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Car tips & advice | 08.08.2014 - 19:16

Driving a Large Truck for the First Time? Here Are Six Things to Remember

Driving a large truck or van can be a little trickier than normal. Here are some tips to help you out!

There is plenty of intimidation that can come with getting behind the wheel of a large truck or RV for the first time. The sheer size of the vehicle causes many to struggle to feel confident while on the road. To drive the truck comfortably and know the basics, there are a few tips to follow before pulling out on the road.


1. Avoid Driving Faster Than 55 MPH

With a truck of such large capacity, it's important to avoid driving faster than 55 miles per hour on the highway, especially if you’re towing another vehicle. You'll also need to reduce your speed by 10 miles if you encounter rain or traffic.


2. Be Easy on the Brakes

Hit the brakes gently with small pulses to prevent stopping too quickly and shifting the weight toward the front of the truck. This will also prevent the brakes from overheating. Keep in mind that the heavier the vehicle, the longer it takes to slow down and cars will likely pull out in front of you from time to time.


3. Check the Mirrors

With trucks, there is a higher dependency on the mirrors when switching lanes or pulling on to a highway. Rely on the extended side-view mirrors, which should allow you to see vehicles on the side or in the rear.


4. Avoid Making U-Turns

When driving a truck, it can be difficult to maneuver the vehicle and make turns. Avoid making u-turns, which can block traffic and cause you to go over the curb.


5. Leave More Room Ahead

It takes longer to stop a truck than a typical vehicle, making it important to leave at least four seconds of distance between you and the car ahead.


6. Check the Tires

Before driving a truck for the first time, check the inflation in the tires and secure any lug nuts that may be loose. It's also important to have a spare tire on hand.

Although driving a truck can take time to learn, there are a few tips to practice to ensure that you get it right the first time. It may be a heavier vehicle that can be difficult to operate, but with time it'll feel comfortable. By learning how to drive in traffic and rely on the brakes more consistently, it will make for a comfortable driving experience.


Information credited to Western Truck Body Mfg, truck bodies in Vancouver.

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