Efficiency Enterprises, Inc. 6300 Efficiency Way Baltimore, MD 21225

Staying Safe During Winter: What Truck Drivers Need To Know

Roads can become extremely dangerous during wintertime. When the snow begins to fall and temperatures drop to sub-zero, even highly experienced truck drivers can have problems with poor visibility and the reduced traction that is so typical of icy roads. Luckily there are a few things they can do to help them stay safe in these conditions. Continue reading to learn more.

Double-check before the trip that you have all the necessary supplies.

If the trip does not work out as planned and you are involved in an accident, get stuck in heavy traffic, or have to pull off and wait out a storm, you are going to need certain supplies. That’s why it’s important to double-check before the trip that you have blankets, warm clothing, water, and food – and that the diesel tanks are full.

Check the truck before the journey.

Getting the truck ready for winter is a crucial part of staying safe and preventing accidents. Start by checking the engine oil. Also check the condition of the tires, tire pressure, antifreeze levels, brakes, lights, and everything else that could negatively impact having a safe journey.

Be on the alert for black ice.

This thin sheet of transparent ice typically forms when temperatures start approaching freezing point. The first warning sign could be when ice starts building up on the windscreen. Reduce your speed when approaching bridges, shaded areas, and overpasses since these are spots where black ice often first starts to form.

Increase following distances.

It takes much longer than usual to bring a large vehicle to a complete standstill when roads are wet, icy, and slippery. This is why truck drivers should always increase following distances during the winter months to help prevent accidents.

Be aware of and prepared for all weather conditions.

You should always make sure that they are up to date with the latest weather conditions on their planned route. Drivers should also use a GPS, radio, or another form of communication to be alerted of accidents ahead, roads that are closed, etc.

Turn signals and hazard lights become even more important during winter. Experienced truck drivers typically have their own rule of thumb for each different road condition. For driving in winter, they would use four to five blinks before moving into the adjacent lane. And they don’t try to match the speed of the other vehicles on the road at all costs. If their load or the road conditions require this, they would rather drive more slowly and use hazard lights to warn other drivers of this fact.

Do not try to be a hero.

There is no load worth a human life. If a truck driver experiences extremely dangerous driving conditions, he or she should know that it’s fine to look for a safe spot where they can wait it out. If there is no space at the nearest truck stop, stop on a ramp or anywhere else that is not in the way. Just beware of parking on a steep incline as you might have issues pulling off again with a full load.

Exercise caution when getting into and out of the truck.

Wintertime means slippery conditions that make it very easy to fall and hurt yourself. Wear boots with a solid grip and when visibility is low, always wear high-visibility clothing.

We always err on the side of caution, especially in unpredictable weather! Looking for more tips or information about how to improve your fleet management? Let Efficiency help! Contact us today.

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‏Proactive Fleet Planning: What Is It And Why Do You Need It?‏

‏Usually, managers tend to be more reactive than they are proactive. This is not the proper way to manage a fleet. Instead, for one to run a successful fleet, it takes a lot of proactive planning. There are a lot of adjustments and continual improvements that a manager needs to make on a regular basis to maintain the fleet in good shape. ‏

‏What is Proactive Planning?

‏Proactive fleet planning to take tasks head-on instead of reacting to situations around you. This will insulate you and your business from a lot of market influences as well. It can be difficult to run a business when there is chaos all around you. That is where proactive planning comes into play. It involves addressing tasks way before they turn into problems. You want a proactive plan that enables you to accommodate market fluctuations without being backed into a corner.‏

‏You Run a Reliable Fleet

‏Imagine the amount of money you lose when a single truck from your fleet breaks down. There is a lot of money lost in repairs and in missed opportunities. At the end of the day, your business will be less productive, and you will have to deal with:‏

● ‏Repair costs‏

● ‏Drivers sitting around with no work‏

● ‏Decline in productivity ‏

‏If you maintain your fleet properly, you won’t have to deal with a lot of mechanical issues. This is why you need to stay on top of your vehicle maintenance requirements, as this is an essential part of fleet management. It will help you ensure that more vehicles stay on the road. ‏

‏Lower Maintenance Costs

‏You may not fully understand how proactive fleet planning can lead to lower maintenance costs. However, if you think about it, whenever you take preventative measures, you save a lot of money. Maintenance is generally cheaper than repair because, in most instances, when things are broken, you’ll end up needing to replace a lot of parts. For instance, an oil change is less costly than having your engine damaged because of low oil levels. Apart from that, delaying an oil change can lead to a lot of shorter vehicle engine lifespans. At the end of the day, you will be faced with changing out worn-out pistons or cleaning out clogged engines. ‏

‏Lower Fuel Costs

‏When you take time to plan things ahead and attend to all your maintenance requirements, you will find that a lot of money will be saved in fuel costs. For instance, changing filters and making oil changes on time can help you boost your miles per gallon.‏

‏Another essential factor that contributes to saving fuel is wheel and tire maintenance. In fact, properly maintaining your wheels and tires has been shown to result in a 40% boost in fuel economy. This can be highly beneficial to commercial fleets. When you save on fuel, your operations will be way more profitable. ‏

‏Fleet Safety

‏Another reason why proactive fleet planning is important is that it enables you to maintain fleet safety. There are a lot of things that should be maintained, and ignoring them is just asking for trouble. For instance, you need to constantly check if you need to replace or fix things like tires, coupling devices, and brakes. Research shows that many accidents usually occur because of problems with the truck’s brake. Accidents that occur because of this are way more than those caused by driver fatigue.‏

‏Proactive fleet planning is all about thinking ahead. You don’t need to do certain tasks just because you have been backed up in a corner. Things like brake failure can be avoided if you take time to plan things and attend to maintenance tasks before they turn into real costly problems.

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5 Reasons Why Reverse Parking A Truck Is Safer

As September is Safety month here at Efficiency we want to highlight something that makes a major impact for all of our customers. Reverse parking sounds like ‘common sense’ but there are major benefits to this approach. In fact, there have been a lot of accidents that have taken place as people are trying to back their trucks out of a space. These accidents lead to injuries and even fatalities.

Apart from collisions, many people have been injured by vehicles whose drivers were trying to back out of a parking spot. In a study conducted in 2018, about 12 000 non-occupants were injured by trucks trying to reverse from a parking spot. Of these 12 000, 284 were killed. These accidents occurred in driveways and parking facilities. Also, most of the people who are killed by backover collisions are the elderly and kids.

Rear Visibility Technology for Added Safety

It’s generally safer for truck drivers to drive out of space when they have a clear field of vision ahead of them. However, one of the issues with reverse parking is that it can be difficult to see what’s happening behind a truck as you are trying to reverse into a spot. Fortunately, nowadays, most trucks come equipped with rear visibility technology. This allows the driver to get into the parking spot safely.

Better Visibility

While it can be easier to spot vehicles on the roads with rearview mirrors, people can be hard to notice as a driver is backing out of a parking spot. With reverse parking, the driver first backs into a clear parking spot, and the chances of them hurting anyone are very low. On the other hand, when backing out of a space, there will be a lot of blind spots, and you won’t be able to see what’s happening around you. This increases the risk of hitting someone you can’t see.

Easier to Get Out of Emergency Situations

When the truck is parked in reverse, it is easier to jump into it and escape the emergency. This can save you from a lot of trouble. For instance, if the truck is carrying flammable materials and there is a fire, you will need to act quickly, and at the same time, prevent your truck from colliding with other vehicles and pedestrians.

Reverse Parking is Fuel Efficient

It is easier to pull forward out of a parking space. Since you can see everything that will be happening, you will most likely be able to do it all at once. Apart from this, research shows that a truck will consume a lot of fuel on a cold engine as it is backing out. However, when pulling forward in the first few minutes, the truck will use less fuel.

Reverse Parking Allows the Driver to Leave a Parking Spot Quicker

Reverse parking will allow the driver to leave the parking spot quicker. This will enable the drivers to save time if there is a lot of traffic on the road, reducing the chances of obstructing traffic and causing accidents.

Most truck drivers find reverse parking to be a little difficult for them. However, it is essential for every truck driver to be able to reverse park without struggling. If you have not yet mastered this important skill, you might want to take some time to practice in your spare time. If your truck has a rearview camera, you will find that it’s easier than you imagined. Reverse parking is an easier alternative for pedestrians.

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