Archive for the ‘Driver Stories’ Category

April 7th, 2015

We have all heard the stories and seen the campaigns – texting while driving is dangerous, and can even be lethal. But, what else is defined as a distraction while driving? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are three main types of distraction on the road:

  • Visual distractions that occupy your eyes
  • Manual distractions that occupy your hands
  • Cognitive distractions that occupy your mind

The CDC estimates that each day, more than 9 people are killed as a result of distracted driving in the United States – not to mention the hundreds of injuries and thousands of dollars in damages that are accrued. The purpose of Distracted Driving Awareness Month is to bring these statistics to the attention of everyone who shares our nation’s roads in the hopes of creating safer conditions for drivers everywhere.

Some of our Drivers of the Month recently gave us some tips for staying safe on the road, whether you’re a member of the motoring public or behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.

Butterworth James #015

 

Stay focused and remember the five keys of safety.

James Butterworth

 

 

 

Korn Mick #14

Pay attention to the traffic, surroundings, and road conditions and keep your eyes moving.

Mick Korn

 

 

 

 

Lynch & Turns #023

 

Take your time. Don’t act like you know everything, because you learn something new every day. Don’t take any risks.

Terri Lynch & Amey Turns

 

 

 

Martin Shaun

 

Don’t be too confident. Take every day like a student and drive with caution.

Shaun Martin

 

 

 

Dorman Mike #035

 

Set aside one cent for every safe mile driven, and if nothing happens, you will have $10,000 when you reach 1 million miles!

     – Mike Dorman

 

 

 

How do you stay safe and avoid distractions on the road? Share your tips with us on Facebook, and don’t forget to spread the word about Distracted Driving Awareness Month to your fellow drivers!

 

 

March 30th, 2015

Andrea and Jai Steward, a married couple and a Con-way Truckload company team have decided to let us in on a little secret: how they stay fit and flexible by working out for less than 20 minutes each day on the road.

Something that many professional truck drivers struggle with is finding the time/space/energy to exercise while working. We offer many tips, recommendations and workout styles to those of you who read Steering Your Health, but one piece of travel-friendly equipment we hadn’t yet heard of is called the Bellicon. The Bellicon looks and acts like a mini trampoline. It is referred to as a “rebounder.”  It is easy to store in your cab and the Steward’s are already seeing results, as they explain in the video below. Check it out:

 

 

The Bellicon, unlike other workout regimes, allows you to work most of the muscles in your body. It strengthens your legs and feet, tightens the muscles and skin in your face and grows your muscles. The Steward’s share that they have “bounced” in rest areas, truck stops, scenic overlooks, parking lots and “anywhere else we can find 39 inches to put up the Bellicon!”

Andrea and Jai share more stories from their life on the road on their website, www.LovinTruckin.com. They feature stories from the road, workout routines, recipes and some great recommendations. We highly recommend that anyone – a driver or not – follow their travels.

What do you think of the Bellicon? Is it something you would consider investing in? Share your own over-the-road fitness secret on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ConwayTruckload.

 

 

 

January 5th, 2015

By: Tim Hicks, Con-way Truckload Driver Advocate

What is ABS?

Abs? The muscles that hurt after doing too many sit-ups?

All Bread Sandwich?

Acrylonitrile butadiend styrene?

No. If we are talking tractor trailers, ABS stands for Anti-lock Braking System.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is a safety system that allows the wheels on a trailer to maintain tractive contact with the road surface while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up. By preventing the wheels from ceasing rotation, ABS helps drivers avoid uncontrolled skidding.

ABS photo SYH 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sounds like a pretty good idea. Under no circumstances would I want to see my trailer passing by me. This can prove to be a great concern for drivers, especially when your tires lock up on wet or slick roads. ABS generally offers improved control and decreases stopping distances, with improved vehicle control.

Is it automatic braking?

No. Professional drivers maintain control of the trailer and have to be aware of road conditions. Roads covered in rain, ice and snow are always going to require more distance to come to a complete stop.

ABS isn’t new; it’s been around for years.

ABS is widely used on production cars, motorcycles, commercial and military aviation, as well as tractor trailers and race cars. Engineers developed the first anti-lock braking system for automobiles in the mid-1970s. Thinking back to when ABS first came out, I remember how dangerous my fellow drivers and I thought it would be. We did not understand how sacrificing control over a trailer’s brakes could increase safety. Over the years, however, the system has proved reliable and prevented numerous costly accidents.

Respecting the ABS light

Whether driving an SUV or a tractor trailer, most motorists do not respect their vehicles warning lights. In the past two years, we have had 64 violations involving the ABS lamps alone. These infractions result in Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) points charged to Con-way Truckload. More points equates to more Scale and Roadside inspections, which cost time and money. 

Traditionally, many drivers looked to avoid such infractions by tampering with the ABS light. I have seen drivers unplug or even cut the light’s wires to prevent it from coming on. The dangers involved with doing so cannot be overstated. In doing this, you not only put yourself at risk, but also the drivers who use that trailer after you. Take the time to get the light fixed. Fixing a broken or unplugged ABS light will minimize the problem and promote a safer driving environment for the motoring public. We are the only ones that can truly solve this issue that continues to plague our industry.

Recently, I asked a couple of members from our Fleet Services team if they could help answer a few common questions. Their responses provide key insight into ABS system operation and maintenance.

What causes an ABS light to illuminate?

Tony Coulson, Road Service Manager at Con-way Truckload:

  • Sensor out of adjustment
  • Broken wire
  • Loose wheel bearing
  • Sensor failure
  • ABS module (brain) failure

Tony says that an average ABS repair is 1-2 hours with an experienced technician.

How do you properly check if the ABS light and system are working?

Greg Wilkins, Senior Inspector at Con-way Truckload:

  1. Set key in OFF position, then turn key to ON position (don’t start).
  2. Step on brake pedal and hold. ABS light will come on and go out within five seconds if ABS system is     working.
  3. Fault indicated if light doesn’t come on, at which point we check that the wire to the light has not been cut. Next we replace the ABS light and try again.
  4. If light does not come on, or comes on and stays on, then it goes to shop for repair.
  5. ABS systems on trailers have always been touchy and most noticeable when it is raining. Then when they dry out they tend to work again unless a code has been set in the computer.
  6. Generally if a wheel sensor throws a code, the ABS stays inoperative until the fault is cleared in the computer. Computers go bad in one out of 20 trailers.
  7. When the light is illuminated, the ABS system is inoperative but the brakes work normally without the ABS feature.

Don’t take a chance. Make a point of respecting the ABS light and maintaining the system when necessary. It is designed to help you stop faster and with more control. An inch can be the difference between a collision and a close call.