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How to safely operate large trucks

Operating a large truck comes with a lot of responsibility and it's not for everyone. For those who wish to drive a large truck, one of the first requirements is to obtain a commercial driver's license. You cannot operate commercial trucks without a CDL.

Once a CDL is obtained and the driver begins operating the truck, he or she must be mindful of the space cushion around the truck. This is the amount of space around the truck so it does not collide with stationary or moving objects near it.

This is not an easy task as drivers must be concerned with all sides of the truck, the surface (ground-level) of the truck and the height (above) the truck. When operators are mindful of these areas, they will know whether or not their truck can safely fit through tunnels, overpasses and other low clearance areas. They will also know when they are on uneven ground, sloped roads, roads with weight restrictions and more.

Large truck operators also need to plan out their trip ahead of time in order to have a safe trip. This includes knowing the route, possible detours, road hazards, road conditions, weather forecasts and more. The driver needs to take into account construction zones, congestion and mountainous terrain.

Speed is a major factor in safely operating a large truck. Large trucks are much different than pickup trucks and other vehicles. They have a tendency to tip when making tight turns at high rates of speed. Ramp speed limits are designed for small vehicles, not large trucks. This means that large trucks need to reduce their speed even more in order to keep all the wheels on the pavement and avoid a rollover accident.

When the operator of a large truck needs to put the truck in reverse, he or she should use a spotter if possible. This is usually possible when backing into a loading dock or depot. In all other instances, the operator should try to pull through and park instead of backing up without a spotter.

An experienced truck accidents attorney in Columbia, Missouri, can help you sift through the legal recourse that comes with a truck accident.

Source: Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips, "Safe Driving Tips for Drivers of Large Trucks," accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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