California CDL- Driver Safety Guidelines
People who wish to drive a commercial vehicle would need a CDL driver’s license . Driving safely is very much essential whether you are a CDL driver or any other class driver. A general knowledge of safe driving along with abiding the traffic rules and regulations is very essential for all CDL drivers. The candidate will have to pass the test (both written as well as behind the wheels test) on the safety information in order to obtain a CDL license. Having appropriate knowledge on hazardous materials and wastes is also necessary for a candidate wishing to become a CDL driver. DMV publishes Safety guidelines here
These rules are inclusive of both Federal as well as State rules which will directly or indirectly affect the drivers operating CMV’s in any state. Below are some of the essential rules and guidelines which one needs to know of:
Backing with a Trailer
You must turn the steering wheel towards the direction of journey when backing a car, truck or bus. However, when backing trailer it is necessary to turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction. After the trailer starts, the steering wheel should be turned in the opposite direction. Using mirrors will help you detect your position and correct the direction you are turning. If the trailer is getting off from the proper path, you can correct the drift immediately. When backing your truck, make sure to use pull ups to reposition the vehicle. If there are blind spots, you must invariably use a helper. However, make sure you work out your own hand signals which are understandable by both the parties.
Heavy vehicles with manual transmissions need double clutching for changing gears. Before starting down a hill, one needs to slow and shift down without having to use brakes. This will avoid your brakes getting overheated. The gear should be the lowest when you are climbing the hill. One must slow down to a safe speed before entering a curve. You can slow down to a safe speed and then downshift even before entering a curve. This way you can use some power through the curve and stabilize your vehicle when turning. As soon as you will be out of the curve, you can speed up your vehicle gradually.
Too much or too little air is too dangerous for tires when you drive on the roads. Make sure you use excessive wear with no cuts or damage, thread separation, dual tires, regrooved, retreaded and recapped tires on the front side of your vehicle wheels.
Use appropriate brake testing methods whether you have air brakes or hydraulic brakes.
All drivers need to overlook at least 12 to 15 seconds ahead. You should be alert of any approaching traffic or freeways. Look for hills, curves or anything due to which you may have to slow down or change your lanes. Regularly keep checking your mirrors for traffic, monitor your tires or road conditions.
You also need to check for mirrors when you are changing lanes, turns, maneuvers and merges.