Archive for June, 2014

We love the patriotism of the American truck driver

By Jena Williams

Truck with Capitol

In honor of Independence Day on Friday, here is a collection of photos that show the love of country of the American truck driver.

We appreciate all of you for delivering all we need.

Have a safe 4th of July and enjoy the show:

20130531_135149 John-Pino-US-ARMY NEWtruck  P1030909 P1030913 P1020844P1030918  Teamster-Truck-leftsideSAM_0898 Truck

Were you there?

By Jena Williams

2014 Washington Trucking Associations' Truck Driving Championships

2014 Washington Trucking Associations’ Truck Driving Championships

The Washington Trucking Associations’ Truck Driving Championships and Step Van Driving Championships were at the Boeing Space Center in Kent on Saturday.

We’ve attended this event for years, and it never ceases to amaze us the way companies come together to make it great! Volunteers judge, drivers dazzle with their skill, and companies donate their time, food and drinks to make sure it’s fun for the entire family.

This year appeared to have a particularly difficult course so the drivers really worked for the win. But the weather was beautiful and lots of fans showed their support.

We will publish the winners soon!

Here are a few photos from the event:

The drivers receive their course instructions

The drivers receive their course instructions

 

 

The fans waiting to cheer their drivers

The fans waiting to cheer their drivers

Hope to see you next year.

Are you a forklift driver?

By Jena Williams

forkliftdriver

Got skill? Then you should compete in one of the two upcoming Washington forklift rodeos.

The 2014, 17th Annual Forklift Rodeo is presented by the Material Handling Committee of the Governor’s Industrial Safety & Health Advisory Board and the Department of Labor & Industries. Cash prizes of up to $300 will be awarded to the top performers.

Two regional competitions will determine who moves on to the state competition to be held this fall at the Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference in Spokane.

Dates and locations for regional competitions are:

Eastern Regional Competition – June 21
Spokane Fire Department Training Facility
Western Regional Competition – August 23
Boeing Kent Space Center

Space is limited so register soon!

For more information or to register: http://www.wagovconf.org/events/forklift-rodeo/

Don’t cut off trucks!

By Jena Williams

Semi vs. minivan

Summer is almost here, which means driving with the top down, carloads of teens on break, families on vacation…in a word “traffic,” lots of it.

While others are having a good time, truck drivers are still working.

Talking to truck drivers reveals that one of the most stressful parts of their job is dealing with being cut off in heavy traffic. Why? Because if you are in a collision with a semi-truck, it likely won’t be a fender bender and you likely won’t walk away from it. The truck driver’s biggest concern is staying on high alert for the erratic behavior of other drivers to protect them from their own mistakes. So please don’t risk your life or make a driver’s stressful job any harder. Drive safely around trucks.

So enjoy your summer, but keep it safe. Remember that the truck driver in the next lane is bringing stuff you need to a store near you or possibly straight to your doorstep. Be kind to the driver as the driver is working hard to protect you as well.

Teens and Trucks – Share the Road: http://www.cvsa.org/programs/teens_and_trucks.php

The No Zone rap: http://youtu.be/9m1-FIAhcSA

Great info from Oregon DOT on truck’s blind spots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP-NIUL6LzY

Best tips for sharing the road with big trucks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqRKEo82ays

Local company owner challenges the status quo and makes the job safer

By Jena Williams

Jack Belmont

Jack Belmont, Owner, Belmont Enterprises Inc.

To most of us, the status quo is comfortable and change is, well, less comfortable. But some people aren’t willing to accept that the status quo is as good as it gets.

Jack Belmont, owner of Belmont Enterprises Inc. in Tumwater, Washington is one of those people who doesn’t accept that how business has always been done is how it needs to continue.

Here are a few of the changes he’s made to make his company safer, both for his employees and for the motoring public.

Belmont Enterprises hauls raw glass sheets, known in the industry as “stoce.” Stoce sheets are hauled in nearly vertical stoce racks that traditionally were strapped into place by a driver that climbs a ladder to hook straps and place guards over the stoce.

 

Old method of attaching straps by climbing ladder, and reaching over sharp edges of (stoce) glass.

Old method of attaching straps by climbing ladder, and reaching over sharp edges of (stoce) glass.

Jack used to lie awake at night worrying that a worker would fall and slice themselves on the stoce. Then it came to him: there was no need to climb a ladder and to attach straps! He could design a system of permanently attached straps that could keep the worker off of the ladder.

Jack’s system is now in place and works perfectly. Using an aluminum rake, a worker can manipulate the straps and lift the guards into place while standing on the trailer bed.

Aluminum rake for adjusting straps

Swivel top, no ladder, tie down system is adjusted using an aluminum rake from trailer bed level.

Aluminum rake also lift stoce guards

Aluminum rake also lifts stoce guards into place.

Jack also listens to his employees when it comes to how to get the job done safer. There’s nothing more frustrating and harder on the shoulders than when a trailer curtain get snagged up. One day a driver suggested to Jack that it would be better if there were sleds on the top of the stoce rack to keep the curtain from snagging. The employee made wooden ones to test and Jack created the aluminum ones. The sled is another simple solution that saves time and prevents injuries.

Sled suggested by an employee of Belmont to prevent the trailer curtain from snagging on the stoce rack.

Jack is also willing to go above and beyond to protect the motoring public. He shared that a standard load of stoce is strapped to the frame with just two straps. He notes that so many things can go wrong in a scenario with just 2 straps. If one strap loosens in transit or if a driver forgets one of the stoce guards, the load can be lost on a public highway.

First, Jack addressed this scenario by adding a cut-proof cable to the tops of his straps. Then he went even further by challenging a general belief in the glass hauling industry: most companies stick with 2 straps because they believe that the glass needs to be able to flex in transit or it’ll break. Jack tested a third strap. It worked great and now they have the extra insurance of a backup strap.

Early in his career, he assisted in the cleanup of a spilled load and was willing to do anything to prevent another. He didn’t give up until the problem was solved.

Safety doesn’t happen by accident. Thoughtful solutions are waiting to be found.

What solutions have you developed to make your job safer? Share them in the comments.

Link to more information on the swivel top, no ladder, tie down system: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6eJDtSAGQHNVGxGNHVZWm1OUEE/edit?pli=1

Link to company profile on Jack Belmont: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/901472014.pdf