4 Steps For Getting Back To Trucking Safely
Truck fleets are meant to be running on the road always. Downtime and idling aren’t an option for them. But sometimes the trucks may have to stay idle for days or months due to some technical, personal or other reasons of fleet managers, drivers and companies. As we already discussed that the fleets are meant to be hitting the road all time, the fleet management systems that are installed in the trucks to ensure efficiency, compliance, maintenance and safety are built to mainly monitor a fleet that is in motion. If your truck is grounded for several days or months, then the redeployment of the fleet could be a challenging task.
If your rig isn’t running a little longer than the usual, then it is very likely that mechanical issues will seep in and many things can go wrong when the truck hits the road. Many parts of your truck could stop working by sitting idle. Keeping that in mind, I am going to suggest some of the best strategies for getting your truck back on the road safely..
1. Reinspect your truck and trailer the same way you do the yearly inspection.
Submit your truck and trailer to the same yearly inspection.you can do it yourself but in more depth than your daily pre trip inspection. If it passes inspection then jump to number 2 on the list. If not then do the necessary repairs… it is important not to ignore any repair that is needed.
Few things we recommend to check in :
– Engine, fluids and leakage.
-Air Brake and air brake pressure.
-Tires, including tires pressure, condition of the tires and thread depth. Make sure you check tire rims for any cracks and all nuts are there. Check if your spare tire is still there.
-Batterie and connections.
-Lights, check all lights on the truck and the trailer. Including dashboard engine light and Warnings.
– Quick look at your suspensions, at this point you’re looking for cracks or damages.
-Slide your tandem back and forth and make sure tanden pins are locked in.
-Quick look at your mirrors and make sure to honk your horn.
-Check your copulling system, Fifthwheel. Make sure your fifthwheel is greased before backing into your trailer.
-I personally do one more thing: checking my CB radio, I do “Break one nine check” with another driver to make sure all is good.
– Lastly make sure your Electronic logbook is working and you have a minimum of eight days of paper log.
These things should be thoroughly checked before hitting the road.
2. Take your truck and trailer for a quick test ride.
The second thing is to take your truck and trailer after inspection for a spin around the area, preferably on the highway for about 15 to 30 minutes at highway speed, at this time do not turn your radio on. The objective is to listen to any out of the ordinary noises and squeaks.
3. Remain Updated With Latest Rules And Regulations
Things are changing quickly these days, so stay updated on the latest developments in rules and regulations. Ask your safety department to provide you with the latest updates since the last time you’ve been on the road. Example HOS changes essentials freight and there rules. Also as usual check on the weather to know what is happening ahead of you.
4. Stock up on food and water and don’t forget your mask.
With most restaurants closed or in reduced operations, you need to stock up on food and water. Viste your local grocery store and get what you’re going to need for your trip and a little extra in case of layovers. Freights are slow moving, so you might have to layover more than the usual, so be ready. Don’t forget your make you might not easily find some on the road so bring them with you. Some companies are refusing to accept drivers in their facilities if they don’t have masks or gloves.
It’s important, when you get ready to go back on the road is to be safe, not just for your sake but for the sake of others around you. As a truck driver, safety is always your priority and it is your responsibility.
At this point you have inspected your truck, tested and you have plenty of food for the trip so it is time to call your dispatcher, give him or her your 20, get out there and make some money.
From one driver to another “Be safe out there”.