“Ah shit look at the rookie driver f-up”, most senior drivers would say!
I would like to point out that this article is in no way a attempt to belittle a company or their driver, rather it is a way to drop a little knowledge on new drivers and those looking at entering the trucking industry. (this is not a reference manual, just a few insights is all)
Now I know you are saying to yourself “now how in the hell did the driver get himself in that kind of a situation”. The answer is really simple actually, he failed to plan. Lets start by explaining what more then likely happened here and close with some helpful advice so this does not happen to you.
He either made a wrong turn or was given wrong directions, in any case seeing the road starting to look increasingly more dangerous he panicked. He was thinking my only way out of this mess is to go back the same way I came in, instead of stopping long enough to plan a course of action, you can clearly see how far his plan got him.
I’m very thankful to come from a trucking family dating back three generations, as a matter of fact almost all of my ken folk and friends drive to one extent or another. I can remember my first over the road trip with out my father to babysit me, I was worried I would fuck up, get lost or have a accident. I turned to my father for a little bit of advice before I hit the road for Sacramento,Ca.
I said “pops any last words you could offer me?” he said ” Never run in a pack they will either slow you down or push you past your limit, run by yourself and sleep whenever you are tired. Run your own truck don’t let your log book run it for you, if you are tired sleep forget about that delivery. Did I mention sleep son?”. Most importantly he said “before you move your truck know exactly what you are doing, flying by the seat of your pants could get you killed.”
Almost everything I know about trucking came from my father who is a amazing driver with a recorded second to none ( 5 million miles accident free). I could see even when I was real young that it was not just driving for him, it seemed he had a gift for knowing what was about to happened before it happened. He has a read on his environment like he has the spirit of the road with in him. I feel honored when I get a chance to sit next to him while he navigates his big rig across America.
Now this article is getting extremely long so I am going to avoid a in depth explination of trip planning. If you are interested in learning how to plan right leave me a comment in the section below, if enough people are interested I will dedicate a entire article to such topic. The important thing when planning is to use all the resources you can.
- city index
- google maps or similar software
- cell phone
- State Access Policies sheet
- longer combination vehicle sheet
- weight and size provisions (federal,state,provincial)
- Bridge formula table
- Any state route map if available
- Common sense, etc
Planning is the key essential to avoding this situation however even the best of plans can get side tracked, how you get out of bad situations is what makes you either a pro or a newbie! NEVER, EVER, EVER think about doing a U-TURN in the middle of a road NEVER. If you feel like you are running out of SAFE alternatives call law enforcment who are more then willing to come out and give you a hand to get you back on the safe track. If that means coming to a stop in the road then by all means stop where you’re at. Get out your reflective vest set up your safety triangles and keep your head up as not to get hit by moving traffic. Now take a deep breath and learn from the experience we all have been there!
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