Parking and Backing
Most minor accidents occur when a driver is parking and backing, so this is no time to let up for even a second. Backing is not easy but it is easy to become complacent. Never begin backing before walking to the rear and looking all around (and up and down) for obstructions. Even if the area is completely clear, you can never assume it is safe to back without looking. Walk all the way to the point where you will stop, turn around; look at your truck and visualize the maneuver. A complicated backing maneuver may require you to get out and look several times. Never rely on the opinion of spotters (especially at truck stops) because you’re the driver and are responsible for the success of the maneuver.
Don’t just focus on what’s to the rear. Make sure you continue scanning using your mirrors; don’t forget the front and sides of your vehicle. Always have your four ways on, tap the horn before backing.
When possible, back the trailer against a fence or wall, thereby sealing the trailer doors against an obstacle in order to prevent theft. Set the trailer brakes and gently pull forward to put tension on the fifth wheel pin, making it impossible for a vandal to pull the fifth wheel release.
A roaring fire is both a success, and a responsibility. It is your job to properly maintain and extinguish your campfire.
Once you have a strong fire going, add larger pieces of dry wood to keep it burning steadily.
Keep your fire to a manageable size.
Make sure children and pets are supervised when near the fire.
Never leave your campfire unattended.
When you're ready to put out your fire and call it a night, follow these guidelines:
Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible.
Pour lots of water on the fire; drown ALL embers, not just the red ones.
Pour until hissing sound stops.
Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel.
Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers.
Stir and make sure everything is wet and they are cold to the touch.
REMEMBER: If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave!
Checking Tire Pressure
Do not rely on the looks of the tire or striking the tire to determine inflation pressure. The only accurate way to access the pressure in a tire is to use a tire gauge.
Reduce Stress and Aggression behind the Wheel
Driving is not a win or lose situation. The only winners are those drivers who reach their destination safely. Commit and concentrate on driving safely. Maintain your composure in traffic; try to cooperate with others on the road.
Aggressive driving only leads to more aggressive driving. Show courtesy to other drivers; give them the benefit of the doubt. The more courtesy a driver shows, the more he or she gets back.
Avoid driving when angry, upset, or overly tired. Get busy changing your own unsafe driving habits that might irritate and provoke other drivers.
Plan your trip with enough time so you don’t feel rushed. Use the time to relax instead of focusing on hurrying to a destination. Communicate. If you are going to be late, call ahead so you can relax. Now and then you are going to arrive late. Deal with it—stuff happens, so do not be lured into the aggressive driving trap. It just is not worth it!
CSA Scores Affect Daily Business
Remember the violations charged to you also affect the motor carrier’s scores. Many shippers require regulated fleets doing business with them meet certain violation score limitations potentially causing them to lose business. Likewise, the driver score can either have a negative or beneficial outcome on the miles assigned to drive and ultimately the paycheck at the end of the week.
Drivers with good SMS scores are more sought after to pick up and deliver freight because they demonstrate their careful approach to compliance with regulations.
The best way to keep your score down is “Do what your suppose to do when your supposed to do it; such as Pre-Trips, Post Trips, obeying the Hours of Service Rules, making sure you verify directions before heading out, and making sure credentials are in order.” Also good communication, and following all the rules and regulations are key to successfully maintain a good SMS score.
Stay Alert in Parking Lots and Private Drives
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, more than 1620 people are killed and over 91,000 people are injured every year in vehicle incidents on parking lots and private drives.
More than 50 % of these incidents were forward moving vehicles and just slightly less were backing incidents.
The majority of these injuries and deaths are pedestrians.
Don’t let your attention wander; stay alert when driving on parking lots and private drives.
Please stay aware of your surroundings as well when walking through these areas.
You may be in another vehicle’s blind spot or they may be distracted and not notice you.
Make sure that while you are driving you are using all your devices to make yourself visible; lights, turn signals, four-ways, and a couple of taps on the horn.
If you have to back up, Get Out and Look before you move.
Stay alert, stay safe.
The July edition of the 2014 Super Service Newsletter is now available. Enjoy.
- Check your permit book. Is everything up to date (HazMat Permits expire 6/30/14, new ones are available at the terminal or have your DM fax you a copy)?
- Do you have the DOT Quick Reference Guides for H.O.S. and V.I.R. in your permit book? Do you carry a blank log book in case your E-log fails to operate?
- Are all the stickers in place and current; IFTA, NYHUT, and Annual Inspection? How about the plate? And the trailer?
- Medical Card – Are you carrying it? Is it current? After each US DOT physical examination you must submit the current card to the state where you are licensed and certify the type of driving (e.g., interstate, intrastate, etc.) via form. Failure to do so can result in cancellation of your commercial driving privileges by the state.
- CDL – Are you carrying it? Is it unexpired?
Driver William Vinehout always checks his credentials before heading out.
Hand Tool Safety
Using the proper tool for the job can make completion of the task easier. But we need to make sure that the tools are inspected prior to use and properly maintained.
If tools are broken or worn they may cause serious injury to the person using the tool.
Proper maintenance and selection of the tools can greatly minimize the potential for injury.
Log it Right:
What activities must be counted towards time spent on duty?
1) Time at an employer/shipper plant, terminal, facility or other property waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved of duty by the employer.
2) Time inspecting equipment.
3) Time, other than driving time, in or upon any commercial vehicle except time spent resting in a sleeper berth.
4) Time loading/unloading a vehicle, supervising, or assisting in the loading/unloading, attending a vehicle being loaded/unloaded, remaining in readiness to operate commercial vehicle, or in giving/receiving receipts for shipments loaded/unloaded.
5) Time repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled vehicle.
6) Any time completing paper work or other work related activities.
7) Fueling, Scaling, Drop and Hooks, and while being inspected, cited or issued a warning by an authorized official (DOT or Police).