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Truck Safety Rules

 


THE TRUCK SAFETY RULES


 
 


Part One
Trucking Safety

Trucking is a high-risk profession, as many as 600 truckers are killed on the job every year. The fatalities and injuries involved with trucking stem from vehicle collisions and fuel fires. However, long term health problems linked to fume inhalations and circulation problems also make trucking dangerous. Below are a few tips to keep truckers and other motorists safe.

 

VISUAL SIGNALING

  1. Upon arriving at an intersection be sure to signal early and often to ensure that other motorists know which way your truck is turning.
  2. Always make sure to slow down long before a complete stop is necessary. Other motorists do not realize how long it takes for a truck to come to a full stop, so seeing the brake lights early will help to avoid a collision.
  3. Keep changing lanes to a minimum as trucking “no zones” or blind spots are large. Be sure to check mirrors every 7 or 8 seconds.
  4. When routinely checking your vehicle, always be sure to check the headlights, brake lights, and turn signal lights to avoid accidents.
  5. When driving slower than the speed limit due to a heavy load or bad weather always use your flashers.

 

PARKING

Use the specific parking set aside for trucks as big rigs need four times the space as an average passenger car.

 

  1. Trucks should never be parked on roadways with speed limits over 30 mph unless disabled.
  2. When pulling off to the the side of the road or highway, always use precaution with flares, flashers, and safety triangles to alert other motorists.
  3. Do not park your truck near driveways or side streets, as the tractor trailer can obstruct a motorist’s view of oncoming traffic.
  4. Never park facing oncoming traffic.

IDLING

  1. Do not let your truck idle for more than 5 minutes at a time as it is a waste of fuel.
  2. Do not idle your truck while sleeping, loading or unloading. Not only does it burn fuel, it has also been linked to lung cancer in truck drivers.
  3. When idling your vehicle, do not leave it unattended. This is how theft happens.
  4. If idling is necessary, keep windows closed or wear a safety mask so as not to inhale too many fumes.
  5. Idling may be necessary in temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid fuel-gelling. This can be for as much as 10-20 minutes as necessary.
 

WEATHER

  1. In rain or snow conditions be sure to keep substantial space between your truck and the vehicle in front of your truck in case of an emergency stop.
  2. In bad weather, do not feel obliged to go as fast as the speed limit. Slower speeds are necessary to avoid rollovers, jackknifes, and collisions.
  3. Always keep tire chains on hand in case of snow or ice.
  4. Keep the fuel tank full during the colder seasons as water condensation can build up in the fuel line.
  5. Remember to take extra precautions on bridges as they freeze before roads do.

LONG HAUL DRIVING

  1. Do not tailgate. Although long haul trucking entails hours of driving and frustrations run high, keep emotions in check.
  2. Take sufficient breaks and actually get out of the truck in order to stay fresh and alert on long hauls.
  3. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing as sitting for long periods of time can cut off circulation and cause serious health problems over time.
  4. Admit to yourself when you are fatigued. Driving while exhausted can be more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.
  5. Remember that trucking regulations prohibit more than 11 hours of continuous trucking with a subsequent 10 hour off-duty break. However, this is not always enough rest time so be sure to pay attention to your body’s fatigue levels. 
 

 


Part Two


To become a truck driver, an individual needs more than a common driver's license. The driver must receive special training and pass a test to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL). The driver also needs to keep current with truck safety rules established by the federal government. The safety rules benefit the driver as well as others on the road.

Rules that Protect a Driver

Truck drivers frequently have to battle fatigue when driving. This puts their own safety at risk. Because of this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) set some rules concerning the hours of service a truck driver can work.

Drivers are required to keep a driver's log and drive for a limited period of time. For example, the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules mandate that truck drivers can drive up to 11 hours, but after that they have to be off the road or resting for a minimum of 10 consecutive hours.

 
  Rules That Protect Other Drivers

If there is an accident that involves hazardous materials, the general public is threatened. To make the roadways safer for everyone, a hazardous materials truck driver needs to follow specific rules. The Department of Transportation requires that hazardous material drivers obtain a special license.

To get this license, the drivers learn all the specifics regarding the type of chemical they haul. They also have to carry placards stating that they are carrying hazardous materials and defining what the materials are. This helps the emergency response teams at an accident scene respond quickly to protect the public since they know what substances they are dealing with
  Rules That Protect Companies

Companies can protect their reputations by following the rules and regulations set forth by the FMCSA. These rules include specific weight, size and route designations for different types of trucks, procedures for alcohol and drug testing, rules that affect interstate motor carrier operations and training requirements, among others.

Rules and Regulations

Truck safety rules are constantly evolving. For a list of the latest rules and regulations, you can look on the FMCSA website. This site offers all the federal regulations for drivers, vehicles, companies and Hazmat (hazardous materials) truck drivers. It also offers regulatory guidance.

 
  Report dangerous situations

TRAC’s emergency numbers can also be used to report any unsafe situations on the road, including other stranded vehicles, animals on the road, fires or hazardous material lying on the road surface that may pose a danger to drivers.During peak periods such as the Easter weekend TRAC mobilises a specially marked helicopter to undertake daily route patrols and provide advanced life support (ALS) and critical medical care in emergency situations. The crew remains in constant contact with TRAC’s 24-hour help desk.
  Use the blue kilometre marker boards .

To help TRAC pin point your position on the N4, note the blue kilometre marker boards (chainage) on the road at 200m intervals. Where possible, relay the readings on the board to the TRACassist operator to give the nearest rescue team the best chance of locating you in the shortest possible time. These markers also provide the TRACassist number at 2km intervals.

  Getting you out of harm’s way

Because a stationary vehicle on a busy national road poses dangers to everyone involved, TRAC views this roadside assistance as a vital value-added service. Getting you out of harm’s way and on the road again ensures not only your safety, but also that of the other road users.TRACassist has helped thousands of vulnerable motorists to continue their journeys safely, and our regular N4 patrol teams are in constant contact with centralised emergency call centres that can immediately dispatch relevant authorities such as the traffic police, the police and emergency services
 
 

Get early traffic warnings at toll plazas.

TRAC has installed giant electronic sign boards (variable message signs) at all its toll plazas in South Africa to provide useful information such as news about accidents ahead, lane or road closures, extreme weather conditions, road maintenance and construction work or traffic delays.All these emergency intervention measures are aimed at getting you to your destination safely and without any unnecessary delays, and forms part of TRAC’s world-class N4 toll road facilities and service.


TIP: Summer or winter, but particularly in the colder months, fog is a real hazard on the Pretoria to eMalahleni/Witbank stretch of the N4, especially from early evening to early morning. We recommend that you increase your following distance, reduce your speed, switch your vehicle’s lights on and use road markings and lines to guide you. Most importantly, be considerate of other drivers and remain patient.

 

 


   
Part Three

Safety is Your Responsibility.

Trucking can be a dangerous job. Every year, approximately 600 truck drivers die in highway accidents, thousands more are injured, and thousands of citizens die or are injured in accidents involving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

With your help, these numbers can shrink dramatically.

Every day, new truck drivers hit the road and join thousands of experienced truckers. In order to be successful, they all need to understand and practice truck safety. That means more than just learning safe driving techniques — safety is a philosophy and an approach that should be the foundation of your career. And no matter whether you’re an industry veteran or just climbing behind the wheel, it never hurts to review the basics. 

 

Make Safety a Priority

Before covering key safety concerns, we want to commend those of you who are already safe truck drivers. It doesn’t matter how long you are accident- or incident-free — a month, a year or twenty years. What does matter — to you and to all who travel the roads of America — is the fact that you have made a conscientious effort to be safe and succeeded.

Take every opportunity to discuss truck safety with other drivers and driving professionals. Listen and think about their comments. Anyone who has driven a Class 8 semi-tractor, if only for a month, realizes the importance of safety and has a healthy respect for the vehicle’s size, speed, weight and maneuverability.

Know Your Limitations.

Stay Attentive. Don’t over-estimate your abilities, especially in substandard conditions, and never let anyone or anything distract you. If you are in any way uncertain of what is happening around you, slow down and stop if necessary. Give yourself time to consider your options, analyze the situation and come to a thoughtful decision.

 

Logs and Fatigue

Every driver is required to work within the hours-of-service rules and accurately record their time in a driver’s log. Any time spent trying to circumvent the rules is wasted. Today’s technology allows the DOT and carriers to closely monitor hours of service and sooner or later anyone violating the rules will be caught. This is federal law and prosecuted in federal court.

 If you receive a log violation, you should voluntarily seek assistance and counsel from your safety director because you can be certain this will eventually be required. Carriers have no sympathy for drivers who get log violations but up to a point will work with them to improve their understanding of the rules.


 

Parking and Backing

Most minor accidents occur when a driver is parking and backing, so this is no time to let up for even a second. Backing is not easy but it is easy to become complacent.

Never begin backing before walking to the rear and looking all around (and up and down) for obstructions. Even if the area is completely clear, you can never assume it is safe to back without looking. Walk all the way to the point where you will stop, turn around, look at your truck and visualizethe maneuver.

A complicated backing maneuver may require you to get out and look several times. Never rely on the opinion of spotters (especially at truck stops) because you’re the driver and are responsible for the success of the maneuver.

When possible, back the trailer against a fence or wall, thereby sealing the trailer doors against an obstacle in order to prevent theft. Set the trailer brakes and gently pull forward to put tension on the fifth wheel pin, making it impossible for a vandal to pull the fifth wheel release.

 

The Merits of One-Lane Trucking

“Stay in your lane.” Translation: It’s normally in your best interest to maintain a single lane of travel until you come to a stop. What could force you to leave your lane? Reasons under your control may be the fact you are traveling too fast for conditions or lose control due to slick roads, loss of vision, cargo shifts, wind, tire failure or mechanic failure.

Or maybe you are fatigued. Other reasons for leaving your lane may not be under your control — for example, the driver of a car intentionally cutting you off or being negligently out of control, or an animal hitting your truck.

Whatever the situation, you are in a better position and will likely do less harm to yourself and others and create less property damage if you maintain a single lane of travel during any incident. There may be exceptions, but the general rule is this: You are required to always have your vehicle under control. If this is not clear to you, speak with your safety director.

During an incident your options may be limited. No one can presume to make the decision for you, and you will have little time to decide for yourself. No matter what you decide be prepared for the consequences. If you are ever involved in an accident and are able to say, “I acted wisely and did everything I could within my power to avoid this outcome,” then you made the right decision.

 

Avoiding Deadly Distractions

Even the best of drivers find that their attention can be easily diverted. Reading a map, talking on a cell phone or CB, listening to audio, thinking about home, or picking something up from the floor are all distractions. However, what is happening outside your vehicle is where your main attention should always be. A good driver is always fully aware of his surroundings and keeps his focus on the road.


 

Extra Training Required

Certain types of CMVs such as tankers and flatbeds require even more training and care to operate safely. Tankers carry liquids that may be flammable or toxic. In certain circumstances these liquids can push the vehicle in unexpected directions just when it needs to be stable and predictable.
 


Part Four

Safe driving: loading & unloading


Loading and unloading can be dangerous. Machinery can seriously hurt people. Heavy loads, moving or overturning vehicles and working at height can all lead to injuries or death.This guidance should be followed to help avoid problems.

Guidance

Loading and unloading areas should be:

Clear of other traffic, pedestrians and people not involved in loading or unloading.Clear of overhead electric cables so there is no chance touching them, or of electricity jumping to 'earth' through machinery, loads or people Level.

To maintain stability, trailers should be parked on firm level ground,

Loads should be spread as evenly as possible, during both loading and unloading. Uneven loads can make the vehicle or trailer unstable.
Loads should be secured, or arranged so that they do not slide around. Racking may help stability.

Safety equipment must be considered. Mechanical equipment and heavy moving loads are dangerous.Guards or skirting plates may be necessary if there is a risk of anything being caught in machinery (for example dock levellers or vehicle tail lifts). There may be other mechanical dangers and safety procedures to be considered.

Ensure the vehicle or trailer has its brakes applied and all stabilisers are used. The vehicle should be as stable as possible.

In some workplaces it may be possible to install a harness system to protect people working at height. Provide a safe place where drivers can wait if they are not involved. Drivers should not remain in their cabs if this can be avoided. No-one should be in the loading/unloading area if they are not needed.

Vehicles must never be overloaded. Overloaded vehicles can become unstable, difficult to steer or be less able to brake.

Always check the floor or deck of the loading area before loading to make sure it is safe. Look out for debris, broken boarding, etc.

Loading should allow for safe unloading.
Loads must be suitably packaged. When pallets are used, the driver needs to check that:
  They are in good condition Loads are properly secured to them.
Loads are safe on the vehicle. They may need to be securely attached to make sure they cannot fall off.

Tailgates and sideboards must be closed when possible. If over-hang cannot be avoided, it must be kept to a minimum. The over-hanging part of the load must be clearly marked.If more than one company is involved, they should agree in advance how loading and unloading will happen.

For example, if visiting drivers unload their vehicles themselves, they must receive the necessary instructions, equipment and co-operation for safe unloading. Arrangements will need to be agreed in advance between the haulier and the recipient.Some goods are difficult to secure during transport. Hauliers and recipients will need to exchange information about loads in advance so that they can agree safe unloading procedures.

Checks must be made before unloading to make sure loads have not shifted during transit, and are not likely to move or fall when restraints are removed.
There must be safeguards against drivers accidentally driving away too early. This does happen, and is extremely dangerous. Measures could include:Traffic lights.

The use of vehicle or trailer restraints.The person in charge of loading or unloading could keep hold of the vehicle keys or paperwork until it is safe for the vehicle to be moved.These safeguards would be especially effective where there could be communication problems, for example where foreign drivers are involved. 




          
 

 http://ntsi.com/quick-links/safety-articles/truck-safety/  
 http://www.ford.ca/app/fo/en/our_
company/safety/safety_tips.do
 
http://www.ehow.com/list_7648920_
truck-driving-safety-tips.html

 








 








 

 








 
 

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