Truckers who deliver freight over long distances have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. They experience several challenges on the road besides just traffic and bad weather, many spend countless hours on the road leading to fatigue and various health problems. Not to mention, they may spend weeks at a time on the road which can be very lonesome.
To be a long-haul truck driver, you need the necessary skills and patience to succeed. Here are some helpful tips to survive long-distance trucking.
Tips for Long-Distance Trucking
Regardless of whether you’re leased onto a motor carrier or operate under your own authority, you’ll need truck insurance coverage. Unfortunately, long-distance trucking entails many risks, anything from cargo thefts, injuries, collisions, and so on. To protect your asset you must take proactive measures to safeguard your business.
Some of the coverages you may need include, but are not limited to the following:
- Auto liability
- Truckers’ general liability
- Physical damage
If you drive a tractor-trailer then you may be wondering, how much is insurance for a semi truck? Our agents can also assist with dump truck insurance, car hauler insurance, and more. Give us a call and our trucking agents can gather three free insurance quotes by comparing rates among our wide variety of carriers.
Maintain Your Health
Living on the road for weeks at a time can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. Since truck drivers typically run on tight delivery schedules, many tend to gravitate towards quick and convenient food options like fast food or junk food.
However, after some time these habits can negatively affect your overall health leading to heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Due to the lack of physical activity, taking care of your body and mind should be of utmost importance.
Therefore, if you’re participating in interstate commerce you need to maintain a quality sleep schedule, eat a healthy diet, and rest when needed. Oftentimes you can find truck stops along your routes that have fuel stations, showers, and warm food available.
For a further understanding of interstate vs intrastate, refer to our blog.
Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
It’s essential to plan your trip in advance. You should know the distance you’ll be traveling and have an estimated arrival date in mind as well. So, to avoid going over your hours of service or arriving later than expected, you need to figure out when you’ll stop for fuel, food, and rest. This is critical if you wish to remain on schedule!
Also, you must allow yourself some extra time in case of traffic or weather delays. It would be a good idea to have your GPS going at all times so you’re aware of any accidents or road work that could affect your arrival time.
Perform Inspections Often
Before you head out you need to perform a pre-trip inspection to detect any potential problems that need to be addressed. Failing to do so can compromise your safety and others. Therefore, you need to get routine maintenance done and perform inspections to avoid costly repair bills and possible lawsuits.
A commercial motor vehicle is made up of numerous components. As a result, the likelihood of an accident increases.
Here’s our pre-trip checklist for commercial motor vehicles:
- Turn on the engine
- Check that your gauges and warning lights are functioning properly
- Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition
- Check to make sure your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and reflectors are operational
- Ensure that your tires are properly inflated
- Secure your cargo and make sure it won’t shift during transport
The above tips aren’t just for newbies in the transportation business, every truck driver no matter their years of experience needs to plan their route in advance, prioritize their health, get insured, and perform pre-trip inspections.