One of the good things that has been a leftover from being on the road for almost 2 years driving a tractor trailer rig is checking clearances.....it's just automatic when I'm towing anything. Doesn't matter if it's a Pup, boat trailer or utility trailer, I'm aware that I'm nowhere near the height restriction and yet I'm still making a mental note of it and thinking to myself, I'm okay. Coming back from our last campout (Memorial Day Weekend), I pulled off to gas up, had the Pup behind me so no height problems for me. Noticed a really nice 5th wheel rig parked in the overnight parking area they had and the man and his wife were getting ready to head out for the day's stretch. I walked into the store to get a cold drink and coming out saw the driver of the rig just starting to make his way under the pump island awning.....older station with a lower awning for passenger station. Plenty of clearance for the 5th wheel, but not the extended TV antenna. I ran over and started pounding on the guys truck hood holding my hand up in the universal "STOP" sign. He rolled his window down and said "I've got clearance."....to which I replied "your trailer does..........your extended TV antenna doesn't." HIs wife jumps out with a look of terror on her face, "OMG, I forgot to lower it....thank you, thank you...." It only takes a moment to wreck your whole outing plans.
The other thing that has stuck with me from the time over the road is a pre-trip inspection of the TV and the trailer. I can still recite the inspection list just about step by step for each item to be inspected and what a driver is looking for. I could do my pre-trip inspection (DOT required and logged in your time record) in under 15 minutes from front to back, side to side and top to bottom. I know, some consider it not all that necessary, but you would be surprised how many times some "fellow" trucker decided to "borrow" a trailer side clearance lamp, tall lamp....one time, even a mud flap. Tickets for missing equipment or, horrors, a red tag (out of service) are expensive and hell to explain to a dispatcher. Not to mention a big crimp in an already usually tight drive time schedule. Do yourself a big favor, befor you move your rigs, even if you've just stopped in the Walmart parking lot for night....do a walk-around inspection of your TV and your trailer. Start in the front with your engine compartment, work your way down the driver side, across the rear and back up the passenger side, ending back at the front. Do it the same way every time checking the same items and looking for any change from the day before.....things happen while driving and watching the siding of your trailer peeling back as you tool down the highway at 65 isn't going to make your day any better. It happens. You could do it in under 10 minutes and it will be the best ten minutes you spend. One, even if nothing is wrong, it will give you a peace of mind driving down the road. Two, you'll be surprised just what you might catch, avoiding damaging or ruin your whole trip..........trust me, there are sick individuals out there who think pulling your King Pin lock is funny, or disconnecting your utility lines to your trailer and then just barely sticking it back into the receptor. Pranks, but potentially costly and or deadly pranks. They don't think about it.
I know, I'm preaching to the choir with most of you, but there maybe some new to the whole process who haven't thought of it yet. After something happens it's too late.
Just sayin...........be safe folks.