Know Your ABS Is Working!
Always confirm your ABS is working—see your ABS lamp(s) turn on then off when power is applied.
When ABS is working properly, each time the vehicle ignition switch is turned on and kept in the on position, the ABS indicator lamps will turn on for a few seconds and then turn off. If the lamp does not come on at all, there could be a problem with the indicator lamp, the wiring, or the ABS controller. When an ABS malfunction is detected, the ABS indicator lamp stays on. If no malfunctions are detected, the lamp turns off after a few seconds.
ABS on trailers also receives backup power through the brake lamp circuit. In some cases, with certain types of malfunctions, this can cause the ABS indicator lamp to turn on each time the brake is applied. While the ABS may be partially working in this condition, it is not working properly. Whenever the ABS indicator lamp turns on while you are driving, there is an ABS malfunction present requiring repair. Make sure you have any ABS problems fixed as quickly as possible. Remember, if the lamp does not work you will never know if the ABS stops working.
A vehicle equipped with ABS helps you maintain steering control and avoid skidding, jackknifing and trailer swing-out during emergency or slippery road surface braking situations. When you apply the brakes, the ABS senses when a wheel is about to lock and releases just enough brake force to get the wheel rolling again while maintaining as much braking force on the wheel as possible. It may repeat this sequence several times a second and may control each wheel differently, helping to keep the vehicle in control.
Watch for Obstacles from Above
Did you miss a turn, or realize you must make a decision to turn around?
Finding a location to do so, pulling a 53 ft trailer, can be difficult at times.
One choice drivers make is a convenient store, or corner local gas station.
Remember, these are NOT TRUCK STOPS.
Do not go under a canopy unless you know the height rating, or ask the manager if needed. Also watch for low hanging wires, tree limbs, utility poles, and obstacles you cannot get around.
Think of the low bridge, or overpass.
You wouldn’t go under a low overpass without knowing the clearance would you?
Preferably, do not go into a convenience store or non-semi-truck parking lot. Just like backing, don’t do it, unless you have to and can do so safely.
Also, when backing, do not look at just the rear of the trailer, or near the bottom of the mirror. Double check the top of the mirror too!
Always be aware of overhead obstacles: Low bridges, canopies, wires, sides of roofs, and overhangs.
Stop, put your four-ways on, and Get Out And Look!
Our Roads, Our Responsibility
As professional CMV Drivers it is important to follow these tips:
1. Defense!: Be constantly vigilant to detect traffic issues, work zones, poor behavior from other drivers by scanning ahead at least 15 seconds, and checking the mirrors a minimum every 5-8 seconds.
2. Signal for Safety: Signal and brake to give other drivers plenty of time to notice your intent.
3. Slow Down: Inclement weather, road conditions, curves and ramps, etc.
4. Maintain a Safe Vehicle: Pre, Post, and In-route inspections with special attention on Brakes, Lights, and Tires.
5. Buckle Up: Make sure you and passengers are always wearing a seat belt.
6. Stay Sharp: Get enough rest. Don’t drive tired or ill, or when on medications which can cause drowsiness.
7. Trip Plan: Know the route before you head out. Be aware navigation systems/apps may not provide warning of weight, height, length restrictions.
8. Work Zone Safety: Slow down. Obey the traffic control devices.
9. Never Drive Distracted: Do not interact with electronic devices while driving. No eating or drinking while the vehicle is moving. Make sure pets are restrained.
With more than 265million registered vehicles, we all need to play our part keeping roads safe.
Are You Vested?
Safety vests are generally used by the traffic police and roadside construction workers. However, it is a great investment for those who travel frequently on the highway at night. For instance, if you get a flat on the highway, you are only inches away from the high speed traffic. In such a scenario it can be dangerous putting up reflective triangles. Therefore, it is ideal to carry a safety vest. This will make the passing drivers aware of your presence.
The bright colors of these vests are visible during the daytime as well. So while walking through a customer’s lot or through a truck stop, others are more likely to see you.
Always park in well-lit areas. Do not park close to entrances/exits at truck stops. When possible choose a pull through spot away from congested areas.
Never park on the shoulder of the road, entrance or exit ramp except in case of emergency (truck disabled or medical) or if you are directed by an official.
If you are parked on the shoulder, entrance or exit ramp due to and emergency or official business, you must remain ON Duty. Emergency triangles must be placed if you are going to be there more than 10 minutes.
Driver’s Daily Checklist
√ Log Legal
√ Pre-Trip, Enroute, and Post Trip Inspect every day
√ Drive Safely
√ Tire Check & Walk Around every 150 miles or 3 hours (whichever comes first)
√ Assure you and the equipment are in good, working condition
√ Keep a safe following distance
√ Keep a safe speed
√ Obey all posted traffic signs
√ Never assume, always anticipate
√ Be a professional day in and day out
The October 2017 edition of the Super Service Newsletter is now available!