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  1. Drums and Slack Adjusters


    1.Make sure each drum has no grease or oil on it.

    2.Make sure there are no cracks, dents, or holes that exceed 1/2 inch.

    Slack Adjusters

    1.On the steer axle, the push rod and slack adjuster should be slightly over 90 degrees.

    2.For any slack adjuster, you need to give it a pull – If it pulls out more than an inch it is out of adjustment.

    3.Note:  The law says you cannot adjust a slack adjuster without being certified.  You can, however, touch it to pull it and see if it working properly.  In fact it is the most effective way to do it. 

    4.The pushrod and slack adjuster on each end of an axle must be the same size.

  2. Brake Chambers, Shoes, and Linings

    Brake Chamber

    1.Check for audible leaks.

    2.The chamber must be mounted with no visible cracks, damage, or missing parts.

    3.The brake chambers on each end of an axle must be the same size.

    Brake Shoes & Lining

    1.Make sure there is no grease or oil on the shoes or lining.

    2.Brake linings (pads) must be at least 1/4 inch thick except for steer axles equipped with a single lining brake (which must be at least 3/16 inches).

    3.Note: Some brake linings have a mark to show the point when they are past acceptable wear. 

    4.The brake linings cannot have a crack greater than 1/16 inch.

    5.Make sure that the brake lining isn’t missing a large enough portion to expose a rivet or bolt which secures the lining to the shoe.

    6.Make sure the lining is not loose (1/16 inch or more play).

  3. Brake Hose & Tubing

    May 01

    Posted in Safety

    Brake Hose & Tubing

    This applies to all air lines – The brake hose to the chamber, the Service or Supply Line from the tractor to the trailer, or brake line under your trailer that feeds the brakes on the tandem. 

    1. The first thing you do is check for audible leaks or sounds.  Any sound indicates a leak and Out of Service (OOS) Order.
    2. Multiple hoses and tubes should be held together with a spacer and not tape – Tape implies a repair to a hose which is an OOS. 
    3. All hoses and tubing cannot have any damage that extends through the outer reinforcement ply.  If you can see the inner tube it is an OOS but any cut, slash, or pinhole that cuts the outer lining still counts.  Just because you can’t see the inner tube doesn’t mean that the damage doesn’t go through. 
    4. There cannot be any swelling or bulging of the hoses and tubes.  This indicates the inner tube is ruptured, compromising the hose the same way if the outer lining was damaged. 
    5. Look for any damage by heat, brakes, or crimping that will restrict air flow. 
    6. Hoses should not be in contact with other parts of the vehicle, especially those that can generate heat. 
    7. Make sure the air line that supports the brakes on your sliding tandem are no less than 18 inches off the ground and held up by at least two springs.   There should also be no foreign objects hanging from these lines.

    Found along tractor railing. 

  4. The May 2015 edition of the Super Service Newletter is now available!


    Apr 30

    Posted in Safety


    1.    You must perform a thorough Pre-Trip inspection at the beginning of your work day before you drive/move a piece of equipment.


    2.    Any time you stop for a break, check tires, lug nuts, and perform a walk around inspection of your equipment before starting out again. A walk around cannot take the place of the required pre-trip.


    3.    Use the Super Service Pre-Trip Inspection Form as your guide. There should be a Super Service Pre-Trip Inspection Form in a plastic sleeve in your permit book. If there isn’t, ask for one.


    4.    If you find an item that needs attention, send a Qualcomm message #14 to Breakdown. Await their response before moving the equipment. If you move it without authorization, you have just accepted responsibility for the consequences of the move. If you feel that you are not safe or legal to move to a repair facility, communicate this with breakdown so you can work together to the best solution.


    5.    Failure to perform a thorough Pre-Trip inspection that leads to a DOT violation, DOT Out-Of-Service order, accident, or over-the road maintenance expense can result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

    A Pre-Trip starts with the approach.

  6. Avoiding Accidents

    Apr 29

    Posted in Safety

    Avoiding Accidents

    1.    Don’t drive the truck where it doesn’t belong. Keeping the truck away from areas where it does not belong is the first step in avoiding accidents. Be observant of truck routes - keeping on them can keep you safe.


    2.    Accidents are to be avoided and minimized as much as reasonably possible, but not to the extent that in attempting to avoid an accident, more damage occurs. For instance, if you make an abrupt lane change to avoid a vehicle that is merging, and in the process hit another vehicle, this is a preventable accident.


    3.    Swerving or veering is to be avoided. It often results in loss of vehicle control that ends with a rollover. Don’t swerve to avoid an animal that has run out in front of you.


    4.    Running off the road to avoid an accident indicates lack of control of the vehicle and is considered a preventable accident. Keep the vehicle on the roadway at all times and under your full undivided attention.


    5.    Use of a phone, Qualcomm unit, a computer, adjusting GPS, texting or any other activity that would distract the driver while driving is against the law and Super Service policy.


    6.    If you are fatigued/sleepy or too ill to drive, GET OFF THE ROAD!!!Regardless of your hours allowing you to drive, you do not belong on the road while drowsy or ill. Do not roll down the window or look to a caffeinated beverage for help - if you’re tired…getting off the road is the only answer. Send a Qualcomm message to your DM and advise that you need to stop. Communication is the key here, safety is first, but if you must stop, you must communicate with dispatch.  

  7. The Secret to Being Accident Free

    Many drivers have careers with twenty, thirty, even forty or more years without ever having an accident. Ask some of our long time accident free drivers “What’s the secret?” The answers are pretty similar: “I always take my time and I’m very careful”, “I don’t take shortcuts”, ”I always get out and look before backing or hooking to a trailer”, “I make sure I always have plenty of space to allow room for the error of others and sometimes myself”.

    After getting some experience, many drivers get too comfortable.They start thinking they’re good, because they can back into a dock quickly, or zig-zag through traffic without hitting anything. These are not good drivers, they are good “aimers”. There is a lot more to driving a truck than simply how well you can aim it.

    Accidents do happen. But when they do, it’s because somebody made a mistake. Somebody was in a hurry, or got distracted, or they thought they were too good for anything to happen to them, or they were complacent. It’s always the result of a mistake. If it wasn’t a mistake, then that means they hit you on purpose.

    So ask yourself, is it really a secret?  Can you move the truck without hitting anything for one yard? Treat every yard, every block, and every mile the same way; take your time and always be very careful.

  8. “Attitude not Aptitude will Determine Your Altitude”

    A pleasant, friendly, helpful attitude is not only a good sign of toughness, but also a sign of genius.

    Toughness is measured by how much you can take, not how much you can dish out. Many people can throw a hard punch, but how many can take a punch? How many can take a punch and still smile? You have to be pretty tough to do it.

    A good attitude is a sign of genius too. Most people know a smile can get you farther than a frown. A smile in the face of a difficult task somehow makes it seem less difficult.

    A good attitude can also help you live longer. Just look at comedians George Burns (100), Bob Hope (99) and Milton Berle (91).

    A bad attitude can give you an ulcer, a heart attack or stroke, and can even get you into a fight, which of course can lead to even more injury to yourself. People with a bad attitude hurt themselves. It’s a terrible burden they have to carry.

    Driving a truck is a tough job. There is traffic and construction and everybody’s patience is tested. Everywhere you look there is a ‘stupid’ driver messing it up for everyone else. Tempers are flaring between drivers. Truckers are almost getting into fights with each other. As much as you’d love to, you can’t cuss out a four-wheeler, because he doesn’t have a CB. But a truck does; and drivers are cussing each other out, simply because they can, and that puts a strain on all listening ears.

    It takes a tough genius to do what you do. Patience is a skill, just like backing and steering. Dig deep, it’s there. Fake it for a while and soon it will be real. A trucker without patience is like a mechanic without a screwdriver. Hopefully most of you won’t have to look hard to find it.

    Smile, and be safe!

  9. Safe Driving: Stopping Distance

    Semi-tractor trailers cannot stop on a dime. One of Newton's laws of motion says: "An object in motion will stay in motion, unless an outside force acts upon it." Obviously, a loaded big rig takes longer to stop than a four-wheeled vehicle. However, professional drivers need to allow an even greater amount of total stopping distance based on conditions.
    Driving in any of the following situations requires greater total stopping distance: at night, on secondary roads, in hilly or mountainous areas, along curvy roads, or whenever precipitation is falling or the roads have received precipitation.
    The formula to calculate Total Stopping Distance is: Perception Distance + Reaction Distance + Brake Lag Distance + Effective Braking Distance = Total Stopping Distance
    Braking and stopping distance are also affected by a truck's speed and weight. There are significant differences in stopping ability at 55mph and 65mph, or between a truck with a loaded trailer, a truck with an empty trailer (aka "deadhead"), and driving just the tractor (aka "bobtail").
    You might think it would be easier to stop with just the tractor or with no load on the trailer, but we've found that just the opposite is true.

  10. Change lanes as little as possible.

    Pick a lane and STAY in it. Cars will dodge and change lanes no matter what. If you do find it necessary to change lanes, use your turn signal,move over very carefully, being aware of your blind spots and constantly check your mirrors.

    The odds of an accident increases dramatically, each time a vehicle makes a move to another lane. If you have maintained your lane position and following distance, in the event of an accident, the other vehicle will most likely be at fault, not you.
    When entering or leaving the freeway, watch for merging vehicles. Cars love to hug the right lane and dodge all over.... they tend not to merge or seem to forget how to do so safely.  Good following distance and looking far ahead of you, will help anticipate a merging vehicle. If you can’t change lanes safely, slow down and let them in.

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