Long-haul truckers typically learn to respect the needs of their machines. They spend most of their working time in or around their noble steeds and treat them like extensions of their bodies. If you are a newly qualified trucker looking to start making cross-country trips, you will need to get used to the regular pre-journey checks it is necessary to make. Here is a quick guide to the checks and changes that you should get used to making before heading out on the open road with a full load.
It is vitally important that you check your tire pressure before setting out on any long journey. Tires that are not properly inflated can make handling harder, decrease fuel economy, and are more vulnerable to punctures and blowouts. Even if you have recently pumped up your tires, it is still worth checking their pressure before a ride. This is because fluctuations in temperature – which occur naturally when a vehicle is in motion or exposed to the elements – can cause relatively drastic changes in air pressure. Truckers should carry a pressure monitor with them so that they can make swift checks.
If you are an owner-operator, you need to check your tire tread depth before taking on any shipping work from places like Shiply (https://www.shiply.com/us/truck-loads). The depth of your tire tread determines the handling performance of your truck in rain, snow, or on ice. If you are picking up a third-party trailer, you need to check the tire tread depth on that, as well as your own machine.
Long journeys involve an increased risk of engine overheating and malfunction. It is important to check the oil levels in your truck before you set off – new oil will be much more expensive on the road. Most modern trucks have an easy-to-access oil level-checking dipstick. If you need to top up your oil, it should go without saying that you should choose the mixture mentioned in your truck’s operating manual. Never mix two kinds of oil. If you need to change oil types, complete a full drain.
Checking your lights before the start of every long journey is essential. While trucks are massive machines, they can still be hard for other motorists to see during rain, snow or night-time. Driving without working lights is illegal in many states, and vigilant police officers may pull you over to the side of the road and fine you if they spot you with blinking, uneven or misted lights.
Trucks have big blind spots, and those blind spots get even bigger when mirrors have not been correctly set by the driver. Before setting off on a journey, it is wise to take a relatively long sit down in the cab, adjusting mirrors until you find a perfect balance of vision for your height. These simple checks and adjustments will make your journey safety, so they are certainly worth doing.