November 27, 2020No Comments

Winter Truck Мaintenance Tips for Truck’s Cooling System

Your winter truck maintenance is something that you need to take care of every winter season.

Maintaining your truck during the winter and making sure it is performing at the best operating efficiency is essential for success. You get most of your truck by having it on the road. The first step to ensure efficient and reliable performance is by maintaining it properly. Winter is coming and we know what is coming with it - snow, cold nights, ice, and winds.

You need to prepare your vehicle for the temperature drop. One of the most common winter mechanical faults is a frozen engine. Your cooling system and radiator are under a lot of stress during the cold winter months. Their proper functioning is vital for keeping the engine cool without freezing in the winter.

The coldest and wettest months are always a challenge. Now is the time to prepare your truck properly for the months ahead.

What exactly is a cooling system? How it is essential for your winter truck maintenance?

The engine in your vehicle is an internal combustion engine where power is generated through the expansion of high temperature and high-pressure gases. Due to the combustion gas and the friction of mechanical parts, a lot of heat is generated. The heat in question should be removed from the engine and kept at operating temperature.

Parts involved in cooling the engine:

Cooling System Parts:

  • 1. Water Pump
  • 2. Radiator
  • 3. Thermostat
  • 4. Coolant Temperature Sensor
  • 5. Coolant (Antifreeze + Water)

Water Pump

Water pump - it is an essential part of the system. It pumps the coolant and is the heart of every cooling system.

The Radiator

The Radiator is a heat exchanger used to transfer the excess heat developed by the engine to the atmosphere.

Thermostat

The thermostat regulates the flow of the coolant. It is a valve and it helps to maintain the proper operating temperature for the truck engine during the winter. Regulating the amount of coolant that goes through the radiator is The Thermostats' role.

Coolant Temperature Sensor

CTS role is to monitor the engine temperature.

Coolant

A coolant is a liquid or gas substance, mainly used to regulate or reduce the temperature of a system. This special fluid runs through the engine to keep it at the correct operating temperature range. The coolant has a high thermal capacity and low viscosity. It is usually made from ethylene glycol or propylene, water, and some protection additives.

Fan

The fan's main purpose is to turn on whenever your truck coolant goes above a certain temperature to prevent overheating. Your truck's cooling system is fundamental for your winter truck maintenance to efficient and safe driving. Its main purpose is to prevent overheating by distributing the engine's heat evenly throughout the whole system. The result of a failed cooling system can lead to breakdown and costly repairs.

How des Engine Cooling during winter truck maintenance works?

Winter-truck-maintenance-engine

Antifreeze is a chemical. His consisting of ethylene glycol or sometimes the lower toxicity propylene glycol. When mixed with water it serves to lower the freezing point and raise the boiling point in the mixture.

It also includes some corrosion inhibitors that which role is to prevent rust from forming on the metal parts like water pumps and engine blocks. You can see broken inhibitors when the antifreeze gets brown or rusty in color. In that case, replacing the antifreeze is a must.

The antifreeze works because the freezing and boiling points of liquid are colligative properties. Тhey depend on the concentrations of solutes or dissolved substances in the solution.

A pure solution freezes because the lower temperatures cause the molecules to slow down. The attractive forces between them bind them into rigid crystalline structures. By adding a different kind of molecule to the mix blocks those attractive forces prevent the crystalline structures from forming. Adding more solutes will lower the temperature be before the solution can freeze.

Ethylene Glycol works great because not only is it water-soluble it is also miscible which means it can be mixed with any amount and still mix evenly.

Antifreeze and water should have a mixture percentage based on the lowest temperatures typically seen in your climate. In most regions, these are 50-50 water-antifreeze mixture which will provide enough protection from little below freezing to a high of 265 degrees (129 Celsius). In the coldest temperatures, you could use a mix of 60 to 70% antifreeze.

How does it work and affect your winter truck maintenance?

The coolant flows through a path that takes it from the water pump through the passages inside the engine block where it collects more heat produced by the cylinders. Then it flows up to the cylinder head (or heads in a V type engine). After that, it collects more heat from the combustion chambers. Then it flows out past the thermostat, and it goes straight through the upper radiator hose and then into the radiator.

In the radiator, the coolant flows through the thin flattened hoses that make up the core of the radiator and it's cooled by the airflow across those vents. The coolant flows out of the radiator through the hose and back to the water pump, by this time cooled off and ready to perform this cycle again. Tips:

Use the proper coolant to water the mixture

Many coolants come pre-mixed with water, but on some occasions, during the winter you may need different coolant to water ratios for better results and performance. When the temperature is below freezing outside, the correct coolant mix will help with keeping the engine from coming to a halt.

For proper winter truck maintenance inspect the trucks' components - belts, seals, and hoses

The operation of your cooling system depends on the belts, seals, and hoses surrounding it. The cold weather can be destructive to those components. Inspect and replace any components before the cold winter months. This assures you that during the winter

Radiator caps and hoses inspection

Inspect caps, look for cracks, and replace if you discover any damage. It is also recommended that you replace the caps when you flush the vehicle's coolant.

Take Care of Coolant Leaks

Coolant leaks are not rare and they are recognizable due to the color of the coolant (usually green/yellow/pink). The leaks are easy to identify underneath the vehicle. If you encounter a leak of any kind it is best to get it looked at by a professional mechanic before it turns into a bigger problem.

While doing your winter truck maintenance make sure your coolant is at the proper level

You need to fill your radiator with coolant and you have to make sure the fluid is at a proper fill level. The best way to check if that is the case is when the vehicle is cool. Open the radiator cap and if the coolant looks low then you will most likely need a refill. Make sure to get it looked at by a professional before it is too late.

Flush

With time, dirt can build up in the cooling system, preventing the proper flow of the coolant. If there are contaminants, the fluid can also lose its effectiveness if not refreshed from time to time. Before the winter begins, consult with a specialist on the best time to perform a flush.

Check the radiator tank

You should check the radiator tank and reservoir once or twice a year. Often times you can discover small holes or punctures that you need to fix. If they get too big you may have to do a much larger repair and replace the radiator.

How is your radiator getting affected by the cold weather?

The temperature drop during the winter has its consequences - fluids can freeze and hoses can crack in the cold. The American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) is the official and accepted authority in the United States for heavy-duty trucking maintenance standards.

Truck cooling system
Car cooling system

The TMC's recommended guidelines are:

Maintaining the Conventional pre-charged Inorganic Acid Technology (IAO) and Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) coolants needs to happen on an engine preventive maintenance interval of 25,000 miles, or as specified by the engine manufacturer.


On the other hand, Nitrated Organic Acid Technology (NOAT) coolants require a charge to achieve the full 600,000 miles or 12,000-hour service life. The recommended extended charge is 300,000 miles or 6,000 engine hours. Nowadays, OAT - Organic Acid Technology coolants provide up to 600,000 miles or 12,000 engine hours of service life.

Coolant Colors

The TMC has released recommended colors for different types of coolants. Please have in mind that while these are established colors, they are not required and some manufacturers do not follow the color guidelines.

Below you can find the color recommendations:

Coolant color

Please have in mind that the color on the packaging could be different from the color of the content in the bottle. Don't judge a book by its cover and always make sure to read the label so you know you have the right coolant in your hands.

Other helpful tips for your winter truck maintenance:

Recognizing a potential issue before it turns into a major concern can be a game-changer for your efficiency. Below you can find other helpful tips for keeping your truck on point in the winter:

Truck Batteries

Testing your truck batteries is very important during the winter. The cold weather during the winter months can drain a truck battery faster and the battery connections get dirty and corrode in the winter. Make sure you keep an eye on the batteries by testing them and keep the connections clean.

Fuel filter

Your truck depends on fuel. An old and dirty filter can prevent the fuel from getting through. Тhus it will affect the operations of the truck.

Fuel Additives

Always base your fuel needs based on the weather at your location and your destination. Diesel fuel treatment will keep your fuel from gelling and will increase the longevity of your fuel system.

In conclusion, we want to finish with a quote :

Like Alan Lakein said: “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

By doing your winter truck maintenance you do yourself and your truck a favor. Your truck will be ready for the winter. This way you will feel more safe while you are on the road.

November 20, 2020No Comments

How long and how many miles does a truck driver drive in a day?

Let's be real. We all know that the average truck driver runs ridiculous amounts of miles. But how long can a truck driver drive and how many miles can drivers drive?

Thanks to their hard work they keep the heart of the American economy beating.

Every item that you touch on a daily basis is in your hands' thanks to a truck driver. If you are not familiar with the industry you will hardly understand the sacrifice a trucker does every day. In this article, we will cover the enormous amounts of hours every trucker works, so you can have all the goods at your disposal every day.

So how many miles a truck driver can drive per day?

The main rule is that truckers can drive only 11 hours per day, according to the Hours of Service regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Most trucks are set to 65-70 miles per hour. When we do the math the amount comes to 605 to 650 average miles per day. Keep in mind that weather, traffic, police checkpoints, and the route the driver is running affect the driver's mileage.

A driver, under law, can work for a maximum of 14-hours per day. After that 10 consecutive hours is required to spend off work.

Keep in mind that there can be some unpredicted time consumers. Looking for a safe parking space, loading, and unloading, making dinner, eating, or shower time. These activities can reduce the overall sleep time to only 4-5 hours.

How can a truck driver drive safely and comply with regulations?

Department of Transportation workers are likely to question any mileage that is greater than 500 miles per day, as it is difficult to get these miles in while staying in compliance with the time requirements.

There are four rules that help truck drivers determine how they can drive safely and under regulations:

  • The 11-hour rule - the driver needs to take a 10-hour sleeper break or rest period after being on the road for 11 consecutive hours.
  • This rule states that the company driver must take a 10-hour sleeper break or off-duty rest period once 14 hours have elapsed on the clock. After the break is taken the 14-hour window is reset. The 14 hour can include not only driving, but also napping, receiving, eating, and other activities.
  • 30-minute rule - Same as how a regular worker is treated, truck drivers also need to take 30 minutes to break after they have 8 hours of on-duty time. This rule helps the driver to have some rest time and to keep his mind fresh and more focused on the road.
  • 70-hour rule - No driver is allowed to be on-duty for 14 hours per day continuously. That is why they can work for a maximum of 70 hours in any rolling 8-day period.

Is there a way that truck drivers can drive for more than 11 hours?

There can be different circumstances that can allow an OTR truck driver and Regional driver to drive for more than 11 hours:

  • If there is a lot of traffic in the area and the driver needs to slow down, the law allows calculating what was lost and complete the remaining minutes/hours of driving and report it in the log.
  • A truck accident can prevent the driver from completing his delivery on schedule. Maybe the truck needs to be towed. This will force the driver to move slower than normal speed. If the cargo that is being carried is perishable, it becomes even urgent to continue to journey in order to reduce losses for both parties.
  • In case of really bad weather conditions, the trucker needs to lower his/her average speed. This can reduce the miles that they will cover. To make up for the lost time they are allowed to drive for over 11 hours.

But is there a weekly limit?

The FMCSA implemented a weekly rule for drivers that is called the 60/70-Hour duty limit. Depending on what start period the carrier specifies this limit can be based on a 7-day or 8-day period.

This rule implies that drivers cannot work for over 60 hours in a 7-day period or 70 hours in an 8-day period. It is specified that the trucker can only work for 60 hours for 7 consecutive days and 70 hours for 8 consecutive days.

Once you have your 60 or 70 hours completed, you need to take 34 consecutive hours off duty before you can drive again. This period when you are not on duty is called a 34-hour restart. This allows you to reset your duty period to zero, so you can start a new 7 or 8-day cycle. During this period you can work on non-driving tasks - loading and unloading freight, paperwork, etc.

This rule is not mandatory, but most companies are using it in order to prevent driver fatigue.

How long does a truck driver stay on the road?

This entirely depends on the truck driving job. An OTR driver can spend more than 300 days on duty. This is sometimes pretty difficult for them. It reduces their home time and it taxes their time they spend with their loved ones.

When it comes to the driving job that spends the most time at home a local truck driver is the winners. Most of them drive during the night and they get back home in the morning. A regional driver also enjoys a more frequent time home. They usually drive during the week and spend their weekends at home.

The main reason people choose OTR is that it pays more and offers an opportunity to see the country. But a trucker's life is one of solitude. If you are not a fan of loneliness, it may not be the best job for you.

Choosing the OTR position comes also with its benefits. This is the position that pays more and offers more opportunity to see the country.

What miles the average trucker drives in a week?

According to the U.S Department of Transportation the average American driver for 13,473 miles per year. When you break down the number it comes to around 1,000 miles per month or about 250 miles per week. Truck driver miles are a whole different story. On average they can cover 2500 per week! That is 10 times more than the average American driver.

If we check the statics we can see that men are driving more miles than women. We also can see that the average American truck driver is getting older. The reason for that is that a lot of younger drivers have a difficult time entering the trucking industry. This is due to the fact that a truck driver has a pretty hectic and busy life away from home, which is not so pleasing to the younger generations.

What penalties can the driver receive if he/she breaks the DOT rules?

Penalties for breaking the DOT rules

If by any chance the driver doesn't comply with the DOT rules, there are some severe penalties:

  • Revocation of driving privileges until a rest break is complete
  • Fines at the state and federal levels
  • Reduction in the carrier's safety rating

The trucking company can suffer even more severe penalties if it is found to have knowingly made the drivers break the federal regulations.

Overall the truck drivers drive a lot more than the average American. DOT rules may be strict about the hours a trucker can drive, but this helps to prevent them from driving when tired or otherwise unable to pay proper attention to the roadway, thus keeping everyone on the road safer.

November 19, 2020No Comments

Fuel Winterization Procedures

Pilot Flying J 2020 – 2021 Winterization Procedures


Winterization Procedures for Travel Center locations except in Illinois and Iowa:

Pilot Flying J will begin blending a single treatment of cold flow improvers when the outside temperature reaches +15F to +5F.  Should the outside temperature reach +5F to -5F, we will begin double treatments of cold flow improvers. 

If the outside temperature dips below -5F, the fuel will be treated with double treatments of cold flow improver and 20% of No. 1 fuel.  Should No. 1 fuel not be available in the market area, triple treatment of cold flow improver will be used. 

All stores, except the cold weather locations listed below, will receive treatment as needed.

Cold weather locations will begin treatment once the outside temperature reaches +15F and will continue treatment until March 1, 2021 regardless of the outside air temperature.   

COLD WEATHER LOCATIONS:

Includes all stores located in the following states:

ColoradoNew York
MassachusettsNorth Dakota
MichiganSouth Dakota
MinnesotaWisconsin
NebraskaWyoming

Also includes the following locations:

StoreCityStateStoreCityState
29FremontIN88310PlymouthIN
31HighlandIN86748Michigan CityIN
35South BendIN88305HammondIN
36ValparaisoIN88316DyerIN
198PlymouthIN896BowNH
719GaryIN2AustinburgOH
445Burns HarborIN694AustinburgOH
448LowellIN4AvonOH
650Lake StationIN87236AvonOH
1020Lake StationIN12PerrysburgOH
653HebronIN15ToledoOH
81426HobartIN303NapoleonOH
83991GaryIN700Lake TownshipOH
86662BristolIN86395WatervilleOH
86664BristolIN83328Newburgh HeightsOH
86666GoshenIN88133BereaOH
88080AngolaIN311EriePA

Procedures for Travel Center locations in Iowa and Illinois:
Once treatment begins at any Illinois or Iowa location, double treatment rates will continue until March 1, 2021 regardless of the outside air temperature while biodiesel is being blended.

Product Supply:
Lubrizol and Tellico brand will be Pilot Flying J’s primary winter diesel additive providers for the 2020-2021 winter season.

November 9, 2020No Comments

What is aggressive driving and how to avoid it

Aggressive driving is an event that in recent years we see quite often on the U.S roads. We've all experienced it in different forms. This driving behavior is not expected to be absent from the roads any time soon.

An Aggressive driver present on the road can increase the number of waccidents. Aggressive driving behavior is especially dangerous when truck drivers are on the road . Accidents involving trucks are more deadly.

Aggressive driving plays a major role when it comes to an accident event on the road. Not only in publicized incidents of road rage but in a large number of fatal highway collisions.

The definition of aggressive driving according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) is - "an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property."

But is there a difference between road rage and aggressive driving?

Yes! There is:

Aggressive driving is a behavior that is dangerous for every participant on the road.

Road rage is most of the time an emotional reaction at the moment. You can prevent it by following these simple tips.

Who exactly can we qualify as an aggressive driver?

Most of the time men between the ages of 18 and 26 are showing aggressive behavior on the road. Also, the number of aggressive women drivers is also increasing. There is also a general increase in women on the roadways when the traffic is high at a rush-hour time.

How big is the aggressive driving problem?

State Farm and KRC Research conducted an online survey of 1,000 U.S. drivers. According to the survey, 2/3 of the (64 percent) U.S. drivers have experienced an act of aggressive driving.

Affected by aggressive driving already, a large number of drivers say their likelihood to engage in reckless driving increases during the winter holidays.

Survey Key Findings

43 percent of drivers reported that they have engaged in aggressive driving in the past three months.

32 percent of younger drivers (ages 18-29), 28 percent of middle-aged drivers (ages 30-49), and parents (30 percent) were significantly more likely to report being provoked to engage in aggressive driving around the major winter holidays compared to only 9 percent of older drivers (ages 50 and older) and non-parents (15 percent).

About half of survey respondents perceive men and women to be equally courteous when driving. When it comes to aggressive driving, however, the majority (54 percent) of drivers cite men as the most likely culprits of aggressive driving. Only one in 10 women are more likely to engage in aggressive driving. The remaining 37 percent of drivers reported men and women to be equal when it comes to aggressive driving.

The top situations most likely to make drivers aggressive are:

Traffic jams (63 percent)

Running late (55 percent)

Road closures or construction (47 percent)

Examples of aggressive driving?

  • Оperating the vehicle in an erratic, reckless, careless, or negligent manner or suddenly changing speeds
  • Speeding in heavy traffic
  • Not using the turn signal properly
  • Tailgating
  • Driving above the maximum speed limit
  • Cutting in front of another driver and then slowing down
  • Running red lights
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Changing lanes without signaling
  • Passing where prohibited
  • Illegal driving on road shoulders, in a ditch, or on sidewalks
  • Failure to observe warnings or instructions on vehicles displaying them
  • Blocking cars attempting to pass or change lanes
  • Using headlights or brakes to "punish" other drivers
  • Taking frustrations out on а motorist
  • Failure to yield the right of way

Let us take speeding as one of the major aggressive driving behaviors

According to the National highway traffic safety administration speeding is one of the main factors for aggressive driving accidents.

For every third car accident speeding is the main reason behind it. In 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities.

Speed-related crashes cost the tax payer an estimated $40 billion per year.

Speed is a factor in many crashes because of the physical forces at work. It takes longer to stop a speeding vehicle. Speed prevents the driver's ability to detect dangerous situations.

The IIHS reports that crash severity is directly related to speed. If the speed of the vehicle increases by 50 percent the crash damage will be double. The increased force is the reason for severe injuries and fatalities. Seat belts, airbags, and child safety seats are less effective at high rates of speed.

Speed limits are being used for the safety of every participant on the road. You need to always take into consideration the weather conditions and adjust your speed. By doing so you prevent accidents from happening and you keep every driver around you safe.

NHTSA created guides and toolkits to help spread the message about safe driving. Tips on what you can do if you encounter an aggressive driver on the road are also included.

But how exactly are all these behaviors are affecting the other drivers on the road?

Aggressive-driving-dense-traffic

According to another research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, millions of drivers engaged in the following angry and aggressive behaviors during the previous year, including:

Purposefully tailgating: 51 percent (104 million drivers)

Yelling at another driver: 47 percent (95 million drivers)

Honking to show annoyance or anger: 45 percent (91 million drivers)

Making angry gestures: 33 percent (67 million drivers)

Trying to block another vehicle from changing lanes: 24 percent (49 million drivers)

Cutting off another vehicle on purpose: 12 percent (24 million drivers)

Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver: 4 percent (8 million drivers)

Bumping or ramming another vehicle on purpose: 3 percent (6 million drivers)

What's Causing the Increase in Aggressive Driving?

Aggressive-driving-yelling-while-driving

Dangerous driving is on the rise-as you as any driver has noticed in the last years. The factors that are contributing are:

Longer commute times,

Increase in congested roads

General decrease cultural empathy.

According to the NHTSA, traffic fatalities and injuries due to road rage incident could increase by 50% between 1996 and 2020. There are a lot of accidents that are not reported. This brings us to the conclusion that aggression is even higher.

This increase in aggressive driving is no more just data from a statistics report. It's deadly. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that 56% of accidents involve aggressive driving. One study found more than half of all fatal crashes involved unsafe driving behaviors.

Don't be a Victim of Aggressive Driving

Cutting-off. When you are going to merge, make sure that you leave a lot of room. Do not forget to use turn signals before making your move. In case someone cuts you off, give them the appropriate space to merge.

Driving slowly in the left lane. In some cases, you will be driving at the speed limit in the left lane. There will be vehicles that will want to pass you. Make a maneuver to the right lane and let them by.

Tailgating. Make sure that you have at least two seconds between you and the car ahead. If you see that the car in front of you is driving slowly and you can't pass, try to leave more space between the two vehicles. The headlights of the car behind you should be always visible in your rear-view mirror.

Gestures. If you see a reckless driver avoid gestures as much as possible. Keep your hands on the steering wheel and drive calmly.

Be cautious and courteous. Try to avoid using your horn. Always use your turn signals and allow drivers to merge.

Don't engage. Do not let the anger of the other driver affect you. Try to stay calm and assess the situation and act accordingly.

Steer clear. If you see an angry driver on the road make sure you leave them plenty of room. If the other driver tries to intimidate you try to make the distance between you as big as possible. Do not follow them or try to engage in a physical brawl.

Avoid eye contact. Eye contact can be a trigger for the angry driver on the road. Avoid it as much as possible. If they start to follow you try to call the police and drive to a place where there are plenty of people. Do not get out of your car and do not drive home!

Adjust your attitude and slow down. Always take a deep breath and try to adjust your attitude when you are behind the wheel. Always be positive while on the road and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.

How to put a stop to aggressive driving?

Being the fleet manager you have to pay close attention to how aggressive driving is influencing your drivers. Observing how the drivers' behavior is changing when they are exposed to road aggression and how they are reacting. You need to intervene in a timely matter to prevent the deadly consequences of aggressive driving.

What can you do?

  • You need to pay close attention to the drivers' stress levels. If their stress levels are high it is more likely that they will drive aggressively.
  • Make sure that there are no scheduling issues that can put extra pressure on drivers.
  • You need to be the person who will show your drivers how to handle their aggressive driving behavior. Educate them that they need to learn how to dial it back. Take a deep breath and relax.
  • Motivate your drivers to slow down. After all, speed is the main reason for road accidents. When you drive fast your reaction time is more limited. Your drivers shouldn't be speeding and driving at the maximum speed limit.
  • Driver fatigue can be the reason behind poor decision making. As a fleet manager, you need to pay close attention to this.

We can't stop aggressive driving as a whole. But we need to learn how to raise awareness among drivers. encourage them to prevent aggressive driving as much as possible. Helping our drivers while they are on the road should be a top priority.

November 4, 2020No Comments

Why Preventative Maintenance is Important

By having an efficient preventative maintenance program we increase safety and efficiency. We reduce the chances of equipment breakdown. Logiflex role is to make sure that our fleet is ready for the road.

Preventative-Maintenance-Logiflex-truck

A strong vehicle maintenance program is at the core of every transportation business. Maintaining your fleet can ensure you have not only a safe but secure drive on the road.

What is Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is a proactive approach to maintaining fleet assets. The main task is to keep your fleet running with minimal unplanned downtime.

  • Identify potential vehicle and equipment issues and addressing them before they compound.
  • Speed up the flow of information for improved communication and take immediate action.
  • Track compliance progress and ensure proper maintenance tasks are complete

When it comes to preventative maintenance it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Analyzed by the manufacturers' strategists the vehicle parts have a set time when they can work properly. It is of utmost importance that we change filters, coolants, oil, tires, etc. on time. That way we avoid that part getting broken on the road.

Preventative-maintenance-information

Implementing a new Maintenance Process

The tech world is changing at rapid speed. By using the latest and most efficient technologies on the market we are offering the best service possible. Technology has an important role when it comes to preventative maintenance. Below are some recommendations on how you can improve your workflow:

Adopt Modern Preventive maintenance Software and Technology a Fleet management system that integrates:

  • Maintenance Workflows
  • Mobile App
  • Telematic Devices

Track Important Equipment and Vehicle Data - Leverage software to automatically trigger:

  • Odometer Readings
  • DTC Fault Codes
  • Recall Alerts

Eliminate Communication Bottlenecks:

  • Bridge the gap between the field and shop
  • Receive immediate notifications
  • Get maintenance task status updates

To summarize:

A successful preventive maintenance program makes sure that your vehicle is in a good operating state. It has many benefits like:

  • Prolongs the life of the vehicle and the equipment;
  • Reduces maintenance costs and revenue loss - by reducing the number of emergency repairs
  • Contributes to a more effective and enjoyable drive;
  • Improves safety and avoids getting stuck on the road.

Preparation leads to success. By preparing your truck for the road the chances are that you are going to have a successful journey.

November 4, 2020No Comments

Bad driving habits that affect truck performance.

You have seen the bad driving habits so many times if you stay on the road for a longer period.

The truck industry is like a living organism that keeps the USA economy on the move. You always think that while you are on the road most professional drivers will know what they are doing. Some of them have bad driving habits that we will explore.

So what exactly are these bad driving habits that we find amongst the truck drivers? Where do they come from, and how we can prevent them?

What are the bad driving habits that we see most often?

Fatigue and being alert on the road

Bad-driving-habits-driver-fatigue
  • Being fatigued is one of the most dangerous events that can happen while driving your truck. According to federal statistics, driving fatigue is responsible for 13 percent of large truck accidents in the USA. Drowsy driving can impact your driving performance and sometimes end up in a fatal crash.
  • Thanks to modern technology our ways to communicate had increased tenfold. Being a truck driver safe driving is your top priority. Driving and texting/talking on the phone is also one of the most common accident reasons. Every fleet manager should recognize the danger of using cell phones while driving. Implementing procedures for safer communication is a must to ensure the driver's safety.
  • Never assume an uninterrupted right of way at an intersection.
  • Unsure driving is also a bad driving habit. Pretty often experienced among the younger drivers, it is something to be wary about. 
  • Steering with one hand.

Non-Defensive Driving Habits

Bad-driving-habits-non-defensive-driving-training
Truck driver checking vehicle tires and inspecting truck before ride. Transportation services.
  • You can see bad defensive driving skills on every road. Truck drivers should always be aware, because of the sheer size of their truck and their exposure.
  • Lazy driving styles - impacts response times in the event of emergencies. Also, invite complacency into the truck cab.
  • If your style of driving is lazy it can harm your response time. Always make sure that you are aware of your surroundings and be alert.
  • Speeding is also a pretty common bad driving habit. In their attempt to earn more, drivers do not pay attention to the speed limit signs. Pretty often go over the limit.
  • Poor observation - always be aware of your surroundings. There can be a driver on the road under the influence of alcohol or a hazard on the road. 
  • Blind spots - always make sure that you know where they are and are aware of them
  • Indicators, hazards, flashlights, hooter - communicate on the road to alert other drivers.
  • Aggression - related most of the time to tight working schedules and stress. 

Inappropriate driving attitude 

Bad-driving-habits-road-rage
  • Truck drivers' attitude towards the other drivers on the road needs to be appropriate. Every driver needs to take each trip seriously always making sure that they deliver goods in a safe matter.
  • Inability to focus on the task ahead, because of distractions or some other reason.

Behind the steering wheel behavior 

  • Seatbelts fastened behind the drivers back to switch off the warning buzzer.
  • The hand resting on the gear lever.
  • Re-setting on-board display messages while moving off.
  • Pinching the steering wheel between your legs to set your hands free.
  • Driving while crossing arms

Other bad driving behaviors:

Bad-driving-habits-tires-inflation
  • Rapid acceleration - doing this will put tension on the engine and will you will waste a lot of fuel. Because of their size trucks need to speed up slow and build up speed.
  • Hard braking - The drivers need to practice defense driving and they have to avoid hard braking.
  • Using brakes when going downhill - Applying the brakes when going downhill increases the temperature of the brakes. If they are applied for longer periods friction is created. The performance of the brakes is reduced. Useful advice here is to downshift let the engine braking take over.
  • Improperly warming the vehicle - If the temperature outside is lower than 32°F you need to warm up the engine for 3 to 5 minutes. By doing so you prevent unnecessary strain and tension.
  • Underinflated tires - the reason for flats or blowouts, decrease the lifespan of the tires, fuel waste, and increase the risk of an accident. Always check the tire pressure and inflate tires to the standard. 

What are the reasons for the bad driving habits in the first place?

  • The main reasons behind bad driving habits? Drivers never go through defensive training. Most companies cut the training budget. 
  • Driving coaches do not have the appropriate skill level. They do not teach the new drivers the required skills.
  • Overconfidence is part of poor driving habits. The driver thinks that he/she knows all the roads and they pay less attention to their surroundings.
  • Drivers' behavior changes if they see that another driver on the road is driving recklessly. Companies can counter this by showing the drivers what is the correct attitude when they are driving. That will tempt them less to follow a bad driving pattern. Appropriate training in this area that would impact safety on our roads. We need the culture to be adopted holistically.
  • Adopting bad driving practices from peers and little or no consequences for poor driving performance.
  • Humans test their limits by nature - so do truck drivers.
  • Common ailments and illnesses contribute to bad driving.

Truck size is also a formal reason for bad driving habits

Bad-driving-habits-truck-accident

The actual truck size is not the problem. It is the driver that did not get their license properly and they did not receive adequate training. A truck driver needs to pay more attention when they are driving a bigger vehicle. If they did not get the proper defensive driving skills the vehicle size will play little to no role if an accident happens. The younger drivers start with smaller size trucks. Once they become confided in their driving ability and they later move on to bigger size vehicle.

How can the trucking industry change improve and detect bad driving habits?

Defensive driver training - should be a prerequisite before receiving a Code EC or C1 license. Drivers should pass the existing K53 first. After that, they need to drive a Code B for at least 3 years crash-free. Next is to undergo Defensive driver training before issuing their heavy-duty driver's license. Companies need to set in place effective testing to determine driver skills. If needed assigning improvement courses is the proper course of action. They should include - Provide embedded knowledge training and effective Defensive Driver Training. The first one improves understanding of the truck. The second one improves understanding of the road. 

October 19, 2020No Comments

Autumn truck driving safety tips

Autumn safety tips for truck drivers? Yes, that is a topic that is not quite so heavily discussed, because the winter season is a bit scarier when it comes to truck driving. But non the less we have to discover how the drivers can drive a bit safer during the fall season with these useful tips that we've prepared for you.

 

Fall driving safety tips:

 

Darkness

Driving a truck during the night is something that every truck driver needs to keep extra attention to. With autumn coming the days will get shorter and the nights will get longer. Although driving during the nights is ~25% around 50% of the accidents happen during the night. That is why it is important to remember:

  • Make sure that all of your lights are operational before every trip
  • Headlights are in good condition
  • Always make sure that your following distance is bigger compared to when you are driving during the day
  • Check your side mirrors as frequently as possible and make sure they are clean

Also, keep in mind that depending on the age of the driver they will need more light to see better during the night. For example, a 50-year old driver will need more light than a 30-year old. During the night a 60-year old driver and older will start to see the road and the signs less clearly.

Fog and frost

Even though we see them mostly during the winter weather they also can be hazards in some areas during fall.

Most morning during the autumn can bring fog with them that can jeopardize your vision and your distance perception. You have to turn on your for lights in order to make your truck more visible to the other drivers. Use them in pairs with your low beams, so you can be seen as far away as possible during these conditions. High beams are not recommended. While you drive in the fog, the high beams are getting reflected from it and that makes your visibility even worse.

Sometimes you can also encounter ice spots. Make sure that you slow down and be aware that the vehicle can slip if you don't drive at the proper speed.

Fog and Ice autumn

Critters

During November is it most common for truck drivers to hit an animal, especially deer. Their mating season start and they become more active and you will see them more often running around on the road.

According to PETA, about 1 of every 100 drivers will probably hit an animal during their life behind the wheel.

 

Kids

Something that all drivers need to keep close attention to when you are driving in urban areas.

Most of them do not pay attention to the traffic or they are chasing a ball, or something else. Don't forget also that there are some new student drivers. They are just learning to drive and they are not experts on the road.

Always pay attention when you are close to school areas. There will be a lot of kids walking around, or just running towards their parents' car so they can be picked up from school. Inexperienced drivers once again are a potential danger. They can be leaving school grounds which potentially can turn into an accident if they do not pay attention on the road.

Always make sure that you halt in most situations (if the state requires it) when a school bus is with its red flashers on.

 

Leaves

Leaves are also part of the autumn beauty, but they can also be something that you have to pay attention on the road.

When leaves fall most of the time they can stick to the pavement and make the road more slippery. Reduced tire traction can accur because of wet leaves even if your tires are super good. Avoid hard braking as much as possible!

If you see that there is a patch of leaves - slow down! Avoid sudden braking or swerving, since the leaves can cause hydroplaning or force your swerve into a spin. Once you are out of the area it will be wise to call the local authorities to alert them that there is a potential accident spot.

Always make sure that you have enough stopping distance when there is a leaf fall in order to avoid the rear-ender.

Also, keep close attention if you drive in a tourist area. A lot of tourists love to slow down or even stop in order to take pictures or just to enjoy the beauty of the season.

 

Tires

Keeping your tires up to speed according to the weather you are driving is something that you always need to have in your head when you step on the road.

Tires behave better on the rainy surface if they have enough tread. They stop faster and steer better on dry ones.

Adjust the tire pressure properly. By default, your tires drop at least 1 pound per square inch(PSI) of pressure each month, regardless of the weather.

When temperatures start to drop in the fall, expect your tires to drop even more pressure for every 10 degrees of temperature drop.

Always make sure that you are checking your tires with the proper equipment, so you can adjust it properly.

Glare

Sun glare is also one issue that you can encounter during the fall season.

You will be doing more driving with the sun lower in the sky, thanks to the shorter days and the change in the daylight savings time. The glare can in many cases limit your visibility which can cause a lot of accidents on the road. Thanks to the sun glare you can miss a pedestrian, car lights, or even something on the road that you can hit.

To avoid this always make sure that you are cleaning your windshield inside and out. It is also useful to always keep a pair of polaroid glasses or use your sun visor to help you fight the glare.

Black Ice

Black ice is the same as regular ice, but it has fewer bubbles that are forming it, which makes it hard to spot. In winter conditions, but it is not excluded to encounter it during the autumn. It usually forms at night or early mornings when the temperatures are low. It tends to form on the part of the roads where there is almost no sunshine during the day.

If you by any chance encounter black ice, it is important to remain calm. Do not hit the brakes! Keep the steering wheel straight and let the car pass over the ice.

Overall autumn driving as any other season has its own road conditions. If you follow these autumn safety tips for truck drivers you will make your travels safer. Make sure to check your tire pressure. Pay close attention to road hazards or any potential weather conditions that can jeopardize you or the other drivers on the road

 

© 2018 Logiflex Inc

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