Tips For Truckers

Tips For Truckers

"Never apologize for being great, or wanting to be great, at something"--Kia Nurse

Be Safe

Trucker safety is of the utmost importance. Driving in an unsafe manor risks everything: health, happines, productivity and professionalism. Here's a few suggestions for your consideration:

  • Be careful when backing. Not surprisingly, the number one factor in property damage accidents is backing. G.O.A.L., Get Out And Look, should be your mantra. Also, consider rolling windows down, even in cold weather, whenever you're backing up; use all your senses.
  • Changing lanes is the next most common factor in property damage accidents. One of the reasons to check your mirrors often is to keep track of traffic following or approaching from the rear. Prior to changing lanes be certain you've accounted for all that traffic, signal your intentions and check twice prior to moving. If the reason for your lane change is to pass slower traffic, begin signaling your return to the original lane of travel prior to completing the pass. In this way you'll let following traffic know you're not going to be in their way for long (so they're not as likely to swoop to your right) and it's also less likely the vehicle you're passing will block your return.
  • Slow down prior to entering a corner and then pull the trailer through. Think about it; your tractor likely weighs less than 20,000 lbs. while a loaded trailer will weigh in at as much as 60,000 lbs., or more. If you back out of the throttle in a turn, or as you turn, your trailer's inertia will tend to push, and steer, the rear of your tractor; increasing the possibility of a jackknife.

Be Productive

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Be Professional

I entered a discussion one day with another driver. He refused to consider himself a "professional driver" because driving, in his consideration, is a dirty job; not a profession. Well, it's true, truck driving is classified as an occupation rather than a profession. Wikipedia, though, describes a "Professional" as an individual whose work is, primarily, intellectual rather than physical. Well, it would seem that truck drivers might well span the two distinctions. There are, most certainly, times in the course of a truck driver's day devoted to physical labor and, conversely, times requiring, primarily, intellectual effort.

In an effort to further confuse the situation Merriam-Webster's Simple Definition of Professional is "relating to a job that requires special education, training, or skill". Driving a truck, it would seem, meets every condition of the definition. So a case could easily be made to include truck drivers in a list of professions but there's a little bit more to it, I believe.

During my converstion with the above referenced driver I responded to his negative self-description in the following manner: Upon completion of a particular course of study and after meeting the requirements of an oversight association, such as a state Bar or Board, an individual may join a group generally identified as "Professionals"; like Lawyers, Accountants or Engineers. In other words, they are deemed to be Professionals prior to accomplishing much more than academic achievement. I believe, though, that if I conduct myself in a Professional manner, others might describe me as such. In this way the term "Professional" would be an earned description rather than a bestowed title.

There may be, however, one thing missing. One of the hallmarks of most professions is a code of conduct, code of ethics and set of standards to which members of the profession must adhere. Doctors swear the hippocratic oath. Lawyers, accountants, engineers, airline pilots and many others swear to uphold codes of ethics and conduct. It's a common thread among the generally recognized professions that seems sadly lacking among truck drivers.

Be Healthy

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Be Happy

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