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Showing posts with label truck and trailer safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label truck and trailer safety. Show all posts

Friday, February 17, 2017

Safety Tools You Need To Always Keep In Your Cab

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Accidents happen. Even the best truckers with spotless records get caught up in emergency situations because you just never know what can happen on the road. In the event of a major accident or inclement weather be prepared with the proper tools in your cab.

Emergency Equipment Truckers Should Carry


You should always have a bag of emergency clothes with you on the road. This is important for all seasons, but especially for winter. Your pack should have warm items in case it gets cold like a sweater and hat, but it should also have waterproof items.

Remember, you can layer a lightweight jacket over winter gear or bring a heavy insulated winter coat. Just make sure the items are in layers so you can shed something if you get too hot.

Don’t forget about your hands and feet. Always carry waterproof gloves and waterproof shoes in case you have to get out of your cab during a major downpour or a cold wintery mix.

Most people carry extra underwear and socks in case they get held up somewhere for a few days.

It’s also good to carry extra blankets. You never know when your heat will go out or when you’ll be in a situation where a little extra heat and a nice dry blanket could make a major difference to your night.

Never forget to bring along extra batteries and chargers for your radio, CB, phone, flashlight, and more. You’ll want your electronics to have a nice charge, and a way to charge them. Hand crank radios and solar powered chargers can give your phone the extra juice it may need.

It’s always great to carry a fire extinguisher with you in case something starts to flame up. Heck, you could even be stuck near a forest's wildfire, so having the ability to spray out some flames could come in handy.

You’ll need some emergency meal items. Keep at least a gallon of water in your cab and a few days worth of nonperishable foods like cans of soup packages crackers, and jerky. Don’t forget your can opener!

A multi-purpose knife can go a long way. You never know what type of items you’ll need to cut. Some knives come with seat belt cutters and points to break glass if you need to climb out of your cab quickly.

If you take a daily medication be sure to bring the bottle with you. You won’t want to be without it if you get stuck somewhere for a few days. It’s also a good idea to carry some pain relievers and antacids.

Consider bringing some personal hygiene items on the road with you. This way you’ll have items to keep your teeth and body looking and smelling clean.

Take a small first aid kit full of bandages, antiseptics, and baby wipes. You might actually be surprised with how often you want a band aid while on the road.

Other people on the road will need to be able to see you, so be sure to bring along flairs to set out, and those reflective triangles. It helps to have a reflective vest if you’re stepping out of your cab near a busy road. Also, have a proper flashlight with you, sometimes your phone light won’t cut it.

Maybe a few candles and waterproof matches would be good to keep on hand as well, in case you need light in a dark cab.

Be Prepared!


You never know when severe weather or a bad driver will strike, so be prepared for any emergency situation that may arise. You never know when a few extra items in your cab will really come in handy.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and share what emergency items you carry in the comment section below.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tire Safety: Getting Ready for Roadcheck

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It’s official — the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has announced this year’s International Roadcheck will focus on tire safety! Taking place from June 7-9, this event is a joint effort of the CVSA and the FMCSA (and a few others).

So what all will Roadcheck focus on with tire safety? We’re going to break this down so that your wheels start turning.

Under Pressure


A tire which has too much or too little pressure could overheat, or it could be vulnerable to a dangerous blowout.

So how can you avoid dangerous vulnerabilities from low tire pressure?

Ideally, you want to make sure you have an accurate pressure gauge to detect under inflation. If they’re legal in your neck of the woods, you can also use a tire thumper to hear if your tires sound inflated.

Now a thumper won’t give you a precise measurement, but will let you know if you’re a wide margin off.

Tire Condition


Don’t ever underestimate the value of a visual evaluation, truckers.

What should you look for? Mainly anything that is visually wrong with your tires. Obviously, any bubbles and bumps are a sign of an impending blowout. Especially if you were to hit road debris. Speaking of, you want to also see if there is any debris between tires!

Tread Carefully


An often overlooked aspect of tire inspection is tire tread! Not just the treads themselves, but the depth and condition of the treads. Treads with a low depth can have uneven wear, and risk your exposure to blowouts and worse.

Tire Placement


Tires just go in their spots, right? It’s like building a LEGO set, isn’t it?

Well, not exactly. You need to make sure your tires aren’t mismatched. Matching tires are important! It’ll balance out your wear and tear.

And with dual tires, you need to make sure there is no contact between them. While that sounds obvious, it’s these little checks that can make a big difference.

It’s the Details


Overall, just look for little things that’ll set you back. Things to look out for include: damaged rims, missing valve stems, rusty/loose nuts, as well as oil and grease buildup/leaks.

With Roadcheck coming up, it’s a good idea to treat every pre-trip inspection like a big deal. With your tires in great condition, you’ll be able to knockout your trucking route.

As we roll closer to the HVUT 2290 and 2nd Quarter IFTA deadline, the helpful folks at ExpressTruckTax will be here to help you! Reach out to us at any time by email or by phone at 704.234.6005.

Are you ready for Roadcheck 2016?


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Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter Driving Tips for Truckers

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We’ve all seen it – you’re headed down a snowy highway and there’s a rig jackknifed into a ditch, clearly underestimating the dangers of an icy road. We talk a lot about filing your 2290s around here at ExpressTruckTax, but sometimes we need to talk safety.

Specifically, winter safety! If you’re new to the Trucking Nation, we suggest you winterize your rig this season. I mean, your route might take you all over the country, even into Canada – so it’s best you prepare for icy roads. While seasoned truckers may have their own routine, it never hurts to have a refresher.

Driving Dangers


While you’re on an icy road, make sure you approach driving with caution! Sure, we could probably write a book on roadside safety for the winter, but we decided to boil it down to a few key points.


  • Go slow! While your freight is important, your life matters most. You might think a road is good to go, but you won’t know if you’ve hit black ice until it is too late. Take it slow, at least until you know the roads are clear.
  • Top off your fuel tanks for extra weight. Not only will the extra weight help slow you down and give you more friction on the icy roads, but you never know when fuel will be hard to come by during a winter storm.
  • Tail lights can be deceiving. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles! If you’re tailing another truck’s lights for guidance, you might follow a vehicle off the road. On the same note, your lights might confuse other drivers during low visibility. Keep your distance!
  • Don’t pull over to the shoulder if visibility is low. Oncoming traffic might mistake your rig for an off ramp, a side road, or they might fail to see you altogether. Make it to a truck stop or a motel, instead.
  • Follow brake standards. Braking a rig always takes expertise, but make sure you approach it with extra care during a winter storm. Also, remember that Jake brakes are designed for dry roads – it’s best not to ride them on the ice.
  • Choose CB over Sirius. During winter storms, it’s best to keep your CB radio on and turn the satellite radio off. Sometimes we get into the habit of listening to music or talk radio, but it’s safer to stay in communication with your fellow drivers during dangerous conditions.



Preparation is Key


Before you head out, take time to prepare your rig for the colder months. Stock up on winter supplies, and inspect your rig! While you’ve hauled plenty of loads by now, take a look at your truck with fresh eyes. Check to see if your lights are in working order, look for accumulated ice, and have a plan for de-icing your truck. And don’t forget to check for low tire pressure. Not only will under-inflated tires decrease your fuel efficiency, but they also reduce road control as well!

After you winterize your truck, stock up on supplies!

  • As the cold sets in, it’s best to have plenty of warm clothing, insulated socks, and top quality boots. It’s better to have extras than to go without! 
  • Consider bringing extra blankets, or even a sleeping bag for the cold nights ahead. 
  • Make sure you have some nonperishable food on hand, since restaurants and stores might close down or become hard to reach. It’s not a bad idea to have mixed nuts, dried fruit, jerky, and an extra water supply stashed away for emergencies. 
  • And don’t forget to keep your phone fully charged, or carry a backup phone charger/spare battery. The last thing you want is to lose contact during an emergency! 


At the end of the day, you know your truck and the roads better than anyone else. Use your best judgement, and if it’s too bad out there, DON’T BE A HERO! Nobody will hold it against you for taking the safe route.


While we can’t thaw the roads ourselves, we’re here if you need help e-filing your 2290s. If you have questions about filing your HVUT, our US-based support team is available to assist you by phone at 704.234.6005, by email at support@expresstrucktax.com, and by live chat at our website.



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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Theft Prevention: Keeping Your Truck And Trailer Safe

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Vehicle thieves love to get their sticky fingers on commercial trucks and trailers. When they are stolen, you or your company experience revenue loss, higher insurance premiums, parts shortages, business interruptions, angry customers, and workers' comp claims. The main concern is if a truck or trailer is violently hijacked, an operator may be traumatized, injured, or worse. We know you take precautions to avoid theft, but are you taking all the right ones?

Here are a few preventative measures to help protect you against theft while your out on the open road.
 Follow Routine Safety Measures
    • Put the most valuable cargo in the front of the trailer to make it less accessible to thieves.
    • Use cargo locking doors and keep them locked.
    • Do not permit unauthorized passengers, such as hitchhikers, to enter the vehicle.
    • Park in an attended lot. If this is not possible, park in a well-lighted, fenced lot that is visible from the street.
    • Do not leave spare keys in or under the vehicle.
    • Do not put a tag on the key-ring that directly identifies the vehicle. A criminal could use this to steal the vehicle.
    • Do not leave the windows open when the truck is unattended.
    • King-pin locks should be used on parked trailers. These are sleeves that are placed on a trailer's king-pin, then secured when it is not attached to a truck.
 Install Warning And Anti-theft Devices.
    • These include alarms and wheel locks.
    • Some thieves will be discouraged by such devices.
    • These will only slow a determined thief down. It is best to use other means of theft prevention as well.
Install Immobilizing Devices
    • These disable vital automotive functions and prevent the engine from being restarted until a hidden switch is activated.
    • These should be used along with the other mentioned security tips, as a disabled vehicle can still be towed away.
Install Tracking Devices
    • Global Positioning System (GPS) devices are commonly used to track the locations of trucks and trailers. Low Jack that semi and a thief won't get far.
 Beware of Stranger Danger
    • Always drive with the doors locked. (unless your an Ice Road Trucker and might need to bail out if your truck goes through the ice)
    • Choose restaurants and rest areas that are in well-lighted, commonly traveled areas.
    • Be cautious when a stranger flags you down or asks you for directions.
    • Keep a radio or mobile phone handy to offer help without getting out of the vehicle.
 Always be aware of your surroundings and follow routine safety measures. Try to keep these safety tips in mind when your out on the road and keep your truck and trailer safe from theft.

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ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.