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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Feb 22 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Canada

While the fight against human trafficking is a year-round battle, Canada has designated Feb. 22 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which provides an important opportunity to join a national conversation about the issue and leverage the momentum gained on the topic that day and in the month leading up to it. Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) has developed a menu of external and internal communication tools to help our valued partners become a part of this conversation. Companies can elect to implement any combination of these ideas; TAT will work with you to customize and co-brand materials as needed. Src: https://ontruck.org/feb-22-is-national-human-trafficking-awareness-day-in-canada/

CVSA part 2 (TPV operation)

Testing and verifying the proper operation of the tractor protection valve is very simple, and it should be part of your daily pre-trip inspection. That being said, the number of drivers who actually perform a full and proper pre-trip inspection is few and far between. We have all seen “that” driver who crawls out of bed, starts the truck, and heads for the highway without even getting out of the truck to check lights and tires. It’s probably a safe bet that more than a few drivers don’t even know the reason for the tractor protection valve. The purpose of the TPV is to ensure that in the event of an air leak on the trailer, the air system on the tractor is protected so as to prevent a full system depressurization, thus preventing the activation of the parking brakes on the tractor which could send you into jack knife, or worse. To accomplish this, when the air pressure drops below 100 PSI, your low air pressure warning light and buzzer will activate, and you need to find a safe place to park immediately! When the pressure drops below 60 PSI, the TPV will close the valve stopping the flow...

CVSA 2024 part 1

The focus of this year’s annual CVSA safety blitz, scheduled from May 14-16 should make be extremely easy to pass. The focus this year is on substance abuse and the proper operation of the tractor protection system. Passing the substance abuse criteria shouldn’t be a problem at all, but every year we read about impaired truck drivers. In many cases, it’s accidental. For this reason, we recommend the “24 hours, bottle to throttle”, meaning no alcohol for at least 24 hours before getting behind the wheel. Other intoxicants, however, can make it far more difficult to self-determine intoxication, and in some cases, trace amounts can be detected long after they were last consumed. Cannabis, for example, is fat-soluble and can be detected by a drug test up to 6 weeks after use. By that time, the effects will have long since passed, but the active ingredient is still in your system and when tested, you will fail the drug screen. How long other intoxicants remain in your system depends a lot on how often you consume them and when they were last consumed. Evidence of cocaine use can be flushed out of your system in as little as a day,...

Speed Kills

We’ve all heard the saying “Speed Kills”, and it’s even more relevant with semi-trucks. They take much longer to come to a stop at any speed, upwards of 150 meters from 100 km/h to 0 km/h. If you’re too close to the vehicle in front of you, you won’t be able to stop before running into them in an emergency braking situation. Your safest choice is to pay attention to traffic as far ahead of you as you can see, and to stay at least 6 seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you. To determine if you’re at least 6 seconds back, watch for the back of the vehicle ahead to pass a stationary object such as a power pole, bridge, or billboard and start counting “1 steamboat, 2 steamboat”, etc. if you get to the same point before finishing “6 steamboat”, you’re too close. Keeping the 6-second gap can be a real problem as people will cut in front of you into your “safe space”, so you need to be mindful and adjust your speed and safety gap accordingly. Another place excess speed is a problem is when cornering. Most on and off-ramps have posted speed limits and some corners...

Wheels off

Did you actively prevent losing a set of wheels today, or were you just lucky? Having wheels come off your truck or trailer, though quite rare, is one of the most serious safety violations to be found in trucking. Even out-of-adjustment brakes are somewhat effective, but wheels separating are not only of no use to you, but they pose an extremely dangerous, potentially deadly hazard. There are a few reasons why a set of wheels can separate from the truck or trailer, but the most common reason is improperly tightened lug nuts. Anytime a wheel is removed and re-installed, have the lug nuts retorqued within the first 100 miles. In some jurisdictions, this is a recommendation, while in others like Ontario, it is mandated by law. The reason Ontario is so strict regarding wheels coming off commercial vehicles is that about 20 years ago they had a real epidemic of wheels coming off trucks, and more than a few people were killed. Try to imagine the force of 2 tires and rims weighing close to 700 lbs hitting your car and a combined speed of over 160 km/h. To best prevent a wheel separation, do a thorough check of the...

Speed Kills

We’ve all heard the saying “Speed Kills”, and it’s even more relevant with semi-trucks. They take much longer to come to a stop at any speed, upwards of 150 meters from 100 km/h to 0 km/h. If you’re too close to the vehicle in front of you, you won’t be able to stop before running into them in an emergency braking situation. Your safest choice is to pay attention to traffic as far ahead of you as you can see, and to stay at least 6 seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you. To determine if you’re at least 6 seconds, watch for the back of the vehicle ahead pass a stationary object such as a power pole, bridge, or billboard, and start counting “1 steamboat, 2 steamboat”, etc. i f you get to the same point before finishing “6 steamboat”, you’re too close. Keeping the 6-second gap can be a real problem as people will cut in front of you into r “safe space”, so you need to be mindful and adjust your speed and safety gap accordingly. Another place excess speed is a problem is when cornering. Most on and off-ramps have posted speed limits and some corners on the highway...

The Feds, Provinces & Territories Must Work Together to effectively Monitor Carrier Safety Fitness

The Feds, Provinces & Territories Must Work Together to Effectively Monitor Carrier Safety Fitness The System in place currently has been broken for a long time, and solutions offered by the Industry have yet to be acted upon (the below is an exert of a communication that was sent by the PMTC to the CCMTA, Transport Canada & The Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation) Currently, Commercial Motor Carriers who wish to operate a trucking fleet in Canada must apply for a Safety Fitness Certificate from the Provincial Authority in which they plan to license their vehicles. If the Provincial Authority of the base jurisdiction approves the application, a National Safety Code (NSC) will be issued to the Carrier. The base jurisdiction is then responsible for monitoring the motor carrier for safety and compliance, based on National Safety Code 14, which is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) all jurisdictions agreed to several years back. https://www.ccmta.ca/en/national-safety-code While in theory, this process comes across as seamless and consistent, the reality of how carriers are monitored from one Canadian provincial jurisdiction to the other varies significantly. For instance, if you were to run a Safety Fitness Certificate from a carrier based in Ontario and then...

Safe loading / Unloading

Whenever you’re loading at a facility, be it loading a van at a loading dock or loading a flat deck outside, always exercise extreme caution and wear the appropriate personal protective equipment at all times. Most facilities have a minimum requirement for PPE, which is closed-toe shoes and a hi-vis reflective vest. Exceeding the requirements is never a bad thing, as there is no such thing as being too careful. When on a loading dock to count freight being loaded or unloaded, be sure to stay out of the way of moving equipment. This may sound obvious, but every year drivers are injured when struck by moving forklifts. While closed-toed shoes may be a requirement, it’s recommended that instead of running shoes, wear steel-toe boots. If and when you get a forklift running over your foot, or something falls on your foot, you’ll appreciate the steel toes. Before you back into or pull out of a loading dock, visually inspect the dock leveling plate and truck securement system, if they have one, for proper operation. Before pulling away from a loading dock, always ensure your load locks are in place, the dock plate has been removed, the dock lock has been disengaged...

Preventing Contrabad

Lately, there have been a few news stories around truckers being caught hauling contraband, in particular drugs. Why anyone would willingly partake in such a risky venture boggles the mind. Sooner or later, you will get caught, and any extra “under the table” money you’ve “earned” will mean nothing and it will cost you dearly. However, there are cases where you could be transporting contraband without knowing it. There was a company decades ago that was running meat loads to Mexico via Laredo. In Mexico, the meat was unloaded, and the trailers were reloaded with produce with all the required paperwork, so everything was spot on legal, except that while in Mexico, persons known or unknown were removing the door seals, pulling out all the insulation and rolling the doors with marijuana and reinstalling all the seals. No one knows how long this practice had been going on, as it was only detected by an RCMP officer training a drug-sniffing dog at the border. The only thing that saved the driver was that he could prove the trailer was sealed by US customs before he hooked up to it, therefore he couldn’t have stashed the marijuana in the trailer. In another...

Customs interactions

Interacting with Canadian or American customs is something almost all of us have to do as part of our jobs. For the most part, the border agents are pretty much the same as we are, just doing their jobs protecting their country. It’s a safe bet that when there is an issue at customs, 99% of the time it’s the driver’s attitude that determines how quickly and painlessly it gets resolved. If you’re polite, and honest and act professionally, chances are your experience will be fairly painless and inexpensive. If you storm into the office all gun blazing, as the saying goes, you're in for a very bad experience. First off, when you present yourself to the customs officer, you have very few human rights. For example, when entering the US, until the customs official says you cleared or places you under detention, you are not protected by either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, and they can turn you back and refuse you entry for any reason, or even no reason at all. If he simply doesn’t like the color of your shirt, he can refuse you entry, and there is nothing you can do about it. You are guilty...

Study Near Misses for Enhanced Insight Into Fleet Safety

Introduction: The trucking industry is the backbone of commerce, yet it is fraught with risks. Safety is not just a regulatory requirement but a moral imperative. While statistics on collisions are readily available and easy to comprehend, the silent guardians of our roads—the near misses—often escape scrutiny. Though not resulting in harm, these incidents contain a treasure trove of valuable lessons. They are the whispers of potential danger that, if heeded, can transform fleet safety practices. The expanded discussion surrounding close calls on the road underscores the criticality of recognizing and learning from the near misses that professional drivers experience daily. Measuring Near Misses: Traditionally, collision rates have served as the gold standard for safety measurement. However, too much focus on tangible outcomes overlooks the latent potential for disaster inherent in near misses. These events, often dismissed as non-issues, are, in fact, goldmines of information. They expose cracks in fleet safety programs that, if left unaddressed, could lead to catastrophic outcomes. By carefully studying these events, we can develop robust controls combatting vulnerabilities in our safety systems. Luck Recognized: The acknowledgment of luck in high-risk professions like trucking is not a sign of weakness but an admission of the unpredictable nature of the open...

For Immediate Release: PMTC and OTDS announce the release of the 8th Annual Canadian Private Fleet Benchmarking Survey

Milton, ON:  The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada and Benchmark Sponsor, Ontario Truck Driving School, have announced that the 8th annual PMTC Canadian Private Fleet benchmarking survey instrument is live as of today, February 5th.  This study is open for completion by all Private Fleets which have a base of operations in Canada. PMTC Membership is not a requirement. “For the last 7 years the PMTC has partnered with the National Private Truck Council and re-introduced the first Canadian specific private benchmarking survey reports since 2011” remarked PMTC President Mike Millian. “The response to these surveys and the quality of the Benchmarking report produced have been gratifying and provide a valuable tool and resource to our membership. As a result, we are once again partnering with the NPTC for the 2024 Survey.  The NPTC has been producing a private fleet benchmark survey in the USA annually since 2005, and by partnering with them again, the PMTC feels it is guaranteeing another quality and highly respected report for our members” The PMTC has a benchmarking committee, made up of Canadian operators who review the survey annually. The committee works on shaping the survey and updating it to ensure it is reflective of...

Preloading a trailer

From time to time, you will be preloading a trailer for another driver and what you do will have a huge bearing on the load delivering on time. Don’t be “that” driver who does the bare minimum by simply loading the trailer and dropping it in the yard. Proceed like a true professional, and treat that loaded trailer as though you were taking it through to the final destination. Be sure that what is listed on the shipping documents matches what is actually in (or on) the trailer. If you are unable to actually watch the trailer being loaded, make sure that fact is noted on the bills by writing “SLAC” (Shipper Load And Count) or “XX pallets said to contain YY pieces” by your name. If you do have to sign for pieces, make sure you actually count each piece as it’s loaded on the trailer. If the load contains dangerous goods, be sure the proper procedures are followed, especially the type and weight, that the dangerous goods are properly documented, and that there is no conflict of dangerous goods, IE no foodstuffs on the same trailer as poisons. This may sound obvious, but it has happened. Also, certain...

A Huge Investment In Truck Safety

We all agree that safety in trucking is job #1 for everyone and every company, no matter what part you play. Recently, an ATA report helped underline the industry efforts and investment in Truck Safety. The American Trucking Association reports that the US trucking industry invests $14 billion annually in technology, training, and other expenditures to improve highway safety. That's a massive monetary investment. Chris Spear, the president and CEO of the ATA, recently had this to say during the presentation of a recent report on trucking safety. "The trucking industry's highest commitment is to keep our roads, drivers and the entire motoring public safe. This report demonstrates that safety isn't just a slogan for our industry; it is our mission. While others talk about their commitment to safety, the trucking industry is doing the work and investing in life-saving technology and training every day." According to the ATA's Safety Spend Survey report, the industry invested $14 billion in 2022, more than 40% higher than the previous survey, conducted in 2015. The survey estimates the annual industry spending on safety. It provides a benchmarking resource for carriers of all sizes to measure their safety expenditure against others within the industry—the ATA surveyed truck...
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