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Sunday, August 30 2015
The Monthly Scoop - September 2015 Newsletter (Distracted Driving)

Monthly Scoop for September 2015

The DOT Doctor's monthly newsletter is here.   September's issue discusses Distracted Driving, Back to School Awareness, Changing of the Seasons and Chain Laws.   Reminder:  Sept 6 begins Break Check Week!  

School is back in session.  Watch for children and buses.  Right here in our community we experienced two mishaps this week involving school children.  With the first week back to school we had a driver of a 4-wheeler in a rush and they ran into a school bus.  Several children were injured.  Some severely enough to require missing a day of school to receive medical treatment.  Not a good way to begin a school year!

The second situation involved a High School student who just recently received his license.  Flying out of the parking lot, he struck a Jr High student who was walking across the driveway between the two schools.  Both of these situations could have been prevented had the drivers not been speeding and been paying attention.   Slow down.  Remove all distractions, especially cell phones (illegal to use in TX in a school zone) when in a school zone.  Buses and students have the right away!   Even if they are not in the designated walk-ways, yield them the right of way.  It only takes a minute to prevent an accident.

This edition has a special Chain Law Guide included.  This guide is organized by state with laws, contact information and other relevant information.   A link of where to purchase chains is each state is also included.   Remember: chain laws begin in Sept and run through May in some states.   WY has already seen its first snow for the season.

Send us your questions to newsletters@thedotdoctor.com and your question may be listed in next month’s issue.   Have a topic you would like to see discussed?  Send us your suggestions.

Share the newsletters with your friends and co-workers.   Spread the news!  Not on our monthly newsletter email list?   Join today by visiting our website – http://thedotdoctor.com

Read this month's edition -> Monthly Scoop for September 2015

Posted by: The DOT Doctor AT 10:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 25 2015
Poor Maintenance Leads to $2.6M Lawsuit Settlement with Swift

Poor trailer maintenance and lack of a good PM program can lead to tragedy.  When drivers have to force tandems to slide; trouble is invited.  Drivers often use the “wiggle” system to slide stuck tandems.  To do so, one driver will push and pull on the slider while another is behind the wheel rocking the unit.  This is what seems to have occurred in this situation.  If one of the drivers “slip”; major injury can occur.   Using a trainee/trainer team, which is the norm for Swift, it is highly likely this is exactly what happened.  Hence, poor maintenance is to blame.

Sliding a fifth wheel or fixing a “jumped” fifth wheel can result in similar tragedy.  Years back a young man and his trainer were trying to fix a fifth wheel that was jumped.  The trainer had the trainee hold a crowbar under the fifth wheel while he drove the truck forward.   As you can image, it kicked.  The crowbar flew and hit the young man in the jaw busting it in multiple places.  Again, a situation that could have been avoided.

With all the technology we have available today, there has to be a better way to slide axles and fifth wheels than doing so manually.  I recall air slide and other assist mechanisms for fifth wheels.  Payne out of VA ran trucks with these on them as did many other fleets.  The cost of the upgrade well out weighted the cost of a w/c claim or worse a lawsuit.   There are push button landing gear and I recall some type of air slider for the tandems.  These items should become standard gear for trucks instead of fleet options.

In the meantime, how about a decent PM program?  Companies know when these trailers do not slide properly.  The drivers complain about them enough!  Some even write them up on their PTIs.  Stop ignoring them and address the issue.  Dispatchers that order drivers to “make it happen” when you report that they cannot be slid are also part of the problem.  There is no call for a driver to have to put themselves in harm’s way just to get the job done!

The rest of the story - http://www.ccjdigital.com/jury-awards-2-6-million-to-swift-owner-operator-for-negligence-in-equipment-maintenance/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=08-25-2015&utm_campaign=CCJ&ust_id=fe99038b61&

Posted by: The DOT Doctor AT 05:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 25 2015
Hazmat Exemptions

Exemptions granted to rules begins a slippery slope.  The split sleeper birth exemption really has taken on a movement of it's own.  It shows weakness in the rule when exemptions have to be given.  If time was taken to create adequate rules to begin with instead of these one size fits all monstrosities; exemptions would not be needed.  You cannot create conflicting rules and then expect the driver/carrier to choose which to follow.  Either way is a fail and consequences pending.   The answer is to write clear, concise rules from the start.  Stop being so politically fluffy and engage the industry.  Gain real feedback and input BEFORE you create an unworkable rule.  It is long past time that the trucking industry has real input and say in these regulations and not just unknowing politicians that cater to special interest groups....that obviously have no interest in the trucking industry.

Full article here: http://www.ccjdigital.com/haulers-of-certain-hazmat-loads-granted-hos-exemption/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=08-25-2015&utm_campaign=CCJ&ust_id=fe99038b61&#

Posted by: The DOT Doctor AT 12:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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