Truck mirrors are very important. This is something that most people don’t take the time to consider. People don’t really understand their importance. Ok, that isn’t entirely true; most people go about their regular day to day activities and don’t even consider their vehicle mirrors I will say.
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Think about it, just how many people really use them, or at least depend on them? Sure we have all seen someone trying to put on their makeup or fix their hair during rush hour traffic. Then we can’t forget about the weekend fishing trip and trying to get the boat backed into the water.
For most, mirrors are usually considered a convenience. But that isn’t the case for those who drive big trucks for a living. No, truck mirrors for those people are more than that, so much more. They are just as important as the right and good tires on wet pavement or an updated GPS when going to a new location, some might even say they are more important.
Truck mirrors are literally an extra set of eyes, or at least an extension of your eyes. That is why it is crucial to keep them clean, properly positioned, and clear. A proper set of truck mirrors is the difference between getting your truck backed into the narrow bay or ending up in the river with your boat.
Just like everything else on your truck, it is important that your truck mirrors are properly maintained. Every good truck driver knows to keep their vehicle in proper working order. Carriers need to make sure they have a proper maintenance schedule set and used.
But you shouldn’t wait until the scheduled maintenance day to check the basics of your truck. You should conduct a basic inspection daily, perhaps a quick walk around your truck every time you stop. “Why”, you ask? What should you check?
There are those that will go into even more detail, like checking fluids. Of course there are others that will tell you this is overdoing it. But, here’s something to think about, is it worth it to lose a couple minutes walking around your truck and save yourself potentially more later? Of course it is.
What more could you lose?
By more I don’t only mean time, I think of the time lost because of delays caused by blowouts, mechanical failures, or even worse; an accident. But the lost of money from towing fees, added parts, and insurance rate increases (possible even fines for traffic violations).
There is even an added cost to be considered, upset and perhaps even lost customers. If the freight is late or damaged most customers won’t be very understanding, especially if it was caused by something that could have been easily prevented.
A reputation is hard to build but easy to lose. How would you like to explain the reason you lost a major client was something so simple. The reason so banal; you didn’t take proper care of your truck mirrors?
This might sound like common sense, but you would be surprised, especially with inexperienced drivers. They head out on the open road and something happens to their mirror. An honest accident, say kids were playing baseball in the empty lot next to the truck stop, when all of a sudden a batter cracks the ball and drives it straight into the truck mirror.
Well now there are a few choices that can be made (after getting upset). Don’t fix it and risk having a blind spot. Or grab just any vehicle mirror off the shelf. Well, neither is the right answer. Make sure you not only get a proper truck mirror, but make sure you will get one that’s recommended by the manufacturer for your make and model of truck.
Like I said in the example above, you could just simply do nothing. But you will regret it the moment you leave the truck stop. As any experienced driver knows, unlike a car you can’t simply look out the back window or stretch your neck to look through the passenger side. Unless you’re a team there isn’t any way to see the passenger side.
The bigger and best truck stops have mechanics and a good selection of truck mirrors in stock. They will get one that is approved for your truck. You might have to settle for a different style or color, but that’s a lot better than the trying to drive without it.
Technology increases more and more every day. It really is amazing the things they have come up with to aid in the day to day activities. Some are just conveniences and some are necessities. Many of these we have simply just grown accustomed to. But either way you look at it, they really do make life easier.
Most of the newer trucks come equipped with extras like heated truck mirrors. You can buy aftermarket ones for your truck, if it is an older model or they stop working. Of course this isn’t something that is needed in every part of the country. You probably won’t find too many in Hawaii while in Alaska they’re right there with snow chains.
Remember, just like any other piece of truck equipment, if they quit working replace them, especially if you are operating in the winter or must drive through areas where snow and ice are common.
This is something both drivers and carriers should consider. If you have a fleet and they are mostly the same model trucks buy spare parts in bulk. Like tires, mirrors… This way you’ll have extras available just in case. Usually when a truck mirror breaks the support arms are still good, so they don’t take up that much room, making storage easy.
It might be a good idea to have an extra set on the truck, just in case there’s a ball game nearby. Then if something were to happen it won’t be that big of an issue to change out the broken one for a new one. Better to have it and not need it, as they say.
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