Driving a commercial vehicle is completely different from driving a passenger vehicle. Commercial vehicles, such as trucks, buses, semi trucks, or vans, are very difficult to operate, first and foremost because they are pretty large, and much more powerful than cars, and you need to be particularly careful when turning, braking, accelerating, driving uphill and downhill, and parking. That’s why commercial drivers are usually more skilled than other drivers, and know more about driving than others.
Aside from these specific driving skills that commercial drivers must have to be able to operate a commercial vehicle safely, they also have to know more about traffic in general.
Since truck drivers, and other commercial drivers, spend a lot of time on the road, they have a vast amount of experience in dealing with various traffic situations and drivers with bad driving habits. They are aware of all the potential dangerous situations that can happen on the road, so they tend to be more focused while driving and pay more attention to safe driving practices, such as signaling before making a turn or changing lanes, turning headlights on when driving in bad weather, stopping for red lights, obeying road signs and speed limits, leaving enough space between them and the vehicle ahead, and other good driving habits that all drivers should have.
Commercial drivers are also more prepared than others when it comes to vehicle maintenance and fixing various defects. Since they mostly drive alone, they have to learn how to deal with all sorts of defects, such as brake malfunctions and tire defects, which happen quite often.
Commercial drivers have to be familiar with all the traffic laws to pass the CDL test. A good way to prepare for a CDL test is taking a practice test.
Fuel economy is another aspect of driving that commercial drivers are well-aware of. They must pay attention to fuel consumption, as fuel expenses are a huge part of operating costs of each company in the commercial driving industry. That’s why they have to do everything they can to reduce fuel consumption, which in turn brings down operating costs. If commercial drivers manage do bring down fuel costs, their companies will be more profitable, which will inevitably lead to a pay raise. There are various factors that affect fuel consumption. Commercial drivers have to know how old their vehicles are, their specifications, what condition they are in, what type of load they carry and how much it weighs, which driving techniques improve fuel efficiency, and they must pay attention to traffic and weather conditions.