Truck drivers bear a great responsibility on the road at any given time. They are required to take care of the goods on transit as well as the motorists on the road. With such obligations, there is a need for all truck drivers to know their legal position to better protect themselves in events actions are brought against them. In the event that you are involved in an accident, view now to know your options.
Driving hours in a trailer driver’s day
As a truck driver, one should drive no more than 13 hours a day with a guaranteed 10 hours off-duty in any particular day. The law also stipulates that the total driving should account for no more than 70 hours in 7 consecutive days, and no more than 120 hours for 14 consecutive driving days. Truck drivers can learn more about safety regulations here.
Training and Qualifications
As mandatory is training in driving, truck drivers fall in a special category. Their evaluation is anchored on the hours of service and wellness not forgetting the truck driver’s education. This is, however, the terms for truck drivers hired as employees. The situation changes for drivers who own the trucks. They are required by law to take up the responsibilities that accrue to both the employer and employee. Further, the training should also include the awareness on alcohol abuse and other controlled substance use, and their effects on their work as truck drivers.
An employer-employee relationship is governed by the principle of utmost good faith as well as that of full disclosure. In this light, it is the duty of the employee, the truck driver, to ensure the employer is made aware of any past convictions, violations made, license revocation or any suspensions he/she may be serving. One may argue that this action is in line with the required practice. However, it is arguably a protective measure for the trucker.
Cargo handling duties
Truck trailer driving is more than just driving from a warehouse to another. It involves a certain responsibility that goes beyond delivery of the cargo. A truck driver’s duties should incorporate proper location and security of the cargo being handled. This is best achieved if the driver would familiarize themselves with cargo management security and handling best practices. At other instances, the question of who bears the greatest responsibility for ensuring that the legal axle weight is not exceeded. Looking at this issue from a prudence point of view, the driver of the truck should consider this before he/she hits the road so as to ensure there are no incidents on the road that are caused in any way by his truck or the cargo on his truck.
Trailer Trucks’ condition
Trailer truck drivers ought to know that they have the greatest responsibility of their trucks condition. They should inform management in case of any hitches. This means that they need to ensure that the trucks are in good condition and well maintained before they start their delivery. Post-delivery and pre-delivery truck assessments need to be adhered to including the scheduled maintenance. This goes a long way in reducing the risk of accidents associated with a breakdown of the truck.
The first rule of road safety is observing the law and the rules of the road especially those set out for trucks. They include observing the set speed limit, obeying the railroad crossing rules, observing extreme caution in risky situations, stopping operations in situations that call for the same and not to caring unauthorized personnel during the work trips. In some areas, there are specified routes for trucks hauling hazardous cargo. It goes without say then that the drivers should follow the stipulated routes. Following all these is both a safeguard to the company and the trailer driver as well.
As a general principle, the same rules that apply to other motorists still do to the truck drivers. They include reporting to the police and waiting at the scene until their arrival, documenting the scene and circumstances of the accident that led to the same. The driver ought to inform his/her superiors and exchange insurance information.