Long haul truck driving seems like a difficult job for most people. But for some of us, managing these large, heavy vehicles and life on the road is our specialty. So, if you are a novice long-haul-truckie, welcome to the club, and to start you off, here are 5 tips on how to maintain the trucks you drive, stay healthy and remain alert on long drives.
1.Know The Truck’s Payload Capacity
A truck’s payload capacity is the sum of its curb weight and all the cargo weight that can be safely carried by your truck. This information is usually calculated by the truck manufacturer and noted in the vehicle’s manual. As a truck driver, it is imperative that you always check the load weight vis–vis the payload capacity of the type of truck. Do not exceed the truck’s payload capacity, especially on long drives.
2.Secure Load Properly
As a truck driver, your job is to transport cargo. Now, what good will it be if the cargo you are transporting arrives at the destination destroyed? Not to mention that unsecured cargo can shift during transportation, causing damage to the axles of the truck, may lead to dangerous accidents or result in you being fined. Therefore, when loading cargo to your truck, you should always confirm that the goods are evenly distributed and secured with ties, tarps, or containers. Before getting on your long drive, always double-check your load and ensure it is adequately secured.
3.Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
On a long drive, water should be your best friend. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated and considerably reduce your chances of getting fatigued fast. It is important to note that caffeinated or soft drinks should not be taken in place of water. This is because even though they will be effective in giving you an energy boost, you will eventually come down from that high, and when you do, your body will be ready to crash leaving you feeling even more tired.
4.Less Fast Food, More Healthy Food
If you want a long successful career in long haul truck driving, then you must make an effort to be healthy. And while fast foods can be very tempting, mainly because they are readily available at numerous stopovers, they are the enemy to staying alert. Fast foods contain a lot of fats and sugars, which will make you sleepy over your long drive. To have a clear focus during a journey, you should prioritize consuming healthy food options, as well as add vitamin B and C supplements to your diet to give you the much-needed energy boosts.
5.Pullover And Rest
Arrive Alive. These two words should be a constant mantra in your career of long haul truck driving. So if you find yourself feeling drowsy, pull over and stop. Take a nap of about 20 minutes, take a walk to stretch your legs, or get a bite. Whatever you choose to do to refresh your body is up to you, but please do not get back on the wheel until you are back to being alert. Sleeping on the wheel endangers not only your life but also the lives of other road users. You got this! Now go discover some new destinations.