If you drive a big rig, it's just a matter of time before you experience a breakdown on the road. Even if you're completely prepared for the inevitable, it's still going to be a stressful situation, especially if you're out in the middle of nowhere – or worse, stuck in bad weather. Your first breakdown is probably going to be your worst – because you've never had to deal with this type of situation before. You're going to need to make sure you stay as safe as possible until help can arrive. Here are four steps you can take to help ensure your safety while you wait for roadside assistance.
Try to Make It Off the Road
In most cases, you're going to be in one of the two outside lanes, which means you'll be close to the shoulder when your truck breaks down. While close is good, it's not the best place you can be when your truck stops running. As soon as you know that your truck is going to fail, pull off the road. If you're near an off ramp, aim for that. It's better to be completely off the highway if you can make it. If you can't make it to the off ramp, pull as far onto the shoulder as you possibly can. This will help ensure that you're not in traffic when you open your door to get out to assess the damage.
Call for Assistance
You're going to need to call for assistance. If you're an owner/operator, you'll need to arrange for your own roadside assistance. However, if you're a company driver, you'll need to contact your dispatcher so that they can arrange for assistance for you. It's important that you provide them with as much information as possible, including whether or not you're in danger – such as inclement weather or hazardous location. This will allow them expedite roadside assistance for you.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Drivers on the highway may not always be paying attention to what's going on around them, especially if they're distracted. That means you're going to need to be attentive to what's going on around you while you're inspecting your truck. When possible, you should avoid having your back to on-coming traffic. If your back is to traffic, you might not see a car coming at you. However, if you're facing traffic while you're out of your truck, you'll be able to see potential hazards before they sneak up on you.
If you're new to driving solo in a big rig, you need to be prepared for break-downs. The tips provided here will help you stay out of harm's way when your rig breaks down.
For more information about towing services, contact a local company.