Safety

  1. Truckers Against Trafficking

    Youth sex trafficking along America’s highways is a problem hiding in plain sight.

    Many runaways or abducted teens are forced into this situation. Often it just takes a phone call to save someone’s child being held against their will.

    If you see anything out of the ordinary, don’t be afraid to call the authorities. It could save somebody’s life.

    For more information visit truckersagainsttrafficking.org.

    To report trafficking, call the organization’s national hotline at 888-373-7888.

  2. Brake Early

    Apr 24

    Posted in Safety

    Brake Early

    Control your speed whether fully loaded or empty. Large combination vehicles take longer to stop than most vehicles; making it necessary to brake sooner. This gives you, the driver, more time to react to situations around you.  It also gives other drivers more time to react to your vehicle’s movements.  

    When lightly loaded, the very stiff suspension springs and strong brakes give poor traction and make it very easy to lock up the wheels. You can jackknife very quickly. Your trailer can swing out and strike other vehicles.

    You also must be very careful about driving bobtail. Tests have shown bobtails can be very hard to stop smoothly. Allow extra following distance and look far ahead, so you can brake early. Don't be caught by surprise and have to make a panic stop.

  3. Accelerating-Slow and Steady

    Don't roll back when you start. You may hit someone behind you. Partially engage the clutch before you take your right foot off the brake.

    Accelerate smoothly and gradually so the vehicle does not jerk. Rough acceleration can cause mechanical damage. When pulling a trailer, rough acceleration can damage the coupling devices.

    Accelerate gradually when traction is poor, as in rain, loose dirt or gravel. If you use too much power, the drive wheels may spin. You could lose control, or find yourself stuck. If the drive wheels begin to spin, take your foot off the accelerator.

  4. Make Sure Your “Big Wheels Keep On Turnin’”

    Your wheels support the tires and attach the tires to the axles. The rims and lug nuts do the heavy lifting while your hub oil makes sure those wheels keep turning.  Forty tons of truck is supported by those 18 wheels, making them a vital part of your pre-trip inspection.  During most equipment issues, you can pull over and contact breakdown...  But you need your wheels to pull over!  This makes your wheels the most basic safety feature needed to operate the truck, a feature you will always need to count on. Make sure they are up to the task. During a pre-trip inspection always: 

    1. Make sure the wheels and rims are not bent or cracked. 
    2. Look for rust or oil streaks across the rim.  If there is rust then you have loose lug nuts (water is pulling rust from the threads). 
    3. Make sure you are not missing any lug nuts and they are secure. Remember, just because a tire has been replaced recently does not mean the lug nuts are secure. 
    4. If you see oil streaks on the rims your hubs are leaking oil.
    5. Check your hubs oil level (when possible).  Just because there are no visible leaks doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. 
    6. Hubs with a rubber seal that are coated with dirt and grease indicates no one has opened it up in a long time, so do so promptly. 
    7. Check the tires inside and out for: cuts or bulges,  uneven tread wear,  100 psi (110 psi on super singles), at least 4/32” of tread remaining on steers and at least 2/32” tread remaining on all other tires.

    Report issues immediately. Never move the truck until you are confident it’s wheels will pull their weight!

  5. Your Tires Should Only Travel the Path Seen By Your Eyes

    One of the dangers of driving any vehicle and commercial vehicles in particular is letting good driving habits fade into bad habits. Basic safe backing precaution requires getting out of the vehicle to ensure the path is clear and is repeated multiple times a day or a week. This repetition often reveals no hazards to avoid. As a result, it becomes easier to assume it unlikely you will encounter another object. But a professional driver knows collisions usually occur while backing up. Don’t drive like an amateur; be a pro. Be prepared and alert and follow basic backing procedures. 

    Be sure you begin the backing maneuver by avoiding blind side backing. If needed, you should go around and re-position your tractor-trailer unit. Having your mirrors aligned and in good condition will increase your visible line of sight. Remember, it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure to back safely at all times whether using an assistant or not.