Posts written by LLarimore

Author Bio: Lakin joined the CFI team in February 2015 and is Communications Editor. She plays an important role in social media and internal publications like Drive Line to keep drivers engaged and informed. Lakin is a valuable asset to the team and hopes the blog is a useful resource for drivers and inspires them to live a healthier lifestyle. She attained her degree in Mass Communications from Missouri Southern State University located in Joplin, Missouri. She enjoys talking to drivers and sharing their story using all avenues of communication.

July 1st, 2016

At XPO Logistics Truckload, we talk a lot about the dangers of distracted driving and this holiday weekend it’s no different.

According to AAA, an estimated 43 million Americans will drive more than 50 miles from their home creating more congestion on the highway and will increase the possibility of a crash. “June is National Safety Month, but just because the month is ending, doesn’t mean safety can be ignored,” said America’s Road Team Captain David Green who is a professional driver at Werner Enterprises. Make sure you are doing trip planning and pre-trip inspections to help avoid any unsafe situations.

The ATA shared some helpful reminders for both passenger and commercial vehicles as they navigate the roads the 4th of July weekend.

 

  • Buckle Up: Seat belts save lives. Day or night and even if you’re riding in the back seat – wear your seat belt.
  • Slow Down: Chances of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic. The spring and summer are periods when work zones are busiest. It is important to reduce speeds when traveling through those areas.
  • Do not drive impaired: There is a lot to celebrate this time of year, with graduations, weddings and holidays seemingly every weekend. With that said, driving is a great responsibility and your fellow travelers are relying on safe, attentive drivers to respectfully share the road and make good decisions.
  • Be aware of truck blind spots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can’t see you.
  • Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Use your cell phone when stopped and never text while driving.
  • Do not cut in front of large trucks: Remember trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
  • Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Check your wipers and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance before you leave your home can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road.
  • Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you won’t be anxious about arriving late. Road conditions may change due to inclement weather or traffic congestion.
  • Be aware of the vehicle in front of you: Leave extra room between you and the vehicle ahead.

June 23rd, 2016

Safety Driver Training Manager, Ronald Erving at our Field Support Center location shares some tips on how to stay cool this summer.

As we approach the dog days of summer, we try to make sure our trucks are ready for the road, but what about ourselves? We must ensure we have plenty of fluids ready for our travels. As we know, being inside the cab of our trucks can be tough. Your body can enter many heat induced illnesses quickly, and we must make sure we are watching out for the signs.

 

Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include headache, dizziness, weakness and moist skin. The more severe heat stroke symptoms would be dry, hot skin with no sweating, mental confusion, losing consciousness, seizures or convulsions. Let’s take a look at ways to prevent heat illness while out on the road.

 

It seems like it should be simple, turn on the A/C and grab a beverage right? Wrong. Having the right drink, clothing, meals and environment can also help. If you feel yourself having any of the symptoms listed above, beat the heat by trying the following steps:

  1. Block out direct sun or other heat sources
  2. Use cooling fans/air conditioning
  3. Rest regularly
  4. Drink lots of water; about 1 cup every 15 min
  5. Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothes
  6. Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks and heavy meals

Following these steps should help us in our survival of summer! We can keep our trucks running well, but if your body is about to breakdown… that will not help us either. Monitor your body’s gauges!

June 12th, 2016

Car mechanic replace the fuel filter

 

As with winter, truck maintenance is crucial before the season is in full swing. Practicing good habits, like performing pre and post trip inspections become even more important in the summer heat. While the summer sun is great for family vacations, the heat can damage your vehicle if the proper maintenance is not being done.

Tire Pressure

The most critical factor in tire maintenance is proper inflation. Due to the high temps on the asphalt, your tires will lose air pressure faster than they do in the cooler temps. Make sure you are checking the tires psi during pre and post trip inspections. You can also purchase an air hose that uses the trucks air supply via glad hand connection for instances where you are not at a truck stop. Properly inflated tires help prevent blow outs, reduce down time and keep you and the motoring public safe.

 

Belts and hoses

A simple visual inspection is all you need to determine the condition of the belts. Check to make sure they are aligned properly, proper tension and check the automatic tensioner if there is one. When you are checking a hose make sure to squeeze it near the ends. If the hose feels spongy, it needs to be replaced. Exposure to the high temps along with the usual contaminants and vibrations can cause these two items additional wear and tear.

 

Fluid Levels

As always, it’s important to ensure your coolant levels are maintained to help prevent your truck from overheating. Research has shown that an estimated 40 percent of engine downtime is caused by cooling system problems. During the summer it is a good idea to have an extra gallon of water and/or coolant in case of an emergency.