Three Precautions for Avoiding Semi-Trailer Handling Mishaps


If you are planning on acquiring a semi-trailer truck for your business, you should consider engaging an expert operator. Semi trailers are advantageous vehicles for hauling large shipments like construction materials, particularly over long-distances. In addition, their design makes loading and unloading easy. Unfortunately, operating the semi without enough experience can be challenging. Therefore, an expert driver is indispensable. If you have an appropriate licence and would like to undertake your hauling tasks personally, consider the tips outlined for a safe trip.

Plan for Safe Cornering

Semi-trailers are articulated vehicles. It is important to keep in mind that their operation is different from rigid alternatives. The articulation can be particularly daunting when negotiating a turn on the road. Usually, the rear end of the semi will cut in because the back wheels have a limited radius in their path in comparison to the front wheel. If you are not careful, the back wheels will leave the road and cause a lot of damage. You can minimise the effect of the small turning radius by slowing down earlier than you would with a rigid vehicle. This will allow the rear end of your vehicle to make a more gentle turn, minimising the risk of leaving your lane.

Avoid Backing Up

Backing up or reversing when driving a semi-trailer can be troubling for inexperienced drivers. The risk of causing an accident is high because of the size and lack of rigidity. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid reversing as much as possible. It might not be possible to avoid it altogether during your long-distance haul. However, you can minimise the need significantly if you plan a little. For instance, when parking your truck during your stops, consider looking for spots where you can simply pull through when leaving instead of having to reverse.

Consider Using a Spotter

When you must back up in your semi-trailer, it is advisable to use a spotter. A spotter will help you keep an eye for things you cannot see. You and the chosen person should have an agreement on how they will indicate the status as you back up. Be clear on the stop signal before beginning. Do not depend on or hope for the instinctual understanding of gestures. If the spotter leaves your field of vision during the process, always stop driving to avoid a mishap.

Finally, you should not keep going if you are uncertain about anything during your drive. Instead, stop your semi-trailer, get out and assess the situation as a precaution. 


19 March 2020

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