Archive for September, 2012

Longview truck driver killed in Highway 12 crash

By Jena Williams

Drivers please wear your seat belts. I don’t know if wearing one would have saved him, but we care about you and want you as safe as possible.

UPDATED: From Lewis County Sirens.com: http://www.lewiscountysirens.com/?p=14650

ORIGINAL: Here’s the story from The Daily News Online: http://tdn.com/news/local/longview-truck-driver-killed-in-highway-crash/article_93743198-077f-11e2-a2c8-001a4bcf887a.html

Choose to give trucks space

By Jena Williams

Do you sometimes jump into the extra space in front of a truck when traffic starts to slow down? Or do you drive in a truck’s blind spot? Often motorists are unaware that these and other unsafe driving habits put them in extreme danger around semi-trucks.

I know I used to do some of these risky behaviors. My favorite – getting around traffic at an off ramp by jumping in the space that is always there in front of a truck. Dumb, dumb girl! Now that I know better, I’m amazed at the way I risked my own life and regret the stress I put on the drivers of the trucks.  Looking back, I realize that mostly I was naively unaware of the risk I was in.

If you are one of the motorists that choose to go one-to-one with a semi, please understand that you are bound to lose eventually…your life, your mobility, the friend or family member that is riding with you…any number of physical and emotional issues may plague you the rest of your life from this decision. Are you the only one who loses? No.

Consider this scenario: A truck driver goes to work and through no fault of his own is involved in a collision that takes the life of another motorist. The emotional and mental anguish from this type of event can leave the professional truck driver unable to drive a truck any longer. You may choose to risk and lose your life. The dedicated driver loses his career.

Please drive carefully around trucks. Give them plenty of room. When passing, safely but quickly get out of the blind spot. Remember that if you cannot see the driver in the mirrors, the driver  cannot see you.

When the freeway slows down, don’t jump into that big space in front of the semi-truck. The driver intentionally left it so that he or she can have room to stop the heavy load they are carrying.

When merging on the freeway, check YOUR blind spot to make sure a truck isn’t there. Don’t make them have to adjust their speed for your entrance because their load may prevent them from slowing or speeding up for you. Additionally, they cannot move over as quickly as a passenger vehicle. Be considerate and remember that trucks are bringing the goods you need each day.

As part of the motoring and consumer public, I really appreciate truck drivers.

Drivers, are there other tips or topics you’d like the rest of us to be aware of to make your job just a little safer and easier?

Wondering where a truck’s blind spots are located? Check the No-Zone Diagram: http://www.sharetheroadsafely.org/noZone/noZone.asp

Washington has lost another truck driver

By Jena Williams

UPDATED ARTICLE: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/crime/2012/09/26/truck-driver-killed-in-sr-18-crash-identified-as-pacific-man/

ORIGINAL STORY: A Fed-Ex driver was killed this morning in a crash on Tiger Mountain. Please drive careful out there. Drivers are so important to us.

Here’s a link to the article from King5.com: http://www.king5.com/news/local/1-dead-in-semi-crash-on-Tiger-Mountain—170690406.html

Got Chocks?

Warning signBy Jena Williams

I recently attended an informational seminar by DOSH (Washington State OSHA program) consultation services given to trucking industry leaders. The question was asked, “What is the most common issue that you see at trucking companies?”

The response surprised me.

“Wheels not chocked at loading docks or when being loaded or unloaded by forklifts.”

Wow! Having read the claims of workers killed by run-away trucks or from falls from the loading dock, I can see why this measure is so important.

Washington state law requires chocks or mechanical equipment to be used in addition to the parking brake to assure that the truck and trailer unit cannot move away from the dock. Seems pretty simple to me, but since it is commonly not being done, there must be some barriers.

What do you see as barriers to chocking wheels? What can be done to remind drivers to chock their tires?

We know people get killed when heavy machinery rolls such as in this true story: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/90402009.pdf and in this true story: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/90302009.pdf

DOSH consultation is a free program that your company can use to improve safety.

Washington well represented at the NTDC

By Jena Williams

At the American Trucking Associations’ National Truck Driving Championships, the best and safest drivers who were winners of their state championships face off to see who the best of the best is. This incredible event, sometimes referred to as the “Super Bowl of Safety” where just competing is an honor, Washington truck drivers brought home three awards. Each state sends their winners in each of nine categories, so this year 425 drivers from across the nation were tested on their knowledge of safety, equipment, the industry and driving skills. Then the top five in each category went on to compete in the obstacle course driving test.

Washington winners included Gary Herrygers of the Boeing Co. taking third place in the Five-Axle, Roy Garcia of Peninsula Truck Lines, taking third place in the Sleeper Berth and Victor Skoglund of FedEx Freight, taking third place in the Tank Truck.

Grand Champion went to Don Logan, FedEx, Kansas. Click here to read Mr. Logan’s inspiring story in Transport Topics: http://www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=29948

In addition, the group of nine drivers from Washington earned second place in the state team awards.

TIRES staff would like to congratulate each of you!

Link to the ATA NTDC: http://www.truckline.com/Federation/Councils/slpmc/NTDC/Pages/Default.aspx

This year’s competition was held August 7-11 in Minneapolis, Minn.

Three drivers lost in the last three weeks… Please drive safely out there

By Jena Williams

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

CHELAN, WA. — A 44-year-old Illinois man was killed when his semi truck rolled over around 2 a.m. Tuesday on McNeil Canyon Road, above Beebe Bridge.

Steban Carr’s truck was traveling downhill when it entered a sharp right curve. It rolled onto its left side, broke through a guardrail and slid about 60 feet down a steep embankment… read more from the Wenatchee World.

Monday, September 3, 2012

ROY, WA. – The driver of a septic tank truck, Mark A. Webb, 49, was killed in a crash during a foggy morning commute near Roy Monday morning.

The driver was going west on SR-702 when he went through the intersection of SR-507 then into a parking lot where the truck rolled over… read more from KOMONews.com and from Q13Fox.com.

Thursday, August 16, 2012 

CLARK COUNTY, WA. –  A 70-year-old Kelso man, David Hughart, died Wednesday when his dump truck missed a curve in rural Clark County and smashed into trees… read more from The Daily News. Link to obituary.

What Does Labor Day Mean to Truckers?

Labor dayBy Jena Williams

Most occupations celebrate Labor Day with a day off, however that is probably not the case for most truck drivers. Truck drivers work around the clock to deliver all the things we count on to be waiting for us at the store when we want it. If you are out on the road today, fighting all the extra holiday traffic, we want you to know that you are appreciated.

Monday marks the 130th Labor Day to be celebrated since the first “workman’s holiday” was held in 1882, and it isn’t hard to imagine what a treat a simple day off must have been to the working men, women and children who toiled away in the increasingly industrialized America of a century ago.

No matter your viewpoint on issues such as the federal laws governing hours of service, this seems like an appropriate time to consider where America’s labor laws originated and why.

One hundred thirty years ago, men, women and children (often as young as six) might work every day of the week in shifts of 12 hours or more – in mines, factories, mills and other hazardous workplaces.  No breaks or meal periods. And being too sick to go to work could mean no pay for the day or even a lost job. It was not uncommon for wages to be changed arbitrarily or not paid at all, with little recourse for the aggrieved worker.  Getting injured on the job meant nothing to live on for you or your family while you recovered from your injury, if you even did ever recover. Wow!

As imperfect as federal and state laws that govern trucking and other industries may be, I’m personally thankful that the working conditions of a century ago are not what we experience today. And I continue to be grateful to those who bring it!

What does Labor Day signify to you? Are you working today? What would you like to see changed?

 

History of the trucking industry: http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Trucking-Industry-Overview—-History-of-Trucking and http://www.ehow.com/facts_4963620_history-trucking-industry.html

Professional truck drivers remind motorists to be safe on Labor Day weekend: http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2012/08/30/048020-professional-truck-drivers-remind-motorists-to-be-safe-during-labor.html

Washington State Department of Transportation Labor Day traffic tips: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/News/2012/08/28_laborday2012.htm