Truck Drivers Manual

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TRUCK DRIVERS MANUALPrepared byJOHN SAUNDERSandPETER THOMSON

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONSFEDERALOFFICE OF ROADSAFETYDOCUMENTRETRIEVALINFORMATIONReport No.DatePagesISBNISSNCR91June 1990136642 51387 20810-770Xnile and SubtileTruck Drivers ManualAuthor@)John s u n d e r s and Peter ThomsonPertorming OrganisafionNational Road Transport IndustryTraining Committee Ltd75-79 Chetwynd StreetNorth MelbourneVictoria, 3051SponsorFederal Office of Road SafetyGPO Box 594CANBERRAACT 2601Available fromFederal Officeof Road SafetyGPO Box 594 CANBERRA ACT 2601AbstractA manual to assist an applicant to get the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain a truckdriver's licence and then become an expert professional driver inthe road transport industry.Themanual is designed to be used to achieve uniform testing and licensing standards throughoutAustralia. The manual covers topics including vehicle operation and maintenance, safe drivingpractices, acts and regulations, and a guideto public relations.KeywordsTRUCKSAFElY TRUCKDRIVERMANUALROADCOMMERCIAL DRIVERS LICENCESAFE"DRIVER TRAINING

CONTENTSPAGEVEHICLE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE .3Steering, Accelerating, Gear Changing and Braking .3i

ii

. . .Defensive DnvlngThe Professional Driver . . - A Definlhon. . .DefensiveDnvlngSuperior Observation Skills .Space Cushion .SpaceAhead .- To Check your Space Cushion Ahead (Time Lapse Method) .- Space to the Sides .- SpaceBehind .- SpaceAbove .Driver Vlslon .The Systemof Vehicle Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Night Driving .WetCondlhons .Knowledge Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .878788888889898990909092Breakdown and Accidents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Breakdowns .Accidents .WheelChangiLg .Knowledge Questions .9595959799 .111879293

.Emergency Procedures .Emerrencies .Skidding .- Drive WheelSkids .- FrontWheel Skids .- AllWheel Skids .- Trailer Skids .Evasive Steering .Brake Failure .- Loss of Air Pressure .- Loss of Hydraulic Pressure .- Brake Failure on Hills .Missed Gear Shift .Leaving the Road .Tyre Failure .Fires .Dangerous Goods .Safe Driving Practices: A Summary .Knowledge Questions .100ACTS AND REGULATIONS .112-.Road Laws . 112. .Apphcahon of Road Laws .Giving Way .112Speed Limits .Level Crossings .Seat Belts .Alcohol and Drugs .Following Distance .Dangerous Goods.Hours of Driving and Log Books .Knowledge Questions 09111112113114114114115116116117PUBLIC RELATIO.NS .119Having the Right Attitudes .The Changing Image of the Truck Driver .Good P.R.is Good for Drivers .The Truck Driver’s Ten Commandments .119120120121DICTIONARY OF TRUCKINGTERMS .122ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS .134APPENDIX A .1369iv

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThe development of a manual for truck driverswas first proposed by Ken Briggs of the SouthAustralian Road Transport Industry Training Committee.Ken saw the manual asan importantadjunct to the development of the theory and practical tests for graduateddriver's licences.The work on boththe manual and tests has also been supported by the NationalRoad TransportIndustry TrainingCommittee, and particularlyits former Executive Officer, CliffJohnston.The Federal Office of Road Safetyprovided thebulk of the fundsfor the project.We would liketo acknowledge the assistance received from thefollowing organisations.The Road TrafficAuthorities of the Commonwealth, States and Territories.The State Road Transport Industry TrainingCommittees and Councils.Officers of the WA PoliceDepartment's Licensing and Services Branch.Officers of the Australian Road Transport Federation, Victorian Branch of the TWU, DriverEducation Centre of Australia, NRMA of New SouthWales, and the Australian Army.John SaundersPeter ThomsonMay 1989V

INTRODUCTIONA MANUAL FOR MEPROFESSIONALDRIVERThis manual is intended to help you get the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain a truckdrivefs licence and then become an expert professional driver in theroad transport industry.EFFICIENCY AS WELL AS SAFEPlThe manual can help you become a better truck driver whether you are a novice or old hand andthat will benefitboth you and yourcompany.Australian and overseas experience has shown that proper training of truck drivers significantlyreduces vehicle maintenance costs (by almosthalf in some instances)and improves fuel economy.If you follow the instructions and standards set out in this manual you are sureto becomea saferand more efficient heavy vehicle operator.PROFESSIONAL DRIVING INSTRUCllONIt is not possible ina manual of this sizeto cover every aspect of driving needed for all makes andtypes of vehicle. Nor isit possibleto learn the required practical skills solelyfrom a book.We strongly recommend that you also get professionaldriving instruction for the type of vehicleyou expect to be driving.You can find out about professional driving instruction from the Road Transport IndustryTraining Council, the licensing authority, and specialised commercial driving schools in yourstate or territory.LIMITATIONSOF THIS MANUALWhen using this manual, you need to keep in mind the followingpoints:This manual is primarily intended for drivers of trucks. It does not attempt to cover thespecial knowledge and techniques needed for driving other types of heaw vehicles suchas buses, coaches,graders, tractors and road sweepers.The manual does not replace the driving handbooks provided by stateand territorytransport authorities which explain basicroad rules and driving requirements. You needto understand boththe manual and the handbook thoroughly.Answers to some oi the questions in the knowledge tests are not covered in this manualbecausetheydealwiththings youshouldlearnwhen receiving practical drivinginstruction. If you are unable to answer the questions you should seek training from aprofessional driving instructor.1

HOW TO USE THE MANUALThe manual is divided into sections. At the beginning of each section is an explanation of theknowledge, performance, conditions and standardsthat are required.KNOWLEDGE - the information you need to know for the knowledge test.PERFORMANCE -what you need to be able to do in the practical driving test.CONDITIONS - how youwill be tested.STANDARDS - how well you will have to perform to pass the tests.I t is not yet possible to gain Australia-wide agreement on the knowledge, performance,conditions and standards that apply to each section. Where there are differences, the authorshave chosen what they see as the best approximation of the nationalview. Individual states andterritories could well differ even thoughthey are moving towards anational standard.You must passtwo tests on the informationcontained in the manual:THE KNOWLEDGE TESTTHE PRACTICAL DRIVING TESTYou should pass the knowledge test first.WHEN AREYOUREADYTOBE TESTED?The person who has been training youwill be the best judgeof when you are ready to take thetests.You can also see if you are ready by answering the questions at the end of each section. Thesequestions are verysimilar to the ones you will be answering in theKnowledge Test.If you find you are getting most of them right, you are probably ready to take the KnowledgeTest.2

VEHICLE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCESTEERING, ACCELERATING, GEAR CHANGING AND BRAKINGKNOWLEDGE:You must know and understand the correct procedures for steering, accelerating,changing gears and braking in a truck.PERFORMANCE:You must be able to operate a truck competently and safely by using correct steering,acceleration, gear changing and braking skills.CONDITIONSKnowledge test:examination conditions: on-roadand/oroff-road.Practicaltestdemonstrated in simulated situations.Some performancetaskscanbeSTANDARDSYou must pass the knowledgetest which deals with controlling the vehicle before takingthe practical driving test.During thepractical test you must demonstratean ability to safely and efficiently:move off from the kerb into a traffic flowmake left and right turns9-between narrow and wide roads-into and out of laned and divided roads-at traffic lights and roundaboutsmove off uphill and downhillselect the appropriate gear for the vehiclespeed,trafficsituationandroadconditions in all circumstancescontrol the operation of an automatic transmission (if fitted)operate all braking systems on the e gearsonnon-synchromeshWhen performing these tasks you will be judged on your ability to smoothly co-ordinateyour steering, acceleration,gear changing and braking.3

SteeringThe steering wheel should normally be held lightly with both hands. Gripping the wheel toomovement when steering.tightly can leadto fatigue and prevent smoothOn greasy or slippery surfaces a light grip is particularly important because it enablesyou to'feel' the reaction of the front wheels on the road. Manual steering(i.e. not power-assisted)mayor braking.require a firmer grip, particularly when corneringThe correct position for your hands on the steering wheel varies according to the size andposition of the steering wheel.The most commonly recommendedposition is 'a quarter to three'of a clock, the hands are opposite each other9 atwhere, if the steering wheel is viewed as the faceand 3 on the dial(Refer Figure 2.1). Another favoured position is that shown as 'ten to two'.4 and 8 on the dial) used by drivers of older,The 'twentytofour'position(handsatheavy-steering vehicles is not recommended for modern easily steered vehicles becauseitrestricts steering movement.Ten t o twoQ u tahrt rtoe reFigure 2.1Recommended position of hands onsteering wheelTo allow you to exercise maximum steering control at all times you should not rest yourelbowson your legs or any part of the vehicle. You should also avoid using a grip which has yourthumbs on the inside of the wheel. The steering wheel can kick hard enough to break yourthumbs if the front wheels hit a potholeor some otherobject. This rule is most important whendriving on roughor uneven ground.4

Negotiating CornersWhen a vehicle turns, the path of the back wheels has a smaller radius than that of the frontwheels. This causes the rearof the vehicle to ’cut-in’when turning.(Refer Figure 2.2)”.Figure 2.2Example of ‘cut-in’of the rear of a vehlcle ona turnIt is important for drivers to allow for cut-in when cornering and driving around curves toprevent the rear wheels running off the road and damaging kerbing, trafficlights, street signs andvehicle.power poles, or even a pedestrian or otherWhen turning left you may need to position thevehicle to the right of your lane before beginningthe turn (ordo the opposite when turning right), toallow extra clearance for cut-in.On sharpturns you may even need to begin your turn from an ‘outside’ lane which is not markedas a turninglane (a ’non-assigned‘lane). (Refer Figure 2.3) In some states this is permissible onlyif the vehicle is more than 7.5 metres long (8 metres in WA) and is fitted with a sign reading ‘DoNOT OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE.5

IIII""'I(IINote thatturning in thismanner is only permissiblein same states if the vehicleis longer than '7.5 metres anddisplays a signon the rearwhich reads:.II'Ern in I estern Australia11IIIIIIIIFigure 2.3Turnlng from an outside ('non-asslgned')laneSharp TurnsThe following are some importantpoints to observe when making sharp or restricted turns.-Keep a constant watch on traffic movements in your mirrors throughout theturn.-Use your turn signals and brake lights to give other drivers as much warning of yourintentions as possible.-Correctly position the vehicle on the road as it approaches the intersectionor junction.-Reduce speed to 'very slow' (e.g. 2 kmh) so that you have ample time to turn the steeringwheel to full lock for the sharp turn.Your slow speed will also allow other driversmoretime to see what you are doing.-Drive into the intersectionor junction more deeply than normal and, using yourmirrors,check that therear wheels have reached the correct position before you start the turn.6

-Use your mirrors to make a final check on surrounding traffic before turning and tomaintain acheck on vehicle clearance (especially as affected by ‘cut-in’)during the turn.-Watch carefully for drivers who may attemptto overtake on the inside of your vehicle.This is especially important whenmaking a turnfrom a ’non-assigned‘lane as previouslymentioned.Negotiating CurvesThe driver should enter a curve wide(from the outside), and set up a line that will bring himclose to the inside andthen leave thecuwe wide.That method increases the radiusof the vehicle’s path through the curve and lessens sideways(centrifugal) forceon the vehicle. That reduces stresson the vehicle and its load and increases theroad-holding safety margin. Entering the curve asclose as possible to the outer edge also givesthe driver thebest view ahead.7

Figure 2.4Correct line of travel to minlmlse vehlclestress and increase safety marginOfher Steering FactorsOther factors

The manual can help you become a better truck driver whether you are a novice or old hand and that will benefit both you and your company. Australian and overseas experience has shown that proper training of truck drivers significantly reduces vehicle maintenance costs (by almost half in some instances) and improves fuel economy.

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