Use your 10 hour break as it is intended – at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth getting good, quality sleep.
When you're tired, or low on energy, you have a greater risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Your number-one priority while driving is staying alert and attentive. It will help if you are well rested. Avoid eye fatigue by varying the focus of your concentration on the road rather than staring at a single point in front of you. Scanning your mirrors will also relieve eye fatigue.
To avoid becoming too tired, stop the truck, get out and stretch your legs, eat a healthy meal, or and drink some water to stay hydrated.
The key to success is trip preparation, adequate rest, avoiding distractions and taking interruptions in stride.
The posted speed limit is not a suggestion. It is the maximum speed permitted under ideal road conditions. Safe speed is dependent on traffic, weather and road conditions. It is your responsibility to obey the posted speed at all times and to reduce your speed when conditions are less than ideal.
Driving in the Rain
First and foremost: slow down and increase your following distance! It takes longer to stop or adjust in wet weather.
Try to usethe middle legal lanes and limit lane changes - water tends to pool in the outside and between lanes.
Avoid using your brakes; if possible, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down.
Do not use your engine or “jake” brake and do not use cruise control in wet or slick conditions.
Make sure your headlights are on. Not only do they help you see the road, but they'll help other drivers see you. If your vehicle has daytime running lights you still should put them on, so vehicles behind you can see you better. It is critical to make sure you can see and be seen. Company policy states you should have your lights on when operating your vehicle even in good conditions.
As part of your daily pre-trip inspection check your wipers. Replace old or brittle wipers before it starts to rain.
Never drive beyond the limits of visibility. At night rainy roads become especially treacherous. The glare of oncoming lights, amplified by the rain on your windshield, can cause temporary loss of visibility while substantially increasing driver fatigue.
If possible, stay off the road during heavy thunderstorms. Large flashes of lightning can temporarily blind and disorient drivers, and the accompanying high winds and heavy rain can create deadly driving conditions.
Scale Your Loads
Never pull on to a state scale without knowing your vehicle weights.
Whenever possible supervise the loading of trailers. Weigh your load at the nearest certified scale as soon as possible (even if you must deviate slightly from your fuel route) after loading to verify both gross and axle weights.
Scale the load correctly; on a standard CAT Scale this means the steer axle is positioned on platform 1, your drive axles on platform 2, and your trailers axles on platform 3.
If there are any overweight issues immediately contact your driver manager for direction.
Steps to Take When a Fire Occurs:
Get the truck off of the roadway and into an open area if possible away from buildings, trees, vehicles, or anything else that may catch fire.
Call 911 on your cell phone to report the fire and location. Be sure to state that you are driving a commercial motor vehicle and if you are carrying hazardous materials on board.
If the fire is already to a size that cannot be extinguished get away from the truck. Your life and the life of the general public is your first responsibility.
If you are operating a tractor trailer and can safely disconnect the trailer from the tractor do so as not to damage both units and cargo in the fire.
If the engine is on fire turn off the engine as soon as possible.
Do not open the hood; try to extinguish the fire from the louvers, radiator, or underside of the truck. Opening the hood will provide additional oxygen to fire and it will increase at a more rapid rate.
If the fire is in your trailer or cargo box of the truck keep the doors shut. Here again, additional oxygen will increase the intensity of the fire.
A tire fire will not likely be extinguished with a fire extinguisher. Try throwing dirt or sand on the tire to smother the fire.
Properly use the fire extinguisher; pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle, and sweep side to side
Preventing a fire is easier than putting one out.
Here are some basics:
- Complete a thorough pre and post trip inspection daily of the fuel, electrical, exhausts systems, tires and cargo of your truck.
- Keep the unit clean from excess grease, fuel, and oil.
- Monitor your dash gauges while in operation for signs of overheating.
- Utilize your mirrors for signs of smoke or flames.
- With new post emission 2007 units be aware of regeneration of the after treatment program and where the regeneration occurs as exhaust temperatures reach high levels of heat.
- Know the cargo that is on board and its fire potential.
- Do not burn candles or incense. Do not carry any unlawful propane, charcoal, or other flammable materials.
- Monitor items that are plugged in. Unplug items before leaving your truck unattended or when going to sleep.
Posted in Safety
Don’t become a statistic.
After Decade Long Drop, Fatal Truck Accidents Back on the Rise
Fatal accidents involving "large trucks" on US highways in fact fell from 4573 in 2000 to just 2983 in 2009, a decrease of some 35%.
The fatality rate moved up in each year from 2010 through 2012, the last year for which the FMCSA has data, reaching 3464 deaths in 2012, and a jump of 16% over 2009.
This is not due to increase trucking activity, according to FMCSA data.
Always do good Pre, En-route, and Post Trips to insure all equipment is safe to operate.
Because of recent high profile cases, it is imperative you, the driver, self access your ability to safely drive. If you determine you are too fatigued or ill the best and safest solution is to find a safe place to park and notify your DM of your situation.
Better to shut down and be safe than to become a statistic.
Posted in Safety
I just received a warning, citation and/or Inspection-What should I do next?
Report it over your Qualcomm to your DM.
Whenever a driver receives a warning, citation, or Inspection it is imperative that he/she turns the report in promptly.
Regulation 49 CFR § 396.9(1): The driver of any motor vehicle who receives an inspection report shall deliver a copy to the motor carrier operating the vehicle upon his/her arrival at the next terminal or facility. If the driver is not scheduled to arrive at a terminal or facility of the motor carrier operating the vehicle within 24 hours, the driver shall immediately transmit the report to the motor carrier.
Any mechanical items noted on an inspection need to be addressed before the next dispatch; make sure you are sending in a Macro 14 and working to resolve the issue with the Maintenance Department.
Bring all documentation to a Super Service LLC facility and hand it to your Regional Safety Manager. Make sure you keep good copies for yourself and that the company gets copies of the front and back of the paperwork.
If you are not scheduled to be at a Super Service LLC facility within 24hrs of receiving any warnings, citations or inspections you should fax the documentation to 404-795-0887. Do not put it in a TripPak envelope as this usually will not arrive to the facility in a timely manner.
As always, a violation free inspection that is turned in, and properly logged, will earn the driver a $50.00 bonus.
What to do if you are choking on the road.
- Try to cough to dislodge the object
- Stand behind the driver’s seat and position the edge of the chair under the rib cage.
- Shove your fists into your abdomen and push upward.
- Blow the horn for help and call 911.
Super Service utilizes an online training program to meet required on-going training regulations, reduce incidents, accidents, and create a safer working environment.
Training and testing can be completed in just minutes using any Smart Phone, Tablet or Computer with Internet connection.
The website for online training is http://superservicellc.infinit-i.net. Once the website loads, click the “Training Center” link.
You can logon using your Driver Code and a password provided by your DM.
Everyone is required to take some online training each month, so if you haven’t done gone to the online training before you may have some catching up to do. Each training module takes an average of 5 minutes to complete.