Getting Ready to Ride: 5 Tips for First-Time Truck Owners

truck driving

There is truly something cool about driving a truck, and with the new features adding more power and luxury, even ladies don’t want to be left out of this game. Besides the beasty feel of a truck, you can carry so much stuff in the back for home and business use, so it’s a do-it-all kind of vehicle.

However, if it is your first time driving a heavy vehicle, you are in for some exhilarating pleasure and scares as well. Here are the top five tips for first-time truck drivers.

1. Take a Driving Refresher Course

Driving a truck is very different from driving a small car like a sedan regarding weight, view, and maneuverability. Unlike small cars where the brakes work in a jiffy, you will have to get used to the very slow reaction when you step on the brakes, especially if you were speeding.

Heavy vehicles cannot abruptly stop because of their weight, so you have to give yourself ample room between the truck and the car in front to avoid accidents. You may not need to go back to driving school, but you need someone to guide you on how to safely drive a truck at least until you get the hang of it.

2. Do Not Lift

Many people admire those vehicles that look so high off the ground because it’s cool, but it is by no means safe. A truck is designed to be high so lifting it further does more harm than good and it can cause stability, vibration and wear issues. Though it looks kind of cool to be so high or have those wide wheels, the truck will not be well grounded, and so it will be hard to control in case of any mishap.

Instead, get thin, beefier tires that are good for off-roading and snow and don’t tamper with the integral structure of the truck. You can also add a few lights and graffiti to pimp up the ride or install pickup truck bed caps to protect the front railing and make it look cool without tampering with the vehicle’s integrity.

3. Relax on the Accelerator

The first thing you will notice about heavy vehicles like trucks is that they have extreme power and can fly off the handle if you step on the accelerator too much.

Though trucks are used in off-road races, often a new driver cannot deal with the massive power that such a vehicle holds, so it’s better to go slowly and steadily especially because you cannot stop very fast. Always step gently on the accelerator and add speed slowly as you go instead of stepping at once.

4. Always Remember the Rear Section

One significant difference between a small car and a truck is that the latter has two body parts and it is possible for a new driver to forget the back part when turning, reversing or driving in snow.

Though the two pieces are attached, they don’t always move together, and so it’s important to ensure the back part has moved with the rest of you or it has enough weight to keep moving through snow or mud. For example, when you are making a turn, always ensure there is sufficient room for the entire vehicle, and this consciousness is the biggest challenge for new truck drivers.

5. Reverse with Caution

Seriously, reverse with extra caution than you would with a smaller car. A truck allows you very limited vision at the back so unless you have a backup camera, always go back slowly and ensure there is nothing behind you.

Driving a truck is going to be one of the most exciting things you will ever do if you practice enough before going to the highway. It is a powerful thing to take control of such a beast and be part of the American dream, and everybody should have a chance to do it.

Anica Oaks

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