3 Tip-top Truck Driver Training Tips

 

training

Tip No. 1. Instructor’s Mirrors

Problem: The driving instructor or trainer cannot see much using the driver’s mirrors, especially in turns.

Solution: Mount large round mirrors for the instructor.

instructor mirror

Tip No. 2. Windshield “Whiteboard”

Problem: Students may be unfamiliar with a shift pattern or need a visual cue.

Solution: Use a felt-tipped pen or dry erase marker, and the windshield as a whiteboard. (Some drivers use a a felt-tipped pen on a side window to scribble notes as border mileage when crossing state lines.)

windshield

Tip No. 3. A Dual Instrument Panel for the Instructor

Problem: The driver’s instrument panel and gauges may be hidden from the instructor’s view, so the instructor cannot monitor speed, RPMs, or if the turn signal is on or off.

Solution: Mount an instrument panel on the instructor’s side.

dual instrument panel

Bonus Tip

I also like an instructor’s brake pedal, to help keep things under control at all times.

At one time a new truck driving school in town with a fancy new truck made a right turn, taking out a telephone pole. The collision cut power to a busy business district and resulted in a huge insurance claim, and, ultimately, put the school out of business. (Yes— if your company takes out a power pole on a turn, the exposure can include business losses due to the power outage. So watch those turns!)

One really bad training collision in 2004 in Climax, GA killed three students and the instructor, when the truck stopped and then pulled in front of a train. It is speculated that the student’s foot slipped off of the clutch. There was a light rain and students switched drivers before the crash.

An instructor’s brake (and instructor’s mirrors as above, on the turn) could have helped to prevent these collisions, in my opinion.

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