Safer Bear Says:
- Safety Tips are now included weekly on driver and owner operator settlement sheets.
- Summer weather can be brutal on tires and can contribute to blow-outs and other problems. As the weather
gets warmer stay on top of this critical vehicle system - your tires.
1.) Check the condition of your tires every day during the pre-trip inspection process. Watch for anything out of the ordinary (such as signs of uneven wear or sidewall damage) and listen for air leaks.
2.) Check the air pressure regularly. Know what your company's tire air pressure requirements are and notify your maintenance department if you have a tire that seems to be having a problem maintaining proper air pressure.
3) Keep and eye on the on the tire tread depth during each pre-trip inspection and during the trip. Tread wearing unevenly is a sign of improper air pressure. Also, a tire with low tread depth is more susceptible to blowing out due to hitting road debris.
4.) Check the air pressure when the tire is cold (suggested at the start of a pre-trip inspection or prior to starting out on the day's trip).
5.) Remember that low air pressure is one of the primary causes of tire problems and can lead to blow-outs and possible tire fires.
6.) Replace missing valve caps on the stems without delay.
7.) If you hit a significant chunk of road debris during your trip, check the condition of the vehicle tires and other systems, as soon as possible, by finding a safe place to stop and park.
8.) Remember to check between dual tires for any signs of obstructions or objects that may have become lodged there.
8.) For all tire-related FMCSA regulations, Review part 393.75
9.) For all tire-related Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Out Of Service conditions, check the CVSA Out of Service guide's vehicle section. (July 2014)
- After the long, cold winter summer is finally here. During the summer months we need everyone to be alert. Kids are starting to get out of school and will be playing outside and riding their bikes. Drive slowly and give yourself a good cushion in highly populated areas. Be aware that kids may dart out between parked cars and will be staying out later as the days grow longer.
- Fall is upon us and pretty soon you will be facing shorter days and cooler weather. As the leaves turn into the beautiful colors of fall they are going to start to become road hazards. When leaves gather up on the street they can become slick as ice with the build up of oil, water and other fluids that fall onto them. Also watch for piles that build up because kids like to play in them and could pop out of them at any time.
Not only does the cooler weather and falling leaves create a hazard on the road but also October is the month of a fun little holiday called Halloween. Be cautious of Trick or Treaters in the weeks leading up to Halloween because some communities desiganate special days for trick or treating before the official date of October 31st. as always, be prepared for the unexpected and quick stops from kids running around and not paying attention to there surroundings. (October 2013)
- As summer is coming to an end all of the kids should be back in school. When driving in populated areas be cautious for kids walking or on bikes going to and from school and various activities. Be on the look out for kids darting in and out of parked cars and trying to race across the street in areas that are not designated cross walks.
In school zones, concentrate on the road ahead and avoid all distractions. Anticipate sudden stops because parents and children often are not paying as much attention to traffic patterns as they should. As a professional driver we can not let our guard down and should always yeild the right of way even when others may not be as courteous. (September 2013)
- August is a busy travel month. Families are taking advantage of the last of the summer weather before there kids head back to school. As professional drivers, we have to safely share the road with the motoring public. We should always be aware of our "No Zone", slow down in work zones, always keep a safe following distance, drive defensively and always wear your seat belts. Below are some tips to help you follow these rules.
1.) BE AWARE OF YOUR "NO-ZONE"
Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your truck's blind spots. Be
vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the No-Zone. The No-Zone represents
the danger areas, or blind spots, around trucks and buses where crashes are
more likely to occur. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars
take place in the No-Zone.
2.) SLOW DOWN IN WORK ZONES
Watch out for highway construction. Stay alert. Work zone crashes are more
likely to happen during the day. Almost one-third of fatal crashes in work
zones involved large trucks. Take your time going through work zones and give
yourself plenty of room. Expect the unexpected!
3.) ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Always leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you
hit someone from behind, you are typically considered "at fault,"
regardless of the situation. Large trucks require more stopping distances than
other vehicles. Take advantage of your driving height, and anticipate braking
4.) FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT
Buckle up for safety and control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt can save
your life and those around you. It will keep you in your seat and allow you to
maintain control of your truck or bus. A major cause of truck and bus driver
fatalities involves being ejected from the vehicle. Wearing seat belts is still
the single most effective thing all drivers can do to save lives and reduce
injures on our roadways.
5.)ALWAYS DRIVE DEFENSIVELY
Avoid aggressive drivers! It's estimated that each year two-thirds of all
traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving behaviors. Keep your
distance and maintain a safe speed. The only thing speed will increase is your
chance for a crash
Our goal is to get you home safely to your families each night. Please follow these steps to help protect yourself and the other motorists on the road. (August 2013)
- Driver's are in a position to observe a truck's performance and make sure the equipment is running properly. Pre and post trip inspections should should be made with a strong emphasis on steering, tires, lights, suspension, other safety equipment and especially brakes.
To make a pre or post trip inspection more effective follow these steps:
1.) Approach the vehicle slowly. Look for leaks and objects that may be hanging loose.
2.) Check the brake system before, during and after each trip. The sysytem may need to be adjusted to have sufficient control.
3.) Check to make sure that all low-air warning devices are functioning properly. All systems in your truck that rely on air levels will affect your braking distances.
Listed are a few components to check while inspecting your brakes: air leaks, brake shoe deterioration, drum deterioration, bearing seal leakage, low-air warning devices, brake adjustment, wheel alignment and air supply hoses and clamps. (July 2013)
- On July 1st, 2013 all drivers will have to comply with the new hours of service regulations with the mandatory break provision and a revised 34 hour restart.
MANDATORY BREAK PROVISION
You can not drive if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of your last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. This required break must be at least 30 minutes and can be taken at any time during your first 8 hours on duty. You may not perform an on duty tasks during this break. meal breaks, resting in the passenger seat of your parked vehicle, or a sleeper berth period of 30 minutes or more qualify as a break.
The break is counted toward your 14 hour limit and does not extend your work day. If you are required to be in attendance on a vehicle containing division 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 explosives, you may use 30 minutes or more of attendance time to meet the break requirement.
In order to be considered a break, you may not be performing any any other on duty tasks while in attendance on the vehicle. The break must be recorded as on duty time on your log with remarks or notes indicating the specific on duty periods used to meet the break requirement.
Local drivers that do not drive over 100 miles are not required to take the 30 minute break provision.
In order to use the 34 hour restart, your off-duty period of 34 (or more) consecutive hours must include two periods of time between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. You may only use the restart once within a period of 168 consecutive hours (7 days).
These provisions do not prohibit you from taking more than one period of 34 or more hours off duty, but only one of the periods can be used to restart your 60-hour/7-day or 70-hour/8 day schedule. You then must indicate which one of the two 34 consecutive hour periods is being used as your restart on your duty status.
If you have any questions about the new ruling, please come into the safety department for additional training and to watch our new hours of service video. (June 2013)
- It is that time of the year again when the weather is getting nicer and the children are getting out of school. Drive cautiously when in well populated areas. Watch for children, bicycles, runners and motorcycles. All of these groups can pop up from between cars or show up unexpectedly while you are driving.
The warmer weather also is the start of construction season. Please obey all speed limits and stay alert for vehicles and trucks leaving the construction site. (May 2013)
- Motorists are always complaining that truck drivers are constantly making unsafe lane changes. With all of the miles a professional truck driver accumulates on a daily basis they sometimes must make numerous lane changes. Below are some tips to follow when making lane changes compliments of Great West Casualty Company:
-When possible, pick a lane and stay in it
-Ensure your mirrors are properly adjusted
-Maintain proper following distance
- Frequently check blind spots, especially the "lean & look" position
-Signal lane changes well in advance
-Slow down before changing lanes
-Plan ahead and know the route you are traveling
Not only can an unsafe lane change cost thousands of dollars, but it could put the motoring public in great danger that can lead to serious injury or death. When following the above tips it will help to ensure the safety of everyone that you share the road with. (April 2013)
- Vehicle maintenance is one of the many duties a professional truck driver has to perform in order to make the roads safer for everyone he or she shares the road with. The many professional drivers on the road today consider their trucks their office. They are proud of their truck and want it running and looking the best at all times.
Each day you start your vehicle, you must check every component. Some of the checks you should be performing on a daily basis are:
-No fluids of any kind are leaking
-Check your hoses for chafing
-Make sure your brakes are not out of adjustment
-Check that your tires have the required tread depth
-Solvents are at full levels
-Check that your fire extinguisher is full, working and secured
-Make sure that your wipers, lights and horn are all working properly
Make these checks everyday to insure your truck is safe enought to drive on the same roads as your family, friends and peers. If you have any doubts ask for help or bring it to a certified mechanic for repairs or an inspection. Holding off to get something fixed is not a smart choice. You are putting yourself and the motoring public in danger. Your truck is your business. Everyday you hold off getting something fixed can lead to an unsafe truck on the road and the possibilty of costing you more off time and money once you do bring the truck in for repairs.
Good roadside inspections are critical! Your truck is your business. It feeds your family, delivers food and other critical goods across the entire country, so take care of it! (March 2013)
- Professional truck drivers have to be ready at all times to drive in adverse driving conditions. When you start your day the weather may be sunny and not a cloud in the sky. As your day goes on the weather could take a dramatic turn for the worse. Follow this basic tips to help keep you and your fellow drivers safe.
Rain-Slow down and increase following distance. Allow yourself more time to stop. Make sure your wipers and lights are on during any amount of rain fall.
Fog- Use low beam headlights to see and to be seen. Slow down and increase following distance. Allow more time to stop. If visibility is too poor to continue driving, find a safe place to pull off the road until driving conditions improve.
Snow- Reduce vehicle speed by at least one half. Drive slowly and increase following distance. Allow yourself more time to stop. Accelerate slowly and smoothly. Steer and brake your vechicle with care. If snowy conditions make it unsafe to drive, find a safe place to pull off of the road until conditions improve.
Ice- Icy conditons may start to form if temperatures begin to drop. If you believe that icy conditions may start to form, make sure you leave yourself enough time and space to brake safely. Use extra caution when traveling on bridges and overpasses. Be mindful that black ice might form. Drive slowly and use extra caution becuase you never know when you are going to hit a patch of ice.
Wind- during windy conditions keep both hands on the wheel. Continuously scan the road and vehicle mirrors. Be ready for sudden gusts and watch for debris blowing onto the road.
Follow these steps to make the road safer for everyone! (February 2013)
- Truck maintenance is very important. Take your time during your pre and post trip inspections. If you see anything that needs repairs or does not sound right take it in to get checked. If you leave it, it can cause more problems for you down the road. Safety always has to be your top priority and Bear is there to help anyway we can. (January 2013)
- As the holiday season approaches, the streets and highways will be overcrowded with shoppers and traveling familes. Stay alert and keep a safe following distance at all times. (December 2012)
- Make sure that you have a working fire extinguisher and reflective devices in your trucks at all times. These devices are part of the DOT safety regulations to keep you and the motoring public safe at all times. (November 2012)
- As the days start getting shorter and the leaves start to fall, make sure your headlights and wipers are working in top form. You need to have great visibility becuase October brings about kids playing in piles of leaves and trick-or-treating at the end of the month. Wet leaves are as slick as ice. (October 2012)
- Drivers must dedicate themselves to driving in a manner that serves to protect others with whom they share the road. All drivers should follow theses seven essential driving techniques.
1.) Maintain a proper following distance with other vehicles
2.) Keep the proper speed for for conditions
3.) Be attentive to the road ahead
4.) Avoid all distractions
5.) Maintain one lane
6.) Yield the right of way
7.) React properly to all hazards
Follow these safety steps at all times. We want you and all all drivers on the road to get home safely each night to their families and loved ones. (September 2012)
- School is back in session. Please drive carefully at all times and stay alert for kids commuting to and from school. Traffic also starts to increase during the school year. Please give yourself enough time to get to your destination safely. (August 2012)
- June, July and August are prime months for families to go on vacation. Keep a safe following distance and be alert for cars that are not obeying the posted speed limits. As these families are returning home, they may be in a rush and not pay attention to safe lane change distances in front of trucks (July 2012)
- Be alert and obey all posted speed limits in construction zones. Use caution for vehicles entering and leaving these zones at all times. Be aware that lanes may narrow and cars may drift in your lanes. (June 2012)
- CVSA's Roadcheck is set for June 5th-7th. Roadcheck is CVSA's annual vehicle inspection program. During this 72 hour period, an estimated 10,000 CVSA certified federal, state and local enforcement inspectors conduct truck and bus inspections across the country.
Make sure your truck and paperwork is in order before June. Last year our owner operators and drivers did a great job during Roadcheck 2011 and we expect the same for 2012. We our very proud of our safe fleet. Our customers are just as proud, knowing that their freight is in safe hands. Like our logo says, "Our Safe Drivers Make The Difference!" (May 2012)
- Low Bridge Awareness is needed by both truckload and crosstown drivers. Low bridges occur when drivers are not paying attention to their surroundings or by attempting to save time by taking side streets. The effects on low bridging containers are:
1.) Personal injury to yourself or other motorists
2.) Traffic congestion
3.) Thousands of dollars worth of damage
4.) Delayed customer delivery
You can prevent low bridges by follwing these guidelines:
1.) ALWAYS follow designated truck routes
2.) Know your vehicle and trailer height
3.) Read posted bridge height signs
4.) Pay attention to your surroundings
Always think safety first when driving on unfamiliar routes.
Bear prides itself on getting all of our drivers and owner operators home safely. (April 2012)
- According to Great West Casualty Company, a major cause of on the job injuries in the trucking industry is slips and falls from the tractor and trailer. Please use proper techniques when entering and exiting the truck cab or trailer. Follow these simple rules to keep yourself in the driver's seat.
1.) Always use the three point contact rule. Take your time and make sure that at least three limbs are in contact with the tractor at all times.
2.) Make sure your steps are fastened tight and are level.
3.) Enter and exit the cab or trailer with more caustion when the weather outside is bad or existing weather is changing.
In addition to these simple rules make sure to face the inside of the truck when entering and exiting the cab. Just like when you are behind the wheel, do not rush and know your surroundings. (March 2012)
- As of January 3, 2012, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration prohibits commmercial drivers from using hand-held mobile devices while operating a commercial motor vehicle. Drivers who violate the rule may face civil penalties of up to $2,750. Additionally, states will suspend a driver's commercial driver's license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations.
Hands-free use of a mobile telephone is allowed using either a wired or wireless earpiece, or the speakerphone function of the mobile telephone, as long as it is operated by a single touch. Single touch CB radios are also still allowed to be used. (February 2012)
- Safe driving skills are very important. Watch and maintain safe speeds, slow down in construction zones and make sure all of your equipment is in safe order. Please check your brakes, lights, horn, fire extinguisher and your tire tread depths are safe.
Stay alert at all times. Save lives, not time!!! (January 2012)
- Proper cargo securement is an important part of any trucking professional's job. It helps prevent accidents, injuries and damage to to our customer's products. Cargo securement is also a federal requirement under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These regulations require that all cargo must be secured in a way that prevents leaking, spilling, blowing or falling from the vehicle.
Please be sure to follow the proper blocking and bracing procedures for all customers. Blocking is a structure or device placed in front, back or sides of a piece of cargo to keep it from sliding. Bracing is a structure or device placed against an article of cargo to prevent it from tipping or shifting. Bracing goes from the upper part of the cargo to the floor walls of the cargo compartment.
Not only do we need to make sure all of the cargo is secured in the containers, but also that the container is secured to the chassis. section 393.126 states that all lower corners of the intermodal container must be secured to the chassis with securement devices or integral locking devices that cannot unintentionally become unfastened while in transit.
If you have any questions please come in to the Safety Department to view a video or materials on cargo securement rules and prodcedures. (December 2011)
- The winter weather is right around the corner. Please drive cautiously and slow down as the the roads become slick from the ice and snow. (December 2011)
- Daylight Savings Time has ended. Please check the lights on your truck to make sure they are all working properly. Also, make sure to keep a flashlight in your truck as the days grow shorter. This will help you in dimmly lit locations to inspect the equipment that you are pulling out. Only pull out equipment that is safe and road worthy! (November 2011)
- As Summer is winding down and the days are growing shorter, please remember that the kids are back in school. Please be alert while driving, and watch out for the kids as they are rushing to and from school. (October 2011)
- Be cushion conscience! Keep and maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Awareness is a key function! (September 2011)
- Stop at Railroad crossings. If your truck stalls on the tracks, immediately get out of the truck and locate the emergency phone box or call 911 to notify authorities of the stalled vehicle. (August 2011)
- While in the rail yards, stay off of the cranes paths. If you are pulling any piece of equipment from trackside, be cautious of where the cranes are and always proceed with caution. (July 2011)
Robert, Cathy and Joel
"Our Safe Drivers Make The Difference!"
"Proper cargo securement is an FMCSA requirement."