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  1. Walk, Stretch, and Rest

    Jan 31

    Posted in Safety

    Walk, Stretch, and Rest

    By Driver: Brandon Madison

    Use your 30 minute break to walk, stretch and rest to relieve the wear and tear on your body from driving and to reduce the risk of injury.

    Additionally you should maintain good posture, and make sure the driver’s seat is properly adjusted.

    Consider investing in ergonomic items that offer back support.

  2. Be Predictable!

    Jan 30

    Posted in Safety

    Be Predictable!

    One of the best ways to create a safe environment for yourself and others while driving is to be predictable. Plainly stated, you don't want to surprise anyone.

    Have you ever seen a driver fly down the left lane of an expressway, then at the very last second, veer across all the lanes like a “kamikaze?”  It's probably the most extreme example of unpredictability, the kind of unexpected sudden movement that results in many traffic deaths each year.

    Be predictable! If you find that you are too close to your intended off-ramp (or turn) to be able to signal and turn normally, then forget making any sudden corrective moves and go on to the next exit, or to the next block.


    Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits the conditions.

    Make sure the full lighting system of your vehicle is turned on.

    Be patient. Avoid passing, changing lanes and crossing traffic.

    Increase your following distance. You will need extra distance to brake safely.

    Stay alert. Keep looking as far ahead as possible.

    Reduce the distractions in your vehicle. Your full attention is required.

    Keep your windows,mirrors and lightsclean. Use defroster and wipers to maximize your vision.

    Getoff the road before the whiteout- when visibility is near zero. Pull into a safe parking area and wait it until conditions improve.


    Don't stop on the traveled portion of the road. You could become the first link in a chain-reaction collision.

    Don't attempt to pass a vehicle moving slowly or speed up to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.



    Jan 28

    Posted in Safety


    Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the vehicle in front of you.

    Lights should always be on when driving, it increases your visibility to other motorists.

    Keep your lights and windshield clean.

    Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.

    Don't use cruise control,overdrive, or engine retarders (JAKE BRAKES) on icy roads.

    Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.

    Don't pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you're likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.

    Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

    If the road or weather conditions are so adverse it is not safe to be on the roads – stop, find a safe place to shut down and communicate with dispatch.

    Above all else be safe.

  5. How is Your Hazmat Safety?

    All drivers are required to carry the Emergency Response Guidebook within arms reach (the driver’s door cubby).

    If you haul Hazmat make sure all placards are proper and secure. Make sure your paperwork is in order. Make sure the load is secure.

    If you are not hauling Hazmat make sure all placards are removed completely (a paint scraper comes in handy).


    The following are the most common hazmat-related violations in the CSA Scoring System:

    1. Placard damaged, deteriorated, or obscured.
    2. Package not secured in vehicle.
    3. Vehicle not placarded as required.
    4. Shipping paper accessibility.
    5. No shipping papers.
    6. Emergency response information missing.
    7. Emergency response information unavailable.
    8. No placards/markings when required.
    9. Placards not completely removed.
    10. Placard not reading horizontally.

  6. Winter: Jake Brake

    Jan 26

    Posted in Safety

    Winter: Jake Brake

    With the weather changes it is important to remember that your Jake brake (Engine Brake) should be turned off when the roads become slippery from snow, ice, sleet, or rain.  Your Jake brake only slows your tractor, not your trailer.  When on a slippery road the Jake brake will cause your trailer to push forward and slide out from behind you – Resulting in a jack knifed truck.  Avoid the jack knife and turn the Jake brake off when the weather turns bad.

    Also never use your Jake Brake in congested traffic, city driving, construction areas, or poor weather conditions.

    ** Cruise control should also never be used during these conditions.

  7. Night Driving

    Jan 25

    Posted in Safety

    Night Driving

    The keys to successful night driving are:

    1.  Never “over-drive” your headlights.   Make sure you can stop within the distance illuminated by your headlights.

    2. Don’t look directly into the headlights of oncoming vehicles.  If needed look slightly to the right and the edge of the road.

    3. Use your high beams whenever possible (i.e. when there is no risk of you blinding oncoming traffic). 

    4. Use low beams when approaching other cars, in fog, or following behind another vehicle.


  8. Proper Parking: Don’t Leave Your Vehicle Exposed to Collision

    Make sure you are completely in the parking spot. Don’t back up further than the line and make sure your front bumper isn’t sticking out beyond the line. Make sure your tractor and trailer are straight and centered between lines.

    Before backing always stop and GET OUT AND LOOK.

    Whenever possible, avoid parking on the end spot of an exposed row. It is a high traffic area and a tired driver may misjudge going around your truck and trailer and cause damage.

    Choose a spot you can either pull through or back into. Avoid parking which will require you to back out of the parking spot when leaving.

    Avoid parking in a location where the trucks across from you will be required to back out of their spots.

    If the truck next to you looks close, is over the line or parked odd (the cab is angled to the trailer), then try to find another spot. If you have to take the spot write down the name, truck #, and DOT # of the truck next to you.

    Use your four-ways when pulling through the lot and backing up. The four ways activate peripheral vision and increase the chance of someone seeing you. Use your horn gently when backing and when needed to tell someone “Hey, I’m here”.

    Added reminder: if your trailer has trailer tail fins, make sure they are retracted before parking.

  9. Trailer Theft Deterrent Advice

    Submitted by Driver: Edward Leonard

    Don’t make it easy for crooks. Remember a trailer at rest is a target for theft.

    If you do have to leave your truck or trailer unattended while going inside the truck stop for a meal or quick shower here are some suggestions.

    Park in a well lit area.      

    Back up next to a fence, building, pole, etc to make access to the trailer doors difficult.

    Make it appear someone is in the truck by leaving a bunk light on, radio or TV playing.

    Make sure you put tension on the fifth wheel by pulling the trailer valve, pulling slightly forward and then popping the tractor valve.

    You can also disconnect your air lines and lower your landing gear.

    These things may not stop a crook, but it will certainly slow them down. Someone may see the suspicious activity and report it!

  10. Avoid High Hooks

    Jan 22

    Posted in Safety

    Avoid High Hooks

    Submitted by Driver: Bonnie Fralick

    To avoid high hooks, be sure to “GOAL” (it’s not just for backing)!  

    Stop your tractor in front of the trailer, then get out and look to check the clearance before you back the rest of the way.

    Too much clearance can cause the kingpin to go past the fifth wheel. A High Hook can cause damage to the rear of your tractor, the front of your trailer, and the fifth wheel itself.

    Avoiding having to fix the after affects of a high hook will save time and money.

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