Monday, April 26, 2021

Saturday, April 24, 2021

IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT: TOP 10: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

So, you want to be a truck driver? Have you thought about what it takes to be a truck driver, but most importantly, a professional one who is in it for the long haul?
I know a few things about preparing for and having a successful career in the trucking industry. I’m not just a school owner, I am a driver. I have had my Class A CDL for over 40 years and during that time, I’ve been an owner-operator, pulled a refrigerated trailer, done local delivery, and worked as a dispatcher for a fleet of over 20 trucks. While I’m no longer a full-time driver, I occasionally get behind the wheel of my 73’ rig and drive across the country. These occasional road trips allow me to understand the demands of today’s truck drivers, and in turn, pass along that valuable information to my students who will be the future drivers of tomorrow.
After logging many miles on the road, here are a few things to think about when making your decision to be a truck driver or instructing your students.
Top 10: What You Need to Know
  1. Be on time. Dispatchers value a driver who shows up to work on time. Once you start your day, don’t worry about delays that are beyond your control. If you start your day with enough time to get on the road, good carriers will not push you or give you a hard time.
  2. Do your inspections. A lot of your co-workers will not do their inspections, and some of them will give you a hard time when you’re doing your job and they aren’t. While tempting, do not engage with them in these instances. Go about your pre-trip as you were taught at the truck driving school. Besides, the pre-trip routine is a federal regulation so there’s no way of getting around it.
  3. There’s no whining in the trucking industry. Every day you will be confronted with problems or issues at every turn – trucks break down, there’s traffic congestion, unpredictable and volatile weather, and shippers will delay you. Don’t complain to your dispatcher Deal with it, professionally of course. It’s good practice to communicate with your dispatcher effectively and without any emotion. This professionalism will go a long way in how you will be treated.
  4. Plan your trips. Parking is tight out there, so don’t expect to find a spot readily available when you need one. Parking is at such a premium that there are apps available for truckers to find and reserve a parking space, even at some truck stops. Learn from your trainers on how they figure out where to park. While their experience will provide insight, you need to come up with a system that works best for you.
  5. GOAL! (Get Out And Look). Backing accidents are the number one problem for new drivers. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It happens to everyone. Being safety minded is a good quality. So, get out and look before backing that truck up.
  6. Maintain your following distance. Discipline yourself and commit to a proper distance. In heavy traffic that means you must run 3 or 4 mph slower than traffic flow to keep your following distance. Embrace new technology applications that automatically keeps the distance for you.
  7. Slippery when wet. Bad weather. It happens. Being mindful of safety regulations before being faced with hazardous road conditions, will better prepare you when they do occur. Take your time, and even stop when conditions warrant.
  8. Safety “Seal of Approval”. Work for an established carrier with a good safety record. Employment with a well-established, safety-minded carrier will ensure you have access to properly maintained equipment. One other thing, your paycheck will not bounce.
  9. Expect to be recruited. With the driver shortage these days, chances are you will be approached at truck stops by a carrier or by other drivers convincing you to go to work for another company. Do not believe their claims as they are probably receiving a commission for recruiting you. Some companies pay up to $2,000 for the referral. Consequently, there will be false claims being made.
  10. Stay healthy. Stay fitSave money. Invest in a small refrigerator and buy your own food versus eating at restaurants. You will realize the return-on-investment with more money in your wallet and feel physically better through a healthy diet. If you are a local driver, pack your lunch in a cooler. Also, remember to stretch and do your exercises every day.
This guest post originally appeared in CVTA’s Get-in-Gear Summer/Fall 2017 edition.
Bill Collins is the Owner of Interstate Truck Driving School.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Major heavy duty accidents and recoveries compilation


This is a compilation of recent recoveries I've done that I did not have enough footage for an entire video on its own. They range from a simple vehicle vehicle over the side recovery to a massive heavy duty burn job. Leave a comment to let me know which one was your favorite; I'll be choosing 3 winners at random by the end of this week to give out cool limited Pepe's swag!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Truck Tire Blowouts



This is a video that teaches drivers how to deal with a steer tire blowout

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Who You Gonna Call? A&T Road Service - We'll Get You Back on the Road!



At A&T "Mobile" Truck Road Service we like to think of ourselves as the "Ambulance Service for Trucks." If your truck is broken down, we will come to you and perform the necessary triage to get you back on the road. Now includes towing, load adjustments, and more.

A&T "Mobile" Heavy Duty Truck and Trailer Road Service is a 24-hour, 7-days a week roadside mobile truck repair service for light and medium-duty to heavy duty commercial trucks and trailers. A&T Road Service, a subsidiary of North Bay Truck Center.

Our fleet incudes a 2014 Kenworth (Shown in video) with a 500 hp Cummins and 18-speed gearbox is outfitted with an NRC Quickswap detachable tow unit with a tag axle for extra capacity. This allows the truck to be a wrecker and also a transfer vehicle, so with the unit disconnected, it will tow mobile home units, trailers of all kinds and with the wrecker unit attached is capable of lifting up to 20,000 lb steer axles for heavy duty truck towing. This unit can easily to HD trucks, buses, mobile homes.


Not only do we provide 24 Hour Emergency service, we could come out and do light mechanical work on site to our customer's fleet and avoid the truck having to come in the shop.We will go just about anywhere for anything, at anytime. We have a wide normal service area and have been known to go beyond those boundaries by request. See our Service Area.

Below is a bullet point list of services by A&T Road Service.

 New: In-House TOWING
            Fully Equipped Mobile Repair Units
            Tire Replacement
            Load Adjustments
            Welding
            Fuel Delivery
            Lock-Outs
            Vehicle Storage
            Hydraulics
            DOT & BIT Inspections
            Crane Inspections
            Glass Replacement
            Vehicle Rentals
            Liftgate Repairs and Service
            Tens of Thousands of Parts In Stock


North Bay Truck Center is centrally located in Fairfield CA to service all of Solano County along with much of the San Francisco/Oakland bay area and Sacramento. A&T Road Service is available by calling 800-434-1205,

You can also visit our website at http://www.NorthBayTruckCenter.com

Monday, April 12, 2021

Cummins On Highway Electronic Engine Features - Load Based Speed Control


Load Based Speed Control or LBSC is an electronic feature that is programmable on the Cummins ISX15 and ISX12, and ISX12 G engines. LBSC encourages the driver to shift into the next gear as soon as possible and is active in all gears except the top two. LBSC turns off when applications are above 100,000 lbs GCVW, during tire scrub events, and when grades exceed 2%. To set up or adjust LBSC trim settings, download PowerSpec, a free computer application, and talk to your local Cummins representative to receive free licensing rights. For more information, visit the feature description section of http://cumminsengines.com/powerspec.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Preventable Accident Tips For Truckers That Really Work


Dave chats about some common sense ways to AVOID UNNECESSARY accidents, for truckers.... NEW DRIVERS AS WELL AS EXPERIENCED DRIVERS. - Move slowly and methodically at all times. -Adjust your speed according to weather/road conditions. - Be thorough and double check all that you do. - When picking up or delivering freight, get out and check out the area on foot. - Don't rely 100% on a spotter. - Use a paper map, exit guide and GPS and reference each of these to locate and plan your route. - Trip plan to avoid problems.
These tips aren't rocket science, but it's surprising how many drivers fail to adhere to these basic principles... new and experienced truck drivers.
Many accidents are avoidable. Such accidents can scar your CDL and possibly ruin your driving career.

If you're a truck driver, or interested in becoming a truck driver, be sure to subscribe to our Smart Trucking Channel for tips and advice which may be useful in your trucking career. Smart Trucking 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDLY...

Monday, April 5, 2021

Fleet Drivers: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?


As more businesses resume operations, and more vehicle fleets are getting back on the road, it is important to remember that an alert fleet driver is a safe fleet driver. While no one is immune to drowsy driving, there are steps you can take to help ensure you get enough sleep.

Across North America, this week and next have been designated Drowsy Driving Prevention Week in the US and Canada respectively. A recent study by the National Safety Council revealed that almost 50% of Americans operate their vehicles while too tired to do so. This is a troubling statistic, especially considering the NSC has determined that driving with less than five hours sleep has the same accident risk as driving drunk. In other words, drowsy driving is impaired driving and half of us are driving around without enough sleep!

When you don't get enough sleep, you are more likely to make bad decisions and take more risks. The effects of drowsy driving are staggering, with an estimated 100,000 accidents and 1,500 deaths caused by drowsy driving each year. In addition to the impact on loved ones and family members, driving drowsy results in close to $13 billion in losses per year in the US alone.

The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the problem. Many are struggling with additional stress caused by uncertainty and fear, which is preventing them from getting enough sleep. Neurologists are seeing a spike in patients with sleep disorders caused by COVID-19, and are calling this phenomenon “COVID-somnia.”

What do companies need to remember to prevent drowsy driving?

As more businesses resume operations, and more vehicle fleets are getting back on the road, it is important to remember that an alert fleet driver is a safe fleet driver. Employees may not have driven in a few months, they may be operating a different vehicle, or they may be new hires with little driving experience. Given these additional challenges, it is even more important that drivers are well-rested, alert, and fully aware of their surroundings.


Getting enough sleep is even more important depending on your work environment. Long-haul trucking with heavy loads for example, the sheer size and weight of the truck and cargo combined demands a focused, and alert driver. Similarly, getting enough sleep can be a challenge for others who work long hours, night shifts, or have a very early start time every morning.


The NSC has compiled a list of nine risk factors for driver fatigue, and a staggering 97% of drivers surveyed had at least one of these factors which include: shift work, late working hours, sleep loss, and physically or cognitively demanding work. While no one is immune to drowsy driving, there are steps you can take to help ensure you get enough sleep.

What can fleet drivers do to stay healthy and well-rested during the pandemic and in “normal” times?

The best way to ensure you are well-rested and ready to drive, is to get enough sleep. So how much is enough? The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommends that adults get at least between seven and eight hours of sleep every day. Our bodies crave sleep - not getting enough of it can also increase the risk of having high blood pressure, heart disease and lead to other medical problems.

Here are some great tips from NHLBI and UC Davis Health that will help you get a better sleep:

Sleep and wake at consistent times every day, including weekends. Establishing a regular sleep rhythm can make sure your body knows when to stay awake.

Maintain your daily routine when working remotely. Wake up, get dressed and eat breakfast as if you were heading to work. The same goes for after work, try to eat dinner and carry out your evening tasks on a regular schedule.

Establish one hour of quiet time before sleeping. Avoid loud music, strenuous exercise, and bright screens (e.g., smartphone, TV, laptop) and make sure your sleeping area is as dark as possible.

Stay away from heavy meals, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine right before bed. All of these things will disrupt your sleep.

Use caution with sleep aids. Over-the-counter sleep aids can leave you drowsy the next morning and prescription drugs can lead to dependence.

Stay active - exercising on a daily basis, especially outdoors, can help maintain a more regular sleep rhythm.

Don't take naps - a short nap is ok, but anything over 20 minutes will disrupt your sleep cycle.

Take a hot bath or practice relaxation techniques - such as meditating before going to bed.

If you are already on the road, and feeling a little drowsy, there are a number of things you can do to help stay alert. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:

Drive in two-hour shifts with resting stops in between. If you begin to feel drowsy while driving or find yourself dozing, pull over and park as soon as possible to take a short nap.

Drink a caffeinated beverage. While caffeine is not a substitute for sleep, a caffeinated beverage can help you feel more awake after a short nap.

Travel with a passenger who is fully awake. Having someone who can help keep you awake or alert you if you’re drowsy can help prevent an accident. If possible, drive in shifts with your passenger.

Getting enough sleep every day is essential. It's also easier said than done, especially considering the psychological stress that COVID-19 has caused for so many of us. The best thing you can do is try and maintain a regular routine, exercise regularly, and avoid consuming stimulants before bedtime. We hope these tips will help you stay alert and focused on the road. Drive safely!

By Element Fleet Safety - 

By the Element Safety Team

Source: https://www.elementfleet.com/resources/blog/fleet-drivers-are-you-getting-enough-sleep


Saturday, April 3, 2021

It takes the whole company to make a fleet safe


Changing fleet culture to prioritize safety along with adding advanced technologies to commercial vehicles can have the biggest effect on turning a “high risk” fleet into a safe fleet, according to a recent study.

One single fix can improve safety performances of a fleet. But making comprehensive adjustments can take a fleet from “high risk” to safe, according to a recent study by the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence (NSTSCE), that shows changes throughout a company can reduce crashes and strengthen safety.

Follow this link for the rest of the story: https://www.fleetowner.com/safety/article/21704179/it-takes-the-whole-company-to-make-a-fleet-safe