Experienced truck drivers know the enormous responsibility of being in charge of up to 80 thousand pounds of truck and cargo, driving thousands of miles a year, all while trying to negotiate less experienced 4-wheel drivers all around them.
Most drivers do their jobs professionally and safely, but like all industries, sometimes complacency can creep in. So we think it is always good to go over the basics as a reminder to keep you safe, as well as those around you.
Professional airline pilots, as well as military fighter pilots, follow a tedious checklist. In the military, pilots learn the phrase “Check 6,” which means in combat, your wing man is always “checking your 6.” it is symbolic of a clock code, where the 6:00 is right behind you, and in a fighter jet (or a long haul truck) that is your most vulnerable area. So your wing man is watching your back for any potential trouble.
Truckers don’t have the benefit of someone checking their ‘6’, so they need to be ever more vigilant in checking off their safety list, in order to delivery the freight safely, but far more importantly, to return home safe and sound. Here are some ways trucks are failing to “check their 6.”
When a trucker fails to clear off windows, clearance lights, tail lights and mirrors
When failing to check cross-traffic before reaching and traveling through an intersection
When failing to keep tires properly inflated and in good, road-worthy condition
When using excessive speed for the weather conditions
When continuing to drive in an excessively fatigued condition
When a trucker follows too closely
Truckers can be their own best defense against unsafe driving behavior. Many truckers recommend strong self-policing. When truckers are in 4-wheelers and are tailgated by a semi truck, it is a wake-up call to be sure we are all following the rules of the road. Several truckers have commented that the blame falls on the trucking industry when the unsafe drivers are not culled from the ranks to make it safer for everyone. So if you see someone acting in a way that puts a bad light on your industry, call the company and report them. Everyone gets painted with a broad brush when a rogue trucker drives in a manner that puts everyone at risk.
Several drivers were noted saying that they have seen an increase in dangerous driving practices. While it is natural to look the other way when we see it happening, it makes sense for us to hold ourselves, and each other to a higher standard of safety.
Just as 4-wheel drivers should report others drivers who are putting people in harm’s way by their actions on the road, we know experienced long haulers want to continue to applaud safe driving by their fellow truckers. At Fleet Oil & Truck Supply, you are not only our customers but our friends, and we support you in keeping the roads safe for everyone!