Archive for the ‘Driver Stories’ Category

December 29th, 2014

By Tim Hicks, Con-way Truckload Driver Advocate

Winter is no longer fast approaching – it’s here! With the new season and its less-than-ideal weather conditions comes a new saying I hear all too often: “It’s not me I am worried about on the road, it’s the other guy.” Overconfidence is a well-established bias in which a person’s subjective confidence in his or her judgments is reliably greater than the objective itself.

At one point or another, we all have the tendencey to be overly-confident – while taking an exam, playing a competitive sport, etc. But, consider the following facts:

  • According to The Journal of General Psychology, a group of individuals who took an exam reported being 99% confident in their answers. The study showed them to be wrong 40% of the time.
  • In a study where subjects made true-or-false responses to general knowledge statements, they were overconfident at all levels. When they were 100% certain of their answer to a question, they were wrong 20% of the time.

This winter, don’t fall into the trap of becoming an overconfident driver – you may run the risk of missing the mark 20-40% of the time.

I have personally experienced my own overconfidence, and how it can backfire. Here’s an anecdote:

Many years ago, I was driving my truck in the freezing rain. I had just received the green light at the St. Clair scales in Missouri and I was easing along.

I looked in my mirror where I saw a car a little ways behind me, and another set of headlights coming up the hammer lane at a fair clip. The car in the left lane was a Jeep, just passing me, but suddenly, we were face-to-face. She had spun out right in front of me on a curve. I tried to slow down, but we ended up colliding. Luckily, everybody was okay and the damage minimal.

I know that I left my house that morning not expecting that I would be involved in an accident, and I am sure the driver of the Jeep felt the same way.

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Lesson learned: I will never think “It’s not me I am worried about on the road, it’s the other guy” again. Let’s all replace our overconfidence with cautiousness and keep ourselves and everyone else on the road safe this winter.

 

October 17th, 2014

FOSTER

What is the farthest distance you have ridden a bicycle? Possibly 10, maybe 20 miles? Even those distances seem like a feat, but for one Con-way Truckload Owner Operator, that is only a fraction of the distance he rides on a regular basis. This year, truck driver and avid biker, David Foster, rode a double century on his bike – that’s 200 miles!

David got into biking 15 years ago when he and his wife decided to purchase bikes so they could ride alongside their kids. Soon, David discovered that biking was not only a wonderful workout but also a fun hobby. “I started riding more and more. It became a challenge,” he said.

In 2002 David completed his first 150-mile weekend ride, riding 100 miles on Saturday and the final 50 on Sunday. He continued to take part in the ride annually for ten years, saying, “It’s a very rewarding thing to be a part of.”

To prepare for the double century, David went riding as much as he could; taking his bike on the road with him and going on rides whenever he got the chance.  David takes his bike everywhere, allowing him to see even more of the country than he would from the inside of his truck. This summer, David spent a day in Pennsylvania riding around Gettysburg battlefields. In Mississippi, he rode alongside the beautiful beaches during a daily break.

“I have been trucking for more than 32 years,” he explained. “Since I have had this bike I have seen more sites than ever.”

Biking is a wonderful way to stay in shape on the road. At 55 years old, David impressed us all by completing his double century ride, but leisurely rides are great for your body as well!

For more information about David Foster, or to share your fitness tips, check us out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/conwaytruckload.

 

 

August 18th, 2014

As Con-way Truckload’s Driver Advocate, I’m always looking for ways to keep drivers safer and healthier on the road. One of the best strategies for doing this is to simply listen. Our drivers are experienced professionals who understand the importance of working together to improve the job, so when they bring concerns, comments or ideas to me, I try to share the solutions and tips.

An issue that has been brought to my attention recently is tandem slide locking pins that won’t retract when the locking pin release arm is pulled. This is a safety issue that generally results from one of the pins binding on the slider rails. Drivers have reported injuries to their shoulders — especially damage to the rotator cuff —from trying to muscle the pins into position.

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Some success has been reported from the practice of putting the truck in forward or reverse and sliding the trailer box slightly forward or backward in order to get the pins to retract. There is also the temptation to simply whack the pins with a hammer (strongly discouraged). The easiest and most effective solution is to use a lubricant on the pins and slider rails.

Lithium grease, also referred to as white lithium, is an inexpensive, easy-to-use and effective answer. It adheres well to metal, is non-corrosive, may be used under extremely heavy loads, has outstanding temperature tolerance and is resistant to moisture. It can be purchased in spray can form at any Wal-mart or automotive parts store for between $3.00 and $5.00. It stores easily, will not gum up or collect dirt and is very easy to apply. A quick shot to all four pins and a couple of pulls to work it in is all it takes.

Regular applications of white lithium will make the chore of adjusting trailer tandems easier, less work, less frustrating and reduce the risk of injury.

Stay tuned for more tips and if you have a comment or issue that you’d like me to look into, please give me a call.

-Tim Hicks