Daily Archives: January 26, 2017

Quick Tips For New Truck Drivers

Starting a new job is exciting but can be overwhelming. Hopefully, as a new truck driver, most of your questions were answered in orientation.

Still,  a quick reference to help you as you learn about your new company could never hurt. As a new operator, you are your fleet’s most important resource. Their goal should be to provide the highest level of Customer Satisfaction to both their internal and external customers, which is greatly impacted by you.

By satisfying their customers, they will continue to do business with clients and gain more customers. They may even find themselves on the receiving end of recommndations from other customers. This will benefit both you and the fleet by continued growth and availability of freight.

This process begins with you as a driver. Your fleet’s reputation depends on your actions and the way you represent your company. Please be courteous and professional, as you directly affect the customer’s perception of your employer.

Here are the safety and general trucking knowledge aspects you need to keep in mind:

  • You are responsible for 100% of your trailer’s content.
  • Drive a tractor/trailer or straight truck in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Load and Unload freight in a safe manner.
  • Ensure that all freight picked up or delivered
    • Is checked in and properly recorded
    • Is Secured properly
    • Is loaded according to vehicle size and weight restrictions
  • Comply with all Rush Trucking safety standards including submitting all documents as requested.
  • Ensure all overages, shortages, and damages are reported on time and properly to your Driver Manager, CSR or Load Manager
  • Complete the following as needed according to your company standards.
    • Standard forms
    • Pre/Post Trip Inspection
    • Log Books to Inspect and Report following any Accidents

Safety First

Professional truck drivers are expected to operate in a safe and defensive manner at all times. More than one at fault accident in a three-year period will result in the driver’s safety clearance being revoked.

Speed: It is expected that all truck drivers operate within the posted speed limits for the states that they are operating in. Excessive tickets will typically result in the driver being put on probation or terminated.

Following distances: Truck drivers are expected to use the National Safety Council’s following rule. This requires a minimum of 7 seconds of following distance at highway speeds and 6 seconds at speeds under 40mph. These following distances should be increased by at least 1 second if the roads are wet or slick.

Reduced Traction: Adverse weather conditions can result in reduced traction. In the event of rain, reduce your speed by 25-30% and increase your following distance by at least 1 second. If the rain is heavy enough to require your wipers to be operated on high, or if your visibility is reduced by tire spray, speeds may need to be decreased even further and following distances increased. When operating on snow covered highways, speeds should be decreased by at least 50% and following distances should be increased by at least 2 seconds. This rule applies even if the snow cover on the highway is intermittent.

Remember, there may well be icy conditions as a result of snow being compressed by traffic. When operating on icy roads, the best recommendation is “don’t.” When conditions become icy, find a safe haven and get off the road.

Until you can do this, reduce your speed to a crawl, use your 4-ways, and increase your following distances by at least 2-3 seconds. Remember, ice at 32 degrees can be up to 10 times as slick as ice at 0 degrees. This means that your stopping distances can increase by a factor of 10. (As a example, on wet ice, stopping distances at 30 miles per hour can increase from a normal distance of 100 ft to as much as 800-900 ft.)

Keep these simple tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way in no time