Don Logan is a good truck driver.
In fact, he’s the best.
The FedEx employee was recently named Grand Champion at the annual National Truck Driving Championships in Minneapolis. The six-time Kansas state champion taking the flatbed class with the highest score in the competition, which is comprised of a written test, a demonstration of visual vehicle inspection abilities and completion of a driving skills course that’s a fair bit more difficult than the one Marcia Brady whooped Greg on.
After winning both the twins and three-axle classes in previous years, Logan beat over 400 drivers for the overall title this time around. He drives about 100,000 miles a year and has logged more than 2,180,000 accident-free miles over a career that's spanned a quarter century.
Here are a few simple driving tips from him on how you can do the same:
1. Keep Your Distance. Don’t follow too closely behind the car in front of you. People seem to think they’ll get where they’re going faster if they tailgate, but in the end the time you save is minimal (if any!) and the risk you create for yourself and your fellow drivers is significant.
2. Stay Focused. The number of distractions for drivers continues to grow every year. Phone calls, text messages – sometimes even the radio and other passengers – are distractions that take a driver’s focus off the road. Keep your attention on the road and not on whatever’s happening in your vehicle.
3. Catch Some ZZZZs. Commercial drivers have regulations about the amount of sleep needed between shifts. It ensures we’re in our best, safest condition when we get behind the wheel. While these same requirements are not in place for non-commercial drivers, all drivers can benefit from getting enough rest before driving.
4. Planning Something? Keep Us Posted! Sometimes drivers can lose track of some of the most basic safety precautions – like signaling for lane changes! When you’re sharing the road with anyone (including large trucks that require a much longer stopping distance) it’s important that you let everyone around you know what you’re planning, so they can plan for it themselves.
5. Give Big Trucks Some Room. When operating around large trucks, stay out of the NO ZONE! (the four blind spots around a truck). If you can’t see us in our mirrors, then we can’t see you. Do not pass a truck and then stop abruptly to turn. When we’re following you, we can create the proper following distance. But when you pass us and abruptly stop in front of us, you take that ability away from us.