Truck drivers carry a lot of responsibility every time they hit the road and it can be a dangerous occupation. They bear the burden of hauling cargo long distances, meeting deadlines, being aware of all road conditions, and beng aware of other drivers. It can take a toll on the drivers and dispatchers, especially if not done efficiently. While DOT conducts their Annual Vehicle Inspection Report, daily and routine checklists need to be completed. Here are a few tips and ways to create efficient checklists for trucking safety.
Digitize All Checklists & Records
While physically checking off boxes on your paper list is very satisfying, it’s not the most efficient way to go. Utilizing digital programs or apps can help keep an accurate record of checklists and maintain the data effectively. An electric proof of delivery system can help reduce errors and keep the dispatcher aware of anything that might need attention.
Using a digital program or spreadsheet can make it easier to customize checklists to fit the company’s needs. In conjunction with digital checklists, digital forms and reports should be implemented as well. Having everything in one place and automated is an economical and effective way to manage archives.
Create Different & Customizable Checklists
There should be different checklists for each event: pre-trip, mid-trip, and post-trip. Each event requires checking different aspects of inside and outside the truck. As well as for each trip circumstance, there should be exhaustive checklists for inner and outer cabs.
- First aid kit
- Emergency flares and triangles
- Fire extinguisher
- Spare bulbs
- Tool kit
- Indicator lights
- Licenses, permits, and insurance folder
- Fuel level
- Seat belt
- Trailer connection
- Tires, pressure
- Lights, blinkers, reflectors
- Secure load
- Fuel and oil
Plan & Implement Breaks
Driver safety includes a well-rested driver. Implementing mandatory breaks can keep everyone safe. During the breaks, the driver should also conduct a mid-trip inspection to ensure everything is correct and running properly. This time can be used to address any issues and allow the driver to regroup.
Other Considerations For Trucking Safety
Talk To the Drivers
Asking the drivers for their input while creating the checklist can help make the process smoother and reduce the risk of anything slipping through the cracks. Their ideas should be heard and validated.
Checking the weather forecast is imperative before each trip. Knowing any snow or ice storms ahead of time might require the driver taking a different route. If weather conditions are treacherous or unsafe, the trip should be put on hold until the weather settles. Training drivers to drive in different climates can help prepare them for unexpected weather.
Speed Limits & Local Laws
Every driver should know the speed limit at all times and understand the local driving laws. Crossing state lines can be tricky as each state has their own driving laws.
Every cab should have a GPS system for the driver to stay on course, but the driver should be acutely aware of the route they’re taking in the unfortunate event the GPS lags or experiences technical difficulty. Having a paper map handy as an altneraitve can be beneficial since technology can sometimes fall through.
Stay Safe With Forerunner
Running a secure and reliable trucking company can be a challenge, but with Forerunner Insurance by your side, it doesn’t have to be. We use our years of experience to help all of our clients keep their employees safe and provide insurance plans that can benefit their team. We understand the importance of safety and following legal guidelines. Contact us today to learn how we can help keep your team safe.