Do you have THE RIGHT STUFF?
The right stuff are recommended items all CDL truck drivers and haulers need and use in the performance of their commercial truck driving duties to keep themselves and others as S.A.F.E. as possible. This is not an inclusive list, but most of the recommended items you should ALWAYS have with you while driving are:
· Extra Gloves – a pair each for work, warmth and waterproof
· Reflective vest – a reflective cap and gloves too
· Steel-toed boots
· Cell phone cell phone charger and a hands-free “gadget”
· Flashlight and extra batteries
· Drinking water
· Protein based snacks, fruit and/or granola bars
· A delicious, healthy and balanced lunch
· Sturdy hazard triangles
· Heavy duty bungee cords
· Cam lock t-handles
· Extra windshield washer fluid
· Extra jacket
· Rain jacket or poncho
· Writing pad, pens or pencils
· Sunglasses (a spare pair too)
· Small trash bags
· Small hand towels, roll of paper towel or a supply of napkins
· First aid kit
· Hand sanitizer
· Wet wipes
Again, not an all-inclusive list of safety tips when driving, but reminders:
· Don’t tailgate – allow yourself ample space from the vehicle in front of you, especially at night, in foggy weather, on rain, snow or icy roads, on roadways prone to wildlife crossings, roads with cross intersections.
· Slow down to be extra vigilant for workers and equipment in construction work zones. Observe and obey the posted speed limit in construction zones. You could lose your CDL if caught speeding in a posted work zone.
· Try to maintain a full fuel tank(s) in winter driving to prevent water condensation from building up in the fuel lines. Remember to add the diesel anti-gel fuel additive as recommended.
· Signal early when approaching intersections, changing lanes and making turns.
· Check your mirrors often.
· Keep your windshield, mirrors and headlights clean.
· Be extra vigilant for equipment issues during your pre-trip inspection. Make sure to make these inspections when you make your stops.
· If you must idle while stationary, keep windows closed to avoid prolonged exposure to fumes.
· Slow down when approaching bridges in winter weather conditions. Due to airflow under the bridges, ice forms quicker on bridge surfaces; especially black ice.
· Have tire chains ready for winter driving conditions; especially in mountainous regions.
· Monitor your radio for weather advisories.
· Take breaks as needed to prevent eye fatigue and to remain alert. Get out of the truck, move around to get your heart rate elevated, drink some water or caffeinated beverage or munch on some energy snacks. Turn the volume up on your radio, open your window to allow fresh air into your cab. If you’re still not as alert as you should be, pull in to a rest area or truck stop for a refreshing nap.
· If you must pull off the side of the road, use your flashers and reflective triangles to alert other motorists.
· Observe, maintain and strictly adhere to Commercial Drivers Hours of Service restrictions. You put your CDL driving career at risk should you violate the HOS law.
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