How to Drive a Big Truck When You’re Small

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It can be a challenge to be short. Along with difficulties reaching tall shelves and keeping stepladders on hand, people tend to view you differently solely based on your height. While there are some things out of reach (pun intended), such as achieving the dream of being an NBA All-Star, those with a shorter stature are capable of big things. Those big things include driving big trucks – whether those trucks are diesel semis or king cabs with lift kits.

Part 1 of 1: Driving a big truck if you’re a small person

side step for truck

Step 1: Get assistance climbing behind the driver’s seat. The first challenge for a small person in driving a big truck is getting inside.

If this is a one-time event, you may opt to get a little helping hand from a friend or a portable step stool to climb into the cab. On the other hand, if you plan to drive a big truck regularly, you need to be able to get in and out without any outside assistance.

Install a truck side step for that extra boost you need.

pedal with extender attached to it

Step 2: Make adjustments to reach the pedals. Try moving the seat up closer to the pedals to be able to push them with ease. Like in the previous step, this is a perfectly acceptable method for infrequent or one-time driving sessions.

Unfortunately, by moving the seat far forward, you put yourself at greater risk of injury in the case of a collision by being so close to the steering wheel and dash. A better long-term solution is to attach one or more pedal extenders to bridge the gap between the controls and your diminutive legs. Such pedal extenders slip on top of the existing pedals for easy installation, and can be transferred from vehicle to vehicle.

man sitting behind steering wheel

Step 3: Tilt the steering wheel to where it is almost level with your shoulders. This positioning allows plenty of room for you to see over the wheel without craning your neck or leaning far forward.

It also allows you more range of motion to make big turns without fatiguing the shoulders over long drives in your big truck.

hand adjusting rearview mirror

Step 4: Adjust the mirrors. Once you’ve conquered physical challenges like getting inside and reaching the pedals, the remaining challenge is in having the visibility necessary to drive a big truck.

Although it is important to adjust the mirrors any time you drive a vehicle that is new to you, it is even more crucial when driving an oversized truck.

Angle the rear view mirror inside the cab and all side mirrors to minimize the amount of blind spots. This will help you judge your truck’s relationship to other traffic, curbs, and other facets of your surroundings. They are also invaluable tools for coming to a stop or parking a big truck.

Making these adjustments will greatly aid a small person behind the wheel of a big truck, and may even be helpful in any size vehicle or driving situation. Height should never bar an individual from driving a large vehicle, and simple tweaks or additions can make it possible for short people to make a living as semi truck drivers or take their families on outdoor excursions in big 4X4 trucks. Furthermore, it can be fun to watch the faces of onlookers when you exit the cab of a truck that appears to be too large for the driver - although no one would ever guess until driver’s side door opens and you stand beside the truck outside.


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Jason

31 years of experience
148 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Surprise, Arizona
Needed new brake pads on my Land Rover-and booked through “your mechanic”- this was my second time using this service and I have to say- these guys are awesome- Today, Jason came out to my work place- and completed the work quickly. Thank you!!
Honda Accord - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenix, Arizona
Jason was on time, self motivated, well educated in his craft, and very helpful. I am fully sold on your method of using the home service. Jason helped by creating a safer ride for my wife, saving me time, and saving money for my family. I will be a client forever. Dennis Laycock

Lee

18 years of experience
105 reviews
Lee
18 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Richmond, Virginia
Lee was professional and knowledgeable. The job did not take long he was a little late but like I said professional because he let know that he was running late. LEE IS AWESOME!!!!!!

Willie

23 years of experience
23 reviews
Willie
23 years of experience
Jeep Compass - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - North Hollywood, California
I made an appointment to have my brake rotors/disc replaced. On the day I scheduled my car services- it ended up raining. Willie checked in, moved my appointment, and continued to communicate through out the day until he was able to come work on my car. He took great car to make the repairs ANNNDDD SAVED ME MONEY by only doing what was necessary (only one of the rotors needed replacing). A blessing.

Honorio

18 years of experience
782 reviews
Honorio
18 years of experience
Saturn Vue - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Sunnyvale, California
This was our second appointment to service our Honda and Saturn with Honorio and we will continue to do so in the future. We highly recommend Honorio.

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