Driving a big rig is no easy feat. Truckers have duties to fulfill to the company they work for and its clients. They are also expected to drive responsibly and follow the rules to help keep pedestrians and other drivers on the road safe.
One of the biggest adjustments a new truck driver has to make is to rely heavily on the mirrors to know the situation in the blind spots or areas around the vehicle that are hard to see or not visible from the driver's seat. The sheer size of the semi-trailer trucks alone is enough to create some restrictions on the driver's vision, making maneuvering and changing lanes difficult and unsafe.
Types of Truck Mirrors
Trucks, in general, are fitted with larger mirrors designed specifically for towing purposes. These modern mirror systems significantly reduce the blind spots, allowing the drivers to see more of their rig. To achieve the best vision spectrum, make sure these mirrors are properly aligned and adjusted. Among the mirrors in a trucker's field of vision are:
Semi-truck cabins are not equipped with rearview mirrors, so each truck must have professional-quality side-view mirrors. When installed and adjusted properly, these safety components help minimize the size of a trailer's blind spots in such a way that drivers can safely change lanes and become aware of what other drivers around the trailer are doing. For added versatility, truckers and fleet managers can further outfit the side view mirror assembly with look-down mirrors that provide a better view of smaller vehicles beside or tailing the trailer.
This type of mirror is ideal if you are frequently towing an oversized load in your truck bed. It is also helpful for senior drivers who could use a larger image of what is on the road behind their vehicle. Most wide-angle mirrors can be clipped easily onto the truck's existing mirror, making installation and removal a walk in the park.
Extended-length planar mirrors
Mounted on either side of the truck cabin like the side-view mirrors, the extended-length planar mirrors greatly reduce blind spots. As their name implies, these units are fitted with long, extending arms to provide the driver with a better view of wide loads from various angles to alert the driver of the presence of such near the trailer.
With their curved design and slim mounts, convex mirrors provide drivers with a broader field of view by mirroring from different angles. They are commonly installed in the fender or hood of semi-trailers, but they can also be positioned along with the side-view mirrors. Also called fish-eye mirrors, these rounded mirrors depict a wider view of the area around the truck compared to concave or flat mirrors.
These large flat mirrors extend out from the truck's chassis to provide a bigger scope of the trailer's surroundings. Offering the sheer practicality and lower cost of a good flat-glass mirror, the popularity of these bus and commercial truck mirrors on the west coast continues to grow, and they are now widely used worldwide.
2020 mirror systems
Designed for wide-body applications, these mirror systems extend the mirror beyond the truck body to depict a wider, unobstructed view of dangerous blind spots and traffic lanes.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Truck Mirrors
Safety should be a priority. So, you should make sure that your mirror assembly provides you with maximum visibility of the situation behind and around your truck. Besides the type of mirror, there are other things you need to consider when getting a mirror system for your big rig.
The laws regarding the number of mirrors you can install in your truck and their visibility range differ from one state to another. Before your purchase, find out first the requirements in your home base plus the states you will frequently drive your truck to. Generally, you need to install one or two mirrors that reflect a view of the rear. If the rearview mirror is obstructed, you may be asked to put additional mirrors.
Operators and drivers of long-haul trucks should be well-versed in each state's requirements, especially the laws that determine how far mirrors can extend past the width of the truck or the cargo. These trucks are used to transport goods across different states, and violation of mirror laws can cause delays in your deliveries.
- Adjustment and installation
You can save time and effort if you get mirrors that are easy to install and adjust. However, they must come with a mechanism or hardware that ensures secure installation, so they won't get dislodged easily and fall off while the truck is running. The mirrors must also be easy to adjust. Truckers must constantly check mirror alignment before heading out for a drive, so you may need to adjust the mirrors often or every time they get misaligned to eliminate blind spots.
- Additional mirrors
It pays to get a mirror system that allows you to up your mirror game. The mirror assembly should accommodate additional mirrors in the long run. Even seasoned drivers recognize that additional mirrors, especially around the truck's chassis, add safety to your rig and your business. Make sure, though, that your truck or fleet's mirror setup follows the states' rules and regulations governing truck mirrors.
Where to buy truck mirrors
Nowadays, when store hopping is no longer safe because of the coronavirus, mass shootings, and other forms of violence here and there, the best way to shop for your needed truck mirrors is online and from the comforts of your home. FinditParts is one of the biggest online shops that carry a wide array of mirrors for various applications. You can also find replacement mirror arms, brackets, mounts, head assembly, glass, and many other mirror parts and hardware, all offered at budget-friendly prices. What's best is, we will have them delivered to your nominated address the soonest time possible and at reasonable shipping rates. Check out our full spectrum of truck mirrors to kick off your journey to improving your truck's safety.