Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

February 10th, 2014

A math teacher wanted to instill in his students the concept of 1 million. On a Friday afternoon he announced to a roomful of high school freshmen that he would award a prize of $100 to any student who could present to him, in class on Monday, spiral notebooks containing 1 million, hand-written and individually numbered circles. Several students enthusiastically accepted the challenge.

Monday came and of course, there were no winners. One young man had doggedly stuck it out through Sunday, amassing an impressive total of 230,000 numbered circles. The point was made (and his money was safe). One million is a lot of anything.

Now imagine driving over a million miles. Better yet, more than 4 million miles. An Owner Operator for Con-way Truckload, Jon “Smitty” Smith, who has been driving for us since 1984, recently accomplished this very feat.

Smitty has driven an average of 133,000 miles per year for the past 30 years. The fact that the average yearly turnover rate in the trucking industry is between 95 and 100 percent makes this milestone even more impressive. Smitty attributes his longevity on the road to his enjoyment of the job, his desire to see the country and strict attention to safety.

Smitty and his family

Here are some tips to help you along the road to millions of miles:

  1. Aim high while steering. Always look further ahead down the road, than just the vehicle in front of you.
  2. Get the big picture. Keep a lookout all around, especially at intersections and stoplights.
  3. Keep your eyes moving. Caution, awareness and anticipation are key.
  4. Leave yourself an “out.” Position yourself advantageously in traffic.
  5. Make sure others can see you. Be visible.

Congratulations Smitty and thank you for your hard work and dedication over the years. Check out our photos from Smitty’s recognition ceremony on our Facebook Page.

Reached a million or more miles? Share your story with us!

January 20th, 2014

Winter is well underway and for many of us, this means snowstorms, ice, and a myriad of other dangerous driving conditions. Driving a big truck takes practice and finesse and when it comes to driving in dangerous winter conditions, it takes a whole lot of experience. So, we asked a number of our veteran drivers to give newer drivers some winter driving safety tips. And below, check out some additional articles about driving in winter road conditions from other experts on the road!

  1. Slow down. This was the top recommendation to new drivers during winter road conditions. There’s no point in keeping the speed limit if the roads are iced over or covered in a thick sheath of the fluffy stuff. Tread carefully – the slower the better.
  2. Seek advice. Experienced drivers are always available to give advice, whether over the radio, at a stop, or in the break room. No question is a bad question. In fact, the more questions you have answered, the safer you’ll be!
  3. Equipment check. As part of a normal pre-trip inspection, make an extra effort to clear ice and snow from all lights. Check your tires for proper inflation. Tires can lose pressure when it is extremely cold.
  4. Communicate. Talking with your Fleet Supervisor will help others on the road stay in tune with conditions and if things get too dangerous, staying up to date with someone on your team may help prevent an accident.
  5. Pay Attention. Are you driving in sleet? Is it actually snow or ice? Knowing the difference provides keys to the air temperature and condition of the road. Spray thrown-up by tires does not always mean the temp is above freezing. It could be the result of treated roads. Use other clues such as ice forming on mirrors, wipers, and antennas as indicators of air and road temperature. Experience teaches that conditions change by the mile.
  6. Know your comfort zone. Just because others on the road are going full speed or not practicing safety precautions, doesn’t mean you should too. Whether it’s slowing down, checking equipment, or asking as many questions as you like, being comfortable is an important element of staying safe.
  7. STOP. Of course, if it comes to it, there’s no shame in stopping. Pull into a safe location and wait for safe conditions before resuming your trip. Better to get freight there late than not at all.

What’s your number one safety tip during winter weather?

For more tips and resources, check out these articles.

December 5th, 2013

Source: Oregon Department of Transportation

Unpredictable weather can make winter driving treacherous. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe on the road.

Before traveling to areas that may have hazardous conditions, make sure your vehicle is ready:
• Ensure the heater and defroster are working properly.
• Test all lights. Carry spare light bulbs.
• Use antifreeze that’s good to -25°F; check and fill washer and other fluids and make sure hoses aren’t loose or brittle.
• Keep wipers clean and in good condition; fill the windshield washer tank.
• Make certain your battery is fully charged (also check battery age and make sure cables are not loose or corroded).
• Make sure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated for best traction, including your spare.
• Carry chains or use traction tires in winter.
• Keep an automotive safety kit in your vehicle.

If you are driving in areas that have ice or snow on the road, adjust your driving to fit conditions and remember these winter driving tips:
• Turn off your cruise control.
• If you lose traction and your vehicle feels like it’s floating, gradually slow down. Don’t slam on the brakes.
• Use caution when driving on bridges or concrete highways. These surfaces are the first to freeze and become slippery when the temperature drops.
• Slow down in advance of shaded areas, especially on curves. Shaded areas are cooler and may have ice that is difficult to see.
• Don’t pass snowplows or sanders, and don’t follow them too closely; they will pull over!
• Be prepared for slow traffic after a storm passes. It may take several hours to clear long lines of trucks waiting to cross a pass after a storm moves through the area. Also, it may take time to remove cars abandoned on the side of the road.

If you’re traveling with an infant or baby, pack extra food, warm clothes and blankets, toys and games, and extra diapers just in case. Remember to use your child safety seat properly.

Before leaving, tell a friend where you are going, the planned route, and when anticipate arriving. Keep them updated on any major route or arrival changes.