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You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Bring you the power and confidence of an entire e-learning training library, anywhere you have a connection to the internet. Long ago I checked the oil on a company F-350 that I needed to use to haul some wood mouldings. That window of opportunity presents itself in the period of time a part or system starts to show poor performance — prior to a repair being made. There are many apps out there that can help in setting up or refining your preventative maintenance program. The Delivery Area Safety Inspection is an example of a safety or hazard inspection which can be conducted at a dock, cross-dock, or shipping and receiving area.
What kind of a barrier gate is in place that prevents loading equipment from colliding with and damaging the dock doors?
If no vehicle restraint system is in place, how are the tires chocked or vehicle secured against movement? What is the procedure to report hazards or concerns, unsafe practices, or damaged equipment to supervisors? What kind of worker exposure is there to open loading dock doors and other areas that employees could fall 4 feet or more? Safety refers to the measures taken to protect the driver, vehicle and cargo during transport operations from hazards. Security refers to the measures taken to protect driver, vehicle and cargo against sabotage, attacks, and theft while it is in transport. Drivers — especially new drivers — need to know where to be at all times while in the Material Transfer Zone (MTZ). Keep in mind that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) are the MINIMUM safety standards. Critical Inspection Areas – components or systems that need to be at a high level of safety, generally containing no faults. The Michigan Trucking Association offers Periodic Inspection Training (PIT) classes each quarter. Being a truck mechanic does not qualify one to do periodic inspections, even if holding a state license. On February 26, 2016 a loaded dump truck was caught on camera as it slammed into a car and careened out of control through a busy intersection at 2222 and Jester Blvd in Austin, TX, resulting in a crash that involved four vehicles. On February 29, 2016 an 18-wheeler loaded with gravel slammed into a home at 260 Windsor Drive in San Carlos (between Redwood and San Francisco, CA).
Every year the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) holds its annual International Roadcheck. Every year the number one Out-of-Service violation is a faulty brake system.
Out-of-adjustment brakes and brake system violations combine to represent half of all out-of-service violations issued for commercial vehicles on the road. With the engine running, pump the brake pedal three times, then hold the pedal down for five seconds. For vehicles built after April 1, 1977, check for presence of two (2) air pressure gauges (or a single gauge with dual needles). With parking brake applied, place in gear and gently tug against the brake to see if it will hold the vehicle. 3) Roll down window and listen for any audible air leaks which may be a blown diaphragm in the chamber or leak in line. Between approximately 20-40 PSI on a tractor-trailer combination vehicle, the tractor protection valve and parking brake valve should close (pop out). A while back a truck driver was pulled over, the reason given was for texting and not wearing a seat belt.
And how many more times that day were similar citations issued to undeserving truck drivers? One of the finest truck driving instructors I worked with was an old Teamster who at one time delivered beer to Chicago. The driver in the beginning of the blog learned a valuable lesson: As a truck driver one can be accused at any time of the most outrageous violations.
The driver immediately stopped at the next exit and removed all electronic devices from the dash: GPS, cell phone, electronic logging tablet, etc.
Verizon makes similar defense claims about their Networkfleet’s vehicle tracking diagnostics, as does Telogis. Everyday fleets and their drivers are accused of all sorts of things ranging from stone damage to glass, to vehicle or property damage.
Management needs to create a safety culture in which the entire organization—every employee, every function, every level—has the capability and the responsibility for hazard identification. Vehicle inspections need to be conducted daily with the results of the inspection documented.


Daily vehicle safety inspections of commercial vehicles (as defined in 49 CFR Part 390.5 Definitions) – are required under the regulations.
All material handling equipment should be inspected as well by the operator before use, on a schedule and after routine maintenance.
Conditional Inspections, are “conditional” on the presence of red flags or warning signs, and are perhaps the most important, but least talked about inspection.
Periodic or annual inspections of all Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) – as listed in 49 CFR Part 390.5 Definitions – are required at least once every twelve months under Part 396, documenting the inspection of all the parts and components listed in Appendix G, performed by qualified inspector.
While the annual or periodic vehicle inspector is “qualified” by the company, certain forms must certify the inspector has 1) experience and 2) training or is qualified by proper training. Lastly, here is a recent, short video (less than 1 minute) that shows what happens when the suspension system is not inspected . When you actually see it, it’s hard to fathom how any driver would allow things to go that far or get that bad.
Inspect to fail means to give as thorough an inspection as possible looking for all of a vehicle’s present safety defects or faults. No commercial motor vehicle shall be driven unless the driver is satisfied that the following parts and accessories are in good working order, .
Learning the nuances of logging (running under a DOT log book — also known as the Record of Duty Status or RODS) is something that sometimes falls through the cracks in the course of many driver’s development. Form and manner violations are log inaccuracies (usually unintentional), sometimes caused by carelessness or even bad habits in filling out the log sheet, and are considered minor violations. One definition of form is the manner or conduct as tested by a prescribed or accepted standard. So a form and manner log violation has to do with the way a log book is done, according to the standard.
Missing information in any of the above requirements would result in a citation for improper form and manner. This line has been drawn too light by a fine pen and may not copy well in a fax or copy machine.
Hours Missing Error: Drivers must record total hours used at the end of each line of the graph. Some current problem areas include the Biennial Update or renewal of DOT Number registration or the return of the completed roadside inspection form to the issuing agency (§396.9 Inspection of motor vehicles in operation). Common errors are found in applications for employment, log books, driver’s vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs), shipping paperwork and supporting documents for logbooks. When checking documents, ask yourself “Why?” Why does the results of a drug test have a certain box checked off? The same section goes on to say in (2) “Every driver and employee shall be instructed regarding, and comply with, all applicable regulations contained in this subchapter.” If you are the employer and driver, then all the regulations apply. Don’t stop reading at the point when it seems the regulations meet our predisposed expectations. A tickler file is a term used by office professionals to remind themselves and keep track of upcoming events. In business it’s called “due diligence.” There is no requirement for any government agency to inform you of your legal and regulatory responsibilities. Confirmation bias — making a decision based on one’s preconceptions, ignoring evidence to the contrary. Professional drivers use a good quality automotive glass cleaner when washing their windows—never dish soap or common household cleaners.
Professional drivers know the rule of thumb is to replace the wipers every six to twelve months— the frequency depending on driving conditions and climate. Professional drivers top the window-washer reservoir with a quality windshield glass cleaner. Almost anything made needs both routine and preventative maintenance (PM) or it won’t even come close to its expected life. The part may be in a sub-critical condition and is doing its job, but could be showing signs of wear, a need of an adjustment or a service. Inspections can be conducted at anytime and, with proper training, by employees, supervisors or managers.
There are potential hazards from moving vehicles and lift trucks, many times moving in reverse with limited sight distance, slip and fall hazards from climbing up and down or from uneven or slippery surfaces, and unique location hazards.
Intoxicated persons have been found sleeping under trailers, or a mechanic may be working under the vehicle. They must retain this evidence for the period during which that individual is performing annual motor vehicle inspections for the motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider, and for one year thereafter.
Brake systems that are improperly installed or poorly maintained can reduce the braking capacity and stopping distance of trucks or buses, a serious safety risk. While building up system air pressure, note pressure at which governor cuts-out (compressor quits compressing).


Check the air gauge to see if the air pressure drops more than three pounds in one minute (single vehicle) or four pounds in one minute (combination vehicle) or five pounds in a minute for combination vehicle with doubles.
On other combination vehicle types and single vehicle types, the parking brake valve should close (pop out).
Even if you can’t go under the vehicle, you can listen for air leaks, check low air signals and look for component damage. Charlie had over forty years of truck driving experience and was a fountain of knowledge and knew all of the facts of life about truck driving. Annual or periodic inspections for Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) should be conducted by properly qualified inspectors. Critical items must be inspected and a Driver’s Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) made and signed by the driver, and if any safety defects are found – signed by the attending mechanic and the original again signed by the driver. Be sure any worn warning labels or damaged decals are replaced and the inspection is documented.
When you hear of the trucks with tires and wheels about to fly off (wheel offs), steering with massive free play, trailers with no kingpins, etc., it can send a chill down your spine. Inspect to fail means, if a part, component or system on a vehicle (or the driver) does not meet, or fails to meet the standards in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, (FMCSRs) 49 CFR Part 393 Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation, then the vehicle is not roadworthy and should not be driven. Instructions and the example found on the back of the logbook may have been the only training many drivers have ever had. Trouble comes in the form of abbreviations in the remarks area (as putting down SLC instead of writing out Salt Lake City, UT). For example: vehicle maintenance and inspections, annual inspections, driver annual reviews, driver’s license renewals, medical examiner’s renewals, the biennial update, all of these documents and forms have due dates or renew dates. Missing permits, missing paperwork, incomplete files, can lead to trouble, months or years later. In approaching a new work challenge, before rushing in it’s always better to first stop, think it over, before taking action, and then reflect on whether we made the best possible decision. For best results use a microfiber cloth to apply the cleaner and another microfiber cloth to wipe it off. The goals of this blog are to provide information, insights and know-how on being safe, mitigating risk and maximizing control of losses.
What is the plan for regular maintenance on the vehicle restraint equipment as bumpers, lights, communication packages, and other loading dock accessories? However, motor carriers and intermodal equipment providers do not have to maintain documentation of inspector qualifications for those inspections performed either as part of a State periodic inspection program or at the roadside as part of a random roadside inspection program. With engine still running, pump brakes to lower air pressure until compressor cuts-in (starts compressing again). If you can go under your vehicle, you can measure pushrod stroke the same way a CVSA-certified inspector does, and compare the results to the pushrod stroke limits set by regulation. In the case of stone damage, unless unsecured rocks were falling off of the back of the vehicle, there is not much relief warranted — especially in the instance of vehicles following too closely.
There are opportunities to deploy new accident avoidance systems to avoid trouble and accident recording devices to help defend against claims.
These inspection records must be kept for at least ninety days as part of the Vehicle File. Another example of a failed opportunity for a conditional inspection was a truck that struck a tree limb, knocking down freight inside the trailer resulting in a fire that flashed and hurt several firemen when they opened the trailer door. On occasions, a DOT officer will sit down with the driver and explain the facts of life about logging.
Regulatory mistakes often carry a high price tag: audit risk, the potential for unbelievable fines, and even the loss of ability to engage in certain aspects of your business. Other the other hand, further investigation may reveal bad judgment and choices on part of the driver. Once the deadline passes, if you were facing a fine or other sanctions, you may lose your rights to an appeal.
There is always a lot going on in any successful business or organization, but skipping or going around regulations to save the bother is not one of the options. Good risk management teaches us to be aware of catastrophic risk — a risk that might have the potential to inflict serious damage. Breaking and bending the rules, and taking shortcuts can result in catastrophic outcomes, no matter how good the intentions.



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