Avoid an Off Duty Driving Violation
The best way to avoid an Off Duty Driving Violation is to never use it. Plan ahead and Communicate well.
Off Duty Driving is not a DOT term and is considered illegal. The DOT does recognize Personal Conveyance as a legal movement under certain circumstances. Super Service permits a driver to drive short distances when not at home, to go to and return from lodging, restaurants or shopping. To utilize this type of movement (OD-DRV) you must meet the following criteria:
- Must have been relieved of duty.
- May not have a trailer attached (bobtail only).
- Must return to the original point where personal conveyance began.
- May not be used in conjunction with 10 hour break unless the personal conveyance is less than 2 hours; it cannot interrupt the 8 consecutive hours in the SB.
- May not be used to move to or from a customer location; only to or from a terminal location.
- May not be used to move to or from a repairs facility or to locate a trailer or to move to a safe haven or to extend your HOS.
Improper use of the Personal Conveyance for activities not outlined is a FMCSA Part 395 violation and will result in the option being removed from your Status choices.
Posted in Safety
MEDICAL CARDS & SELF CERTIFICATION
Avoid Suspension of Your CDL
All commercial Super Service drivers are required to obtain and maintain a valid Medical Examiner's Certificate (or medical card). Every time you re-certify or get a new medical card, you must declare the type of commercial driving you do to your State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA). This process is called self-certification (depending on your SDLA, this can be done on-line, by fax, email, mail, or in person).
CDL holders, who fail to self-certify or do not update the expiration date of their medical card with their State, are subject to suspension or revocation of their commercial driving privileges.
The federal standards for driver physical qualification requirements have not changed.
What are CDL holders required to do?
Provide a copy of each new USDOT medical examiner certificate (medical card) to your SDLA prior to the expiration of your current medical examiner certificate.
Provide a copy of the Self-Certification Affidavit Form to your SDLA with the correct category of driving checked off:Non-excepted Interstate: You are an non-excepted Interstate driver and must meet the Federal DOT medical card requirements (This is the category all Super Service Drivers should select).
Shortly after (usually within 10 days) you send your new card and self-certification to your SDLA contact them and make sure they have updated your Motor Vehicle Records to avoid being shut down during a DOT Inspection.
THANK YOU DRIVERS!
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, September 13th – 19th, is when America takes the time to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs.
A special THANK YOU to all our drivers here at Super Service LLC along with the 3.4 million professional men and women for delivering safely, securely and on time, and also keeping our highways safe.
Did you check your brakes today?
The Annual Brake Safety Week ends tonight at midnight; however, every day should be treated as if you will be Inspected by the DOT for the safety of the motoring public and yourself.
Inspectors are always looking for loose or missing parts, air leaks, worn linings or pads, drums, rotors or other faulty brake system parts.
They also check antilock braking systems and malfunction indicator lamps. Brake components and pushrod stroke will also be visually inspected.
Please get with breakdown for instructions if you find a brake violation in your pre-trip inspection.
U-Turns are Too High Risk
U-turns are the highest risk maneuver a truck can do while moving forward. When you make a u-turn you are, by definition, crossing through and interrupting the flow of all traffic lanes on the road while simultaneously putting all that traffic in your blind spot! Needless to say such a high risk maneuver should never be done. Instead go to a proper exit to find a safe place to turn around then reenter the street properly to go the opposite direction.
A professional driver should properly plan and know every turn on their route before they start driving. Please don’t rely on your GPS, doing so could put you in a situation where not even a U-turn is possible.
Making a U-turn with a tractor-trailer is a very risky maneuver, and definitely NOT a safe shortcut.
In 2009, driver Jason Rivenburg was robbed and killed in South Carolina while parked at an abandoned gas station. In response, Congress passed “Jason’s Law” as part of the 2012 Transportation Reauthorization Bill. It provides more than $6 million in federal funding for states toward the construction and restoration of safe roadside parking lots for truckers.
Unfortunately there are still problems. Drivers can be targeted because they usually travel alone, often carry cash or haul valuable cargo, and their cabs contain electronics, such as CB radios, laptops and portable TVs.
Whenever overnight parking, be aware of your surroundings. Do not park in a remote area (no other trucks nearby). Try to park in well-lit areas. Always park with the cab facing the same way as the other trucks to discourage break-ins.
Sleep with the windows up or at minimum with window screens to prevent a thief from reaching in to grab an item or open a door. Some drivers use seatbelts or bungee cords to lash the doors shut for extra safety. Valuables in the cab should be kept out of sight.
Never tell others what you are hauling.
Report to authorities persons knocking on cab doors, or soliciting at the truck stops.
To draw help honk your horn, flash your lights, use a heavy duty flashlight to blind an intruder.
If the worst happens, remember a life is worth more than any belongings, truck, or cargo.
Always Check Your Brakes
Approach the vehicle: No leaks or anything hanging loose.
Tug Test: Apply parking brake (yellow valve), gently try to move forward; make sure brakes hold. Do same with trailer (red valve).
Service Brakes: Pull forward and apply brakes firmly. Report unusual pulling or delayed stopping action.
Air Compressor: Correct cut out between 120 -135psi. Cut in between 20-25psi below cut out pressure.
Air Leakage Rate: Air system fully charged, brake valves in, key on, apply brake pedal. After initial drop, pressure loss no more than 4psi in 1 minute.
Low Pressure Alarm/Signal/Spring Brakes: Pump down brakes; signal comes on when pressure goes below 60psi. Valves pop out (spring brakes apply) 20-40psi.
Air Pressure Build: Engine IDLE; pressure builds to 85-100psi within 3 minutes.
Hoses/Couplings: No cracks, chafes, or leaks.
Slack Adjusters: No broken, loose, or missing parts. Angle between push rod and adjuster arm slightly past 90 degrees with brakes released (also when pulled by hand no more than 1” of movement). Not less than 90 degrees when brakes are applied.
Brake Drums: No cracks, dents, or holes. No loose or missing bolts. Lining shouldn’t be rusting.
Air/Electrical Lines: No audible leaks. No cuts, chafing, rubbing, tangled, pinched, or showing of inner lining. Glad-hands/Pigtail firmly seated in place.
Air Tanks: Free of moisture and debris.
Check Brake Lights: Weight on, or stick between Brake pedal and seat; brake pedal is depressed. Visually check back of equipment; brake lights are ON.
Are You Qualified to Drive?
Are you in possession of your current CDL? Are you endorsed for the type of freight you are hauling?
Are you wearing your corrective lenses or hearing aid as noted on the medical certification?
You cannot be judged unsafe due to sickness or fatigue?
You are not in possession or under the influence of unauthorized drugs or alcohol?
You have not falsified your logs? You have followed all Hours of Service regulations by not driving more than 11 hours or driving after the 14th hour after coming on duty following a 10 consecutive hour or more off duty period, you are taking your mandatory required 30 minute breaks, and you are not exceeding your 70 hours in eight consecutive days.
Labor Day marks the end of the summer driving season. Millions of drivers will be hitting the road today to head home after their last summer getaway.
As always be safe by making safety first. Anticipate delays – you know you can be caught in traffic, don’t become frustrated if it happens. Don’t drive while you are aggravated or upset. If the delay is getting to be too stressful, find a safe place to park and take a break.
Don’t speed. It dramatically increases your chance of an accident and doesn’t really save any time. A 200 mile trip at 55mph will take just over 3 ½ hours. The same 200 mile trip at 65mph will take just under 3 ½ hours. The 15-20 minutes you may save isn’t worth the risk.
The work you do each day is appreciated!
Reminder: CVSA Brake Safety Week does not end until midnight Saturday, 9/12/15.
Brake Stroke Limits
Our fleet has the Type 24 Brake Chamber on the tractor steers. It measures 7 7/32 inches diameter. The maximum push rod stroke is 1 3/4 inches.
The drive axles and all our trailers have the Type 30 Brake Chamber. It measures 8 3/32 inches diameter. The maximum push rod stroke is 2 inches.
The system pressure should be between 90 and 100 psi (the same pressure used by officials to check brake adjustment). Place the transmission in low gear and shut off the engine. When tractor is hooked to trailer (have trailer brake valve pulled while checking the tractor; and tractor brake valve pulled when checking the trailer). The driver should verify all the push rods are in the rest position. If not, there could be a problem with the return springs or something may be binding elsewhere in the foundation brake, preventing a full retraction of the pushrod.
The stroke travel should be checked while making a full brake application. This may require jamming a stick or something between the driver’s seat and the brake pedal if you’re working alone. None of the push rods should extend beyond the legal stroke limit.
Reminder: CVSA Brake Safety Week continues through midnight Saturday, September 12th!