Archive for category maintenance

Levelling Dock Plate Injuries

Securing trucks at the dock can cause injuries to muscles, tendons, and joints while lifting and moving the mechanical dock plate into position. Switching to a push button controlled powered dock leveler removes the need to pull or manipulate heavy dock components. Powered dock levelers can also smooth out forklift travel between dock and trailer, reducing vibrations to the driver’s body. This type of system can also help prevent a fall from the dock while docking or closing a trailer.

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Get Ready Now as CVSA Inspection and Enforcement Blitz Coming Soon

Get Ready Now as CVSA Inspection and Enforcement Blitz Coming Soon

Washington State Patrol Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer performing Level 1 inspection Photo courtesy of Washington State Patrol

By: Paul Karolczyk

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will hold its 31st Annual International Roadcheck inspection and enforcement blitz from June 5 – 7.  The event will emphasize hours-of-service compliance, which topped last year’s list of 15,000 out-of-service violations. Another reason for this year’s special emphasis is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s recent electronic logging device mandate that eliminated  traditional paper logs for most carriers. Previous Roadchecks have spotlighted categories of violations that include hazardous materials/dangerous goods, cargo securement, and tire safety.

During the 72-hour event, commercial motor vehicle inspectors will be conducting high-volume, high-visibility North American Standard Level-1 Inspections of large trucks and buses at inspection sites, weigh stations, and roving patrol locations along major highways in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The 37-step inspection includes checking driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical systems. Inspectors will ask drivers to show their operating credentials and hours-of-service logs, check seat belt usage, and be attentive to alcohol and/or drug impairment. Mechanical fitness inspections include checking braking systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, and windshield wipers.

One of the best ways to stay compliant and prevent violations is to do a pre-trip inspection. Sharpen up your inspection skills by using the pre-trip simulation tool from

To learn more about the annual International Roadcheck and North American Standard Level-1 Inspection procedure, please visit:

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Voluntary Truck Inspection in Tacoma on Saturday

By Jena Williams

Truck being inspected

Can you use a clean inspection for your CSA scores? Would you like to get your annual inspection out of the way?

The Washington State Patrol is conducting a Voluntary Truck Inspection, Saturday, June 13, 2015. The event is sponsored by the Washington Trucking Associations’ Valley Chapter of the Log Truckers Conference and Dump Truckers Conference.

T.E. Walrath Shop
11405 24th Ave E.

If you choose to participate, the information from this Level Five Inspection will be uploaded to your CSA scores.

IMPORTANT: Please look your equipment over prior to participating in the inspection as there will be no re-inspections.

Receiving a clean inspection will help your CSA scores and the CVSA decal will work for your annual inspection.

The event is Saturday, June 13, 2015 from 7:30 am to mid-afternoon. Lunch is between 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, coffee and donuts served all day! Suppliers are welcome!

For more information:

Mike Cavelti (360) 897-8572

Tom Walrath (253) 531-7499

Mike Southards (800-732-9019


Sponsored by the Valley Chapter of the LTC & DTC:

Test your tire chaining knowledge

By Jena Williams

Click photo to access tire chaining challenge.

Click photo to access tire chaining challenge.

You’ve got chains, but do you know how to use them? Prove it to yourself by testing your knowledge with this fun simulation. Compare the novice and professional drivers as they chain up their tires. See if you can find all 10 differences.

If you’ve been driving for a while, share your advice in the comments below to help newer drivers prepare for winter.

Now is also the time to inspect your chains before you find yourself on a snowy mountain pass. Here are tire chaining tips to get you started.

Tire chaining simulation:

Tips for hanging iron:

Tips for inspecting your chains:

Slip prevention, a topic for summer

By Jena Williams

Worn diamond plate has been repaired with a slip-resistant cover.

Worn diamond plate has been repaired with a slip-resistant cover.

Now, before fall rains and winter ice, is the perfect time to evaluate and maintain the non-slip surfaces on courier steps, loading docks, ladders and cab and trailer entry points. Take advantage of the dry conditions to apply anti-slip treads and tape.

Slick concrete in warehouses and loading docks can be re-coated with anti-slip surfaces as well. Worn diamond plate steps can be re-treaded and loose steps re-welded.

Have you considered investing in canopies for your loading docks to prevent rain accumulation on the surface? My guess is that you can negotiate a better deal from suppliers during this, their slow time.

Injury prevention doesn’t get a summer vacation, but you can use the hot summer sun to your advantage and get the jump on slip and fall prevention for the rest of the year.

This fun training simulation tests the co-efficient of friction in relation to slips and falls:

Saved by the handhold

By Jena Williams

Entering cab using 3 points of contact

Have you ever wondered if retro-fitting trucks or trailers with handholds are worth the investment? After talking with many injured workers, we can assure you that they are. A well placed handhold can make the difference between an injury and a non-event.

Some tips

Keep it consistent: People are creatures of habit and muscles have memory. The more consistently placed the handles, the more likely people are to reach for (and depend on) a handhold, rather than grab for a phantom handle.

More is better: This is true in more than one way. 1) Put handles on both sides of trailers, not just one. 2) If a shorter or taller worker needs a different location, add another handle rather than moving the one that is there so that if drivers slip-seat, a new driver won’t be injured.

Ask for feedback: Ask workers if the handle placement is working for them or if there are changes that need to be made. Asking questions like this opens up communication lines and improves the safety culture of the company.

This is also a good opportunity to remind workers to use 3 points-of-contact. Below are links to materials to help.

Often small investments in safety can make a huge difference in injury prevention.


Links to trailer/cab entry and exit training

Printable materials:

Online simulation:

Slip into spring?

By Jena Williams


No thank you!

It’s finally spring, and as the old adage goes… April showers bring…well, in Washington they bring May showers and June showers and maybe even July showers.  And all those showers bring slick roads, and loads. This is a great time to check your traction and continue to wear the proper footwear for your job. You can also protect yourself from slip, trip and fall injuries by cleaning up spills as soon as they occur.

Wet loading docks contribute to costly fall injuries each year. Employers, have you considered ways to keep your loading docks dry such as adding an awning? Additionally, remind workers to report worn steps or ramps so they can be maintained. Investing in safety is a wise business decision.

For more information on protecting yourself and your career by wearing work boots, the footwear of the professional truck driver, see these links:

Wear the footwear of the pros!

Don’t let your footwear get you down:

These boots were made for walkin’:

Inspect your boots:

For a fun training on the effects of friction when you wear various footwear click:

Truck driver killed when his semi was hit by another vehicle

By Jena Williams

Dale Weaver, a 59-year-old truck driver from Ohio won’t return home after his run to Washington. He was killed when the semi-tractor trailer he was driving burst into flames after being impacted by another vehicle. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and company.

Click here to read the account from the Tacoma News Tribune:

Organized Chain Up?

By Jena Williams

It isn’t an oxymoron.

The Washington State Department of Transportation has developed an unprecedented plan to reduce congestion and improve safety around chain up areas on I-90’s Snoqualmie Pass.

If you are a frequent cross-state traveler, you have probably seen the lane construction and new signage along westbound I-90, three miles east of Snoqualmie Pass.

The plan is to increase communication and get rid of the confusion over when and where to stop to chain up.

In addition to labeling the chain-up zones, which can be hard to decipher with a layer of snow over everything, there will also be information about room available ahead to chain up so drivers won’t be stopping in the traffic lanes out of fear they’ll run out of space to chain up.

Be aware, stops will be limited to 30 minutes, so don’t plan to park and sleep it out. Prepare in advance with these chaining guides:

Take time to check your chains:

Tips for successful chaining:

Heading eastbound? Don’t despair! Eastbound traffic will see similar upgrades in upcoming years.

For more info from WA DOT:

Link to the Washington State Patrol’s MINIMUM CHAIN REQUIREMENTS for vehicles and combinations over 10,000 pounds GVWR:

Link to Washington State Commercial Vehicle Guide (page 1-2):

Safety training doesn’t have to be lame!

By Jena Williams

Check out our companion site at to find fun, interactive training tools on:

Go ahead and use the materials at  It’s all free!