A pickup truck is something like a mini truck, as its name implies. However, do not let the size of your vehicle scare you. Driving a pickup truck may not be the simplest thing in the world, but it’s not impossible either. It takes only a bit of logical thinking, knowledge of driving rules, and, of course, a basic understanding of your vehicle’s performances.
Being behind the wheel of a pickup truck can be a pleasure and very useful too. Just imagine driving on snowy streets, muddy terrain, or unpaved road. Keep in mind that this vehicle is designed for off-road driving, where are slightly different rules than in “normal” traffic. So you have to handle the “regular” driving first.
Check the webpage to read useful winter-driving tips: https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/winter-driving-tips/#.W8jPjGgzbIV.
It is necessary to learn how to manage a pickup truck on the road, in the traffic conditions you face every day. Everything else, you’ll learn later, when you get some practice and decide to try your new four-wheeler on some outdoor activities.
Driving a pickup truck is a completely different experience than everything you’ve tried before, and you probably have heard so much about it. But you still believe that it cannot be more difficult than driving an SUV or a sedan?In this text, we will try to undeceive you with facts, but one thing is for sure – until you get in a pickup truck and feel its strength and size, you will not know what the real difference is.
Get to Know Your New Vehicle
Even if you have many years of driving experience, when you first enter the pickup truck, it will be a bit odd sense. First, it’s much more spacious than a regular sedan. Then, you are raised from the vehicle’s axle, which means you have much better visibility and the perception of the road in front of you. And finally, a cargo space, which extends your vehicle and gives you some discomfort while driving. But the experience will come with the practice.
Most of the newer models have automatic gearshift, which facilitates steering, parking, and braking, although these vehicles can have up to ten degrees of transmissions (read here about the “eternal battle” between automatic and manual transmission). But be sure that the manual gearbox is not a trouble as it seems. If you know how to handle an “ordinary” five-speed or six-speed transmission in sedan or SUV, driving a pickup truck will not be a problem.
Things to Know when Making a Turn
The turning process scares most of the drivers who first meet with the pickup truck. People should be aware of the vehicle’s size and volume, and to realize that rules for making a turn like in sedan can’t be used here. So, it is just not enough to slow down and turn the steering wheel to the desired direction.
Because of its length, the pickup truck is not as movable as a car. Also, it needs extra space for making a turn; just like any other truck. When it comes to sharp or U-turns, you have to swing out your vehicle wider than in usual turnings.
As for the turning speed, make sure your vehicle is in the lowest possible gear. The problem may arise if you enter the curve too fast, and for example, the cargo space of your pickup truck is not loaded. This difference in weight between the front and rear can cause slipping and even overturning of the vehicle.
Know When and How to Step on a Break
The average weight of a pickup truck ranges from 2 to 6 tons. For example, even some of the more massive car models weight about a ton. Some SUV models can be the same weight as pickups, but they don’t have additional cargo space. Why are we making this comparison?
The braking system, but also the vehicle management system distinguishes from an ordinary car. Maybe the system is the same, but the way of handling it is different. As with turning, neither braking is performed in a standard way.
Forget about stepping on the brake with your full strength; with pickup trucks that can be very dangerous. Just increase caution to the maximum, especially if you opt for heavy-duty models like the new HD Denali (one of brawnier models on the market). The more weight a pickup truck has, the more careful you should be.
Pickup trucks require extended or sooner braking and leaving a larger distance between the vehicles in front of you. Only timely reacting (and, of course, good brake system) can ensure that the pickup truck will stop safe.
Forget the Break while Turning
You know you shouldn’t brake in the curve? That remains for driving a pickup truck too. Considering the larger dimensions than the regular car, sudden braking in the curve may cause the rear of the truck to slip off.
The newer generations of pickup trucks are becoming more and more massive, due to the use of new materials that need to ensure the stability and safety of the drive. And you will achieve this only if you adjust your driving to the performance of your vehicle, but also to the conditions of the road.
Driving in Reverse
Pickup truck ride is a challenge for beginners because the structure of these vehicles creates many blind spots. Especially while driving in reverse. Newer models have cameras and parking systems that should make it easier to handle, but it is good to know where these spots are since their position varies from model to model.
Vehicle blind spots can cause many problems. On the webpage, read why regular shoulder checks and finding of these spots are important: https://drivinginstructorblog.com/q-when-do-i-have-to-shoulder-check/.
If you are disturbed while driving, it can help you to set up additional mirrors to gain better visibility from the side, but also behind the vehicle. These extra mirrors will help you to be aware of the cargo space on the rear, which is crucial, especially when turning or towing a trailer.
Also, drive in reverse only when it’s inevitable (when parking for example), and do that very slow.
At first, you might be afraid a bit, but in time you will understand how easy it is. Driving of a pickup truck actually can be quite relaxing. It’s all about getting a routine.