It can be hard hitting the road for the first time – all the other hauliers you meet seem to have been doing the job for years and it can feel like you’ll never learn all the lingo. But don’t worry, we’ve all been there and believe me, you’ll pick it up fast enough. To get you started, here’s my guide to the most important piece of equipment you’ll have in your new career, your new home away from home – your cab. |
Knowing Your Way Around Your Cab
It may seem obvious, but knowing where all the different elements of your cab are located is very important. If there’s a problem on the road or you want to report an issue with your cab when you get back to the depot, then you need to be able to identify the exact area you’re worried about. There’s nothing more embarrassing than talking to one of the mechanics or another haulier about a problem with the electric coils only to discover you’re pointing to the wrong place!
First things first. I know you don’t need telling that the engine is located at the front of the cab beneath the windscreen, but it’s worth bearing in mind that this is the place to look if you have any trouble with your filters, valves or the starter/alternator. While we’re looking at the front of the cab, this is also where the headlamps and wiper blades are located. Beneath the engine you’ll find the vehicle’s clutch and steering parts.
From the side of the cab you’ll be able to see the exhaust, which is located just behind the front wheel, to the rear of the haulier’s driving area. The driving area itself is protected by two body panels, one next to the window and the other in front of the front wheel. The wheels are where you’ll find the drums, discs, pads and calipers, as well as the mudwings and mudflaps. To the side of the cab is, of course, also where you’ll find the mirrors.
Behind the Scenes
At the back of the cab, behind the driving area, is where the air and electric coils are located, as well as the fifth wheel plates. We all know that one of most common problems with all vehicles can be a flat battery, so it’s worth remembering that the battery is located at the back of the cab, as are the airbags. Also at the rear of the cab, of course, is the number plate.
Now that you’re feeling a bit more familiar with all the different elements of your cab and where to look if there are any problems, I hope you can hit the road with a bit more confidence. And remember, those of us hauliers who have been doing it for a long time are here to help, not judge. So don’t be afraid to ask questions if there’s anything you’re not sure of. A life on the road can be a lot more fun if you take the time to make friends along the way!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry across the UK and Europe. It provides services for matching work for a haulier with jobs and to buy and sell road transport and haulage work in the domestic and international markets. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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