Road safety tips for rental trucks
Hiring a rental truck is the perfect option for many smaller businesses looking for short medium or long term solutions for their transport needs. As with any contract or agreement, when you hire a Rentco vehicle, there are occupational safety and health considerations and routine maintenance procedures that must be followed. In this blog, we look at some of the most important safety issues.
Many of our smaller trucks can be driven on a regular driver’s licence. Even so, you’re in charge of a vehicle which is large, heavy and much less manoeuvrable than a car, van or ute. Before you set off, take some time to familiarise yourself with the vehicle, how it handles and get used to using the side mirrors to remain aware of what is behind or to the side of you.
Remember, because of the weight of the vehicle, stopping time and distances are longer so adjust your speed to compensate. Be alert especially when approaching a junction, traffic lights or changing lanes. Practice turning, reversing and parking the vehicle somewhere quiet before you get out on a busy road. Other vehicles require specialist licences which must be documented and produced and verified at the time of pick up.
Understand the rules and regulations
The driver is the person responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle. It is their obligation to understand and adhere to road regulations which can vary between States and Territories.
The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and regulations commenced in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria on 10 February 2014. In addition to passing the HVNL, states and territories agreed to four regulations made under the national law. The Northern Territory and Western Australia have not commenced the HVNL at this time.
Heavy vehicles are governed by strict laws to protect drivers from driver fatigue. It’s important to spot the signs of fatigue and take a break, even if you’re driving a smaller vehicle. It’s time to take a rest break if you notice:
- lack of alertness
- inability to concentrate
- making more mistakes than usual – near misses
- drowsiness, falling asleep or micro-sleeps
- difficulty keeping your eyes open
- not feeling refreshed after a sleep
- excessive head nodding or yawning
- blurred vision
Essential maintenance checks and breakdowns
As the driver of a vehicle, you are required to carry out safety checks before operating the hire vehicle. Should you encounter a maintenance issue with the vehicle, trailers and/or associated equipment, you are required to take immediate steps to have the problem resolved.
Rentco offers 24/7 roadside assistance so that a qualified mechanic can attend on site to rectify the issue. In cases of break down or urgent maintenance, the driver must park the vehicle safely and contact the Rentco helpline as soon as possible.