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  1. Winter: Jake Brake

    Jan 26

    Posted in Safety

    Winter: Jake Brake

    With the weather changes it is important to remember that your Jake brake (Engine Brake) should be turned off when the roads become slippery from snow, ice, sleet, or rain.  Your Jake brake only slows your tractor, not your trailer.  When on a slippery road the Jake brake will cause your trailer to push forward and slide out from behind you – Resulting in a jack knifed truck.  Avoid the jack knife and turn the Jake brake off when the weather turns bad.

    Also never use your Jake Brake in congested traffic, city driving, construction areas, or poor weather conditions.

    ** Cruise control should also never be used during these conditions.

  2. Night Driving

    Jan 25

    Posted in Safety

    Night Driving

    The keys to successful night driving are:

    1.  Never “over-drive” your headlights.   Make sure you can stop within the distance illuminated by your headlights.

    2. Don’t look directly into the headlights of oncoming vehicles.  If needed look slightly to the right and the edge of the road.

    3. Use your high beams whenever possible (i.e. when there is no risk of you blinding oncoming traffic). 

    4. Use low beams when approaching other cars, in fog, or following behind another vehicle.


  3. Proper Parking: Don’t Leave Your Vehicle Exposed to Collision

    Make sure you are completely in the parking spot. Don’t back up further than the line and make sure your front bumper isn’t sticking out beyond the line. Make sure your tractor and trailer are straight and centered between lines.

    Before backing always stop and GET OUT AND LOOK.

    Whenever possible, avoid parking on the end spot of an exposed row. It is a high traffic area and a tired driver may misjudge going around your truck and trailer and cause damage.

    Choose a spot you can either pull through or back into. Avoid parking which will require you to back out of the parking spot when leaving.

    Avoid parking in a location where the trucks across from you will be required to back out of their spots.

    If the truck next to you looks close, is over the line or parked odd (the cab is angled to the trailer), then try to find another spot. If you have to take the spot write down the name, truck #, and DOT # of the truck next to you.

    Use your four-ways when pulling through the lot and backing up. The four ways activate peripheral vision and increase the chance of someone seeing you. Use your horn gently when backing and when needed to tell someone “Hey, I’m here”.

    Added reminder: if your trailer has trailer tail fins, make sure they are retracted before parking.

  4. Trailer Theft Deterrent Advice

    Submitted by Driver: Edward Leonard

    Don’t make it easy for crooks. Remember a trailer at rest is a target for theft.

    If you do have to leave your truck or trailer unattended while going inside the truck stop for a meal or quick shower here are some suggestions.

    Park in a well lit area.      

    Back up next to a fence, building, pole, etc to make access to the trailer doors difficult.

    Make it appear someone is in the truck by leaving a bunk light on, radio or TV playing.

    Make sure you put tension on the fifth wheel by pulling the trailer valve, pulling slightly forward and then popping the tractor valve.

    You can also disconnect your air lines and lower your landing gear.

    These things may not stop a crook, but it will certainly slow them down. Someone may see the suspicious activity and report it!

  5. Avoid High Hooks

    Jan 22

    Posted in Safety

    Avoid High Hooks

    Submitted by Driver: Bonnie Fralick

    To avoid high hooks, be sure to “GOAL” (it’s not just for backing)!  

    Stop your tractor in front of the trailer, then get out and look to check the clearance before you back the rest of the way.

    Too much clearance can cause the kingpin to go past the fifth wheel. A High Hook can cause damage to the rear of your tractor, the front of your trailer, and the fifth wheel itself.

    Avoiding having to fix the after affects of a high hook will save time and money.

  6. Practice Courtesy

    Jan 21

    Posted in Safety

    Practice Courtesy

    Submitted By Driver: Duane Meintzer

    You never know when something nice you did will sweeten the day for others.

    Be the reason someone smiles, and don’t forget to pay good deeds forward.


  7. All Clear To Pull Out From the Dock?

    Submitted By Driver: Ruth Ann Smith

    It is important to make sure you have clearance from the customer before pulling out of the dock.

    Don’t just rely on a green light. Ask the customer to be sure.

    A good practice is to also pound on the sides of the trailer and holler “pulling out!”

    Pulling away from a dock without clearance can cause equipment damage, and serious injury or possibly death to a forklift operator.

  8. What does driving distracted mean?

    Not focusing on the road ahead and mirrors can lead to being caught unaware of changing conditions or situations in front of and around your vehicle. How many seconds or minutes a day have you driven blindly while distracted? Focusing on an object, person, task or event not related to driving affects the driver’s awareness, decision making and/or performance.

  9. Patience and Attitude

    Jan 18

    Posted in Safety

    Patience and Attitude

    Be patient; do not let the behavior of others change your attitude about driving safely and making safe driving choices.


    In accordance with Section 392.16 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), all CMV drivers must be belted, including anyone in the sleeper berth. The regulations states a CMV with a seat belt assembly installed at the driver’s seat shall not be driven unless the driver has properly restrained himself or herself with the seat belt assembly.

    A driver cited for not wearing a seat belt during a roadside inspection will receive the maximum number of CSA points allowed (30), and both the driver and the motor carrier will be charged.

    Per company policy the driver and any other occupants are required to wear safety belts when the vehicle is in operation or while riding in a vehicle.


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