I was thinking of the bad habits that truckers tend to have. After thinking about this for a little while I concluded that I ‘m usually pretty good with maintaining safety. Though some truck drivers have severely unhealthy habits. Which of these bad habits is the absolute worst that some truck drivers take part in on a regular basis?
The worse bad habits that any trucker could have. Are the bad habits that take place by taking the attention away from the task at hand. Of being a safe driver, and replacing it into anything like one of the following:
- Texting & Driving
- Watching a Movie on a device while driving
- Following to close to the vehicle ahead.
Now, these are the most common three of all the bad habits some truckers have. These are not the craziest of bad habits. If you want to know what the craziest bad habits of truckers tend to consist of from time to time. Then you need to read below!
How Do Truck Driver’s Start Bad Habits?
Any bad habit a truck driver has started by accident. It started the same way it does with anyone who drives any other type or kind of vehicle. It starts with the idea of “I’ll only do this, this one time.”
After that very first time. Any extra time thereafter becomes easier to do. Easier to choose to do the wrong thing. Easier over and over again. After so many times of doing something, it will become a habit. Some habits are good. Yet, this entire article is not about positive habits.
Instead as mentioned, we’re talking about the nitty-gritty. Some of these bad habits could get a truck driver written up with their trucking company. Some of these could get a truck driver a citation. Some of these bad habits could get a truck driver fired if they get caught doing some of these.
All names or entities, including myself, provided within this article. Are not admitting or expressing guilt. Additionally, the persons or entities referenced within this article. Are only providing hearsay based on what they have heard from others. Or what they have seen occur by others within the general public.
At no point is SemiTruckDriver.com. Acknowledging that any individual or entity has done anything unlawful or dangerous. This is only an article, with a focal point to provide information for readers. To get knowledge of what not to do as a habit as a truck driver.
Now you understand, how serious this kind of article this is!
As A Trucker, Where Do I Start Explaining?
From time to time I spend a little bit of time on social media platforms when I’m off work from driving and at home. Keeping up with old friends, family and things of this nature. While doing so, I stopped into a group that I recently became a part of called Ask A Trucker.
The reason I joined this group was that I thought I could help people since I have a lot of experience as a truck driver. While here, I realized that I can help some people, yet at the same time some people may be able to help me too.
With this, came about this idea to see what bad habits some truck drivers are aware of, or may have knowledge of. Within this article, I am going to provide credit for the idea of the topic to the entity that it was thought of.
Now I may dig a little deeper into each of the topics. Through research and asking questions. Yet, the topic itself may have come from someone other than me. Being this could be the case, I have no problem with giving credit where it’s do.
I at one point had a bad habit about 14 years ago. When I first started hauling cars. I would chit chat with some of my co-employees. Have full on conversations while backing a vehicle onto the trailer. I learned very quickly how dangerous this is.
When I was doing this, my attention to what I was doing was being distracted by the conversation. By not focusing and being distracted. I drove a vehicle through a closed nose curtain of the trailer.
Across a 2-foot gap, through the tail of the truck closing curtain, into the back of another vehicle. Yeah, talk about an expensive learning experience. This is all from having a conversation with someone while I was backing up a vehicle onto a car hauler truck.
These vehicles were brand new, German Imports. I must have done these 20 or 30 times prior with no issues. On this very particular day. I was extremely lucky to have been able to walk away from the incident, with only a scratch on my left arm.
It’s the simple extra easy things that get us into hot water quicker than anything. Look at how easy it is to hold a cell phone to a head and talk on it. Blue Tooth hand’s free devices are safer. In the same field of things.
We could also consider texting, it too is dangerous and a bad habit. Even with some devices that can be talked into that will write it all out. What you’re saying, these types of apps are not being utilized by most truckers.
Not Using A CB Radio
This one comes from a buddy of mine. You can catch him on CB Channel 19 from time to time running along Interstate 40. Ask for the “Gooseneck Kid“.
This habit is only dangerous when not being utilized. When we don’t use our CB Radios and it is turned off. We are limiting our own abilities to know if anything up ahead will need some more attention.
For example. If I’m trucking along i40 going to visit the Gooseneck Kid. If I have my CB Radio turned on. If traffic up ahead of me has come to a stop around a blind bend in the highway. It is likely I will hear something like:
“Eastbound, back it down, brake checking up ahead, you’re not gonna see it till your right on top of it.”
For me, this is good to know well in advance. If I don’t know about this. I could come around that blind bend in the road, and without knowing until I see the issue.
It may at that time, be far too late to react in a manner that is safe. Now I could still react to avoid any collisions, but that does not secure my own personal safety.
I may have to drive off the highway, down into a ditch, or something of this nature. Just so that my semi truck does not injure anyone. When a semi truck smacks into the back of a stopped vehicle. If that stopped vehicle is not another semi truck and trailer.
That vehicle is demolished into bits and pieces upon impact. If by chance that vehicle is another semi truck and trailer. Then my semi truck is demolished and so is theirs.
Let’s bring the CB Radio’s back. Let’s bring them back to the on position help secure safety on our travels as a truck driver. One more thing, if you would like to learn more trucker lingo and CB Radio Slang. There is a complete page here on SemiTruckDriver.com for you to check out to learn more!
Put Your Left Foot Out And Shake It All About
Now, this is crazy. I have seen this occur a couple of times from time to time with some truck drivers. I see it more often in the summer than any other time of year.
What this is, and I’m assuming the semi-truck has cruise control on. The truck driver is relaxed. Leaned back a little, with their left foot, and part of a leg, hanging out the driver side door window.
One of these days if I can get a picture of this, I’ll update this article with it. Imagine, how fast of a reaction time you must have to have. To make this entire process work out in your favor, in a positive manner. If by chance you had to react to something to avoid a dangerous outcome.
You would have to be faster than Superman. No joke. Let’s put this entire thing into motion step by step because this is too silly not to.
- First, let’s put the semi truck on cruise control.
- Untie our shoe or boot if we are wearing any.
- Take our shoe/boot off / sandal off.
- Take our sock off if we have one.
- Roll down the driver door window all the way.
- Manage to bring our leg up high enough
- And our knee
- And our shin
- And our foot
- Then slide our foot
- Then our shin or calf
- Then the rest of our leg
- Out of the window of the driver’s door.
- There are 13 steps just to get the foot out of the window, let us pretend a car slammed on the brakes in front of us.
- Attempt to retract our leg that is sticking out of the window.
- Failed, attempt to step on the brake pedal with our right foot.
- Failed, we already smashed into the stopped car.
- We also managed to cut our left leg off from the impact of smashing into the parked car.
- Now our leg is bleeding to death.
- Good luck fetching your foot.
Maybe a little bit exaggerated on my part. I’ve never done this so I’m not sure of the consequences. But, after asking a few office personnel at a trucking company. That choose to remain anonymous.
I was told if any of their company truck drivers. Or leased owner-operators were ever caught doing such a thing. The truck driver will be fired on the spot.
I tried to ask two DOT Officers about this crazy habit some truckers have. The only responses I received when I asked this was,
“Let me catch someone doing that!”
“(Laughter), not on my watch (followed by more laughter.)”
So whatever that means, evaluate it with your own mental creative abilities.
On average it will take almost an entire full second for a truck driver to react to avoid a hazard of any type. That is while sitting. Buckled up, with at least one hand on the steering wheel. And one foot on the gas pedal while not being on cruise control.
If cruise control is engaged, it takes cruise control half of a second to disengage. Instead of creating more time to react. We are taking time away from the ability to react in a safe manner. By having to bring the leg and foot back into the driver door window.
Now the trucker doesn’t have to bring the foot and leg back into the window. The trucker is going to sacrifice the leg and foot for the greater good. To avoid the collision with the stopped car.
Though, why would anyone have to sacrifice a leg or a foot to avoid anything? The leg and or foot should have never exited the cab of the truck without the trucker in the first place. (I mean, park the semi-truck first. Then exit the driver door as a whole person before going inside of a truck stop for example.)
Types Of Food Consumed Can Be An Awful Habit As A Trucker
My buddy brought this topic to my attention. His name is Dan Riggs. Some truckers do not have a care in the world for what they tend to consume on a regular normal basis. This is a very important part of trucking that many truckers understand. Though never follow through with.
It is easier to eat at all the fast food places from truck stop to truck stop. It’s easier to walk up to the coolers and grab a soda to drink instead of unflavored water. Plus, how fun is water without flavor.
Where some truck drivers begin to see how this is a bad habit. Many times, by this time, it is “almost” too late. Some get diabetes, some get heart disease or some type of something. From a health point of view, these can be really bad for most people.
With this comes a greater possibility of becoming overweight. Most truck drivers sit in their semi trucks for long periods of time, for consecutive hours. Limited movement, limited exercise, limited a lot of things.
Truck drivers, including myself. Need to start caring more about which types of foods they consume on a more regular basis. More fruits and vegetables, more water, fewer snacks filled with sugars.
Even myself, I have a bad habit that involves loving honey buns, and I love cookies and cookies love me. I can eat any kind of cookie known to mankind with a glass of milk and be as happy as can be. Though my prime weight for myself is about 175 to 180 pounds. Currently, I’m 220 pounds.
For me, about once every few years or so, I end up going through this dieting regiment where I lose about 25 to 40 pounds. Only because the rest of the time between that I am lazy.
Currently, I’ve already started taking salads with me on my trips a few weeks ago. Started taking healthier snacks with me as well. I still take cookies with me. Not the entire container of cookies like I use to. A third of a container. Yet, it’s a start in the right direction.
To stop a bad habit. A new something must begin. If it never starts, how is anything ever going to change? So, I may still have a bad habit with cookies. Though I’m beginning a new habit while it is taking over little by little.
Another way a bad habit ends is by doing that bad habit less often and less often as time goes on. What this does, is, it conditions your mind and body to desire or want less of that bad habit. Like nicotine, but that is another topic explained further down.
Going as they say cold turkey sometimes isn’t the best idea for everyone. Some truck drivers like myself need to start with baby steps to get the ball rolling. After that, take a few more baby steps and so on and so forth.
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