Archive for the ‘Maintenance’ Category

September 13th, 2013

Recently, I caught up with David Foster, an independent contractor with Con-way Truckload. David is a valuable driver with us and takes great pride in his truck. Most recently, David  took home first place in working class bobtail and interior at the 2013 Great American Trucking Show‘s (GATS) Pride and Polish Beauty Contest.

Since so many of you inquire about David’s truck, I wanted to chat with David about his truck care and maintenance while sharing photos of his truck.

Q1: Do you have a daily, weekly, monthly cleaning routine while on the road?

A1: I usually try get my truck washed once a week – depending on weather and what I’ve run through. As far as cleaning the interior, I just use one damp washcloth and one dry one. I wipe everything down every other day while waiting loads or hours to flip over. I vacuum it out every time I’m at a yard or at the house. My shoes come off every time I go to the bunk.

Q2: How do you maintain your truck?

A2: I don’t really use any products on the interior. I don’t have a trash can— any trash goes by the door & out the door at the next stop..

Q3: Do you have favorite cleaning shortcuts or products?

A3: Like I said earlier, I don’t really use any products on the interior. But for the outside, I wax the paint with Fukken Wax. It’s an aerosol that doesn’t leave a residue around the rivets & cracks. I do the paint first, then the chrome and stainless with Zephyr Pro-40 Metal Polish. It leaves a deep shine and comes off easy.

Q4: Any tips for other drivers out there for keeping their trucks as well maintained as yours?

A4: If you stay after things it’s easier. It gives you a better attitude on the road, especially when you get compliments on you truck.

P.S. That bag on the shelf is my folding bike. It’s great and lets me see things around the country I never would’ve seen with just my truck.

David Foster

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.

March 13th, 2013

Contributing author, Randy Cornell, VP of Maintenance for Con-way Truckload

As a former driver, Randy Cornell knows how essential one’s equipment and pre-trip planning can be for your overall health and safety, as well as saving time and money on the road.

I sat down with Randy who answered our questions regarding specking, planning and why he chose this line of work.

Con-way Truckload Pre-Trip Planning

Katlin: So you started out as a driver? How did you end up in maintenance?
Randy: I was in Safety and when the VP-Maintenance left in January 2010, I was asked if I would move to Maintenance. I had some previous experience in Maintenance from a two-year stint I had in Maintenance back in 1997-1999.

Katlin: What is the most critical pre-trip planning ritual that you emphasize to drivers?
Randy: 1. A good pre-trip inspection should include cleaning all the lights, mirrors and windows. There’s nothing worse than an unsafe truck due to the lack of a good inspection, a truck you can’t see out of because of dirty windows and mirrors, or a truck no one else can see due to dirty lights. 2. Know where you’re headed. Plan your route and where you will stop. Not planning will lead to too many unnecessary and unplanned stops.

Katlin: What is one way pre-trip planning can help drivers save time and money?
Randy: A good pre-trip inspection will help limit your chances of unplanned breakdowns is one way. Also, if you plan your trip, and set goals for yourself as to when and where you will stop, it will prevent unnecessary stops. It’s kind of like grocery shopping. If you make a list before you go, you’ll focus on that list and you have less chance of buying things you don’t really need and wasting money. Planning your trip is the same. If you plan when and where you will stop, you tend to be more focused on achieving those goals that will help you to manage your time better. And when driving a truck, time is money.

Katlin: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about pre-planning a trip?
Randy: A lack of planning creates a waste of time. Planning is important in any position whether you’re a driver or in the office. If you don’t plan your day, your day will plan you.

Katlin: This month we are asking drivers what helps them sleep while on the road. Do you have any tips?
Randy: Eat to live, don’t live to eat. When I was on the road and over-ate, I was miserable and could not get to sleep. Don’t eat for 3 hours before you go to bed. Here’s another reason to plan your trip. Plan your trip and your stops, so you eat at least 3 hours before going to bed. You’ll sleep much better.