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.
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!
Hey Dillon team. We know that times are tough and more trying than normal, but know that our team and our nation appreciations your hard, serious work behind the wheel. And while the economy shutdown has caused numerous businesses to close their doors, there are also many who are going out of their way to show their appreciation for the trucking industry. Read more to see how you can benefit!
Numerous restaurants are finding unique ways to help out the trucking industry. Check out the discounts and helpful services that some of your favorites are offering.
ELECTRONICS & RADIO
There’s nothing better than listening to your favorite radio show or jamming out to a great song to pass the time on the road. It’s also nice to have good internet access at truck stops. Check out a couple some discount options below.
HOTELS & STAY
Finding a nice, clean spot to stay during long hauls is a game changer. These common rest stops are going out of their way to make sure you can recharge properly.
FACEBOOK HELP GROUPS
People are rallying around truckers to make sure they get what they need to be successful on the road. These Facebook groups provide updates and, through the help of volunteers, bring food to truckers. Click the links below to join them.
As Americans prepare to ride out home quarantines, our drivers are out on the front lines helping keep shelves stocked and meet everyday consumer needs. The new normal may look much different in your everyday life, but here at Dillon Logistics, no deadline - even during a pandemic - is is too tough for our crew of serious drivers.
What we’re hauling has a direct impact on our everyday lives. From the fertilizer that nourishes the vegetables in the produce isles, to the box of cereal you just picked up and the asphalt that paves the roads connecting you to the grocery stores, our drivers are helping deliver the essential products we need.
There are sure to be a ton of unexpected and trying times in the coming weeks as America navigates what is happening, but when we come out on the other side and the year 2020 is noted in history books, we’ll be proud to say Dillon Logistics drivers were standing beside the the thousands of fleets on the fight to move America forward.
When most people think of distracted driving, they picture texting behind the wheel. While cell phone use is one of the most common driver diversions, there are a host of other actions people take that put them and others in danger on the road.
According to EndDD.org, a distracted driving organization, there are three types of distracted driving: manual (moving hands away from the wheel), visual (taking eyes off the road), and cognitive (mind wandering away from the task of driving). Texting involves all three, and according to FMCSA, drivers who text are 23% more likely to cause an accident.
But it’s not just texting that poses a risk. Other electronic devices, like tablets, laptops and GPS systems can be a distraction. Yet, technology isn’t the only culprit. Eating and drinking, reaching for another object in your truck, smoking and looking at surroundings can all cause drivers to release their attention from the road.
So what precautions can you take to minimize distractions while you are behind the wheel? An article from Work Truck Online offers some good tips.
Drivers, always taking your hauling seriously, and hauling seriously means upholding safety behind the wheel. Minimizing distractions could mean your life and the lives of others on the road around you.
By now, most everyone in the transportation industry has heard of the FMCSA Clearinghouse, but some are still unsure of exactly what it is. If you haven’t heard of the FMCSA Clearinghouse before and are looking for new opportunities with the Dillon Logistics team, make sure to keep reading in order for your application and onboarding process to be smooth and seamless.
In a layman’s terms, the Clearinghouse is used to promote highway safety by making sure that drivers who have a drug or alcohol offense are evaluated and/or treated before they operate a CMV on public road.
It is every trucking company’s responsibility to check the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a CMV based on U.S. Department of Transportation drug and alcohol program violations, and ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a CMV on public roads.
Here is how our future Dillon drivers can prepare. Complete the two step FMCSA Clearinghouse registration process before you apply for a driving job(www.clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov). Next, complete our application (https://intelliapp.driverapponline.com/c/dillonlogistics). Once the application is completed and you’ve spoken with our recruiters, you must log back into the Clearinghouse portal to release our query request. This not only helps expedite your application process but also does not delay us getting you in the truck. Tenstreet, an integrated driver recruiting software and one of our partners, acts as our third-party administrator (TPA) to help us expedite this process as well.
If you have more questions, leave a comment below with your phone number and we’ll have a Dillon Logistics recruiter reach out to answer your questions with further information.
Human trafficking is not a topic to take lightly, but it is a topic that we should engage in and fight against. This year, we are proud to be partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), an organization that educates truck drivers on how to identify and report instances of trafficking, to help defeat the stifling amount of traffickers that exploit our nations highways.
According to TAT, human trafficking can be found in all 50 states, “and victims are often reported in locations frequented by truckers.” Because we have a thumbprint in these areas, we at Dillon Logistics feel it is part of our duty to help take a stand against these heinous crimes.
“Truckers are one of the most motivated and well-organized industry groups on this issue,” the TAT website states. “[We are] raising up a mobile army of transportation professionals to assist law enforcement in the recognition and reporting of human trafficking, in order to aid in the recovery of victims and the arrest of their perpetrators.”
Since its launch in 2009, the organization’s impact has been monumental: 2,496 people have contacted the trafficking hotline, 663 cases have been generated, 1,230 victims have been identified, and 845,115 people have registered as TAT trained. The numbers continue to grow.
We look forward to becoming a corporate sponsor this year and have begun pushing out the TAT training companywide to become certified partners. At Dillon Logistics, serious hauling is about more than what we do behind the wheel. It involves serious commitment to our industry and those involved in it.
In an industry where safety is key all year round, there’s no better time than now to put your best safety methods into practice. Slick roads, harsh storms and extra traffic are inevitable during the holiday season and can challenge any driver’s capabilities. While we are proud to have some of the best professionals out there, it never hurts to freshen up on some critical safety practices to help face the frigid months.
“Knowledge and implementation of proper, preventative safety skills for driving in poor conditions, can truly separate the professional drivers from the rest of the pack” an article from Smart-Trucking said.
Before leaving the terminal, check your truck. Tanks and trailers should be in pristine condition to handle the weather. Inspect the following to verify everything is up to par:
Once you get on the road, the Smart-Trucking article said to use tail lights as a gauge for following distance. When visibility is low and you can see the tail lights of the car in front of you, you are driving too close. Because traction on icy roads is poor, staying at a safe distance from other vehicles and maintaining cautious speeds gives you a time to react if things go awry.
Another tip from Smart-Trucking is to always carry a bag of kitty litter. It’s an environmentally friendly and effective method for gaining traction if you park on a patch of ice and get stuck.
Also, recognize that with frozen conditions comes the infamous black ice. Deceptively similar to water, black ice is transparent and easy to miss. According to an article by Ryder Fleet Products, the best way to pinpoint black ice is to look at your truck and surrounding terrain. If ice begins to build on the outside mirror arms, the antenna, or top corners of the wind-shield, it’s possible there is black ice on the road. If water spray from vehicles tires in front of you suddenly stops, it could mean there are ice patches on the road.
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.