Getting back on track for Truckers after the pandemic

As things get back to normal post-pandemic, there are a lot of Truckers and small trucking businesses that are taking strain from possibly long periods of not working. Sure, we had plenty of Trucking heroes, who continued to deliver emergency good throughout the pandemic, but it was not the case for every business.

Some smaller trucking companies, like one man carriers, now have to struggle to get back on track, and some individual Drivers will have had to take pay cuts. This article deals with both and talks about getting back on track for Truckers after the pandemic.

Getting your small business back on track

Of course, every business is different and will have been affected differently, but here, in essence, are the three phases of getting back on track after the storm has passed…

Review the damage

Do some damage control. Check what losses you have incurred, income, staff, clients etc. Be thorough and make sure your financials are right up to date, so you get an accurate report.

Go back to your original business plan. Did you have any contingency built in to help you through such times? Most businesses are encouraged to have at least a few months income available for just such times.

Redirect your operations

Look into whether you need to get some financial assistance. There has been quite a lot available during this period, and this article may help – relief and advice for SMMEs weathering the storm. Also, decide on where you will go from here from a structural point of view.

Can you change the operation to be more effective on less budget? There have been the advantages of lowered petrol prices and some businesses selling stock very cheaply. Can you benefit from these and how?

Reset your goals for the future

Now reset your goals and create a definite timeline for when you expect to be back to where you were pre-pandemic. Stick with your new budgets and plans and ensure you build in some contingency plans for any future upheavals.

4 point plan for Drivers who took pay cuts

For those Drivers who, due to the difficulties their companies are facing, have taken pay cuts, here is a simple 4 point plan to help deal with it and soften the blow…

  1. Re-adjust your budget – prioritising your most important expenses and cutting non-essentials
  2. Negotiate with creditors. Almost all creditors are extremely flexible at this time and will allow a more extended period to pay
  3. Look into other sources of income – i.e. talk to your family and look around for interest-free or low-interest loans
  4. Look into possible other ways to earn money – is their part-time work you can do – or maybe a home-based product you could sell at a market in your spare time?

FAW will be with you

Whatever your circumstances, FAW, with advice pieces like this one, our Total Quality Care initiatives and assistance and an impressive range of new and used vehicles, many offering the lowest cost per ton available anywhere, will always be there for you.

Contact us, or find a dealership near you for all the advice you will need on your next purchase of any of South Africa’s finest Freight carriers, Truck tractors, Tippers and Mixers. Like every other dark cloud, even COVID-19 will eventually pass and given time and the high resilience always shown by our people; we will get back on track – so stay positive and stay safe!

Into phase 3 – what now for Truckers?

Our recent articles have mostly focused on the Truckers who have continued to work during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic – those superheroes who have potentially risked life and limb to keep emergency supplies going.

What many people don’t realise is that there have been numerous companies in all areas of the trucking industry that have suffered a very difficult time through this lockdown. Not all companies deal with emergency supplies, and the financial toll on the trucking industry has been significant.

Some of the hard facts

An interesting IOL business report spoke about the devastating effect of the pandemic on the industry and “The effects of the economic decay are now becoming visible, as cracks in the economy start to show,” said Gavin Kelly, the chief executive of the Road Freight Association (RFA).

As far back as the end of April, when the report was released, it was said that “The results of the RFA’s recent Lockdown Survey indicated that the vast majority of trucking companies were already in a critical phase where they did not see themselves existing past the end of April in the event that the existing limitations were extended.  Many institutions have noted that it will take between one to three weeks to get back to reasonable efficiencies – some even longer,” said Kelly.

As we all know, we only went to phase three at the beginning of June, so who knows how great the financial toll has really been. Truckers and the trucking industry are tough nuts to crack though, as has been revealed in the tremendous spirit they had exhibited in continuing to deliver emergency supplies when most of the population were firmly locked down. So we are ready now to really start getting back to business.

Some words of caution

Just a few words of advice though for all those Drivers who will be back on the road now. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security; all health safety precautions still need to be observed rigidly. Many believe we are nowhere near the peak of the contamination cycle and will only reach it in July or even later. So these are the precautions required as per the regulations in phase 3 – and a couple more that we advise.

  • Wear a mask at all times in public and maintain social distancing from all you meet outside your own home. This is especially critical if you are paired with another Driver.
  • Use high alcohol (Min 70%) base spray to continuously spray the cabin of your vehicle and anything you carry and touch in the course of the day – including the packaging of fast foods or drinks you buy. (Avoid eating or drinking the alcohol spay though!)
  • Continuously use hand sanitiser and wash your hands for a minimum of 20sec with soap and water – and immediately remove your clothes and have a shower when returning home if possible.
  • Most importantly, don’t even think of reporting for work if you feel sick, particularly with flu-like symptoms. Stay at home, isolate and if it gets worse, then call the emergency hotline number – 0800 029 999 – to arrange to get tested. 

In a Positive Light

As one of the leading truck manufacturers and key role players in the trucking industry, FAW has also had to take our knocks, but can only say we salute all those truckers who have kept the flag flying in this critical time and congratulate everyone who is now back to work.

We have for many years been building a wide range of great quality freight carriers, truck tractors, tippers and mixers in South Africa for Africans and we won’t stop now. If you are ready to hit the trail again then visit our website to find a dealer near you, or contact us for any advice and assistance, we may be able to give you to get back on your feet and up and running again.

Be careful, be alert and especially – be safe!

Good habits for Truck Drivers to relieve stress

We all applaud the deeds and efforts of health workers and those at the front line of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic – and rightfully so. One of the groups of pandemic heroes though that are often not recognised are our Truckers who tirelessly and unselfishly have continued to ensure that essential supplies have been delivered, in spite of the health risks that they face.

Stress is a health hazard too!

We recently posted a two-part series on good habits that truckers can adopt to fight health hazards, and not the least of these is stress. The stress of long hours of staying awake, staying alert, staying fit in spite of spending hours cooped up in a confined space – these all take their toll.

So what are some good habits for Tuck Drivers to relieve stress?

Eat and drink well

Just like maintaining general health, stress is greatly reduced by the body being filled with the right nutrients. Foods like Brazil nuts, containing selenium which calms the brain, fatty fish like sardines or salmon which contain omega 3 – and anything high in antioxidants like dark chocolate and green tea – are all good calming agents.

Caffeine, like that, found particularly in coffee and high caffeine drinks, creates mood swings and anxiety, and although many truckers use it to stay awake, it is not a good idea to have too much. Moderate this and drink juice and teas – especially Chamomile tea – which is very soothing.

Breathe

One of the best ways to control stress is to breathe – nice and easy and deeply. If you find yourself getting very tense, as being on the road can often cause, just breathing in through the nose slowly for the count of eight and then out through the mouth slowly for the count of 10 – can work wonders!

Keep it smooth

Play soothing, calm music on the radio, or listen to any audio that tends to make you relaxed, possibly something spiritual? Just be sure it is not so soothing that it makes you drowsy. Classical music or smooth jazz is always good and will have you smiling at that lunatic that keeps honking at you so he can pass on a blind rise!

Exercise breaks

As any traveller knows, sitting and concentrating too long can become tiresome and stressful. Even if you pull over into a lay-by from time to time and walk around the truck a few times – try to get some regular exercise breaks. If you are feeling very stressed or anxious, even try a short ‘power nap’ to calm the brain.

Plan ahead and leave on time

They say the biggest stress (and one of the most significant causes of accidents) that Truckers face is the impatience and recklessness brought on by fearing you will not deliver in time. The golden rule for Truckers is to plan your route and the timeline of your trip (allowing for comfortable stops) well in advance.

Don’t leave anything to the last moment and leave in plenty of time to deliver on time. Remember that being late means you won’t take those very important exercise breaks and find it hard to breathe easy.

Drive a reliable vehicle

Knowing you’re in a good, well built, solid, reliable vehicle with a good warranty, gives you a lot of peace of mind and that’s the best way to beat stress. FAW South Africa have been building Freight carriers, Truck tractors, Tippers and Mixers in South Africa, for Africans, for many years – and all come with great warranties and 24/7 backup.

Visit our website, and you could find all manner of great deals on used and brand new vehicles – like the FAW 6.130FL for only R239 000 excl. VAT. (Chassis Cab only). Which means – this 3.5-ton workhorse, complete with a Cummins engine and an optional 3year/180 000km Service Plan could be yours for the price of a 1 ton. This is the lowest cost per ton anywhere!

Contact us directly or find a dealer near you to find out about this and many other great vehicles available – and all the benefits that come with purchasing a FAW vehicle.

 

Stay calm – stay healthy – and especially, stay safe! 

Good habits to fight health hazards for Truckers – part two

This is the second in our mini-series on good habits to fight health hazards for Truckers, very appropriate at a time when Truckers are facing greater health risks than ever before. Without a doubt, Truckers are among the unsung heroes of our health and social services heroes at this time.

We at FAW, one of South Africa’s premier trucking manufacturers, recognise this and have created this series in the hope that in these times and beyond, our Truckers can heed this advice and maintain a high level of health and wellbeing.

COVID 19 has just added to the risk list

We have extensively covered the precautions required to prevent the virus from taking its hold on our Drivers, but as we mentioned in our last article, COVID-19 is actually just an additional risk. Even in normal times, they face the health risks of little sleep and exercise, bad diets, accidents, pollution and more.

Apart from ensuring you pack your own healthier meals and smoothies for the road, and get your flu injections, as mentioned in the first article, there are, fortunately, more precautions that can be taken…

Stay Hydrated

Water is probably the most crucial thing to put into your body when it comes to health. Drink good clean water regularly and abundantly. A daily intake of around 2 litres is recommended.

Don’t shirk on this – remember many health issues are as a result of dehydration and the body doesn’t tell you that you need water until you are sometimes already dehydrated. Keep a container with you and sip from it all day.

Avoid caffeine and stimulants.

Related to this is the over drinking of coffee and other drinks that contain large amounts of caffeine. Coffee dehydrates the body, and so if any is drunk, it needs always to be accompanied by a large glass of water.

Caffeine itself is a health hazard as it gives a feeling of being awake, which replaces the real need for sleep. Overuse of caffeine can also lead to anxiety, muscle breakdown, high blood pressure and digestive issues, to name a few.

The bottom line – one or two cups of coffee, or caffeinated cold drinks a day, accompanied by water, should be about the maximum consumption.

Sleep is vital

Related to that is that good, consistent sleep is vital and will prevent you from using stimulants to stay awake. Between shifts, use your time off to get good sleep. If you are driving at night, get into a daytime sleep cycle. Make the room very dark and a good temperature.

Whatever you do, avoid the Driver’s greatest risk – Accidents – by ensuring you are not ‘nodding off’ at the wheel. If you are, rather pull over and take a fifteen-minute ‘Power nap’ regardless of your schedule.

Exercise regularly

Another thing you can pull over (preferably into a safe area) to do from time to time – to wake you and help you to stay fresh, is taking a brisk fifteen-minute walk. Just getting some fresh air and breathing deeply is invigorating, improves your blood flow and heart rate.

If you just did this twice on every trip, you will be getting the required daily exercise to maintain good health – a half hour a day brisk walk! Truckers find regular exercising difficult, but you who sit all day and practice a high level of concentration. Need this more than anyone!

Life after COVID-19

These are not normal times that we are facing, but long after this virus has been overcome and our lives returned to normal, these health hacks will still be vital for any trucker to maintain their wellbeing

Also long after COVID-19 is just a distant memory, FAW trucks will always be the same great vehicles, built in South Africa for Africans and we, as a company, will still be there for our trucking companies and their drivers.

We offer Driver Training and great support for all our Trucking companies, so contact a dealer near you, or directly contact us, to find out about our training programs. We also have a wide range of great quality used and new freight carriers, truck tractors, tippers and mixers, which all come standard with competitive warranties and 24hr roadside assistance.

Remember, it just takes 30 days to get into these good habits to fight health hazards for truckers, so this time of heightened awareness of health and hygiene is the best time to put it into practice. Get started, good luck and stay healthy and stay safe on the road!

Good habits to fight health hazards for truckers – part one

These are extraordinary times and our truckers; it has to be said, are some of the unsung heroes of those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. They, at great risk to their own health and well-being, continue to provide the essential service of shipping goods, no matter what and we salute you.

We have fairly extensively dealt with what truckers are facing directly associated with COVID-19, and have given advice accordingly, but facing this pandemic is not the only time that truckers have to deal with health hazards.

We have all learned that building one’s immunity and regular exercise are good ways to try to prevent Coronavirus, but let’s look realistically at the difficulties that Truckers face in that regard…

Health hazards Truckers face

  • A lack of exercise generally due to long stints on the road
  • Cramped spaces – not unlike airline travel, for extended periods
  • Un-balanced and unusual sleep cycles due to shift driving
  • Inhalation of unhealthy fumes – like diesel fuel
  • Excessive stress through high levels of concentration for extended periods of time
  • Generally an unbalanced diet, due to the visitation of too many ‘fast food’ truck stops

Add Coronavirus to this, and it becomes a pretty scary prospect. We all know how we feel after long spells of driving – now imagine how your health can be compromised due to these factors.

Some solid solutions

Fortunately, there is a lot of realistic advice we can give in this regard. This is taken from seasoned truckers who have faced and overcome these issues for many years and managed to maintain at least a reasonable level of health.

It is essentially about replacing these health hazards, one at a time, through forming good health habits. Forming a habit takes approx. 30 days so, just as we will all have formed healthier hand washing and other hygiene habits during the time of the lockdown, in the same period, Truckers can change their health habits.

It is quite a big subject, so this is only the first part, but here are a few good habits to fight health hazards for truckers

Fight COVID through flu resistance

This is not one that is usually on the list, but at this time, we are being told by health authorities that getting a flu injection is a good idea and can assist in resistance to Coronavirus. We heartily suggest that trucking companies, or lone truckers, should ensure that all drivers (and other staff) have the advised flu vaccine injection ASAP!

Good nutrition builds immunity – and good health

It is said that ‘we are what we eat’ and not only does proper nutrition make for general good health, but it also builds a stronger immunity to viruses and other dread diseases. It may feel like a pain to have to pack a healthy meal for the journey, but it is probably the most vital first step to make to change from facing health hazards to good health habits.

Use whole wheat or rye bread when making sandwiches and include fruit and vegetables in your food offering. Plenty of vegetables and at least some fruit are the essential immune fighters – especially citrus fruits. So even if you only pack sandwiches, include tomato and lettuce and make a vegetable smoothie for the ride, plus a couple of items of fruit and nuts to snack on if they are in your price range.

The main thing is at all costs to avoid pies, fast foods and anything with a lot of sugar – like sweets and biscuits etc. Rooibos tea, 100% fruit or vegetable juice (watered down a bit) and plenty of water will all stand you in good stead and help to build immunity.

Some things never change

Yes, we are facing extraordinary times, but one thing that never changes is that FAW trucks are well built, strong vehicles built in South Africa for Africans and we, as a company, will always be there for our trucking companies and their drivers.

Contact a dealer near you or directly contact us to find out about our Driver training programs and our wide range of new and used top-quality freight carriers, truck tractors, tippers and mixers, which come standard with competitive warranties and 24hr roadside assistance.

Remember we have just touched the tip of the iceberg in this article, so do look out for Good habits to fight health hazards for truckers – part 2 – and in the meantime stay healthy and stay safe!

Trucking heroes face multiple challenges during lockdown

We are diverting from our usual series of ‘great trucking advice’ by taking a look at the many challenges that are facing truckers at this time. They really are our unsung heroes as regardless of this virus that is threatening so many lives, they need to keep trucking to deliver essential goods to us all.

Truckers are always faced with the danger of simply being on our roads and the inevitable accidents that can happen, but in these times, they face much more. They not only face the health threat of COVID-19 as they are not in lockdown, but out and about and being exposed to others, but they are facing certain other challenges too. Here are just a few of them…

Truck hijacking takes a COVID twist

One case of ‘COVID hijacking’ was reported in the news on the day that the lockdown began and the local report told of a brazen and somewhat hair- raising experience for the trucker involved. It went on to say in essence that “the robbers clothed themselves in ‘COVID-19 gear’ – a clear indication they don’t want to get infected with the dreaded coronavirus.

As a bonus, the mask and gloves shielded their faces while fingerprints were safely hidden inside the surgical gloves. Digital True North said on their Facebook page that the truck was forced off the road on the Friday at 15:54 just outside Rustenburg. They further reported that the driver was found unharmed and the truck was also found abandoned later.

One of the suspects was armed, and they were using a silver Mercedes Benz as their getaway car. It is not known if more suspects involved in the hijacking.”

Cross-border road transport restrictions

Truckers who go cross border are at this time also facing certain restrictions, and we thought our truckers might want to know these facts:

  • All cross-border road passenger movements have been prohibited during the lockdown.
  • Cross-border freight movement has continued to and from neighbouring countries

Drivers licence renewals

Vehicle testing centres and driver’s licence testing centres have been closed, but should your driver’s licence expire during the duration of the lockdown, it shall be deemed to remain valid until the end of the lockdown. The grace period of renewal is within 14 working days thereafter unless otherwise determined.

Some things don’t change

It’s at times like these that Drivers are glad to be driving solid, reliable new or used trucks like those found in the range available from FAW, built in South Africa for Africa. Regardless of any change or challenges, our standard warranties and 24/7 roadside assistance will keep the wheels of our FAW customers turning.

Contact us or go to our website to find a dealership near you and find out about our incredible range of tried and tested top-quality freight carriers, truck tractors, tippers and mixers.

There is no doubt that truckers, like medical workers and all those who provide essential services, are the superheroes of his time. Be proud and be strong – as these challenges, like all others, will eventually pass. Most importantly, be safe out there!

Great trucking advice – facing and beating COVID-19

Truckers everywhere will certainly know by now about Corona virus, or the particular strain known as COVID-19 which is causing so much concern throughout the world. They are in a fairly unique situation too, because whereas many people have been urged to stay home and avoid as much human contact as possible, the trucking community as a whole have been urged to keep doing what they do, so people can still receive supplies.

It’s times like these that truckers can be proud to be the ‘life blood’ of commerce and they need to keep ‘rolling’ no matter what. Obviously they too are subject to contracting COVID-19, but they do have the protection of spending most of the time in the cab of their own vehicles and being away from other human contact for most of their working shift.

There are some precautions though that they are advised to take and in the interests of keeping our truckers on the road and our goods coming into the stores and warehouses, all trucking companies are advised to implement – and truckers advised to carry out – the following:

Don’t show if you are sick – This is not an invitation to take leave, but if you have any ‘flu-like’ symptoms like a sore throat, runny nose, regular sneezing or a dry cough or temperature, report in sick and report your symptoms on the phone to your Doctor so he or she can advise whether or where you can be tested.

Regular hand washing – Like anyone else, regular hand washing with soap and water is advised particularly after any contact with goods or people. Trucking companies, truck stops and garages are advised to provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers when regular facilities are not available. Truckers should keep some in their cabs for regular spraying.

Don’t touch your face – Regardless of how often you wash your hands resist touching your face, particularly around the eyes, nose and mouth.

Maintain your distance – At any point where you stop or engage with other people, keep a distance of about two meters from others. COVID-19 is not airborne, but can be passes via tiny droplets of spittle through the air.

Don’t invite passengers in – This is a practice generally frowned upon, but now absolutely vital, no passengers at all especially hitch hikers and unknowns.

Cleaning objects that are touched frequently – Objects that you touch or anyone else may touch, such as your steering wheel and gear levers, doorknobs, handles, railings, kettles, etc. should be cleaned more often than usual with regular disinfectants, or soap and water.

Keep tissues handy – For regular cleaning and to sneeze or wipe your face, keep boxes of tissues and encouraging their use for others too. Dispose of used tissues immediately. Keep a bin or bag in your truck for these and dispose of it at your next stop in a toilet.

Don’t share – In this case ‘not sharing is caring!’ Don’t share cups, glasses, dishes and cutlery on the road, or when at home. Be sure dishes are washed in soap and water after use.

Keep to the great outdoors – Truckers are blessed with the fact that they can be in the great outdoors when out of their trucks a lot of the time. Take your own food and stop at lay-byes, rather than at truck stops where there are other people.

For more information on the coronavirus/Covid-19 itself, here is just one site you can visit – https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/coronavirus.html

Keep trucking in the best there is

This article is just one on a wholes series of trucking advice brought to you by the company that really care about truck owners and Drivers alike – FAW. We have our own Driver training facility and for the last 25 years we have been supplying South African’s with a great range of new or ‘pre- owned’ affordable quality demo and low mileage used vehicles.

Contact us or go to our website to find a dealership near you and find out about our incredible range of tried and tested top quality freight carriers, truck tractors, tippers and mixers, which come standard with competitive warranties and 24hr roadside assistance.

We have been around long before the COVID-19 threat and will still be there for you long after it has passed – in the meantime, take care of yourselves!

Great trucking advice – Safety tips – Part 2

This is the second article in what will now be an on-going series on great trucking advice. Trucking is a robust and sometimes tricky business. It requires a high level of professionalism by highly trained Drivers.

We know from facilitating our own Driver’s training program that good truckers take great pride in their ability to deliver any load safely and whenever possible – on time. We hope, therefore, that this series is helpful. Much of it will not be new to trained Drivers, but one never knows what can be learned from others.

Safety first

The lives of the Driver and everyone he encounters on the roads is the primary concern of every capable and conscientious trucker. These are a few safety tips – basics really, but those which could be refreshed from time to time to ensure you stay alive and accident-free.


  1. Be Alert

 There is a great reason this is the number one tip – it is the most important. To ensure one is awake and alert at all times should be the first consideration of every Driver. Be aware at all times of who’s in front of you and behind you.

Plan an escape plan for any eventuality, do you have enough area of the road around you to take evasive action? Are you fully awake and capable of remaining so throughout the journey? If not, plan to stop and refresh yourself and stick to your Driver schedule, which should allow for enough rest.


  1. Be alone – Whenever possible

 Short and sweet – avoid heavy traffic whenever possible. Try to arrange to be as alone on the road as often as you can.


  1. Be weather-wise

Knowledge of weather changes and continuously checking the weather conditions facing you on the journey is all part of proper trip planning. There is no excuse not to either, with many useful weather apps available on all phones.

It goes without saying, when there is rain, fog or any other form of more reduced visibility – ensure you increase your following distance. Trucks are long and heavy vehicles that can take a long time to stop in wet conditions!


  1. Be delivery smart

If you are not familiar with the delivery depot or truck stops for that matter, take the time to pull over and take a few minutes to do a walkthrough to know what any possible hazards may be there. Will you be able to park safely without getting parked in?

Will you be able to turn around when you’re done and avoid reversing? Statistics show that many safety records are blemished by truckers striking objects when changing. Don’t let it happen to you!


  1. Be rested

All it takes is some regular stops at lay-bys on the road to refresh yourself a little. Get out and take a walk around your truck – this also gives you a chance to do a quick safety inspection – Check your load.  Look for soft tyres, air leaks, check under the truck for any fluid or oil leaks.


Be a great Driver and get the trucks that keep you safe – and keep you going

FAW South Africa has some of the most reliable and toughest vehicles on the road, all with great warranties, enabling every trucker and trucking company to have ‘peace of mind’ on and off the road.

With the purchase of any new FAW truck, we also offer Driver training, which is available upon customer request. Should a customer determine that a particular driver needs additional training for optimal output on a vehicle, FAW is always happy to oblige.

We hope you have found this article on great trucking advice – Safety tips – Part 1 useful and informative and that you will watch this space for part 2. Contact us if we can be of service to you be careful out there – Happy trucking!

Great trucking advice – Safety tips – Part 1

This is the second article in what will now be an on-going series on great trucking advice. Trucking is a robust and sometimes tricky business. It requires a high level of professionalism by highly trained Drivers.

 

We know from facilitating our own Driver’s training program that good truckers take great pride in their ability to deliver any load safely and whenever possible – on time. We hope, therefore, that this series is helpful. Much of it will not be new to trained Drivers, but one never knows what can be learned from others.

 

Safety first

The lives of the Driver and everyone he encounters on the roads is the primary concern of every capable and conscientious trucker. These are a few safety tips – basics really, but those which could be refreshed from time to time to ensure you stay alive and accident-free.

 

  1. Be Alert

 There is a great reason this is the number one tip – it is the most important. To ensure one is awake and alert at all times should be the first consideration of every Driver. Be aware at all times of who’s in front of you and behind you.

 

Plan an escape plan for any eventuality, do you have enough area of the road around you to take evasive action? Are you fully awake and capable of remaining so throughout the journey? If not, plan to stop and refresh yourself and stick to your Driver schedule, which should allow for enough rest.

  1. Be alone – Whenever possible

 Short and sweet – avoid heavy traffic whenever possible. Try to arrange to be as alone on the road as often as you can.

 

  1. Be weather-wise

Knowledge of weather changes and continuously checking the weather conditions facing you on the journey is all part of proper trip planning. There is no excuse not to either, with many useful weather apps available on all phones.

 

It goes without saying, when there is rain, fog or any other form of more reduced visibility – ensure you increase your following distance. Trucks are long and heavy vehicles that can take a long time to stop in wet conditions!

 

  1. Be delivery smart

If you are not familiar with the delivery depot or truck stops for that matter, take the time to pull over and take a few minutes to do a walkthrough to know what any possible hazards may be there. Will you be able to park safely without getting parked in?

 

Will you be able to turn around when you’re done and avoid reversing? Statistics show that many safety records are blemished by truckers striking objects when changing. Don’t let it happen to you!

  1. Be rested

All it takes is some regular stops at lay-bys on the road to refresh yourself a little. Get out and take a walk around your truck – this also gives you a chance to do a quick safety inspection – Check your load.  Look for soft tyres, air leaks, check under the truck for any fluid or oil leaks.

Be a great Driver and get the trucks that keep you safe – and keep you going

FAW South Africa has some of the most reliable and toughest vehicles on the road, all with great warranties, enabling every trucker and trucking company to have ‘peace of mind’ on and off the road.

With the purchase of any new FAW truck, we also offer Driver training, which is available upon customer request. Should a customer determine that a particular driver needs additional training for optimal output on a vehicle, FAW is always happy to oblige.

We hope you have found this article on great trucking advice – Safety tips – Part 1 useful and informative and that you will watch this space for part 2. Contact us if we can be of service to you be careful out there – Happy trucking!

Great trucking advice – the slow lane

We are now embarking on a new series called ‘Great trucking advice’ which will be conveying useful information to truckers and truck owners alike on many subjects. Some, like this article ‘Great trucking advice – the slow lane,’ will be to do with rules of the road, many will be on safety tips, some about trucking etiquette, some on finances and some on general subjects within the logistics industry.

The slow lane

There is a lot of controversy and even some confusion surrounding the use of the slow lane – or that portion over the ‘yellow lines’ on the highways of South Africa. It is well known that this portion of the road is designed to allow emergency vehicles to pass in the event of jammed traffic or accidents, and yet it seems to be expected for Truckers, due to their generally slower speed, to stay within this lane to let others pass.

“When in doubt” we always say, refer to the experts and the law, so let’s take a look at what they have to say on the matter.

The law

Applicable to trucks and motorists alike is that the yellow line lane may never be used as a passing lane on any highway! There are, according to Regulation 298A of the National Road Traffic Act, some exceptions however with regard to driving in or stopping in the yellow line lane in certain circumstances. These are:

  • In the case of breaking down on the highway, one may pull over to clear the road of the parked vehicle
  • You may also pull over into this lane if you need to stop for a medical or other emergency
  • You may in exceptional and genuine emergencies like rushing someone to a hospital, use this lane, but with extreme caution
  •         On the highway, only emergency vehicles may use the yellow lane to pass others.

Single lane carriageways

There are clear exceptions to these rules on a single lane carriageway however and this is where truckers need to be aware that they may well be expected to use the slow lane to give way to others. After all, particularly in busy times like on public holidays this eases congestion on the roads and simply makes sense. Even so Truck Drivers do this as a matter of courtesy and are definitely not legally obliged to, particularly if they sense any sort of danger in doing so.

Even if they do choose to do so – there are legal specifications as to when they should definitely not – and this mostly has to do with visibility. Truckers may not pull over to the slow lane when:

  • It is night time. As visibility is less at night this is only accepted as a daylight practice
  • There is less than 150 metres of clearly visible road ahead of you. Truckers may not drive in the yellow line lane when on a blind rise, or when there is rain, fog, or any other visual impairment
  • There is any chance at all of endangering another life.

 

In essence motorists need to understand that truckers in fact have the clearest vision of what lies ahead on the road. It is for you the truck Driver therefore to be courteous, but never compromise anyone’s safety to do so – including your own!

Get the trucks that keep you safe and keep you going

FAW South Africa have some of the safest and toughest vehicles on the road all with great warrantees and optional service plans, enabling every trucker and trucking company to have ‘peace of mind’ on and off the road.

Contact a FAW dealer near you to check out our latest fantastic range of top quality freight carriers, truck tractors, tippers and mixers, which all come standard with competitive warranties and 24hr roadside assistance. FAW trucks are proudly built in South Africa for Africans – so contact us if we can be of service to you.

We hope you have found this article on ‘Great trucking advice – the slow lane’ useful and informative and that you will watch this space for many more. Be careful out there and happy tru