Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Loading Liability for the Driver, Company, and Shipper

Important points for the Motor Carrier
Know you Limits.

While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations do not specifically require the driver to physically measure the height of the load with a tape measure, the regulations and most, if not all, state laws place responsibility on the driver for the cargo in or on the trailer. Whether or not you have any doubt, ensure "your" load is within legal limits. Do not presume that if it looks safe, it is safe, and do not take the word of the shipper.

Know your load.
Ensure that your load is properly and legally braced, secured, and placed safely on your vehicle. Do not trust the shipper to do it. When the shipper's duty is complete, it is now your load. Ensure your load is safe and legal before you depart the facility and enter onto the highway.

Know your shipper.
Make sure the shipper does its job. The shipper may want "pass the buck", but they have a shared duty to motorists on the highway to ensure the cargo or equipment it loaded has been loaded safely and legally. Tell the shipper to fix something if you notice a potential problem or hazard with the load. Oversee the shipper's work and advise of any corrective measures are necessary. If in doubt, raise the issue, advise your dispatcher, but do not just drive away.


Important Points for Both the Shipper and Motor Carrier

Know that safety always comes first.
As the shipper or the carrier, if you notice something that may be dangerous, address it with the other party.


If the shipper ignores you, take action. Refuse the load and call your employer to explain the situation so that corrective action and appropriate permits may be obtained if necessary. However, if it involves a simple fix on your end, do it to ensure the load falls within legal limits.


If the driver ignores you, take action. Prevent the driver from leaving. If it involves an illegal load that can be fixed on your end, do it - whether it involves either measuring the load or adjusting the load to ensure that it falls within legal limits.

If each party fulfills the obligations of their respective roles in a safe, reasonable, and legal manner, everyone benefits and a tragedy could be averted.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Staying Awake At the Wheel

Over 60% of adult drivers say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year.

*Best Ways To Avoid Driver Fatigue*

Whether it’s a bumper-to-bumper grind or an extended journey on a lonely lane that may induce a bout of Highway Hypnosis, all drivers will undoubtedly feel the exhaustion of staying on the road for a lengthy period of time. Beyond taking allotted breaks and getting a full eight hours of sleep, it’s important to find ways to stay alert on the road. Keep yourself, along with everyone else on the road, safe with these handy tips that help drivers wake up, and stay awake, while on prolonged trips.

Chew Away

Give yourself a light workout and a quick boost with a refreshing piece of peppermint gum. The aroma of peppermint stimulates the brain and gives you a shot in the arm when you’re feeling a bit groggy. However, the biggest perk is the escape from the mundane. Staring out at the road requires little to no facial stimulation, but chewing a piece of gum requires voluntary muscle use that will increase blood flow and fuel your brain to help you stay awake.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

There are few things better than listening to a great driving playlist while on a long drive. But if you’ve been on the road for an extended period, those songs can quickly morph from sing-alongs and party anthems to white noise. The best way to combat this is by mixing in a standup comedy act. Follow along with the laughs and keep yourself engaged by snickering at the jokes. The time will fly by and you’ll keep your brain alert with this hilarious tip.

Stay Engaged

Don’t fight the battle of staying awake alone. Keep your mind on something by bringing it the forefront. Listen to a podcast about your favorite hobby or plug in your Bluetooth and have a quick conversation with someone. This will get your mind working and allows you to stay mentally focused during any trip.

Find the Right Vice

There are far better options than guzzling down candy, caffeine and nicotine, but sometimes you need to succumb to your vices. The important thing is to minimize these necessities and not stuff your body full of unhealthy stimulants that will just lead to a bigger mental crash in an hour. Talk to your doctor and seek out healthier supplements like ginseng and protein bars that give your body the necessary boost to stay awake. Items like these are healthier in the long term, and you can still reach for the occasional energy drink or candy bar for the added mental boost.

Walk It Out

Lastly, make sure to keep yourself moving whenever you take a break. Pull over and take a walk around for a few minutes to give yourself a mental break and get your blood moving again. Sitting for extended periods of time and staring out at the road takes a bigger toll on your body than you realize. It’s important to keep alert in the short term, and also to keep your body and mind prepared for the next day, week, month and year.

So don’t let the road get the best of you. Try these helpful tips on your next drive and remember to pull over and rest whenever you start to feel tired.