Posted on: 5 August 2017
Now that you've got your Class 2 drivers license, and you're about to hit the road by yourself, it's time to take your safety seriously. One major safety issue that faces every truck driver is the jackknife. You never know when something is going to happen on the road that could increase your risk of a jackknife incident. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of actually being involved in one. Here are four important safety precautions you can take to avoid jackknifing.
Slow Down for Turns
When you're in a hurry, and you're falling behind on the schedule, it can be tempting to cut corners, figuratively and literally. Unfortunately, cutting corners can lead to a jackknife situation. So can taking corners too quickly. To avoid jackknifing, it's crucial that you slow down for every turn you make in your truck. It's also important that you don't try to cut those corners to save time or space. Give yourself plenty of room to turn, and slow down to a safe speed before you begin a turn.
There are going to be times while you're driving where slamming on your brakes becomes necessary. However, when you can, you should avoid the practice whenever possible. When you slam on your brakes, the trailers you're hauling don't have enough time to react, which means they're going to be going faster than the front of your truck. When that happens, you're going to experience a jackknife situation. To protect yourself, and those around you, always decelerate slowly. If you do need to slam on your brakes, brace yourself, and prepare for the jackknife.
Take Care When Shifting Gears
Shifting gears presents another risk-factor for jackknifing, especially when you don't shift gears slowly or methodically. Your truck has a lot of power behind it. Any rapid change in speed or traction can increase the risk for jackknifing. To avoid those situations, always take care when shifting gears.
Watch for Sway
When it comes to avoiding a jackknife situation, your side-mirrors are your best friends. While you're on the road, pay close attention to your side-mirrors. Always watch for sway, the motion your trailers will give when they're moving from side-to-side. Too much sway and your trailers are going to get away from you, which will likely lead to a jackknife situation if you don't get the sway under control. As soon as you see your trailers begin to sway, slow down, and steer straight ahead.
Jackknifing can cause serious injuries to you and those around you. If your truck does jackknife on the road, you're going to need a tow. Click here for more info.Share