Getting a CDL gives you the knowledge how to operate a truck, change lanes, maintain the tires and so many other things related to trucking. But there are some unwritten rules as well known as a trucker etiquette, that aren’t taught in these CDL schools.
Probably as a brand new rookie, you have been in a position where you feel like you are in everyone’s way. Here are some unwritten rules of trucker etiquette that you should follow!
ON THE ROAD
Let them pass
As a truck driver you know how hard it is to merge onto the highway when others aren’t exactly giving you the space to do so safely. Be a team player on the road. When another truck is passing by you signal them by flashing your lights on and off. This way you can show them that they have enough room to get over. Also if you are close to the same speed as another truck trying to pass you, slow down a little bit to let that truck pass.
When you intend to pass the other vehicle, make sure the road is flat and the area is clear. This will ensure that you will do it safe and quickly. Avoid passing when driving up a hill, mountain, or another steep incline.You can cause an accident.
Use ,,Thank you” lights
In addition to the ,,rule” above, when someone is ,,helping” you pass by them or merge safely onto the highway simply flash your marker lights to the other vehicle. This way you say ,,Thank you” for the teamwork. And it’s important to acknowledge the effort that the other driver put in to help you.
Don’t drive in the left lane
Make sure you treat everyone with respect. One way to do this is to drive in the right lane unless you are passing. This will help prevent traffic from building up behind you and you will ot block other vehicles that are faster than you.
AT THE TRUCK STOP
Don’t park at the fuel island
Generally while fueling you need up to about 10-15 minutes. After you are done with the fueling, move the truck out of the fuel island so you don’t make the other drivers wait longer than the expected time. We all know how valuable the time is, especially for the truckers. Just keep things moving smoothly for the others.
Help when a new driver tries to back up
When backing at night, turn your lights off. This way you are saying ,, It’s ok, take your time backing up “. Not only this , but the person trying to back up can see better when there is no headlights glare. Although there are situations where you can turn your headlights on so the other driver can see the parking area better. Another way you can help them is by ,,hand signals”. Simply get off your truck and offer help. Backing up is always easier when it comes to navigation.
Off the Road
The trucking etiquette applies not only on the road but also when it comes to shippers and receivers. Being a good trucker means not only being polite to other drivers on the road, but to conduct yourself professionally off the road too.
- Be organised and have your paperwork ready
- Be polite, calm and patient
- Check your attitude at the door
Remember, you are not just representing your company but you are also representing the truckers in general. When it comes to trucker etiquette it’s very simple, just treat others how you would want to be treated.
Stay safe on the road with our Safety Tips for profesional truck drivers