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  1. How to handle a Tailgater

    Tailgaters are a threat to you, the other vehicles around them, and certainly themselves. If you suddenly stopped there can be an injury or death. The best way to handle a tailgater is to just relax and gently slow down.  Build more space between you and the vehicle in front of you.  In fact, the closer a vehicle is behind you the more space you need to have in front of you.  Why?

    1.By slowing down gently the tailgater may get the hint and go around you.  This is effective because it is safe and professional. 

    2.Physics. The closer the tailgater is to you the less stopping distance he/she will have, which means you are in control of their safety in addition to yours. It is one of the reasons tailgating is a bad habit and incredibly unsafe – You are giving control of your vehicle to the driver in front of you.  The driver behind you has done this so you need to build space so you can safely protect both of you. 

  2. Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls in Winter Weather

    During icy and snowy conditions, the incidence of injuries due to slips and falls increases. Below are a number of suggestions which, if followed, can reduce the number of slips and falls or reduce injury if a fall occurs.

    1) Concentrate on the path ahead -- take your time and proceed slowly.
    2) Where possible, avoid slippery surfaces -- take a route around obvious slippery hazards, such as wet leaves, icy areas and snow banks.
    3) Wear appropriate footwear -- wear shoes or boots with rough (waffled, ridged or heavily textured) soles.
    4) Use handrails wherever they are provided -- a secure handhold can prevent a fall if you should slip.
    5) Check to be sure entrance halls and stairs are clear of snow and slush -- tracked in snow and slush often cause slips and falls.
    6) Beware of changes in walking surfaces -- many falls are caused when someone doesn't realize he/she is leaving a secure area for a slippery one.
    7) Clean your shoes when you go inside -- caked snow and ice on shoe soles can be treacherous.
    1) Try to roll with the fall if you begin to fall forward.
    2) Sit down if you begin to fall backward -- when a falling person relaxes, an injury is less severe than when he/she tenses.  Fighting a fall on ice can cause twisting or bending injuries which may be worse than the bump the fall would have produced.

    A few precautions can prevent a serious and painful injury!

  3. Holiday Accidents and Injuries By the Numbers

    Many families will decorate their home for the holidays this weekend. It’s often small decisions – a candle left burning, a dry Christmas tree or child left alone even for a moment – that could have life-changing consequences. When it comes to holiday dangers, the numbers are more startling than you might think:

    • In 2004-2008, an estimated 1,170 home fires per year began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. These fires caused an annual average of 8 deaths, 54 injuries, and $19.1 million in property damage.
    • Christmas tree and holiday decoration fires result in twice the injuries and 5 times more fatalities per fire than the average winter holiday fire.
    • On average, 260 home fires begin with Christmas trees each year, resulting in 12 deaths, 24 injuries and $16.4 million in property damage.
    • An additional 150 home fires per year begin with holiday lights and other decorative lighting, causing another 8 deaths, 16 injuries, and $8.9 million in property damage each year.
    • Candles started 45% of home decoration fires.
    • In addition to fires, 1000’s each year suffer slip and fall injuries (usually from ladders) while hanging holiday decorations.

    Check all your lights, cords and plugs as you are decorating your tree this year. If you have a natural tree be sure to keep it watered to reduce the fire risk. Get assistance while hanging decorations. Keep an eye on children and set the rules around hot items, electric outlets and cords.


    AAA Travel reports nearly 46.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving weekend.

    The holiday travel forecast marks the seventh consecutive year of growth resulting in the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007; resulting in a 0.6 percent jump from the 46.6 million people who traveled last year. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 25 to Monday, November 30.

    Nearly 42 million Americans will take a holiday road trip this Thanksgiving, an increase of 0.7 percent over last year.

    Inspect your vehicle diligently before heading out. Slow down. Be Alert. Be Safe!


  5. Holiday Driving Stress

    Nov 25

    Posted in Safety

    Holiday Driving Stress

    As if the holiday season isn't already stressful enough… an eight-hour drive to my parents' house with my 3 kids, my niece and nephew, the dog, and all the holiday gifts. The kids can’t behave for more than an hour. The dog is barking at everything we pass. I always end up yelling, threatening to leave one of them at the rest stop, or crying (for sympathy).  

    Whatever gifts haven’t been bought, will be addressed during the dreaded Black Friday!

    Got any tips on how we can keep our cool and not completely lose the holiday spirit before we even get there?

    You don't need to answer this question; you need to remember this is the family driving next to you this holiday season. So don't get frustrated when driving gets worse this holiday season. Start early, drive slower, give the four wheeler more space and be thankful you are not one of the kids in this van! Have a safe holiday.


    Nov 24

    Posted in Safety


    This holiday week has long been known to be the most traveled of the year. As the traffic on the road increases so do the risks of aggressive driving and road rage. Anxiety and frustration can quickly spark an aggressive or careless driver who tailgates, speeds, fails to yield the right of way among other behaviors.

    Experts recommend the following tips to help avoid road conflicts:

    • Plan your route in advance. Some of the most erratic and inconsiderate driving occurs when motorists are lost.
    • Make a conscious decision not to take your problems with you when you are driving.
    • Combat the warning signs of stress by getting fresh air and breathing deeply and slowly. Listen to relaxing music.
    • Before and during a long drive avoid heavy meals which tend to make a person lethargic.
    • Drive in a courteous and considerate manner. Give way at busy intersections and where traffic lanes merge.
    • Don’t compete or retaliate. If someone’s driving annoys you, don’t try to “educate them”. Leave traffic enforcement to the police.
    • Don’t take other driver’s mistakes personally.
    • Avoid honking your horn unless absolutely necessary and, if you must, tap on it lightly.
    • If you are being physically threatened, stay in your vehicle and lock the doors. Call the police. Use your horn and lights to attract attention.

    Do your part to keep the roads safe so everyone can make it to their holiday destination.

  7. Buckle Up!

    Nov 23

    Posted in Safety

    Buckle Up!  

    The single most effective way to save your life in the event of a crash is to buckle up – every trip, every time.

  8. Reduction of Speed

    Nov 22

    Posted in Safety

    Reduction of Speed

    Did You Know? You should reduce your speed by 1/3 on wet roads and by 1/2 or more on snow packed roads (i.e., if you would normally be traveling at a speed of 60 mph on dry pavement, then on a wet road you should reduce your speed to 40 mph, and on a snow-packed road you should reduce your speed to 30 mph). When you come upon slick, icy roads you should drive slowly and cautiously and pull off the road if you can no longer safely control the vehicle. 

  9. Coupling Guidelines

    Nov 21

    Posted in Safety

    Coupling Guidelines

    • Inspect fifth wheel-no cracks, or missing bolts, well lubricated, jaws open, tilted back.
    • Be sure area around vehicle is clear (G.O.A.L.).          
    • Position tractor.
    • Use your mirrors.
    • Tap the horn; back slowly with 4 ways on until fifth wheel just touches the apron of the trailer – tires should be about 3” inside the edges of the trailer.
    • Secure your tractor brakes.
    • Visually check trailer height.
    • Visually check fifth wheel/kingpin alignment.
    • Connect air lines to trailer.
    • Supply air to trailer.
    • Lock trailer brakes.
    • Back under the trailer.
    • Check connection for security – tug test.
    • Secure the brakes.
    • Visually inspect coupling – no gap, locking jaw around king pin, 5th wheel handle in the locked position.
    • Connect electrical and double check air lines.
    • Raise landing gear. Do air leak and brake tests and finish pre-tripping the equipment.

  10. What to do Following a DOT Inspection

    When a driver receives a Driver/Vehicle Examination Report (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 (USE A COVER SHEET). 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. 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).

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