As a truck driver or fleet manager, it’s crucial to be prepared for a breakdown at any moment, as they are usually unpredictable. To get your truck back up and running, it’s important to properly handle a truck breakdown safely on the side of the road. Continue reading for a few tips on how to be prepared for a truck breakdown and handle an equipment failure safely.
Have A Plan
Since you’ll never know when a breakdown will occur, you must always be prepared. First, be sure to have a resource to help you locate a repair facility while on the road. If you are the owner-operator of a truck, it’s crucial to have a resource you can contact to help find nearby locations of repair facilities and safe places to stop at along your route. During mechanical failure, it’s often possible to get your truck into a safe truck stop rather than being stuck on the side of the road waiting for someone to come to you. As a company driver, contact your dispatcher or driver manager for instructions on how to handle the breakdown, as they will have helpful insight.
While it’s always essential to have a backup plan, the best way to reduce the odds of a breakdown is with preventative maintenance. This is a crucial step for every truck driver on the road, as you want to ensure your truck is safe before taking it on the highway with many other vehicles around. Pre-checks, on-route checks, and post-trip checks should always be extremely thorough so you know ahead of time if anything looks wrong.
Having a truck break down while you’re behind the wheel is very scary, but it’s crucial to stay calm. If you feel the truck start to fail, pull over as safely and as quickly as possible. Pulling over on an off-ramp is safer than the side of a highway, but if that is your only option, stay alert and aware of your surroundings. The shoulder is a dangerous place to be, as you are exposed to speeding traffic just a few feet away. Be aware of the danger of the traffic nearby, put on your flashers, and stay in your vehicle is possible. If you need to assess the problem, carefully exit the truck, contact dispatch, and explain your situation for further instructions.
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