Big cities west of I-95

This blog has been split into 2 parts, as the big cities along the I-95 corridor are in a different class than those east of I-95

Navigating around and through big cities is a challenge we all must face, especially early in our careers. Some companies will send you with an experienced driver to coach you along, other companies will just “throw you to the wolves”, and force you to figure it out on your own.  For this blog, we will be staying away from the eastern seaboard (Maine to Virginia, the I-95 corridor) as it’s big cities are in a different class all by themselves.  We’ll get into those in another blog.

We’ve gone over trip planning before, so if you’re just transiting a big city, such as Chicago IL,  Houston TX, Kansas City, Oklahoma City or Dallas-Fort Worth to name a few, just stick to the interstate and you’ll be fine.  If you have to pick up or deliver in any big city, it can quickly become a challenging and very stressful event.

When you get a pickup or delivery in a big city, and you will if  you haven’t already, be sure to call the customer and ask for a routing from the interstate to their location. Do not trust Google or Apple Maps, or any mapping application on your mobile device, nor your GPS, even a truck specific GPS.   Mapping software on your mobile device is for personal vehicles, not trucks, and it could easily route you under a low bridge, or across a bridge with a reduced weight capacity or down a street that is not a truck route.  One driver following a map from a trucking road atlas got himself stuck under a low bridge because he just looked at the map, saw a direct route and off he went. He didn’t check the listing in the road atlas for low clearances and restricted routes, and he paid the price.  Always always ALWAYS call the customer for directions, and even then, be aware of your surroundings, and vehicle dimensions.  Even taking all the precautions, you could still find yourself in a bit of a pickle, and as the driver, any incident you cause, you are held responsible for.

Don Taylor has been a professional driver since March 1985.  In 1994 he made the jump to driving tractor trailers, and has accumulated over 3.5 million miles, including over 4 years of driving turnpike doubles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He is currently hauling flat decks across North America.