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4 things you can learn from driving a truck

Truck Drivers: Myths and Reality

Contrary to some widespread myths about truck driving and freight forwarders' life, operating a large vehicle brings many joys and provides a unique experience.

Driving a truck is a school.

Driving a truck is more than a job; it is a whole way of life that, in many cases, passes from parents to children. And from which there is much to learn, as if it were a school. If you have ever gotten into the cab of a truck, you will have noticed that you have to become familiar with many things before driving it with ease. We assure you that, also, many of these teachings can be very useful for the daily driving of a car. These are the most important.

The best driving is efficient driving.

The main cost that every transport faces is the price of fuel. Such a determining factor when it comes to balancing the accounts between expenses and benefits that professionals become actual examples of efficiency behind the wheel.

  • Do not press the accelerator when starting, and until the engine warms up, do not accelerate much or quickly. 
  • Shift gear in the maximum torque zone.
  • Maintain a speed as constant as possible.
  • Take advantage of the vehicle's inertia on slopes and brake as little as possible.
  • In stops of more than two minutes, please turn off the engine after letting it idle for one minute.

Two others complement all these measures; anticipate traffic conditions on the route and avoid peak hours for other vehicles.

The importance of safety distance

The regulations say that any vehicle that exceeds 3.5 tons of Maximum Authorized Mass (MMA) and sets of cars with a length greater than 10 meters must maintain a separation of at least 50 meters with the vehicle that precede. The safety distance is a crucial concept so that there is time to avoid an accident that would otherwise be imminent in the event of a sudden stop.

Other factors that come into play in these situations are speed, road grip, and tire condition. Professionals are aware that it is advisable to maintain a distance of 0.5 meters for each km/hour of speed. For example, if we drive at 110 km / h, the separation should be 55 meters. This allows not only to avoid accidents but also to facilitate joining and taking exits.

Anticipate to maneuver better

Driving from a cabin that is 2 meters above the ground forces you to change your perspective when performing any maneuver. But yes, also, the length exceeds 16 meters, as in articulated vehicles, and the weight reaches 40 tons, as in four-axle trucks, the operation takes on new dimensions.

Professionals know that anticipating braking, turning, or any other maneuver is essential, a valuable lesson for drivers of passenger cars. Carriers are used to handling a sizeable external turning radius (never more significant than 12.50 meters). With the sole help of the rear-view mirrors and, in some cases, electronic assistants, an experienced driver learns to move the cab and trailer with ease, even in the worst circumstances.

Rest, and you will drive much better.

Driving a car with sleep, fatigue, or a lousy predisposition (due to stress, worries, etc.) is always a bad idea. But putting yourself in those conditions behind the wheel of a heavy and oversized vehicle can have catastrophic consequences. All driving professionals agree that rest is the key to doing their job well and the best ones give the importance it deserves to self-assess their physical and mental state before getting behind the wheel. It is not only about complying with the rest regulations (a maximum of 9 hours a day and 56 hours a week can be driven ) but that this rest must be accurate.

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