In This Issue

  • Fun Facts
  • Healthy Note
  • Roadcheck
  • Overnight Driving

April 2019 Issue 20

International Roadcheck June 4-6 2019

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck will take place June 4-6. Over that 72-hour period, commercial motor vehicle inspectors in jurisdictions throughout North America will conduct inspections on commercial motor vehicles and drivers. Each year, Inter-national Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year’s focus is steering and suspension systems. While checking vehicle compliance is always part of the North American Standard Inspection Program, CVSA is highlighting steering components and suspen-sion systems this year as a reminder of their importance to highway safety.

Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year’s focus is steering and suspension systems. While checking vehicle compliance is always part of the North American Standard Inspection Program, CVSA is highlighting steering components and suspension systems this year as a reminder of their importance to highway safety.

Steering and suspension are safety critical systems for any commercial motor vehicle, not only do they support the heavy loads carried by trucks, but they also help maintain stability and control under acceleration and braking, keeping the vehicle safely on the road. Furthermore, they keep tires in alignment, reducing chances of uneven tire wear and possible tire failure, and they maximize the contact between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling.

During International Roadcheck, CVSA-certified inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, a 37-step proce-dure that includes an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Inspectors may opt to conduct the Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection.

The vehicle inspection includes checking critical inspection items such as: brake systems; cargo securement; coupling devices; driveline/driveshaft; driver’s seat (missing); exhaust systems; frames; fuel systems; lighting devices (headlamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals and lamps/flags on projecting loads); steering mechanisms; suspensions; tires; wheels, rims and hubs; windshield wipers.

Drivers will be required to provide their driver’s license, Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate, driver’s record of duty status and vehicle inspection report(s). Inspectors will also check drivers for seat belt usage, sickness, fatigue and apparent alcohol and/or drug impairment.

International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with around 17 trucks and buses inspected, on average, every minute in Canada, the United States and Mexico during a 72-hour period. Since its inception in 1988, more than 1.6 million roadside inspections have been conducted during International Roadcheck campaigns.

Be prepared and ready!


Stretching 101: Tips for doing it Safely

Regular stretching is an essential part of any fitness routine. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), regular stretching can improve flexibility and may help limit discomfort from being in a confined space, like a truck cab, for a long period of time.

WHEN TO STRETCH: If you’re only stretching and not doing a more vigorous workout, then start with a few minutes of easy walking to get your muscles warmed up before you stretch. In general, stretch when your muscles are already warm. This will let your muscles stretch farther without being hindered by pain or tightness. If you’re doing endurance or strength training exercises, do your stretching after your workout, not before.

HOW LONG TO STRETCH: Do each exercise 3-5 times during each session, moving slowly and smoothly into the proper stretching position. To start, hold each stretch for about 10 seconds. Over time this will become easier until you can hold each stretch for 30 sec-onds.

STRETCHING SAFELY: Start by relaxing and breathing normally while stretching. As you stretch, push your breath out slowly through your mouth. Slowly count to or time yourself for 10-30 seconds, recommends the AHA. Breathe normally as you stretch. Other AHA recommendations for safe stretching include:

  • Make sure your stretches are always smooth and slow, not jerky or bouncy, to prevent muscle tightening and injuries.
  • Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds and repeat each stretch 3-5 times. Breathe normally while stretching.
  • As your flexibility improves, reach farther into each exercise. If you feel sharp or stabbing pain then you’ve stretched too far and should stop. A mild pulling feeling is normal during stretching.

Never lock your joints; Always keep them slightly bent. Locking your joints can cause injury.

Some stretching exercises:

Abductor (inner thigh) stretch: Keeping your torso upright, lunge to one side with a bent knee over the toe. Keep your other leg straight. Push your weight to the “bent knee” side until you feel a stretch in the inner thigh of your straight leg. Hold 20–30 sec-onds on each leg.

Calf Stretch: Stand facing a wall with both hands on it. Position one foot forward (knee bent) and the other leg back with the leg straight, toes pointing at the wall. With your stomach tight, lean in toward the wall until you feel a stretch in the lower part of the back leg. Hold 20–30 seconds on each leg.

Chest stretch: Place your fingertips lightly on the back of your head. Push your elbows back while squeezing with your upper back until you feel a stretch in your chest near your underarms. Hold for 20–30 seconds. Option: Another option is to stand in a corner with one hand or elbow on each wall. Your feet should be 1½–2 feet away from the corner in a split stance. Keeping your back straight and tummy pulled in, lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in your chest near your underarms. Hold for 20–30 sec-onds.( Keep feet staggered, one behind the other.)

Hamstring Stretch: Prop one foot up on a low, secure bench or stair step. Stand tall. Keeping your chest high, hips square and tail-bone lifted, bend forward from your hips. Feel a stretch in the back of your high or knee. Hold 20–30 seconds on each leg.

Hip Flexor Stretch: Lunge forward with one leg, knee bent. The back leg can stay straight or bent slightly. Push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in front of your back thigh near the groin. Keep your torso upright and your front knee behind your toes. Hold 20–30 seconds on each leg.

Palm Touch: Bend your knees slightly. Try to touch the floor by bending from the waist, but don’t bounce. Hold the position for 10 seconds, then repeat 1–2 times. If you have lower back problems, do the same thing, but with your legs crossed.

Shoulder Rolls: Lift your shoulders up toward your ears, then down and backwards in a circular motion. Repeat 5–10 times. Perform with both shoulders simultaneously or alternate right and left.

Toe Touch: Place your right leg on a chair or railing, making a 90-degree angle with the other leg. Keep your left leg straight and lean forward, touching the toes of your right leg. Don’t bounce. Switch legs and do the same thing. Repeat the entire exercise 1– 2 times.

Wall Push: Stand 18 inches away from a wall. Lean forward, pushing against the wall with your hands and keeping your heels flat on the ground. Hold it for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 1–2 times.

“Common sense is instinct, and enough of it is genius.”

– Josh Billings

“You’ll never achieve real success unless you like what you are doing.”

– Dale Carnegie

8 Tips for Driving Overnight

With fewer vehicles on the roads, truck driving at night offers the promise of less hassle. But it also brings unique risks, including drowsy drivers and unseen dangers. National Safety Council research shows that

the risk of a fatal crash is three times greater at night.

Stay safe with these eight tips:

  1. Start with your truck’s headlights. Make sure they’re clean, and that they’re adjusted based on the truck manufacturer’s instructions. Use your high beams when it’s safe to do so (anytime you’re more than 500 feet away from an oncoming vehicle).
  2. Next, check your dash. Some drivers turn the brightness up on their dash so they can see the instrument panel better at night. That’s a bad

move, because bright interior lights make your eyes more tired. They also may increase distraction. Instead, keep all interior lights, GPS systems and other electronic devices dim to reduce eye fatigue.

  1. Clean all glass surfaces. Remove any streaks, dirt, bug stains or dust from your windshield and all mirrors. Make sure your wipers aren’t worn or torn.
  2. Look away from oncoming lights. Looking directly at bright headlights for too long may damage your eye’s retina. So, move your eyes around. Scan the road for potential hazards (potholes or animals) and use the white line on the side of the road as your guide.
  3. Reduce glare. Some drivers find eye relief with nighttime driving glass-es or clip-ons. Look for ones that are polarized, which means they are designed to cut down on glare.
  4. Reduce your speed. You may be tempted to drive faster when there is less traffic on the road, but at night, slower is better. Your truck’s head-lights only offer between 150 and 500 feet of visibility, even at

their brightest.

  1. Know when you’re getting drowsy. Yawning, frequent blinking, drifting and rubbing your eyes are all signs that you need a break. Stretch, open a window and walk around your truck to regain some energy. Take a nap if needed, or call it a night if your schedule permits.
  2. Get your sleep. Whether you drive in the daylight or at night, you need seven to eight hours of solid sleep. If you sleep during the day, use ear-plugs, a white noise machine or an eye mask to simulate darkness and reset your body’s natural sleep rhythm.

Fun Facts

  • German chocolate cake is named after a guy Sam German, not the country.
  • There are more public libraries in the US than McDonalds.
  • The last letter added to the English al-phabet wasn’t Z—it was the letter J.
  • The creature that kills the most people every year is the mosquito.
  • The British royal family is not allowed to play Monopoly.
  • A “buttload” is a real measurement of weight.
  • If someone gives opinions on topics they know nothing about, they are a ultracrepidarian.
  • 45 of the sand on Normandy beach is made up of the shrapnel from D-Day that has broken down.
  • There are trees that can grow more than one kind of fruit, and they are called fruit salad trees.
  • T-shirts were originally marketed to un-married men who didn’t know how to sew buttons back on collared shirts.
  • Ketchup was sold as medicine in the 1830’s.
  • Prior to the 20th century, squirrels were one of America’s most popular pets.
  • There are turtle tunnels in Japan to save them from being run over by trains.
  • Shaggy from Scooby Doo’s real name is Norville Rogers.
  • People wore fake moles (or “beauty patches”) made of velvet, silk, or mouse skin in the 18th century as a fashion statement.
  • The voice of Minnie Mouse and the voice of Mickey Mouse got married.


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5 Ways an Unsafe Driving Can Affect Your Career

How does an Unsafe Driving Violation effect the driver? Here are five ways an Unsafe Driving Violation can affect you and your driving career!

  1. Compliance Safety Accountability

The Unsafe Driving BASIC addresses the requirements within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, specifically 49 CFR Parts 392 and 397, and refers to the operation of CMV’s by drivers in a dangerous or careless manner. Some examples include speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, and inattention.

30 CSA Points (first 12-months) 21 CSA Points (first 12 months)

  • Speeding 15mph and Over * Speeding 11-14 mph
  • Speeding in Construction Zone * Failing to use Seatbelt
  • Using a Hand-Held Cell Phone
  • Texting
  • Reckless Driving
  1. Pre-Employment Screening Program

The PSP is a system to make safety performance electronically available for pre-employment screening. The program helps carriers be more informed while hiring by providing a driver’s five-year crash and three-year inspection history. Like many companies, LTI looks at every driver’s PSP during the recruitment process to weed out unsafe drivers.

To receive a copy of your PSP, you can and pay a $10 fee.

  1. FMCSA—Part 383.51: Driver Disqualification

In addition to CSA Points, drivers who receive two major violations in a three-year period, will be disqualified from operating a CMV for at least 60-days. The regulation goes on to say, an employer must not allow, require, permit, or authorize a driver who is disqualified t o drive a CMV. At this point we would have no other option but to suspend the driver from working.

  1. State-by-State Point System: Driver License Suspension

Many States have a Point Deduction System, in which you can lose your driving privileges because you’ve accumulated too many points. Here’s an example of how Missouri handles these point suspensions:

If you accumulate a total of 8 or more points in 18 months, the State will suspend your driving privilege:

  • 1st Suspension – 30 Days
  • 2nd Suspension – 60 Days
  • 3rd or more Suspension – 90 Days
  1. Criminal Charges for Unsafe Driving

More and more states are pressing criminal charges against truck drivers involved in Unsafe Driving Violation resulting in ac cidents. With im-proved technology, prosecutors are able to see how fast a driver was going, how many hours they were on-duty, and how close they were fol-lowing the vehicle in front of them prior to the crash. Depending on the unsafe driving behavior, criminal charges are being filed against driv-ers. Recently in the news, a driver in Georgia caused a crash by following too closely and was charged with 5 accounts of homicide.

As you can see, these are a few ways (some that are very serious) that Unsafe Driving Violations can affect you and your driving career. The good news is you can avoid these issues by simply increasing your following distance, slowing your speed down, and keeping yo ur cell phones out of reach.

Did you know?

CSA Unsafe Driving Severity Chart:

Texting while Driving: 10 pts Following too close: 5 pts.

Reckless Driving: 10 pts. Improper land change: 5 pts.

Speeding 15 mph over: 10 pts. Improper turns: 5 pts.

Speeding construction zone: 10 pts. Failure to yield: 5 pts.

Failure to obey traffic device: 5 pts. Failing to use seatbelt: 7 pts.