I don’t have a problem with technology in fact I use many programs everyday in my life, but doing some things the old way just made more sense like reading maps. I am not against using a GPS to help find a destination but you need to back it up by reviewing the trip as a whole to ensure the GPS is correct. I have found some GPS programs to be better than others and some fail miserably, but at the end of the day it is the common sense of the driver that makes that person a professional or not. I keep telling students don’t follow your GPS unit blindly, it will get you into trouble eventually.
Over the last year or so I have heard of a number of truck drivers that have got their trucks stuck in the sand of a beach. Now I think common sense would tell most drivers that a tractor trailer is too heavy for a sandy beach, yet there are stories and videos that prove drivers don’t understand this simple rule. In Canadian schools we are taught to stay off soft shoulders in the Spring and we certainly don’t want drivers driving on beaches after all I have been to many beaches and don’t remember seeing any loading docks on the beach. Places like Daytona Beach and other beaches along the coast often allow people to drive on them, but it certainly is not meant for the weight of a truck.
Recently there was a story about driver on social media that followed his GPS and ended up at the end of the road facing the beach. Hey at this point I blame the GPS and understand that could happen to the driver, however a map would have shown him there was a ocean there. It’s the next part where the driver saw the sand and still kept going trying to drive out on the sand to turn his rig around. That’s the part where common sense went out the window. The driver managed to get pulled out by a tow truck but it could have been much worse. Unfortunately this driver was caught on video not helping our industry at all.
We need to get back to some of the ways of the past when it comes to common sense. Reviewing your whole trip with another source where you can see the trip as whole and understand the difference between South and North, or East or West when travelling and verify any directions that don’t seem correct with other drivers, customers, or your carrier. Being a professional driver is more than just driving a truck blindly, but about making smart decisions. Learn how to understand the geography of roadways in the United States and Canada. Double check your destinations and do proper trip planning. I know it’s hot outside but the beach is no place for a truck.
Looking for a certified school to help you be a true professional driver? Check out the TTSAO schools.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com