Top 10 do's and don'ts for new truck drivers

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by lil daddy, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. lil daddy

    lil daddy Light Load Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Welcome to the world of long haul trucking. It can be a fun occupation or a very stressful one depending on how you approach it. Here are the top 10 do's and don'ts of OTR trucking...........

    1.Always, I repeat always run your CB radio. This keeps you connected and informed about whats going on around you. Knowing about a potential problem and addressing it before it interupts your trip is priceless. Yeah you're gonna hear some garbage, it comes with the profession. If hearing a few curse words bothers you that much, you're in the wrong profession...............

    2. Never flash your bright lights on another truck to let him know that he can come over into your lane. It does'nt feel good to the eyes after they've adjusted to night landscape. If you're in a truck that does'nt allow you to flick them off momentarily, don't do anything. Either tell him on the CB radio or flick your marker lights..............

    3. If the scale house is backed out on the highway, don't stop on the highway or the shoulder. The D.O.T guys that run these scales expect you too use common sense. Over the years I've seen and heard of deadly accidents as a result of big trucks stopping on the road in an attemt not to by-pass scales. Doing this is extemely dangerous. If they want you that bad they will come and get you. In 15yrs of driving this has never happened to me...............

    4. Always be cortious and help your fellow truckers when ever possible. If you see a guy brokedown or trying too slide axles, needing directions or whatever help them. What you do too others will be done to you.........

    5.Whenever possible if someon(truck or car) is on the shoulder of the road, merge over into the other lane and give them some space. This is a preventive technique. Having a big truck roaring by you at highway speeds 2 or 3ft away can be very scary. God forbid if someone or something comes into your lane, what can you do? Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure............

    6. Never say anything on a CB that you would'nt say with your feet on the ground. How many times have you walked into a truckstop and heard someone cursing and raising holy #### with others? Only to get back it the truck and ch 19 sounds like armegedon. I have seen people physically attacked for things that they said on the CB.............

    7. Hygiene... Keep yourself and your truck as clean as possible, speaks volumes of you and the type of person you are. Ever wonder how truckers got the public image that they have? Never allow trash to pile up in your truck and on your dash. Nasty trashy trucks send out red flags to DOT officers...........

    8. Never allow dispacters or brokers to push you into running illegal or in un-safe conditions. Regardless to what they tell you, you are responsible for your that truck and your load and if anything happens you will be blamed and possibly fired or worst loose your license.............

    9. Loosen up and have fun with it. Trucking can be a very stressful job and will overwhelm you if you allow it to. Relax, 3 things are a given everyday that you drive. People will cut you off, hit the brakes in front of you and basically do idiotic driving around you. No need to get upset. Road rage only hurts the person enraged, most times they never even know you exist. It's just another day at the office.........

    10. Each and everyday before you drive, always do visual pre-trips and as soon as you notice a problem, fix it. If not little things pile up quickly and lead to big things and that equals downtime and that equals less money. Always remember this, Whatever happened today was all in a days work, the only thing that matters is that you can get up and do it all over again the next day. Good luck
    LBZ and projump Thank this.
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  3. panhandlepat

    panhandlepat Road Train Member

    Jan 12, 2007
  4. nghthwk

    nghthwk Bobtail Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Washington state
    Very nice post ,all should follow this.:thumbup:
  5. buck and a half

    buck and a half Mr. Miles & Miles with Many Smiles

    Aug 11, 2006
    Very good post,the only thing I would add is take care of your front tires,no curbs,check them everytime you stop,make sure they are not going flat or flat,look under your truck for any fluid leakage and check all your tires each time you stop. When you park,put pressure on your trailer kingpin,and nobody will be able to pull your fifthwheel lock,always give it a tug after you are parked and ready to leave,clean all snow off fifth wheel before hooking up,or the fifthwheel might not lockup for you. best of luck to all you newbees out there.
  6. Splitter

    Splitter Bobtail Member

    Dec 11, 2006
    Washington State
    That had to be one of the best, informative posts that I have read in a long time.
  7. MedicineMan

    MedicineMan Road Train Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Woodville, TX
    And don't race through the truck stops like it's a nascar track!
  8. stinkyfinger

    stinkyfinger Bobtail Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Number 7 (hygiene) is VERY important, IMO
  9. MedicineMan

    MedicineMan Road Train Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Woodville, TX
    I agree. and it's amazing that there is a thread on this board somewhere about that and EVERY driver said they shower every day. YET, I have stood in line behind MANY!! a smelly truck driver in my day
  10. Aylalei

    Aylalei Bobtail Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Use 'em! They'll save your behind MANY times!!
    Scan 'em! start with the outside driver's side mirror and make it a habit to scan all the mirrors all the time!!!
  11. The_Rev

    The_Rev Light Load Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    Englewood, FL
    I also dim my lights to let others know its ok to come back over. Unless of course I'm talking on the cell and eating my food at the same time as I'm typing on the qualcomm. (kidding!)

    Here's a tip... when your crossing a bridge that is completely iced over, don't tailgate me. My surge is going to rock me around and I have no choice but to go slow.. S L O W. I had a "super trucker" get stuck behind me on the bridge because he had to crawl to a stop and he lost traction. I parked soon after that in a rest area.

    When you are in the truck stop and you go to order food.. order your #### food and get it over with. I know the road is lonely but you don't have to stand there and flirt with the hired help... some of us need to get food and get back on the road. What they have on the big board behind the hired help is what they serve. Don't try to order something that isn't on the menu and then laugh and flirt with the hired help about it. :roll:

    If you know there is a line of trucks out onto the public road don't just sit there waiting for a fuel lane to open up.. bite the bullet and pull behind someone. So you'll have to wait 5 minutes.. ooo Better than what I saw in Baldwin FL yesterday morning when a trucker plowed into the back of another and this caused a traffic jam out to Rt 10.

    This business about dirty trucks. I would love to have the time you people do to take my truck through a wash. I don't and it desperately needs it too. Where I live there are no truck washes and I can't wash the truck at home because of water restrictions. I don't care if DOT takes notice. I don't do anything illegal to worry about getting pulled in.

    About the CB thing.. I would also add don't tell other drivers how to drive. Worry about your own truck. I had one guy ##### at me for my shifting. We were in bumper/bumper traffic. I was tired and I had about 45k lbs of liquid moving around behind me. This guy never pulled a tank in his life. His freight just sits there. He doesn't understand that liquid surge can throw off your timing and sometimes you have to "fight" the surge a little longer before you can shift out. I have since started floating gears mainly because my left leg gets fatigued but it also helps to control the surge. Anyway, I'm getting away from the topic here.

    Fuel islands... this one ticks off a lot of drivers. Pull up when your done and "run" in to get your food, get out and move on. Don't flirt with the hired help (see above). Don't take your shower. Don't sit down to eat. If the line is too long at the food counter, consider getting something else or go park and come back. This causes lines out to the road and drivers to plow into each other (see above again).

    When you get a shower; get in and get out. This isn't the time to rest, eat, do your nails or trim your nose hairs. Have some courtesy for the guys that also need to take showers. Maybe this is why there are so many stinky drivers? :happy3:
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