Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

June 3rd, 2013

As a follow up to his interview on pre-trip planning, Randy Cornell, former driver and now the VP of Maintenance for Con-way Truckload, shares his knowledge regarding pre-trip inspections.


Why are pre-trip inspections so important?  

The number one goal of any of our drivers should be safety. The pre-trip inspection is a vital role in meeting this goal. The inspection is in place to find, and have repaired, any defects that may be found before heading over the road.


How long should a pre-trip inspection take?

Generally, if no problems are discovered, the inspection takes between 15-30 minutes. If a problem is found, the time of the inspection will depend on what the repair entails.


What if a driver finds an issue in need of repairing?  

Drivers are welcome to make minor repairs. If the driver does make the repair themselves, this time will need to be documented as ‘On-Duty Not-Driving’ time. For more serious repairs a driver may not have the tools required to adequately correct the issue and, in those instances, the driver should contact their local Road Service office. However, if the issue is not a Department of Transportation (DOT) out-of-service violation, they can direct you to the nearest shop location.


What issues are most often overlooked during pre-trip inspections? 

The top three overlooked issues in most inspections are brake adjustment, air pressure in tires and lights.


What are the consequences for not conducting a pre-trip inspection? Any Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) implications?

The most significant consequence is a potential accident due to faulty equipment. Also, if the issue is caught by a DOT officer and a violation handed down, the CSA score of the driver and the carrier are affected. In some cases, the DOT officer may issue a monetary violation.


Do you have any tips or tricks for making a pre-trip inspection easier for drivers?

The best “trick” for a proper pre-trip inspection is to take your time. Start at one point on the truck or trailer and work your way completely around the truck. Carry a flashlight with you as you do the inspection so you can see in dark places – even in broad daylight it can be difficult to see inside brake drums and low lighting areas. It’s also a good idea to carry a tire pressure gauge so you can easily check the tires as you check the other equipment.

May 6th, 2013

Construction zone

I recently sat down with Mike Wallace, the lead learning and development specialist for Con-way Truckload, to get his point of view on construction zone safety and best practices for drivers in these situations. Check out the interview below for his insight.


Katlin Owens: Is there a particular time of year when construction zones are most prevalent?
Mike Wallace: Highway construction is most prevalent as soon as the weather clears up and enough construction workers can work outside. Most truck drivers say there are two seasons, Winter and Construction.

KO: What are the biggest things to look for when entering a construction zone?
MW: Some of the most important things to look for are, speed limits, construction workers, moving equipment, and other traffic going through the construction zones.

KO: Why are construction zones so dangerous, especially for truckers?
MW: Because of the constricted space limited by the barriers and congestion. The danger also increases when other motorist do not obey the posted speed limits.

KO: What are the biggest concerns in construction zones?
MW: Getting the big picture and paying attention to everything that is going on in front, beside and behind at all times. Also, leaving enough space in front of you to be able to stop in the event anything should happen suddenly.

KO: How does Con-way prepare their drivers for these situations?
MW: We teach the Smith System of Defensive Driving, which focuses on the following teaching points. Aim high in steering, get the big picture, keep your eyes moving, leave yourself an out, and make sure they see you.

KO: Do you tell new drivers anything specific about handling these unexpected situations?
MW: It is all covered in the classroom portion of Smith System.

KO: What is the most important thing a driver should remember when in a work zone?
MW: There are two very important things. They are, control your speed and leave yourself plenty of room.

KO: Are there any other details or points that you would like to add?
MW: With the conception of the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability Program (CSA), it is utterly important that drivers control their speed through constructions zones. Besides being extremely dangerous to speed through them and increasing the chance for a crash, a ticket received in a construction zone is a 10 point violation times 3 for the first year on the CSA.