Image via Flickr by The National Roads and Motorists’ Association

There are many advantages to switching from a car to a truck. If you’re used to driving a car, however, you may need some tips to help you. Driving a truck is not like driving a standard car or even an SUV, so it can take time to feel comfortable.

Be Aware of the Truck’s Weight

When you begin driving a truck, it’s important to keep the vehicle’s weight in mind. A truck is much heavier and larger than a car, so you’ll need to be aware of that when it comes to things like braking. Allow plenty of time for your truck to stop, since the weight of the truck means it’ll take longer to brake than with a smaller vehicle. Be sure to also leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you to accommodate for that additional time needed for braking.

Size Matters

When driving and parking, it’s important to be aware of the truck’s size for your own and others’ safety. Keep adequate space between you and other vehicles on the road at all times. Make sure you allow plenty of space for the truck when parking, and avoid getting too close to other parked vehicles.

Give Yourself Time to Practice

Just like it takes plenty of practice to learn to drive a car, it can take some practice to get used to driving a truck. Give yourself time to learn how the truck handles by practicing in parking lots and quiet roads. Since a truck drives so differently from a car, aptly maneuvering turns, mastering when to stop, and getting the hang of parking all take time.

Use Caution When Turning and Reversing

A truck’s size can make turning and reversing more difficult than with a car. Remember, you’ll need more space when turning in a truck. You’ll need to maintain a safe distance from the curb and make turns as wide as is safe to do so. A truck’s size also makes reversing a bit more difficult. Be careful of blind spots, go slowly, and use caution to watch for obstacles and pedestrians when reversing. The weight distribution in a truck means the back is lighter, so consider adding weight to the rear (such as sandbags), especially if you’ll be driving on slippery roads inĀ snowy or icy conditions.

Keep Other Drivers in Mind

A truck’s larger size and heavier weight mean it can causeĀ much more damage to smaller, lighter vehicles on the road. Keep in mind that most trucks don’t handle sharp or sudden movements well, so use caution and drive smoothly. Allow plenty of room between your truck and other vehicles when changing lanes. If you’re worried about blind spots, consider installing tow mirrors to help improve your range of sight when changing lanes, turning, or reversing.

No matter what type of car you’ve driven before, you can make the change to a truck. While switching from a car to a truck can be challenging, with time, practice, and conscientious driving, you can easily adjust and enjoy all the benefits a truck offers.

5 Tips for Switching From a Car to a Truck

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