While driving a truck for a living has many upsides, it is always frustrating when your truck suffers a mechanical failure out on a rural highway. Since breakdowns don't typically happen in convenient locations or in warm sunny weather, it is important that you know what to do while waiting for roadside assistance or a tow truck.
Below is a list of new driver tips for handling rural highway breakdown situations:
Tip: Pre-Plan for Breakdowns
Just as you pre-plan for those times when your personal vehicle breaks down, so too must you pre-plan for your rig's inevitable mechanical problems. Your pre-planning should include:
- bringing along basic tools and roadside safety gear
- bringing along emergency food and water rations in case you are stuck for more than a few hours in a very remote area
- know your route and where optimal stopping places are located
The simple act of looking over your route map and thinking about those places you could stop if necessary will go a long way towards making a breakdown a lot more comfortable situation.
Tip: Find a Comfortable Place to Stop
All along rural highways are areas where truck drivers often stop for fuel, food, and to enjoy other amenities. If your truck needs to pull over for a mechanical problem, you should try to find a place where both your truck will be safe off of the roadway and where you will have access to food and other conveniences. Depending on how busy the local truck repair mechanic or tow truck is, you may be parked for a while before help can get to you. If you have to be stuck along the road, you might as well be comfortable and make the most of it.
Tip: Always Choose an Offramp Over Highway Shoulder for Emergency Parking
If your truck suffers from a major mechanical failure or a brake fire, it is always a better option to pull off on an offramp rather than pulling over to the highway's shoulder. While this may not always be possible, you should always try to get your rig off the highway. This is important, because one of the biggest dangers, when your truck breaks down on any highway, is the other passing drivers. Finally, choosing an offramp over a shoulder location will also prevent the problem of your truck sinking into a soft shoulder and then requiring both a mechanical repair and a tow out of the dirt.
Contact a truck towing service for more information and assistance.