Becoming a truck driver means a lot more than just driving a truck. Legislators are constantly tinkering with the rules and regulations involving the transport industry, all in the name of safety – not just truck driver safety. In fact, the primary aim of many of the rules and regulations is the safety of other drivers and property. This has made some areas of truck driving quite onerous, with truck drivers being required to document almost every moment of their working life in the form of a log book.
Logs are just one area that truck drivers need to consider. Other factors that affect truck drivers include the road worthiness of their vehicle – hence the need for inspections prior to every trip. Load limits are in place, and it’s a truck driver’s responsibility to ensure their truck never exceeds its rated weight limit. We haven’t even made it to the road rules yet, and there are a lot of road rules that relate to trucks, including speed limits, the use of air brakes, and areas that may be restricted to large trucks.
There are also rules and regulations that cover the use of alcohol and medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter) and illegal drugs. It’s best not to have any of the latter detected in any tests; to avoid drinking alcohol in the 24 hours prior to starting work; and to carefully read the directions when it comes to medications.
Teaching these rules and regulations are an important part of any truck driver training program. Learning to drive is not that difficult. Remembering the rules and regulations can be. It should also be remembered that prospective truck drivers will be tested on those rules and regulations prior to being granted their commercial drivers license. More importantly, you can never use the defense of ignorance when it comes to breaking any of these rules and regulations. Truck drivers have an obligation to keep themselves informed of any changes when they they occur – and to follow them to the letter. Sound difficult? It’s not really, once you gain an understanding of what is required, and that just takes a complete truck driver training program.