Top 5 Truck Management Tips
The most important asset a truck driver possesses is their truck, particularly if they’re a contract driver. It’s critical then that they know some basic truck management tips to make sure their source of income is never jeopardized.
In fact any commercial driver, regardless of whether you own the truck or not, whether the vehicle is big or small, should at least know some truck management tips.
Here are five basic truck management tips every driver should know.
1 – Understand basic warning signs
A good driver doesn’t have to be a qualified mechanic but it helps if you can recognize the difference between an unusual noise that means nothing with a noise that is a critical warning sign, something that signals the truck should be serviced without delay to prevent further damage.
Talk to your company mechanic or a qualified friend and get a basic education on truck maintenance so you can recognize warning signs and perform pre and post-trip inspections competently.
2 – Keep a good maintenance schedule
A big trap for truck drivers is to put off preventative maintenance. Down time is money and it can be easy to postpone regular servicing because the truck is going ok. Don’t wait for an emergency breakdown before you get your truck serviced. Preventative maintenance can be worth its weight in gold, saving you a lot of grief down the track. Get your fleet manager to install some good fleet maintenance software to automatically track when services are due.
3 – Drive economically
Driving economically has many benefits aside from the obvious one; saving fuel. Economical driving puts less stress on the truck, saving maintenance dollars and prolonging the life of the vehicle. It also makes for a more relaxing drive, not rushing up to stop lights or tailgating other drivers that could require heavy braking. It means using the height advantage truck drivers often have to plan intelligently for the traffic ahead.
4 – Respect your fellow drivers
As a truck driver we share the road with a lot of other people, who have just as much right to the road as we do. The only way a system like this can work, with thousands of drivers co-existing is through mutual respect, which at times may require yielding even if we have right of way.
Good truck management is about remembering that we drive something that could be potentially harmful to other users. Rather than use our truck as a weapon, show respect for other road users by driving your truck considerately.
5 – Be conscious of the environment
Being an eco-friendly driver is no longer just a fashionable and optional extra for truck drivers, it is fast becoming a legislated requirement and part of a driver’s duty of care. Many employers are also beginning to realize that being sensitive to the environment also has benefits for a firm’s bottom line, reducing miles and saving fuel.
Being conscious of your environment not only involves doing your bit to minimize your carbon footprint but it’s also about being a good neighbor to fellow road users or homeowners in the areas we drive. For example, a neighborhood that has a high number of children might mean a considerate truck driver slows down or in a built-up area does less noisy engine-braking.
Driving trucks can be a very rewarding and satisfying job and with some basic understanding of good truck management, you can minimize problems and make the experience more profitable for you and your employer.