Vehicle safety is a major component of any commercial or fleet business. Employees driving a spray rig must be more cautious in operating these vehicles opposed to a private vehicle. The rig will be a lot heavier with all the additional spray equipment and can do major damage to a car or another individual if not driven properly. Make sure you and your team members are safe from potential accidents and dangers while driving your rig to your job sites. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you’re out on the road:
Utilize the Smith System and Five Principles of Safe Driving, which can reduce the risk of accidents:
- “Aim high in steering.” Stay alert of drivers and objects ahead of you. This can reduce the probability of rear-end collisions and sudden braking. The rig may take more time to stop with all of the added weight from the equipment. View the road as far as possible, not just what’s in front of you.
- “Be aware of your surroundings at all times.” Distracted drivers are just as bad as drunk drivers. This means NO TEXTING while driving, even at a stoplight. Make sure you are aware of emergency vehicles and even other drivers around you.
- “Keep your eyes moving.” Energy drinks and coffee can only help so much in alertness before your body “crashes.” Consistent eye movement means you’re awake. If you can’t constantly move your eyes and you find yourself in a trance, take a break, close your eyes and regroup.
- “Leave yourself an out.” Make sure other drivers don’t box you in. Don’t follow preceding vehicles too closely. When parking, make sure you are able to easily maneuver out of the spot…even if that means parking far away or not taking the most convenient parking spot in the front.
- “Make sure you are seen.” This includes honking horns when backing up or to get another driver’s attention. Also signal at every turn and when you switch lanes. Turn on your hazard lights in inclement weather or if you are parked to make sure others around you are aware of your presence.
Routinely check your vehicle components to make sure they are in proper condition. This includes: headlights, brake lights and turn signals. Make sure that your rig stays on the proper maintenance schedule for oil and fluid changes, flushes and brake pads.
Know how to properly set up hazard signals in case of emergency. This means properly placing cones around your rig or equipment when parked (if necessary) or correctly setting up emergency safety triangles if your rig breaks down on a highway.
Be more cautious in residential and school areas. Focus on driving the rig and check surroundings for children and pets. This may mean driving slower than the speed limit in residential areas in case a child or animal runs in the street.
Making sure you are operating your rig safely is one of the top priorities when obtaining one. Taking the proper precautions and doing the proper steps before getting in the rig, while you’re in it and after you’re out can save you and your business lots of money if vehicle safety is one of the first thoughts during the work day.