Safety is a concern on the minds of many truckers. And it should be. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, trucking is one of the most dangerous occupations – ranking ninth out of 10 that are measured. Truckers across the country know that buckling up saves lives and reduces injuries; you know to take breaks and get out of the rig to walk around; and you already know to be comfortable and get plenty of rest.
With that in mind, Adecco Transportation has compiled some often overlooked tips to keep you safe.
- The parking dilemma - The USDOT recently published a study that found more than half of the truck drivers surveyed rarely or almost never find available truck parking at public rest areas. The study also noted that nearly half of the drivers could not find adequate parking at truck stops that gave them enough space to pull in and out safely.
This study acknowledges that the number of trucks and drivers are increasing at a greater rate than the number of parking spaces available, and while hopefully it will result in adding and expanding the existing public rest areas and truck stops, there are tips you can follow in the mean time:
- Avoid using the shoulders for parking unless an unsafe vehicle condition or mechanical situation requires you to do so
- If you are parked in or within 10 feet of a right of way remember to use reflective devices, or flares to warn other drivers of your vehicle location
- Never park on soft shoulders, blind curves or off ramps
- Dock safety - In between the trailer and the dock is a little harmless looking gap. When using forklifts and pallet jacks, ramps are used to cover the gap so equipment does not get stuck or damaged. But when just walking in and out of a trailer, ramp use is often overlooked. If you must work around the gap, do so with a ramp or dock plate to bridge the opening. The human foot often develops a mind of its own, and may choose to shove itself into the space between the dock and trailer. Permanent injury is possible - and avoidable - in this instance.
- Securing loads - Going around the block or around the country, proper load securement is as much a part of a trucker’s job as is driving. Millions of dollars in freight claims and millions more in vehicle and property damage is a direct result of improperly secured loads. And more importantly, improperly secured loads can shift and cause rollovers. When in doubt about securing a load, ask. Call a manager or fellow driver. It is better to make a quick call than risk injury.
- Vehicle inspection - Good pre- and post-trip inspections are the only chance to reduce equipment failure, and avoid the accidents that may result. Regardless if you only run local or drive the same truck everyday, the best prevention method is to catch something before it becomes a failure. Everyday pre- and post-trip inspections are vital.
- No-Zone awareness - While you may know what your ‘No-Zone’ is, other drivers on the road with you may not. Watch out for vehicles in your No-Zone. It’s a dangerous area that includes your blind spots and represents one-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars.
To learn more about excellent career opportunities in trucking and transportation, contact your local Adecco Transportation representative today.