What To Do When Your Truck Breaks Down

Modern trucks are highly reliable, and most will do hundreds of thousands of kilometres without issue. But problems do occur, and most truck drivers will find themselves standing on the side of the road sooner or later. A truck breaking down isn’t quite as simple as light vehicle breakdowns, and you may need the help of a heavy haulage towing service. To make sure you’re prepared for the possibility of a breakdown, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place. Your company might already have a policy that guides you through the breakdown procedure. Otherwise, we’ve put together this list of what you need to do when your truck breaks down.

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Find a Safe Place to Stop

Breakdowns don’t always happen in convenient places, but the first thing you need to do is find a safe place to stop. If your truck is running well enough to drive or coast along, then pull into an emergency stopping bay, onto the road shoulder or turn off the main road. Be aware of the roads you’re using and try to avoid moving to an area that will be difficult to access for a heavy haulage tow truck.

Your main priority should be to protect your safety and the safety of other road users. Doing your best to move away from heavy traffic will go a long way to preventing accidents and injuries.

Secure the Area

Wherever you end up stopping, turn your hazard lights on immediately to give other drivers warning of your breakdown. Pull on a high-vis shirt or vest before exiting the vehicle. If you’re stopped on a road with heavy traffic, exit the vehicle on whichever side is furthest from passing traffic.

By law, trucks, combinations and other vehicles with a GVM of over 12 tonnes are required to carry at least 3 reflective warning triangles. Deploy your warning triangles to give other drivers plenty of notice of the hazard up ahead. The rule of thumb we use is to deploy warning triangles twice the distance of the posted speed limit. So, on a highway that’s 100km/h, the first warning triangle is deployed about 200 metres behind or in front of the truck. One of your warning triangles should also be placed at the rear corner of your truck to make it easier to see where your truck is stopped.

At this point you should also assess whether your truck has leaked any fluids or if you’ve had a tyre delaminate and leave debris on the road. If you’ve created a hazard or if your truck is stuck in a roadway, contact police immediately and notify them that you need assistance.

Check for Common Faults

If you’re stopped in a secure place and are qualified to work on your truck, now’s your chance to check for common faults. If the fix is simple then you may be able to get back on the road sooner. In the case of things like blown or delaminated tyres, your dispatcher should be able to arrange roadside assistance to come and help you on your way. Always remember to look after your own safety first. If you can’t safely access the problem, or if the fix isn’t simple, contact a towing service and move your truck to a secure spot before working on it.

Contact Your Dispatcher

Whether you’re able to fix your truck or not, it’s a good idea to contact your head office dispatcher and let them know your situation. If you have broken down on a highway, you may be contacted by a motorway breakdown response service. Keep your mobile phone and radio on hand so you can keep in touch with dispatch. They may need to notify clients of delays or coordinate with other services if you’re carrying sensitive loads like chemicals or livestock. Speak to your dispatcher regularly and keep them updated on your situation.

Do You Need a Tow? Contact Harvey’s Towing Today

Any driver who spends lots of time behind the wheel should keep the contact details of nearby towing services in their glovebox. Having the number for a reliable heavy haulage towing service can make breakdown towing far less stressful than it would otherwise be. If you’ve broken down, get in touch with Harvey’s Towing on 07 3297 0911. Our 24/7 towing services are available throughout Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich and the Gold Coast. We operate a variety of heavy haulage trucks that can transport up to 21 tonnes and get your vehicle to safety. Call us at any time or get in touch online and we’ll send a tow truck to meet you as soon as possible.