Lorry driving: cruising the roads, taking in the scenery, and all the while playing an important part in the transportation eco-system. High levels of concentration are required, it’s a job that comes with a huge amount of responsibility, and is not one that everyone can handle. But regardless of whether you manoeuvre a huge 18-wheeler or just a small lorry, there is one thing that is paramount: executing your task safely. Most people will never drive a lorry, and will not have the experience needed to make judgment calls in terms of what you intend to do on the road. Pallet deliveries is a massive part of the transportation industry and if your hauls can be made more safely, everyone benefits.
- Always check blind spots before changing lanes or turning. Off to the side (just in front of the cabin), just behind the side mirrors and directly behind the lorry are the most troublesome blind spots. Other drivers on the road may not be aware of these spots, and it’s up to you as the driver to make sure everything is clear before manoeuvring.
- Load your lorry properly. Weight distribution is a common reason for accidents. Make sure that you are not top-heavy and that all cargo is secured properly to avoid shifting the weight when having to do a hard brake or curve. It’s recommended to space out the cargo evenly instead of stacking everything in one part.
- Reduce speed in curves and around roadwork sites. Even when comfortably following the speed limit, a fully loaded lorry will behave differently than a car. Make sure you go with care when there is a chance of sudden changes, like closed lanes or sharp curves.
- Adjust for bad weather. For rain or snow it’s important to slow down, and to be ready for any small adjustments that may be needed. When having to correct your path due to obstacles or slippery roads it’s important to do so in a calm and collected manner; an overreaction could exacerbate any situation due to the lorry slipping and sliding.
- Keep your vehicle in top condition. Always conduct a full safety check before embarking on the next stretch of your trip. Mirrors, fluid levels, tires, that pallets are properly stacked and secured. Be especially careful with the brakes, as they can take quite a lot of punishment when the lorry is fully loaded.