9 Things to Make Truck Driving Easier

Driving a truck is a job that many young kids in the USA aspire to. But when they see the reality of it – long trips alone in the wilderness, cold and damp days, and the problems that come with it – they realize that it’s not the glamourous job they once believed. Still, many do go on to be drivers – often those whose dad and grandpa were truckers – and enjoy.

So, what are the things truck drivers do to make life easier on the road? Here are nine of the top truckers’ tips we came across!

1. Keep Your Mobile Phone Charged

This may sound like basic common sense, but it’s amazing how often truckers set out with little charge on their phone and no charger! This isn’t just going to get in the way of keeping in touch, but it also means they may miss out on important traffic information and have no way of contacting anyone in an emergency. The phone should be fully charged at the start of the journey, and always pack a charger. A quick call to loved ones when in the middle of nowhere really can help.

2. Change Of Clothes

Driving from one side of the USA to the other, or north to south, means encountering many different possible weather conditions along the way. It’s not unusual to set out from one place in bright sunshine and arrive in freezing weather at the other end. This is why a change of clothes – or more than one if the journey is very long – is essential if you are to be comfortable at all points of the journey, so packing carefully is a necessity.

3. Well-Maintained Truck

Having a truck that is reliable is a major bonus for any long-distance truck driver, and this means keeping up with maintenance. Quality parts suppliers such as finditparts.com are important here as sub-standard parts can lead to problems. Trucks have to work hard so only quality or original parts will do.

Make sure the truck is serviced regularly and has consumable parts replaced before they are due to be, just to be safe. For example, you should clean your truck regularly to avoid dirt and dust from clogging the air filter. You should also check the fluids and fill them up when necessary to keep your truck running smoothly. Lastly, make sure to inspect the tires to ensure they’re in good working condition. Have them properly inflated with pressure before the trip begins to avoid problems along the way.

4. Plan Ahead

It may be a journey you’ve done many times, but planning in advance is still essential. You need to get an idea of the weather along the way, any potential hold-ups and alternative routes, where there is work going on, and other problems. It’s always worth remembering where there are tolls to pay, and where you can stop in the case of emergencies. Fuel stops also need planning so don’t leave them out!

5. Know Your Truckstops

 

Know Your Truckstops

Know Your Truckstops

If you are a regular on a route you will have your choice of truck stops that you prefer, so plan your journey around the best ones. Some are not up to scratch while others offer great facilities, and it pays to get known in the right ones. This also means that someone will know where you are meant to be at any one point of the journey which is a bonus for safety. You’ll need something to pass the time when you’re off-duty so here’s a great book about trucking that makes for a good read!

6. Convoy

When trucks run in convoy it’s not just for fun, it’s also a fuel-saving measure and – when in remote areas – one of security. Truckers will always help each other in the event of a problem and with so many trucks on the road, it is sometimes easy to meet up with other trucks on the road, let them know you’re tagging along, and take your turn at the front! The sense of brotherhood – or sisterhood now there are many lady truckers out there – helps allay the loneliness that can often prevail when truckers are out in the wilderness, so join a convoy if you can.

7. Keep A Snack Handy

You never know when hunger may strike, and it could be when your hours from anywhere with a shop! A good trucker keeps a snack handy all the time – not something that will go off and smell, but food that will keep for a length of time – ready to tuck into a stave off that hunger. It makes a lot of sense as hunger can lead to a lack of concentration which, when you’re behind the wheel of a heavy rig, means danger. Don’t go hungry, pack a few things to eat, and if you are passing a shop, you know is the last for a while, stop in and stock up. This also applies to water, as a few bottles will always be needed by truckers on the move.

8. Pack A Sleeping Bag

 

Pack a Sleeping Bag

Now, this may come down to personal choice as some drivers like to take a blanket or two, but a sleeping bag is by far the most convenient bedding to carry. They are designed to be compact and light, and yet are great at insulating against the cold, and are perfect for use in the cab or in a truck stop where you may not be too happy about the bedding. A good sleeping bag will last a long time if cared for, so make sure you go quality.

9. Drive Safely

The best way to have an easy trip is to take it easy, settle into your rhythm and keep safe. Brake early and be aware of others on the road, use the gears with other traffic in mind, and keep to the routes you have planned.

Moreover, you should be aware of your truck’s blind spots. Unlike cars and motorcycles, trucks usually have a large blind spot in front of them and at the back of the trailer. Even if you’ve heard of blind spots before, you might be wondering, ‘What are large blind spots on trucks called?

‘No-zones’ are technically known as a truck’s blind spots. These are the most common areas where the traffic becomes unnoticeable to the truck driver. Unfortunately, when these blind spots are overlooked while driving or parking, it can cause serious truck collisions and injuries.

Hence, to avoid the risk of truck accidents caused by blind spots, you might consider adding extra mirrors. For example, you can install an extra mirror on each side of the hood to lower the size of the blind spot. Another mirror can also be mounted on the passenger side to help you see cars or people passing on the right side.

Aside from mirrors, you might also think about installing safety accessories designed to prevent blind spot collisions. These can include wide-angle cameras, backup sensors, and audible tones.

With all these things being said, safety is indeed a great aid to having a successful, simple trip and will help you keep relaxed too.

Takeaway

That’s nine tips we have found that will help a trucker enjoy a comfortable and trouble-free journey, so check them out and see which ones you might have overlooked. There are many more things that can be done to make life easier, but the simple fact is it’s all about knowing where you’re going, what you will encounter on the way, and where you can stop safely when necessary.