Normal speed limits are always reduced in construction zones. Slow down when approaching the zone and go 2-3 mph slower than the posted construction zone speed limit to increase reaction time and allow yourself a good following distance.
2. Be alert for directions
Stay extra alert in construction zones. Be prepared to follow a flagger’s directions. In a construction zone, a flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign.
3. Maintain one lane
When approaching a construction zone, you will notice lanes ending. Be prepared to merge if necessary, and merge early. If possible, stay in that lane. Avoid aggressive behaviors such as driving on the shoulder and blocking lanes so others cannot get in.
4. Drive defensively, keeping a proper following distance
It is important to keep a safe distance between your vehicle, traffic barriers, construction equipment and construction workers, as well as a good following distance. A minimum of six seconds is recommended under perfect road conditions. Adding a few more seconds in construction zones is highly recommended.
5. React properly to hazards
You never know when a hazard is going to present itself. Looking a minimum of 15 seconds ahead (eye-lead time) allows time to identify and react to hazards, giving you the opportunity to determine the safest course of action. Always be thinking about possible situations of how a hazard can present itself so you have a plan on what your next move could be.
6. Keep an eye on the road ahead
Pay attention to obstacles, debris and construction workers and construction vehicles that may enter the line of traffic. This will help in anticipating problems and reacting in time.
7. Expect delays
Map out your trip before you leave to see if you will be going through any construction zones. Highway agencies will post about various zones and detours to help you avoid the work zones. For more information on national traffic and road closures, check out the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
You know all state license plates.
Not just the basic ones. All of them. Does Florida have another fish plate? Yep. Wait, there’s a Georgia University of Alabama license plate? Of course, there is. You know them all and you can point one out from three car lengths away. You’re going to win it big at trivia someday.
You’re a snob for your favorite radio hosts.
Nobody better bother you during Stern! Ugh, is Madison singing again on Alt. Nation? Can she stop? Maybe it’s local radio for you, whoever it is, they’re part of your routine and family. Every day you are spending more time with your favorite radio or talk show host than your family. You know all their favorite songs and even how they pronounce Wednesday.
You know every chain restaurant menu by heart.
You have the app on your phone, and you’re racking up rewards points one bite at a time. From McDonald's to Olive Garden takeout. You know what you like and how you like it. Whether it’s dressing on the side or an 8-count, every chain restaurant menu is locked and loaded at the back of your mind at all times.
You are an expert meteorologist.
You have all the weather apps on your phone and think you missed your calling as a meteorologist. Knowing what weather conditions are going to be like on the road is important for safety and you want to be prepared at all times. You know the exact minute the rain will hit.
You have clothes for every season with you.
Sure, it might be the springtime, but you never know when a freak snowstorm is going to hit New Jersey. You have a wardrobe fit for all weather conditions and you’re always prepared for sweltering humidity or frosty mornings.
You’re the “MacGyver” of cooking.
Not feeling truck stop food? No worries at all, you already know how to make great meals with a few basic ingredients. You are a master chef in a cab. Ask a fellow hauler what they have cookin’ up. You might just find a new recipe to add to your arsenal.
While 2021 offers a fresh start to a new season, it also presents itself with new challenges, like making and keeping your fitness goals while on the road. The year 2020 was stressful enough, why not start with making some positive changes to help your mind and body.
Spending long hours on the road in a cab can be tricky to find the proper time or space for a good workout. We have a few tips to help spark your wellness, while behind the wheel:
Start some morning stretches.
Stretching is beneficial to wake up your body after a night’s sleep or even after a quick cat nap. Start with a few arms stretches, a toe touch, hamstring and chest stretch, neck roll, and some side stretches. You should be loose and awake now to start your day. Remember not to overstretch if you are just beginning and stop the exercise if you experience any pain.
Get those steps in.
You don’t need a fancy Fitbit or Apple Watch to track your steps, find a small step calculator online or at any department store. Most cell phones even count your steps as long as you hold them while walking or exercising. Set a step goal for yourself and try to reach that every day. We try to shoot for ten thousand. You’d be surprised how a quick morning and night walk can add up.
Move your muscles while driving.
Cabin exercises can help if you suffer from any neck or back pain. Especially if you’re stuck in traffic, try a few neck turns or back stretches. To relieve pressure from your lower back, shift your body weight back and forth within your seat. Hold it for a few seconds each time, while switching sides. Repeat a few times back and forth.
Find some equipment.
Resistant bands, ankle or wrist weights are all compact and easy to incorporate into your fitness routine. If you’re going for a walk, put on some ankle weights for a more strenuous workout. Find an inspiring playlist and just get moving. Resistant bands are like having a little gym anywhere, you can use them to stretch your arms, legs, back, and more.
Remember to be practicing safe driving at all times. Safety is first. If you are taking a break from the road to do any exercises, please turn the engine off.
By setting aside some time daily for exercise, you’ll feel happier and healthier behind the wheel.
Before you go anywhere, check the weather so you know driving conditions and whether you need to delay or or reevaluate your trip. It’s important to be consider your haul.
Remember to take your time and drive slowly. Account for extra time in your travels and take measures to slow down. It takes a lot longer to slow down on icy highways and roads. Increase your following distance. Six seconds is the minimum in ideal weather and traffic conditions. To allow plenty of time to stop in snow or ice, additional following distance is needed. Remember to adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving in these conditions as well. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid any skids.
Be prepared for all cold weather conditions from ice and snow to sleet and fog. Delays can happen and cause road closures.Have your snow brush, ice scraper, anti-gel to treat your fuel, extra warm clothing, blankets, prescribed medications, and food and water on hand.
Keep these items in your cab at all times:
You and your vehicle must be prepared for driving in wintry conditions, including snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Expect delays. As long as you’re prepared, you’ll have smooth travels all season long.
No one likes roadside inspections but we all have to do them to keep ourselves and others safe on the roads. During 2018, Federal Roadside Inspections reached 126,080 and State Roadside Inspections reached 3,405,923. The FMCSA reported 79% of drivers as out of service, 83% of vehicles out of service and 11% of hazmat loads out of service. Out of service is not something you want to be. Here we will give you some tips to help you be prepared for your next inspection.
So what is a Roadside Inspection?
As defined by the FMCSA, “examinations of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and/or drivers by Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP Inspectors.” The FMCSA helps improve the safety on our roads to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks.
What happens in a Roadside Inspection?
Did you know there are eight different levels of inspection that could be performed on a driver and/or their vehicle? The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) explains each of the inspection levels and what is checked in each of them.
Make sure all your documents are up-to-date. Keep them together so they are easy to inspect. A “typical” Level I inspection usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete. During this inspection your driver’s license, medical examiner’s certificate, driver’s record of duty status, documentation of annual inspection, hazardous materials paperwork and permit credentials will all be looked at. Keep materials in a binder or folder so an inspector will be able to go through everything quickly and at once. This will make you look organized and can help get you back on the road sooner.
Have a good attitude
Always have a good attitude. You are at the discretion of the inspector and they are the ones who choose who to inspect. Having a bad attitude and being rude might increase your chances of being chosen for an inspection. Remember, inspectors have to inspect a certain number of vehicles a day. Just smile and be polite. Kindness can go a long way.
Keep it clean
Cleanliness is important. We’re not saying your truck should be spotless, but it should be clean. Clean up loose debris on the floor and keep the outside of your truck looking clean too. Inspectors will be looking at things such as brakes, tires, windshield wipers and more.
It is important to know and understand out-of-service criteria and always be checking for it before you leave for your trip. If you do receive out-of-service violations, those are serious and must be addressed immediately. Do not leave before an out-of-service violation has been resolved because you could face disqualification and large fines.
For more information on Roadside Inspections, please visit the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s website.
Truck drivers spend countless hours in their cabs, so it is important that they are comfortable. Long hours can be uncomfortable so you’re probably wondering how you can make it comfortable. It is not impossible. With proper preparation you will be able to enjoy your time on the road.
Your sleeping space
It is hard for anyone to get comfortable at night to fall asleep, let alone truck drivers. Sleeping quarters in trucks aren’t always the comfiest so you might want to consider getting a nice mattress pad. Laying down on a bed that meets your needs will help you get a good nights rest so your next day on the road will be more enjoyable.
The Driver’s Seat
You spend a lot of time in the driver’s seat and we understand how hard it can be to make it comfy. We have some tips you can try. Try adding a seat cover with extra lumbar support. With the proper support you should start to feel better on those longer drives.
No one likes a hungry driver. Before you take the quick and easy option of fast-food, try eating some healthy options. It will make you feel better in the long run. Pack yourself some snacks such as trail mix or fruits to eat throughout the day. For meals you can have healthier sandwiches or jar some veggies and make a salad!
Sometimes all you need a little exercise to make you feel better. When you’re at the truck stop go for a little walk. Do a few jumping jacks or a few crunches in your bed. This can help re-energize you to finish your run. Getting exercise while on the road will go a long way.
Keep it Clean
Use seat-back organizers to organize cleaning supplies, flashlights, gloves and tools. Keep a well organized binder of all your important documents needed for a roadside inspection. Utilize mini crates to keep items from being shuffled around during a drive and they’ll help keep you organized. Keep a trash can readily available to collect and get rid of any trash. Make emptying that waste bin a priority so you will never have to worry about trash in your cab.
It’s time to hit the road! Do you have a list of essentials you’re going to bring with? We put together a list of trucking essentials that no matter how many years you have been a driver for, you might find some of the things on this list you have been missing.
Keep a pair of shower flip-flops with you. Many showers aren’t the cleanliest so you’ll be happy to have them. Take a pair of sneakers with you too incase you want to go for a walk and get some exercise in.
2. Sleeping bag
If you don’t like carrying sheets and bedding, bring a sleeping bag with you!
3. Bathroom shower kit
Keep travel size items such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrush and even toilet paper.
If you find yourself having to check something on your truck at night you’ll be happy to have a flashlight.
5. Bad weather gear
You never know when the weather is going to change. Rain or shine it is important to stay prepared with an extra jacket and pair of boots.
6. Water and snacks
Staying hydrated while on the road is so important. Keep a cooler filled with cold water to help you stay hydrated all day long. Pack healthy snacks such as trail mix to help tackle your hunger in between meals.
A set of earplugs will help you get a quiet nights rest.
8. Phone number list
If your cellphone gets broken or lost have a list of important contacts and their phone numbers readily available.
9. Tool box
Keep an organized tool box in your cab in case you need to fix something, you will be able to quickly find the tool.
Gloves not only keep your hands warm but work gloves make loading and unloading easier and help with making random repairs.
Brake Safety Week 2020 is upon us. Commercial motor vehicle safety inspectors prioritize vehicle and driver safety by conducting inspections every day. “Safety is always our top priority and it’s our mission to ensure the vehicles on our roadways have met all safety standards and regulations. This is especially important as we rally behind truck drivers as they transport essential goods during this public health crisis. We need to do everything we can to ensure that the vehicles truck drivers are driving are as safe as possible,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police.
Brake Safety Week will take place from August 23rd - 29th.
Checking brake systems is always part of the roadside inspection process, but this week especially, enforcement officials will be paying extra attention. They will be looking closely at brake hoses/tubing. They need drivers to understand how important those parts are to your truck’s mechanical fitness and safety.
CVSA reported that during last year’s International Roadcheck inspection and enforcement initiative, brake system and brake adjustment violations accounted for 45.1% of all out-of-service conditions. During 2019 Brake Safety Week, 13.5% of the commercial motor vehicles inspected were removed from the roadways with brake-related violations.
Drivers should always be inspecting their brake systems. The month of August is Brake Safety Awareness month and throughout the month the CVSA will be educating drivers, motor carriers, mechanics and others about brake maintenance and operation.
Properly functioning brakes are crucial to safe commercial vehicle operation. Since the program started in 1998 over 3.4 million brakes have been inspected. Continue to check your brakes and educate yourself on the importance of brake safety.
At Dillon Logistics, we are serious about safety. Thank you to our drivers for their excellence on the road!
All seasons have their own challenges, even summer. The heatwave days and vacationers on the roads often get overlooked during the June-August timeframe. To help you beat the heat and stay safe on the road, we’ve put together some helpful tips and tricks of which you should be aware.
Hydration is Key
Staying hydrated during the summer is important. Always keep a few extra bottles of water with you in your cab or a cooler so you never have to worry about running out. If you want to track how much water you’re drinking a day and make sure you’re getting enough, we recommend downloading the My Water Balance - Intake Drink app.
Watch for Weather
Unexpected weather, such as severe thunderstorms and heavy rain, is very common during the summer months. Check the weather radar before you leave for your trip and listen to weather forecasts so you can prepare for what’s to come and practice safe driving.
While it is always important to take breaks during your drive to keep you alert, it is especially important during the summer months. It is easy to get dehydrated and sluggish. Next time you are at a rest stop, take some time to go inside, walk around in the air conditioning, and get yourself a cold drink.
Check Your Emergency Kit
Always be prepared for a scenario where your truck breaks down and you’re stuck on the side of the road. Will you be ready? If you’re unsure of what to have in your emergency kit, click here. Before leaving, check the condition of your brakes, tires and vehicle engine fluid levels to help avoid breaking down and having to use your emergency kit.
With asphalt plants operating during the summer, you might notice some more construction zones. Check each state’s Department Of Transportation website and plan your trip accordingly so you aren’t driving through these areas during rush hour.
June Is National Safety Month! 25-Year Dillon Driver, David Stone, Gives His Tips For Staying Safe Behind The Wheel.
Did you know June is National Safety month? Because truck driving is regarded as a hazardous job, hiring safe professionals at Dillon Logistics is one of our top priorities. Becoming a sound driver requires skills and concentration and always being prepared for the unexpected while on the road. One great example of a dependable driver is Dillon Logistic’s David Stone, who is celebrating his 25th Anniversary with our team as a safe driver. He shared some helpful advice for staying safe while on the road.
David believes distracted driving is a huge problem. “Most experienced drivers are safe drivers, until distracted,” he says. It can happen in a split second and is the cause behind many truck accidents. A ringing phone is a prime example of how attention can be diverted away from the road. As a result, all drivers must be disciplined behind the wheel or else risk accidents and close calls. While David has had his own share of close calls over the years, his dedication to safe driving has helped him maintain a clean driving record.
David’s Tip #1 — Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at highway speeds. Drivers must always watch out for oncoming traffic, following traffic, intersection traffic and so on.
David’s Tip #2 -- Have your trip planned ahead of time. Many unexpected events can occur on the road, but having a plan makes you prepared. Check weather forecasts, various driving routes and driving hours to make your trip as safe as possible.
David’s Tip #3 — Slow down for turns and curves. Be extra careful on winding roads or at an off-ramp. Reduce speed accordingly to adjust for lane changes and other vehicles and always be aware of the speed limit.
David’s Tip #4 — Enter your truck with a good mindset. Emotional distractions at home or work can translate to distractions on the road. A mental distraction is just as dangerous as a physical one.
Learning how to become a safe driver comes with practice and time on the road. But if you remember these tips before you get behind the wheel, you’ll put yourself en route to becoming a great driver like David. And let’s not think about being safe just for National Safety Month, but for the entire year. Stay safe out there, drivers!
Serious drivers. serious hauling.
A personal hub dedicated to our entire Dillon Logistics team for staying up-to-date on all things trucking related. Get a monthly dose of inspiration on how to up your serious-hauling game and have first-hand access to resources and the latest happenings out on the road.