If a truck breaks down, that puts the driver, others, and the condition of the vehicle and freight in danger. Many trucking companies, including Evan Transportation, are cautious with safety practices and keep excellent track records. However, in the event of an emergency where you find your truck has broken down, here are some steps to take.
We should start with the advice to take preventative measures to avoid the chances of a truck breakdown in the first place. Vehicle pre-inspections, stopping at weigh stations, and post-trip inspections are all necessary to catch any irregularities before they cause a trucker to break down on the road. However, even precautionary measures won’t stop all unexpected accidents. The next best piece of advice for if your truck breaks down is to have emergency supplies ready. Supplies include tools, manuals, and a way to communicate with others. But, for unforeseen long periods of waiting time, it’s best to also have high visibility clothing, extra blankets, food, water, and flashlights.
Pull Over Safely
Pulling over to the shoulder and safely getting off the road should be the priority. Turn on your signal to indicate your intention to pull over if your truck breaks down since the hazard lights might not make apparent what you are doing to other drivers. Move the vehicle away from traffic as much as possible, but be mindful of sloping shoulders that can cause the truck to roll over. Once you are stopped, secure the tires with wheel chocks. Turn on the hazard lights, and place some emergency triangles or traffic cones far enough behind your truck to alert oncoming cars that your vehicle has stopped.
Alert Other Vehicles
Depending on the position of how your truck breaks down and how far off the road you can get it, you may need to direct traffic if your truck is blocking the way. Make sure to put on high-visibility or reflective clothing and use flashlights so others can see you. This task is dangerous, and you should assume other drivers have poor visibility of you when trying to steer people away from your vehicle. If this is not necessary, it’s best to stay put in your truck or wait as far away from moving traffic as possible.
Alert The Dispatcher
If you drive for a trucking company, you can radio or call your dispatcher for instructions on what to do if you are broken down. Trucking technology has made it easier to track vehicles, and dispatchers can call a tow truck or alert the clients that there will be a delay in delivery. The dispatcher will also know whether you need to call for emergency services, such as police assistance in directing traffic.
Assess Your Trailer and Freight
If your truck breaks down while carrying temperature-controlled goods or hazardous materials, you will need to alert either the client or emergency services depending on how dangerous the cargo is. Do a visual check of the trailer for any damages that might impact your freight, such as leaks or dents. Keep the container closed to preserve cooler temperatures, and refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet for safe handling of dangerous substances.
For All Your Trucking Needs
Follow us here at Evan Transportation to get more updates on driving tips and the trucking industry. Evan Transportation provides trucking and transportation services for clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. All of our drivers and staff are offered competitive salaries, benefits, and are guaranteed to be home every day. Interested in finding out more? Visit us online or give us a call at 443-673-3365. For even more information, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
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