For any commercial truck driver, one of their worst nightmares is getting into an accident because the vehicle in front of them brakes too fast. That type of scenario is a recipe for disaster, and a need for improvements in braking systems has been a reality for years. In recent years, a lot has been done to increase the response rate of trucks for commercial tractors, and according to a recent FleetOwner article, it’s possible that we may be seeing even more improvements in the near future.
2009 – A Year of Change
In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration set new requirements in place that called for a decrease in the stopping distances of commercial trucks. As a result, most companies complied by replacing their existing braking systems with enhanced S-cam drum brakes. Of course, stopping requirements vary based on the weight of the load you’re carrying, but the new brakes made braking safely much easier on truck drivers. Weight remains a factor, and although the new requirements helped, the experts knew there was more that needed to be done.
As time went on, engineers saw a need for improvement in drum brake technology as well. They wanted a brake that would perform well, but that would allow for a more even distribution of the weight of the truck’s freight. That, in turn, would also improve fuel efficiency. ADB brakes are said to last a lot longer before they need to be serviced and changing brake pads is done much quicker than with drum brakes, unless the rotor needs to be changed as well. Friction is also a concern, which is something that is going to be addressed in the near future. It’s possible that ADBs will be made without a torque plate an an effort to move toward electronic brakes.
In short, braking systems are improving! Want to know more? Check back right here at www.truckertotrucker.com.
Before you hit the road, try learning from experienced truckers. There will still be plenty to learn after you buy a new truck and start your first job, but the more you know the better. Here’s what veteran truckers want newbies to know:
Fight for competitive starting pay
You may be itching to get behind the wheel. You may need that first paycheck ASAP. Even still, think about your long-term future when accepting your first job. Future raises will build off of your starting pay. Insist on a competitive rate from the beginning.
Be firm about what you want
Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself — regarding the hours and miles you drive, the routes you take, and the loads you sit around waiting for. Companies will always focus on their own bottom line, so they might try to push you around.
Learn trucker etiquette
New truckers often believe myths about trucking. For example, you should not flash your brights when someone passes you, contrary to popular opinion. (Switch regular lights off and on, or don’t do anything). In general, if you learned something from TV or you’re just assuming, think again. Don’t make assumptions; ask questions and learn good trucking habits!
Choose safety over pride
Out on the road, other cars — and yes, other truckers — will tick you off. Avoid getting sucked into the rage of other drivers and driving aggressively. Trucker safety should always be the #1 priority.
Always be professional
Even if you are not an owner/operator, you still operate as your own boss. You’re responsible for getting to drops on-time. You’re responsible for the way you communicate with dispatchers and companies. Show everyone you do things the right way, and you’ll get better loads and better assignments.
Ready to start your career? Look for good deals in our truck listings and follow our blog for tips, tricks, and important trucker news.
Trucking across the border just got a whole lot easier for those making their way between the U.S. and Canada. Livingston’s new app Shipment Tracker streamlines the scanning and tracking process for shipments headed either direction.
If you’ve hauled a load over the U.S.-Canada border crossing, you know the possibility of paperwork and red tape nightmares. Shipment Tracker (available for both iOS and Android) includes several features to speed things up and keep track of data:
Everybody prefers less paperwork and more automation! Truckers have an easier time handling and tracking shipment info when crossing the U.S.-Canada border in either direction. Carriers can use the app to track air, train, and ocean shipments as well.
Truckers have so far given the app very positive reviews. The simple function and handy features mean less time calling in to check on shipments and communicate with clients. Even if you rarely make trips to Canada, you can still do well by downloading the app to save time at the border and provide faster information to carriers and clients.
The app also helps when you have the occasional shipment without a barcode. You can enter the info manually so you still have all your international tracking in one place.
Have you already used Livingston’s app for Canadian shipments? Tell other truckers what you think in the comments! We love hearing about other apps for truckers, too. And be sure to follow Trucker to Trucker for the latest tools and tips that make your work life easier.