If you’re traveling across the country hauling big loads, there’s a good chance that you may have to drive on a handful of backroads. Also known as one or two-lane roads off the beaten path, backroads are often the only way to get through some particularly rural areas. It’s wise to know how to safely navigate a big truck on these roads for when you inevitably need to drive on one.
Here are a few tips on how to drive a big truck on backroads safely:
- Drive slowly.
Backroads are often full of bumps and lumps that aren’t found on major routes and highways. These potholes and hills can be a challenge for big trucks to maneuver over and around. To ensure that you safely surmount these obstacles, make sure to drive slowly and carefully on every backroad. With more twists and turns than usual and less smooth, flat expanses of road, it’s essential to drive cautiously to get your truck and your trailer where you need to be without any accidents or mishaps.
- Prepare for wide turns.
Many back roads are narrow. This can prove to be a challenge for big trucks that take up much more road space than the average commuter car. Narrow roads mean that you’ll have to swing your vehicle out in extra wide turns to maneuver trailers and long trucks around sharp turns. This means that it’s crucial to make sure that there aren’t any cars in the oncoming lane beside you that may get caught in the wide turn that you need to make. Before making any wide turns, you should observe plenty of wide-open space on either side of your vehicle, in front of it, and behind it on both your side and the opposite side of the road.
- Maintain plenty of space between other vehicles on the road.
Since you never know what may pop up around a sharp turn on a backroad, it’s always important to maintain plenty of space between your truck and other vehicles on the road. Since your truck is big compared to most of the vehicles on the road, it’s going to take a little longer to come to a screeching halt if anything crosses its path. Maintaining extra space between other vehicles will help prevent you from having to worry about making a sudden stop.
- Keep an eye on the weather.
Since backroads are not as heavily traveled as the highway, they’re often not regularly cleared when inclement weather arises. If it’s wintertime or heavy rainfall is expected, it may be wise to avoid traveling on backroads that are prone to flooding or snow accumulation. The last thing that you want to happen is to have your big truck slide off of a backroad in the middle of nowhere due to precipitation. Keeping an eye on the weather can help you make calculated choices on when to travel on backroads or to wait for the poor weather to pass.
While these tips are by no means everything you should keep in mind when driving a big truck on backroads, they’re good tips to be conscious of as you travel across the country on backroads or on highways (except the “drive slowly” part of course). For more general backroad driving tips, give this article a read.
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