When we are kids, most of us would have dreamt about driving a huge truck; you know, with all the dust curling near the rear wheels. However, driving a large, long vehicle which weights tons is not an easy task and not everyone can do it. Moreover, you need to have a special license; the normal license you get for light vehicles is not enough.
So here are a few things you need to know before you obtain the license and actually drive a heavy vehicle.
Rules and regulations
Not only the laws but the rules and regulations that apply to heavy vehicles are different in most countries and it is essential that you have adequate knowledge of these before you can take the vehicle on the road.
Behavior of the vehicle
We all know that heavy vehicles are used mainly to transport goods and people. They can also be used to transport animals. Therefore, it is imperative that you understand that the way the vehicle behaves when it is empty may be different from the way it behaves when it is loaded. The main reason for this is the weight distribution of the design. If you need more details or advise on this, it is a good idea to consult an experienced truck mechanic.
The speed limits that apply to heavy duty vehicles are different, and, most of the time lower than that applicable for light vehicles. Further, the speed limits applicable when driving the empty vehicle is different form the applicable limit for the loaded vehicle.
If you are transporting animals or people, then the limits are once again different.
Special care should be taken to analyze the driving conditions as a minor misjudgment may result in major damages. You should be extra vigilant when driving in wet conditions and should maintain adequate distance so that you can stop the vehicle without any damages if required. You should also drive considerably under the allowed speed limit if there is rain, snow, etc. or spills on the road.
Driving and maintenance
It is necessary to understand that the driving of a heavy vehicle is essentially different from driving a light vehicle, as was stressed throughout and that truck repairs Swan Hill and other maintenance activities should be done only by professionals.Before you start driving always ensure that the people, animals or property in the vicinity are safe. What I mean is, since the vehicle is generally a lot long, the path the engine takes may not be the exact path the trailer takes. Therefore, you need to do your calculations properly and estimate that you will not inadvertently hit anything that is in the way.
Further, you should always look in the mirrors and peek down at the front before driving on to make sure that no one is standing near the vehicle as, small or short people may not be visible to you from the windscreen unless you take the extra effort to peek.
Always keep in mind that there is a propensity of the air currents created when driving heavy vehicles (specially when driving a bit fast) of drawing in or throwing off other small vehicles such as bicycles or even pedestrians. As I said, being a real life truck driver is not at all as easy as dreaming of being one.