Check the hub’s oil level to make sure the axle will keep turning. If leaks are not detected early enough, oil could get onto brake linings, causing uneven braking or even skids. If you have no oil your wheels will eventually stop turning or worse actually fly off!
1. Look for visual signs of leaking oil.
2. Look for smoke which could be caused by bearing failure.
3. If it is a glass or other visible window on the hub, check the oil levels to make sure oil is present in the hub.
4. A lot of equipment has a rubber seal you’ll have to pull open to inspect the oil level.
5. Some equipment has no window or seal and is enclosed. You will not be able to check the oil level visually so look for leaks. A good trick is to also put a gloved hand on the hub – If it is noticeably hot then you have friction from a lack of oil.
6. Hubs with a rubber seal coated with dirt and grease indicates no one has opened it up in a while so do so promptly.
7. Clean a seal when you are done. It will let the next driver know you checked it. Also, some scale houses look for dirty hub seals as a visible excuse to pull a truck around for inspection.
Five Characteristics of a Safe Driver
- Puts safety first –practices safe habits like maintaining a safe driving speed at all times, wearing safety belts, and performing pre and post trip checks on their vehicles.
- Pays attention to driving conditions – pays attention to conditions that can impact the safety of their commute such as inclement weather, construction, or planning to make sure they get adequate rest prior to and during their trip.
- Drives hours within legal limits – does not exceed 11hours of driving or the 14 hours of duty; takes mandatory breaks; stays within the legal speed limits and does not speed to meet deadlines.
- Pulls over to rest when drowsy or fatigued –takes breaks to help stay alert for his/her own protection as well as others on the road.
- Maintains enough space between vehicles –maintains a safe following distance; is aware of size and scale of his/her equipment compared to passenger vehicles and doesn’t use it to bully through traffic and put others in harm’s way.
Brake inspection, maintenance and operation will be the focus of a week-long enforcement and education blitz conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). This year’s CVSA Brake Safety Week begins on Sunday, September 6th and runs through Saturday, September 12th.
Each year brake-related defects top FMCSA’s vehicle violation list, and it is little surprise brakes are to blame for more than half of all out-of-service violations.
Inspecting brakes takes a matter of minutes and can help prevent unnecessary accidents and costly out-of-service orders.
Inspectors will be looking for:
- loose or missing parts
- air or hydraulic fluid leaks
- worn linings, pads, drums or rotors
- other faulty brake-system components
- ABS indicator lights
Get prepared!To make sure you’re ready for the inspection:
- Current CDL and med certification
- Registration & Permit book current; Qualcomm DOT Quick Guides present
- Make sure your scheduled preventative maintenance is not past due
- Do a pre-trip brake inspection to test for leaks
- Examine brake shoes
- Measure chamber stroke
- Listen for air leaks
- Check low air signals
- Look for any damage
- Look around and under your equipment for loose hoses and leaks
- Check air disc brake rotors for cracks
- Inspect brake linings for thickness, cracks, and wear
- Check your brake lights and ABS indicators (in the cab and on the trailer) are working properly
Your Family in the Vehicle Next to You
Treat other vehicles as if there were a family member driving them.
Would you tailgate your mother?
Would you not signal to your dad you are about to change lanes?
Would you cut your son off in traffic?
Would you text with your daughter in the car beside you?
Every action and decision we, as drivers, make has a direct effect on highway safety.
There is no “on the fence” with safety. You are either safe or not.
The September 2015 edition of the Super Service Newletter is now available!
Four Steps for Planning a Safe Trip
1. Plan the route: Verify it by checking your Motor Carrier’s Road Atlas, your GPS, and phone calls to the customer to stay on track, avoid restricted routes and low bridges.
2. Plan for weather: Check the forecast before you leave and have the supplies you need if you become stranded or break down.
3. Rest: Make sure you have utilized your break time to get the sleep you need before heading out. Plan and allow time for breaks.
4. Check the condition of your vehicle: If it wouldn’t pass inspection, don’t drive until it is safe to do so.
“Wow, That was Close!”
Have you ever said this statement to yourself? Was your heart pounding in your chest? Did you nearly lose your breath?
Close calls should be a wakeup call to any driver to ask themselves “how did I get into this potentially deadly situation?”
Speeding: whether it was on the highway, in a construction zone, going down a hill or mountain, or going through town can always become a deadly situation.
Following too close: You have given up control of your vehicle to the driver in front of you. Who is doing the driving?
GPS: It will lead you down the wrong road. “I didn’t see the detour, restricted route or the low bridge sign.”
Cellphone: Distraction, even with Bluetooth. “Wow, I went through downtown already?”
Fatigue: It appears out of thin air. “Whew, I thought there was a deer in the road.”
Texting: It can wait. Wouldn’t it be horrible if the incomplete text you were typing is the last thing your loved ones recall about your last day?
Cargo: Seals, Safety & Security
A driver should never remove any kind of security or tamper-evident seal without authorized permission. Always check the seal after being parked to make sure it is intact.
When removing seals it is highly suggested you use a cutting tool (snips, pliers, wire cutter, bolt cutter, etc.). NEVER TRY TO USE YOUR BARE HANDS TO REMOVE A SEAL; several drivers have sustained injury and nearly lost a finger trying this method.
Cargo securement is of upmost importance. Never discuss the contents, route, or planned stops with any unauthorized personnel.
When parking your rig do you check to make sure of the engine is off, doors are locked and security measures are in place (seal intact, backed to wall so trailer doors can’t be opened, padlocked, etc.)? Keys in hand?
Wear gloves & use proper tools when removing tools.
USING AND CHANGING LANES
Lane use and lane changing accidents primarily result from following too closely or being inattentive to traffic conditions ahead. In either case, defensive driving is the most effective countermeasure. Lane use and lane changing accidents primarily involve sideswiping and rear-end collisions. The existence of blind spots around large vehicles is a major contributing factor. Maintain a proper following distance and take note of countermeasures involving right-of-way.
The most important rule in lane usage is to maintain a safe following distance. Ensure that if the driver in front of you slams on his brakes, you can avoid a collision, stay in your lane and not be hit by the vehicle following you all at the same time.
Try to scan ahead of what is at least 15 seconds in front of you.
If you see trouble ahead, flash your brake lights to alert drivers following you.
If you cannot see ahead of the vehicle you are following, increase your following distance. It might swerve into the next lane to avoid a slow or stopped vehicle and leave you exposed to a rear-end collision.
Blind spots to the right of large vehicles are well known. However, automobile drivers may not know you cannot see them as they pass you on the right. Scan to the right thoroughly before steering into the next lane. Give right-of-way, don't take it.
Clean mirrors and check adjustment frequently.
Using SMITH SYSTEM to Drive Safely
By utilizing the SMITH System drivers gain Space for the vehicle, Visibility for the driver, and Time for decision making. Thereby reducing the potential of collision, reduced fuel usage, reduced maintenance, lower insurance expense, and reduced anxiety and stress.
Do you know and utilize the 5 keys?
#1. Aim High in Steering: Look ahead a minimum of 15 seconds.
#2. Get the Big Picture: 7 second minimum following distance; scan your mirrors every 5-8 seconds.
#3. Keep Your Eyes Moving: Avoid focusing on any object for more than 2 seconds.
#4. Leave Yourself an Out: Surround yourself with space.
#5. Make Sure They See You: Seek eye contact.