Being an owner-operator can be lucrative and enjoyable. However, truck driving can potentially be dangerous if owner-operators don't take care to maximize safety while they're out on the road. Unfortunately, owner-operators sometimes make safety mistakes that cost them in the long run. If you want to make your owner-operator business as safe as possible, you need to avoid the following six safety mistakes:
Driving too fast for conditions
Trained truck drivers should know how to drive at an appropriate speed in normal conditions. However, inclement weather conditions can sometimes be a challenge. This is especially true when inclement weather events come up for owner-operators who are trying to stay on schedule. It's important to drive at a speed that's appropriate for conditions at all times. It's also important to know when the weather is bad enough that you should stay off the roads entirely to avoid hazards.
Ignoring weather forecasts
Operator-owners should train themselves to keep an eye on the forecast. You don't want to unknowingly drive right into a severe storm.
Watching the weather isn't just important for avoiding storms, though. It's also important for scheduling your runs so that you can stay on track and won't finish a job late because of bad weather.
Not making efforts to avoid heavy traffic
In addition to keeping your eye on the forecast, you should also stay posted regarding traffic development along the way. Listen to the radio and use smartphone apps that can help notify you of and steer you around traffic.
Being unconscious of blind spots
You need to attain a complete familiarity with your rig. This includes constant awareness of its shortcomings. In particular, you need to pinpoint all your blind spots and remain constantly aware of them while you're driving.
Neglecting maintenance until it's too late
You invest a lot of your hard-earned funds in your vehicle. You need to keep it properly maintained to protect your investment. Keeping up on truck maintenance isn't just important for maximizing the lifespan of your equipment, though. It's also important for avoiding malfunctions out on the road that could potentially cause accidents.
Developing unhealthy habits on work trips
Many owner-operators become overly ambitious and neglect taking care of themselves on the roads in order to complete more jobs and make more money. It's important to maintain healthy habits on the roads. You need to get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet so that you're always alert behind the wheel. You also need to give yourself a vacation now and then to stay refreshed, focused, and content on the job.
If you're searching out truck driving opportunities, be sure to follow these tips and contact Ozark Motor Lines, Inc. for more information.