Truck Drivers Guide: Legal and Essential Things to Keep In Mind
The demand for truck drivers is high globally. Have you always wanted to be a commercial truck? If yes, you can join this thriving sector and fulfill your goals as you improve the economy.
However, the sector has ups and downs, so you should understand its basics to make well-informed decisions. Check out these five important things to keep in mind as you plan on becoming a truck driver.
Your life comes first as a driver, so you should be careful to avoid accidents. To stay safe, understand the different risks of long distance driving, as well as the best safety practices to reduce them.
One sure way to stay safe is to get timely updates on truck driving safety to keep up with Truck Driver News. You get to learn the road, weather conditions, and safety tips from experienced drivers and industry experts.
A common practice to enhance your safety while driving is avoiding common distractions like eating or talking on the phone. You should also maintain a safe distance between your truck, and car in front, and be observant of potential threats from your surroundings.
In addition, you should regularly inspect the truck before and after a trip. You can do this by yourself or seek help from a professional to fix the serious issues. Once the truck is in a good state, equip it with quality emergency tools to address issues that might occur along the way.
Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle
Long solo trips aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. While you can’t do much about it, a healthy lifestyle is your best way out. A fit mind and body impact your comfort, allowing you to drive safely.
Here are vital tips to boost your mental and physical fitness.
Stay hydrated- hydration keeps you alert and helps keep off some illnesses. An average of eight glasses of clean water will benefit your body’s immune system.
Eat healthy- take plenty of leafy vegetables, fruits, and snacks to maintain a healthy body, and avoid many carbonated drinks and alcohol.
Get enough rest- rest is vital despite the long-distance hauling. Sleep for at least six hours daily, and take frequent naps when not working. Also, avoid driving when you are fatigued.
Exercise – as a truck driver, you will spend most of your time in the driver’s seat, which is not good for your health. Schedule daily stretches and exercise programs to remain physically fit.
Keep Up With Paperwork and Documentation
Truck driving isn’t all about picking and delivering goods on time. There is plenty of paperwork involved that you should beware of to avoid problems on the roads and points of destinations.
The most obvious document you should always have is your commercial driving license. You should complete your driving school to obtain it, although every state has unique rules for acquiring it. Here are other important documents to keep for truck driving.
Medical certificate – your employer will most likely ask for this certificate to know more about your health, considering the nature of long-distance trips. Keep a copy of your cover, mostly in the electronic version, for easier access.
Insurance – the truck you drive should have valid insurance. The insurance coverage is not only a legal requirement, but it also gives you peace of mind that you may get compensation in case of an accident.
License -you may sometimes need additional driving permits if you carry hazardous substances or when passing on some routes. Confirm with your state the right licenses you should have to avoid legal issues.
Prepare For Long Distances
Your truck is like a home where you will be spending some nights. Therefore, you should adequately prepare for long distances to enhance your comfort when away from your house. Follow these simple practices to get ready for your long-distance trips.
- Understand the conditions of the roads before you leave. If possible, install a GPS tracker on your phone when going to unfamiliar places
- Pre-inspect your vehicle well- with emphasis on the brakes, tires, and fuel
- Carry the basic safety equipment, which includes a first aid kit, batteries, and jumper tools
- Carry your essential items like a soft blanket, and bathroom items.
- Schedule proper communication with family and colleagues to avoid loneliness
Seek Emotional Support
Mental problems are on the rise, and truck drivers are not exceptional as they are prone to loneliness, depression, and lack of enough sleep. With time, these issues can increase anxiety, and cause depression and even suicidal thoughts!
As a truck driver, your mental health should be a priority. Find ways of dealing with the long-haul isolation, sedentary life, and job demands to protect your sanity. However, it’s not always possible to prevent the mental health issue triggers; hence it’s necessary to seek help.
Don’t hesitate to share with fellow drivers and colleagues for mental relief whenever you feel stressed. You may even consult a seasoned counselor when things are going down to maintain mental stability. Proper communication helps maintain your safety and job performance and improve your quality of life!
Commercial truck driving is fulfilling when you love the job, have the skills, and know how to care for yourself. Like with other occupations, some days will be heavy, but the above tips can help overcome them. Don’t hesitate to seek the help of a professional when need be.