Long haul truckers are a unique breed. They willingly set out on long trips to share roads cluttered with inattentive, distracted, and often incapable drivers. Then again, not all truckers are innocent when it comes to bad driving habits. There’s a reason nearly 165,000 people in Canada are injured while using road transportation each year. Thankfully, the majority of long haul drivers are professionals who understand the skills required to keep everyone on the road safe while executing freight shipping from Canada to the U.S.
SAFETY TIPS FOR LONG HAUL DRIVERS
Cross border shipping companies trust that the drivers responsible for hauling goods for clients are doing so in the safest way possible. There are dozens of rules and regulations that govern the industry, all put in place to ensure drivers hauling heavy loads are doing so in a safe manner. Here are a few safety tips suggested by 3PL services in Canada and the companies they work with to deliver the goods.
- Know where you’re going. Mapping out your route in advance eliminates the stress involved in constantly seeking out the best routes, avoiding hazards, and ensuring you’re travelling routes approved for big rigs and trailers. GPS technology has certainly made it easier to stay on route and adjust if road conditions merit a change in plans.
- Be sure to fuel up the driver and not just the rig. Driving long distances on no sleep, an empty stomach, and possibly in a dehydrated condition is not an optimal condition for a driver responsible for guiding a rig hauling several thousand tonnes of material. A good night’s sleep is critical before hitting the road, Eating prior to climbing in the rig and having an allotment of healthy snacks in the cab is also a smart idea. This is especially true if COVID protocols means restaurants along the usual trucking routes are closed. Drinking plenty of fluids is also critical to maintain optimum physical capabilities.
- Stopping often is a good idea. Taking the odd pit stop may extend your trip a little longer, but for the benefit of your body and your mental awareness taking a break from the road is critical. Staring for long periods at the road gives rise to the “white line fever” condition often associated with long-haul drivers – a condition of boredom or drowsiness that happens when staring incessantly at the road. Stop, stretch, get a breath of fresh air. These things are critical when freight shipping from Canada to the U.S. and vice versa.
- Understand all road signs. Each country has its own unique road sign protocols. Understanding what they all mean can help a long-haul driver avoid poor roads and construction areas during long trips.
Understand that most vehicles on the road aren’t being driven by professionals. As a long-haul trucker, you have to share the road with other drivers who speed, lane-hop, tailgate, and who have no respect for how hard it is to stop a big rig. Remember to be cautious and alert at all times.
TRUST NATS CANADA TO ENSURE SAFE DRIVERS ARE HAULING YOUR GOODS
As a 3PL provider NATS Canada doesn’t hire individual drivers but we do contract only the most reputable companies whose drivers have long records of successful driving. We want to ensure safe pickup and delivery every time. Trucks criss-crossing North America often require long-haul drivers to rack up lots of hours in the cab. We strive to ensure they follow the safest protocols in the industry.