One of the most frequent accidents for a commercial vehicle happens when they are making a turn. No matter what type of equipment you pull it is all longer than any standard vehicle you would drive. This causes problems not only for the commercial driver but also for standard vehicle drivers. If you have never driven a commercial vehicle you do not understand what it takes to turn one. Standard vehicle drivers do not understand that a commercial vehicle must take a wide turn and they require more room to make their turns. Commercial drivers, new or veteran, can get in a hurry or misjudge their turns. Often times they can find themselves in a situation that the vehicle and elements around them will not allow for the proper turning techniques to be used.
When making a turn in a commercial vehicle avoid these common mistakes: Approaching the intersection to closely, not sizing up the corner properly, forgetting to gear down before turning, shifting gears while turning, accelerating in the turn, and forgetting to allow for off-tracking. In addition not checking mirrors before, during, and after the turn is the most common mistake of all.
Often you see commercial vehicles take out road signs, jump curbs, drop the trailer in the ditch, clip a car, possibly even back into a car trying to correct their turn. All these things can be avoided if you slow down, assess the intersection, and check your mirrors before, during and after the turn. If you find things are not going as planned during your turn stop. Get out and look at the situation. If you find that you can only correct the situation by backing up or turning farther out into the on-coming roadway you need to ask for assistance from a police official. You may slow up traffic for a bit, but you and those around you will be able to proceed safely.
Norsemen Trucking offers a training program for those with little Over the Road experience or those who have just completed a credited driving school. With-in this training program turning, backing, and trip planning are the topics that get spent on the most. We set our training program up so it offers a flexible schedule to learn. Some take to turning real quick, others it might take a bit longer. We want to ensure that our drivers feel confident and comfortable before going out on their own.