A critical factor in tire maintenance is proper inflation, which impacts safety, as well as financial issues.
Overinflating causes premature and/or irregular wear at the tire center and, at the extreme, can lead to tire blowouts.
Underinflating, the most common culprit, causes excessive wear on tire shoulders. Severe underinflating weakens the sidewalls, placing stress on the carcass. It can lead to structural failures, including zipper cuts, sidewall ruptures, or tread separations, posing real driving dangers.
Are you “thumping” tires? The only sure way to know if you are at the required 100 lbs. of air pressure in your tires is to use a tire gauge.
In a Hurry?
In trucking, there are even more mistakes a driver in a hurry can make, like breaking the Hours of Service regulations by giving in to dispatch pressure to be on time, no matter what. Or, let’s say you pick up an overweight load and you don’t think you have time to scale it or bring it back to the shipper, but somehow you still find the time to get a ticket. Or, you find something wrong with your truck (maybe you have a blown tail light) which doesn’t seem like a big deal and you can fix it when you get to your destination, but along the way you get pulled-over and waste even more time (and money) getting a ticket. Sometimes things that seem to waste your time could actually be worse. It’s always better to waste an extra 60 minutes at a shipper or an hour at a repair shop than it is to waste an hour getting a ticket or being put out-of-service, or worse yet, having an accident.
So slow down, take the extra time to plan ahead; to pre-trip, in-route, and post- trip inspect your equipment and yourself; scale your load; Get Out and Look; give a few extra seconds of following distance; obey the speed limits, and obey the traffic laws. Those few extra seconds, or minutes could save hours and maybe even yours or someone else’s life.
Avoid Being Boxed In
Guard your safety by actively creating space around your vehicle, never allowing yourself to get "boxed in." Adequate space creates time to make decisions and helps you avoid collisions. Maintain at LEAST seven seconds of following distance, more if you can. You should be able to see a minimum of 15 seconds ahead of your vehicle. Check your mirrors every 3-5 seconds to maintain 360 degrees of awareness.
Adjust your position in traffic as necessary to avoid driving in other’s blind areas.
Don't allow yourself to be tailgated—adjust your speed or change lanes to encourage tailgaters to pass you.
PrePass and Weigh Stations
About a mile before a PrePass-equipped weigh station, a PrePass truck is identified through communication between the in-cab transponder and the Advanced Vehicle Identification (AVI) reader.
The PrePass system automatically checks the truck’s safety and credential clearance status.
Based on the truck’s clearance status, the PrePass system sends a signal to the truck’s transponder, which notifies the driver of the screening result both visually and audibly. A green light indicates a bypass and a red light indicates that the driver must pull into the weigh station.
To help maintain system integrity, some PrePass trucks are randomly selected and receive a red light, requiring them to pull into the weigh station where a carrier’s compliance can be confirmed.
A truck’s bypass screening signal will continue to flash for approximately 15 minutes after passing the weigh station. This valuable feature provides confirmation of the vehicle’s bypass status for both the driver and enforcement.
If no light comes on and there is an open weigh station, the driver should enter the weigh station.
Don’t Squeeze the Lemon!
(Don’t race through a yellow light!)
A yellow light at an intersection should last long enough that a vehicle traveling at the posted speed can either:
Apply the brakes and comfortably and safely decelerate to a stop prior to reaching the front of the intersection
Maintain the same speed and safely clear the intersection.
Professional truck drivers make sure they have at least 7 seconds of following distance and are looking at least 15 seconds ahead to plan for their future, this includes the practice of pacing the traffic lights and scanning every intersection.
Driver’s Daily Checklist
√ Log Legal
√ Pre-Trip, Enroute, and Post Trip Inspect every day
√ Drive Safely
√ Tire Check & Walk Around every 150 miles or 3 hours (whichever comes first)
√ Assure you and the equipment are in good, working condition
√ Keep a safe following distance
√ Keep a safe speed
√ Obey all posted traffic signs
√ Never assume, always anticipate
√ Be a professional day in and day out
The October 2017 edition of the Super Service Newsletter is now available!