How to Adjust Truck Mirrors

by Mason Howard

Because they are usually towing a trailer or some other kind of cargo, truck drivers often have only the use of the side-view mirrors. Since the rear-view mirror is frequently blocked and trucks are so high off the ground, adjusting these mirrors is slightly different than adjusting the mirrors in a car. Most trucks are equipped with special towing mirrors that are larger and extend farther away from the cab. Properly adjusting your truck mirrors will ensure a full spectrum of vision, as well as your safety and the safety of your fellow motorists.

Adjust the driver's side mirror. Sit in the driver's seat and place your head against the window. Start with the mirrors in a perpendicular position to the cab. Begin pulling the mirror in toward you, and stop as soon as you can see a sliver of your truck in the right side of the mirror.

Move your head into the normal position. Begin pulling the top of the mirror down. Keeping your head straight, look to your left and move the mirror until you can see any part of the road behind you that is not visible in your peripheral vision. You should be able to see a little bit of the entire length of your trailer, as well as the ground next to your trailer.

Adjust the passenger-side mirror. Move your head to the right until it is in the center of the cab. Start with the mirrors in a perpendicular position. Move the mirror toward you until you can see a sliver of your truck in the left side of the mirror.

Move your head into the normal position, and pull the mirror down until you can see the ground next to the trailer in the bottom of the mirror. You have less peripheral visibility in this mirror, so it may have to come down a bit more than the other mirror.

Sit in your normal position and reassess both mirrors. You should be able to see at least 200 feet (about 16 or 17 car lengths) behind you in the mirrors. If you think your vision falls short, bring your mirrors up and out a bit. Be careful to not compromise the visibility of the part of the road behind your periphery, as this is the crucial blind spot area.

About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.