Staying Healthy in the Winter

Most of us hate to see winter come. Not only does it bring cold temperatures, it brings a whole new set of driving skills to apply for driving in snow and on ice along with shorter hours of daylight driving. The winter months also bring in the colds and flu season. Statistics show that colds happen more in the winter months as people are more prone to spending time indoors where the air is recycled and people are in close quarters. There are ways you can either avoid or reduce the severity of colds and the flu.

Get enough sleep. Bring your own pillow along. Sleeping in a truck or hotel room doesn’t always allow you to rest like you were in your own bed at home. By bringing your own pillow, you can get a better night’s sleep.

Eat Healthy. Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants and vitamins that can help you from catching a cold or the flu. Berries, broccoli and tomatoes are full of vitamin C which studies have shown help combat germs.

Don’t smoke.

Get a flu shot. Although they can’t always be 100% effective, they will help in the severity of the flu symptoms.

Drink lots of water. Water helps regulate body temperature, helps lubricate your joints and helps to get rid of bodily waste.

Exercise. Better some than none. Get out and walk around the truck or when loading and unloading. When at home walk, bike, swim, lift weights etc. Remember if you are just starting, start small.

Take care of yourself. Driving a truck is your profession. Being on the road means you are not with your family back home. When you do get home you want to be well enough to spend time doing things with them. That means while you’re gone on the road you need to focus on staying healthy and safe.

If you like what you are reading please visit http://www.professionalsafetyconsulting.com

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Tips for Avoiding Tire Violations

Know the Regulations. Motor carrier regulations set minimum requirements for safe tire operation, including provisions for proper inflation and loading, minimum tread depth and safe tire condition. Compliance with these regulations does not guarantee safety but it significantly reduces the likelihood that a tire issue will cause a crash, either for the truck or bus, or for other vehicles that encounter the carcass of a failed tire. Tire regulations fall primarily under 49 CFR 393.75.

                Keep you vehicle suspension in alignment. In addition to potentially affecting safe control of the vehicle, improper alignment will at least rapidly wear down tires. Your maintenance plan should include tire/wheel/suspension alignment.

                Follow industry best practices for tire management. Tire inflation should be checked at appropriate intervals for the operation. There are many resources available to assist with proper tire management, including purchasing, maintaining, inspecting and removing from service tires for any type of operation. Check with Rubber Manufacturers Association, Tire Industry Association, tire manufacturer organizations or Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations.

                Understand Tire Specifications. Tires are rated not only for size, but for maximum load, type of service and speed of operation. Tire specifications on the vehicle tire information label should be followed. Inspectors may check for overloading of tire capacity when scales are in use.

If you like what you are reading please visit http://www.professionalsafetyconsulting.com

Safety Tips Checklist

Safety Tips Checklist

Buckle up! It is your last line of defense!

Pre-inspect the condition of your vehicle before and check for load securement. Maximize the vision around your truck with properly adjusted mirrors; Be sure your mirrors are properly set and clean.

Get in a safe mindset! Obey speed limits and traffic signs. Excessive speed reduces your ability to avoid a crash, extends your vehicle’s stopping distance, and increases the severity of a crash when it occurs. Slow down in bad weather and at construction zones.

Maintain a safe following distance. Follow other vehicles at a safe distance. Make sure to constantly check your mirrors.

Make only safe and necessary lane changes. Pick a lane and stay in it for as long as possible. Lane changes increase one’s risk of an accident.

Focus on your driving and avoid or minimize in-truck distractions such as cell phone use, changing CDs, eating, or other activities that can remove your attention from the road.

Never drive under the influence! Watch out for other motorists whose driving behavior suggest they may have been drinking.

Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation and fatigue can cause lapses in attention, slowed awareness and impaired judgement.

If you like what you are reading please visit http://www.professionalsafetyconsulting.com

Fog and the Professional Driver

Weather can be hazardous even for the professionals. Fog creates dangerous conditions and has been the cause of a number of accidents.

The greatest problem with fog is the visibility. Heavy fog is visibility below one quarter of a mile. If you must drive in fog, here are a few safety tips:

Slow down

Be cautious

Increase following distance

Turn on all your lights and use low beam headlights

Turn on your flashers to approaching vehicles a better chance to see you

Use windshield wipers and defroster as necessary

Be ready for emergency stops

Turn off cruise control

Use the right edge of the road

Listen for traffic you cannot see

Do not change lanes or try to pass other vehicles

Signal early when you plan to brake

If visibility gets too bad find a spot to stop preferably at a rest area

As the weather gets warmer people who spend a lot of time outdoors run the risk of suffering from more than just heat exhaustion. The sun’s rays are most intense and damaging during the summer months usually from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Take some steps to protect yourself from those UV rays that can cause various forms of skin cancer among other things. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Protection for the face and other parts of the head can be as simple as wearing a hat.

Long-sleeved shirts and pants in lightweight, tightly woven fabrics provide both comfort and protection.

UV-absorbent sunglasses can help protect your eyes from sun damage.

Parts of the body that cannot be covered with clothing should be protected with sunscreen.

If you like what you are reading please visit http://www.professionalsafetyconsulting.com

Safety Starts With Proper Vehicle Maintenance

Ensuring the safety of a driver and the safety of the general public starts with a thorough pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspection. The driver is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the vehicle being driven is in safe operating condition, with the assistance of appropriate inspection procedures and reports. The driver is also in a position to detect vehicle deficiencies and refer them to maintenance for repairs. Listed below are areas to cover in a pre-trip and post-trip inspection.

Pre-Trip Inspections

Before driving a motor vehicle, drivers must be satisfied that the vehicle is in safe operating condition by reviewing the last inspection report and signing the report, only if defects or deficiencies were noted, to acknowledge that he/she has reviewed the report and ensure that the required repairs have been made.

The following parts and accessories should also be inspected to ensure “good working order” prior to driving

Service brakes, including trailer brake connections

Parking (hand) brake

Steering mechanism

Tires

Horn

Windshield wipers

Rear vision mirrors

Coupling devices

Also ensure that the following emergency equipment is in place and ready for use:

Fire extinguishers

Spare fuses

Warning devices

Some vehicle deficiencies cannot be detected by daily inspection procedures and need to be addressed by periodic inspections and preventative maintenance procedures by maintenance personnel. Requirements for company-owned equipment also apply to leased owner/operators and other leased equipment, if controlled for 30 days or more. The DOT requires that motor carriers “shall systematically inspect, repair and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired and maintained, all motor vehicles subject to its control”. This ultimately makes the motor carrier responsible for ensuring that owner/operator equipment is well maintained.

Post-Trip Inspections

At the completion of each day’s work, drivers must prepare a written report, Driver Vehicle Inspection Report, for each piece of equipment operated. The report must contain the following information, at a minimum:

Service brakes, including trailer brake connections

Parking (hand) brake

Steering mechanism

Lighting devices and reflectors

Tires

Horn

Windshield wipers

Rear vision mirrors

Coupling devices

Wheels and rims

Emergency equipment

The driver must list any defect that would affect the safety of operation or would result in a mechanical breakdown. If no defects are discovered, the driver must so indicate on the report. In all instances, the driver must sign the report, except that in team operations, only one driver needs to sign the report, provided both drivers agree as to the defects or deficiencies.

Any defects likely to affect the safety of operation must be repaired and the motor carrier or agent must certify on the report that the defects have been corrected, or that correction is unnecessary before the vehicle is dispatched again. This report must be retained for three months from the date the report was prepared.

If you like what you are reading please visit http://www.professionalsafetyconsulting.com

CSA 2010 – Proven Experience vs. “techno-geek”

Despite the fact that computer software and computers themselves are still not particularly “user friendly” and have WAY too many “glitches”, they have been a tremendous help to our businesses. However, we have to spend so much time (and money for assistance) in the programs themselves that we have far less time to work on our businesses. The “gurus” know how to make computers and software work, at least to their advantage. Case in point: There are many “computer geeks” out there who have developed upscale websites and computer programs (with aggressive marketing) who try to sell these programs to our industry while claiming to be “experts” in trucking and transportation in general. Example: Do you really need another method, such as a “report card” or other means to find out where you might be placed in your “safety performance” with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration? You already have that information, FREE! Do you really need more information that is also free, regarding CSA2010? You can pay big bucks to buy the information from several vendors. Ours is free.

What Everyone Needs To Know Is This: How do I actually IMPROVE my company’s Safety Performance. CSA2010 is all about the FMCSA’s method to track motor carriers’ Safety Performance and to intervene when a carrier’s performance shows a score high on the percentile chart. Carriers will have no trouble knowing where they are in the percentile rankings but where’s the help? The intervention process will require a “cooperative safety plan”, only AFTER a carrier is shown to be deficient in its safety performance in a given BASIC.

A company’s safety performance (and a driver’s performance) will be available to you, your insurance company, your customers, etc., with permission, but this information alone will not be of any assistance, rather it is just to inform you, or your insurance company (or anyone else, such as a paying customer) that you need to DO SOMETHING to improve your safety performance.
The Question Is This: what are you doing and what are you going to do?

Here the starting point, and we have lot more. Carriers must get everyone in their respective companies involved. This is not just about Safety Directors and Drivers. Top management, dispatchers and everyone else in the company must fully understand that their job tasks directly affect the company’s total “Safety Performance”, which will also affect the company’s marketability and ultimately affect its bottom line profit.

We have found that many insurers are willing to help the motor carriers they insure, but are wisely not interested in providing additional products or services that are redundant or have little or no affect on actual performance and profitability of the company they insure. That’s another reason why we built, and constantly add to, our own website. We show our members “how” to get those necessary things done.

Don’t wait until the CSA2010 implementation dates roll around because the data is already being collected. We are the REAL experts and we have been here, assisting motor carriers and their insurance companies for just about 25 years. And we don’t charge exorbitant rates for our services. We will continue to give you lots of good information, FREE and additional information and services at a fair price.

CSA 2010 “Death Sentence or Pot of Gold?”

Throw out everything you’re hearing from the self appointed professional speculators because that’s exactly what’s flooded our media channels and inboxes. Speculation. Assumption. Opinion. FACT: Whether you like, love it, hate it, don’t understand it, don’t want to understand it or plan on putting your head in the sand, CSA 2010 is here; in a BIG way. In a Good Way.

Before: What You Don’t Know, You Don’t Know.
NOW: What You Don’t Know, Will Hurt You and May Kill Your Business.
One thing hasn’t changed. You are still responsible and held accountable for your company. Has this ever been a bad thing? Do we really need reminded?
There are (2) types of business owners, those “reactive” and those “pro-active”.
The businesses clutching desperately onto what they have left, waiting to see “how this thing fairs out”, are already dead. They just don’t realize it, yet.  There’s “speculation” on horrific and terrifying statistics, such as how many people will be adversely affected, further job losses in an already shorthanded field. (etc.)
To some, CSA 2010 is a Blessing in Disguise. It’s the New Paradigm for The New Trucker. The old way of doing business and perceptions of safety being plagued by “big brother” are now grossly overshadowed with a bright, fresh, new systematized way of doing things the way they should have, and always have been (by some), done. This “new way” garners Efficiency, Accountability and Performance. It’s straight forward and results driven.
Ethical, hard working, quality driven businesses should find comfort in CSA 2010. The focus, if clarity has been attained, is, without doubt, “Pro-Active Implementation and Profitability”. To ignore CSA 2010’s opportunity for profitability is naïve and businesses WILL suffer. This will also make more room for rapid growth among a percentage of savvy, growth hungry and “pro-active” company owners.

So what’s the good news?
It’s as Easy as 1,2,3.
Even though there are a plethora of resources out there, who realistically has time to sit in on another webinar or teleseminar? Times waits for no one. We’re trying to navigate through rough waters and the coast guard wants to talk. Right.  These are ok resources, most of which regurgitate what the feds have already put out there for the taking. And, it should be noted, they did a pretty damn good job at it, which is making it difficult for all those “copy and paste” happy folks out there that want to turn lemons into lemonade and cram the full version back down your throat.
So, here’s your options to getting an edge on the competition and not viewing CSA as another “compliance woe is me”, rather a new, and time deserving business strategy, that when implemented efficiently and rapidly, will not only produce enhanced levels of safety, but without a doubt, rapid profitability in multiple streams of direly needed revenue.

“Step-by-Step to ProACTIVE Implementation & Profitability”

Good
1. Update Your MCS-150 Form
2. Check Your Inspections & Crash Reports at http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov
3. Visit the Official CSA 2010 website at http://csa2010.fmcsa.dot.gov
BETTER
1. Be Pro-Active in analyzing (consistently) all 3 steps above.
2. Go to www.professionalsafetyconsulting.com and Sign Up for our CSA 2010 Updates FREE eNewsletter Updates.
3. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest NEWS and TIPS.
BEST
Turn your F-O-C-U-S to Marketing & CSA 2010. These are the (2) fastest roadways to Success and Profitability in the Emerging New Economy. You CAN turn CSA 2010 into a Profit Center by The End of January 2010 by Investing in Yourself Now for The Trucking Info Summit 2010 at http://www.thetruckinginfosummit.com While everyone else is still trying to figure out how to implement it by this coming July, we’ll have already taken you, step-by-step, hand-in-hand, through a systematized process, far beyond “hopeful” compliance, peeling back the curtain, and exploiting the strategies you need to produce results now. You can move on quickly, get back to working ON the business and let us show you how you can profit (sustainably) from fast implementation of CSA 2010. It’s the biggest opportunity our industry has had in years and will be garnered by the savviest of trucking professionals and entrepreneurs. So invest in yourself, and immerse yourself, among the best marketing and safety professionals in the industry, for 3 Full Days, taking away information you can implement immediately to kick start your business in 2010 and for years to come.