loved ones during this festive time.
Of course, there is a peak in shopping as everyone is rushing about trying to buy all those Christmas gifts as well. Behind the scenes, truck drivers are making it happen, spending long hours over the road to get shipments to their destinations in time for the big day.
Between extreme weather conditions, road hazards and holiday traffic, there is a heightened sense of precaution to be taken into account by long haul professionals. It’s important to be extra vigilant for safety, especially when there is added stress from meeting deadlines. Here are our top tips to stay safe this holiday season.
One thing you definitely want to stay on top of is your health when on the road under pressure. Drivers are supposed to be behind the wheel 11 hours in a 24 hr period. This is to ensure proper rest in-between shifts. We don’t need to tell you that not getting enough sleep is highly dangerous.
Not only does a full gas tank put more weight on the tires, which prevents skidding, but it stops condensation from forming. The condensation factor is important because water that gets into the tank of a truck can have negative mechanical effects that you don’t want to deal with, such as stalling or an engine that doesn’t turn on.
When you’re in a rush to meet a delivery deadline, it can be tempting to do some zig-zagging from lane to lane. Take it easy and avoid lane changing as much as possible. When you do change lanes always double check your blind spots and use signals to let other drivers know your intentions. Remember when you near a bridge, slow down. Bridges tend to freeze faster than roads.
The Jake break is actually the compression release engine brake, which works by releasing compressed air in the cylinders to bring a rig to a sudden stop. Icy roads can cause skidding when this is done, so it’s best to play it safe and slow down while pumping the regular brakes.
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