1. Focusing on the Task at Hand

    Staying focused, not taking shortcuts, and protecting yourself while performing duties are keys to Safety.

    Check yourself to make sure you or others nearby stay out of harm’s way:

    • Do I use the proper tools for the job? Safe shoes, Gloves, Safety Glasses, 5th wheel puller, etc.
    • Do I do a complete Pre-Trip Inspection (a complete brake check, lights, tires, etc.) and document it?  
    • Do I use 3 points of contact climbing in or out of the tractor or trailer?
    • Do I remove nails from the trailer floor? Do I look for them?
    • Do I open trailer doors in a way to avoid loose freight from dropping on my head?
    • Do I always Get Out And Look before backing? Even when it seems like all is clear?
    • Do I use four ways and tap the horn?
    • Do I have the lights on, day or night while operating the vehicle?
    • Do I stop my tractor before connecting to a trailer to check for clearance, to hook up air lines?
    • Do I do a tug test after connecting, set my brakes, and get under the trailer to visually check the connection every time?
    • Do I obey the Hours of Service Rules?
    • Do I maintain a safe following distance? Obey the speed limits and traffic control devices? Slow down when conditions aren’t favorable?
    • Do I always wear my seatbelt?

    Focus is certainly hard to maintain over a 14 hour shift. It is the reason we have rules and checklists to help keep us safe.

    Don’t let experience cause you to take shortcuts or breed complacency.  Consider those who count on you to stay healthy, and come home safe.


  2. Watch out for Pedestrians

    Besides increased holiday vehicle traffic, there are also more pedestrians. An estimated 175 people each day are injured or killed by vehicle-pedestrian collisions. Ultimately, pedestrians and drivers each share responsibility to prevent these collisions. 

    Pedestrians should use crosswalks, cross with the light, look before stepping into the roadway, wear light-colored (reflective if possible) clothing and carry a flashlight when walking between dusk and dawn. 

    Drivers need to pay attention to their surroundings since pedestrians may appear from between parked cars or locations where the view is blocked.  Drivers please take extra precautions when driving near shopping areas, entertainment centers, sports fields, schools, transit stops, and any other area where pedestrian traffic increases.

  3. Look at the Road Ahead

    Dec 16

    Posted in Safety

    Look at the Road Ahead

    Myth: Good truckers can slow down safely without much notice.

    Reality: To safely slow down, a commercial motor vehicle driver should look at least 15 seconds ahead (a quarter-mile on the interstate and one-and-a-half blocks in the city). Paying attention to the road ahead helps avoid dangerous, abrupt braking situations. A CMV driver should also have no less than a 7 second following distance (more when conditions are not ideal!) in order to see past the vehicle they are following and have adequate time to stop should the vehicle in front of you make a sudden stop.

  4. Parking Lot Etiquette

    Dec 15

    Posted in Safety

    Parking Lot Etiquette

    When driving in or out of Super Service terminals, customer yards or truck stops:

    1.Always use your four way flashers when in motion forward, or backwards when moving in or through the yard.

    2.Never exceed the posted speed limit. Do not exceed 5 MPH when near parked vehicles, going around buildings, near pedestrians, forklifts, snowplows, or guard shacks.

    3.Follow the design of the parking lot; do not hop curbs or take shortcuts through the parking area.

    4.Tap your city horn when you need to be sure a driver or pedestrian is aware of your presence. Also when backing.

    5.Only park in designated areas and park straight.  When possible, pick a space away from other vehicles and heavy traffic.

    6.Use visuals (lights, four ways, turn signals), sound (horn) and slower rates of speed to improve safety.

  5. Crash Prevention-Extreme Conditions

    The Driver, not the weather, is usually the cause of truck wrecks, even in fog, ice or snow.

    If conditions are especially terrible, THE DRIVER has a duty to pull off the road until the conditions improve.

    According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR Section 392.14): There’s a duty of “extreme caution” on drivers of commercial motor vehicles whenever any conditions negatively affect visibility or traction.  This includes rain, snow, fog, ice, smoke and other conditions.

    What does “extreme caution” really mean?  Industry training materials such as the Commercial Driver’s License Manual state “because wet roads can double stopping distance, truckers should reduce speeds by one-third when roads are wet and one half when there is ice, snow, smoke or fog.”

    • Be aware:Reduce speed. Don’t assume the conditions will thin once you enter it.
    • Pull off the roadway if you can:A rest area or truck stop are safest.
    • Obey all traffic signs:fog/weather related warning signs.
    • Headlights:Use low-beam headlights and fog lights for best visibility, even in during the day.
    • Beware of other drivers:Who may not have their lights on.
    • Flashers:Turning on your four-ways to give approaching vehicles a chance to notice you.
    • Beware of vehicles on the side of the road.
    • Use road-side highway reflectors:as guides to help determine the road ahead.
    • Listen to the traffic reports.
    • Don’t stop on the shoulder: A well-lit semi may confuse others into thinking you are in a travel lane.