TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS!
This is the company policy: Day or Night if the vehicle is moving turn on all your headlights, clearance lights, and trailer lights. Not only do they help you see, they help others see you!
Watch your blind spots
Other motorists may not be aware of a truck's "no zones" — those where crashes are most likely to occur. Common "no zones" include:
- Off to the side just in front of the cab
- Just behind the side mirrors
- Directly behind the truck
If others aren't aware of these trouble spots, they may drive dangerously close. As frustrating as this can be, it's up to you to exercise caution before turning or changing lanes and to maintain a safe distance.
and LIVE LONGER.
CHECK THIS TWICE, THEN CHECK IT AGAIN!
Make it a point today -- check the following:
CDL and med card current; company and your licensed state must have current copies. Does your state have your current self certification?
There is a blank Log book available in case E-Logs become inoperative.
Permit book neat and complete with an unexpired tractor registration (matches Vin# of tractor too), unexpired insurance card, unexpired permits, Hours of Service Quick Reference Card, VIR Quick Reference Card, Pre-Trip Inspection checklist, Bridge Laws and Chain Laws.
Plate on the truck is current and matches the registration.
The Emergency Response Guidebook is in the driver’s door pocket (within reach without the need to unbuckle the seat belt).
If HazMat endorsed the Hazardous Materials Compliance Pocketbook is also in the driver’s door pocket.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Pocketbook present.
Spare Fuses, Three Emergency Triangles, a fully charged and secured fire extinguisher.
Check the Annual Inspection sticker; present and unexpired.
Check the IFTA stickers; present on both sides and unexpired (Our 2014 stickers have an extended expiration date; we will inform you when new stickers are available).
FYI – you must get a temporary permit before traveling through New Mexico or Oregon!
Do you take loads to the west side of the Mississippi River? Do you have chains?
Check it TWICE, then check it again; if you are missing anything contact your DM immediately.
STRANDED IN THE COLD
If you become stranded in your vehicle in a winter storm:
Do not panic. Stay in your vehicle. Do not attempt to find help by walking.
Keep the fresh airs circulating – carbon monoxide can build up in a tightly closed vehicle. Be sure your exhaust pipe is not blocked by drifting snow.
Run the motor sparingly and open only the downwind window to provide proper ventilation.
Keep active – clap your hands and move your arms and legs vigorously from time to time to stimulate circulation relieve muscle tension and help keep you awake.
Call for help on your cell phone and be prepared to give as much information as possible regarding your location;mile markers, the last business you passed, unusual landscape areas,etc.
Always have plenty of water, canned goods, layers of clothing, gloves, hats, and a flashlight on hand.
Check for Leaks
Vehicles should not have any visible or active oil or grease leaks. If during the inspection process an oil or grease leak is detected it should be repaired prior to the vehicle being placed into service. This includes leaking wheel seals, leaking differential seals or leaking oil pan gaskets.
When you find a leak, report it to Breakdown (macro 14) and get it fixed!
Truck drivers are required to check their load within the first 50 miles of a trip, and then recheck every 150 miles or 3 hours whichever comes first. A check is also required at every change of duty status.
Any time you stop – for fuel, lunch break etc – do a walk around before you get back on the road. Take note of any equipment changes and look for any obstacles. After finishing the walk-around, don’t delay. Return to the vehicle and start moving within a few seconds. This will allow very little time for people or obstacles to change around the vehicle.
The average driver looks only 3 to 6 seconds ahead of the vehicle. This is referred to as low aim steering. It denies the driver the time necessary to acquire information, make decisions and act safely in response to hazards. Low aim steering is equivalent to pitching a baseball while watching your feet instead of the batter. It does not give you a view of the target.
Professional drivers leave at least 7 seconds of following distance between their front bumper and the rear bumper of the vehicle ahead of them. By doing this they gain the ability to look further ahead; or by aiming high they can see at least 15 seconds down the road and get more of the big picture.
Aim high and get all the details of what is going on in front of you to determine the existence of potential road hazards while there is still ample time to take evasive action if necessary.
Stay alert to the status of distant traffic lights; pace yourself to avoid unnecessary stops and starts.
Most non-commercial drivers don’t realize if they can’t see the truck mirrors, the truck driver cannot see their vehicle. Signaling your intentions by using your turn signal helps. Remember drivers are in a hurry. When changing lanes, you risk hitting someone in your blind spot. Keep lane changes to a minimum. Repeatedly check your mirrors every five to eight seconds. Lean forward and back to increase your field of view.
What to do Following a DOT Inspection
When a driver receives a Driver/Vehicle Examination Report; aka a DOT Inspection, per federal regulation Title 49 CFR Part 396.9 you, the driver, needs to hand deliver or transmit copies of all the documents received at the time of the inspection to the motor carrier within 24hrs.
The easiest way to turn in copies of the documentation is to send it via TransFlo. Send a message to your DM immediately after you are inspected. Send the TransFlo as soon as possible & another message with the Confirmation #. You may also fax the documents to 404-795-0887.
**NOTE: if any mechanical defects are listed on the report they must be repaired. Out of Service items need to be fixed usually at the place of inspection. All other defects must be repaired before the equipment can be dispatched on another load.
Therefore, whenever there is any defect, you must send a Macro 14 immediately following the inspection to the Breakdown Department; work with them and your DM to get all the items fixed. Trailers w/ defects are not to be dropped at a customer facility without permission from the breakdown dept; tractors cannot be dispatched on another load until all defects are fixed.
If you make the repairs, send a message over the Qualcomm noting exactly what you did to repair the item. If parts were purchased, copies of receipts should be included with the Inspection.
One more reminder: The time you are being inspected must be logged as On Duty. If you are placed Out of Service, waiting for repairs at the DOT Station or on the side of the road, you must log the time as On Duty (unless you have documented permission from the DOT Officer).