Fuel for Thought
We hear it all the time, maybe even so much that we may become numb to it. Repetition is good for a lot of things, but many times that same repetition can make us ignore what we constantly hear. In the trucking industry, among truck drivers it is very common to hear “Have a safe trip”, “Be careful” or “Be safe”. As professional drivers we hear it so often that you may stop “hearing” it. Those phrases have about as much meaning as a “Goodbye” or “See you Later”. The meaning can get lost in the amount of times we hear it, much like office workers, passing each other in a corridor everyday, and saying “Good morning”. It is a throw away comment with very little acknowledgement.
Don’t let the meaning of these sentiments slip past you. While you may not even really hear it, it is a crucial part of a driver’s daily life. Safety can be the difference in how you ultimately get home, in your truck or in a pine box.
Safety is No Accident is another phrase often heard in this industry, and rightly so. Aggressive driving, speeding, and tailgating can not only ruin your trip, but can also have devastating effects on your health, finances and your driving career.
Maintaining your equipment is not only in the regulations, it has a safety component for you as well. Inoperable lights can be a visibility issue. Tires improperly inflated are more prone to blowouts. Worn steering components are obviously a safety issue, just as worn or out of adjustment brakes. And No, just because you have automatic slack adjusters does Not mean they never need maintenance. If your brakes do need maintenance or adjustments, find a qualified mechanic to get the work done properly. By law, only qualified mechanics are supposed to adjust brakes. Air leaks are not something to be ignored. The last two go together, without either one, how will you stop? You and your truck should work in harmony. You drive the truck properly and keep it maintained properly, and safety comes along for the ride.
The next time you hear someone tell you to “Be safe’ or Have a safe trip”, listen, make a point of using that little reminder to maybe give your truck another quick once over to check it out and make sure you can “Have a safe trip”. Once you are satisfied that the truck is roadworthy, make a mental note to drive it safely. Leave a little more room between you and the traffic ahead, slow down in work zones and school zones. Even in the summer months there can be activities at the schools. Always be alert to changing weather conditions and TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS IN INCLEMENT WEATHER (rain, snow and fog or smoke). It is bad enough when cars drive in bad weather without lights, but truck drivers are getting just as bad. Be the professional and set an example.
Practice being safe and it will become a habit. Practice reckless driving and it will become a habit.
Which habit would you rather have?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, or as pictured here $5.
Be the picture of safety and you will live to hear millions of words, instead of having a thousand words spoken about you crash photos.
See you safely down the road,