How to Stay Safe When Cooking in a Truck

For long-haul trucking professionals, finding time to stop and eat can sometimes be an issue. Schedules have to be kept and sometimes sacrificing a sit-down meal may be the only option to save time. But when time does allow for a meal and a break, it’s easy to head into the truck stop or a nearby diner and go for something easy and probably unhealthy.

In fact, eating healthy on the road can be tough for truck drivers, leading to major concerns in the health field. Approximately 33% of Americans classify as overweight, but nearly 86% of the 3.2 million trucking professionals on the road fall under that category. That’s why it’s important for truck drivers to be diligent about not only what they’re eating, but how they’re preparing meals. Cooking safety on the road is important and should be practiced. Here are some ideas on how to follow that.

Healthy Eating Ideas

If you’re in a hurry on the road, setting aside time to eat healthy may be hard to come by. The lure of fast food or truck stop snacking can be strong, which can take a toll on your bank account and your health. But taking small steps to eat more consciously while on the road can make a big difference in those areas.

Have a well-stocked cab with healthy snacks to minimize the need to grab fast food on the go. When hunger settles in, healthy eating items like fruit, granola bars, nuts, and individual snack packs like peanut butter and crackers can help to keep things light and easy. If your cab has a portable refrigerator, try packing Greek yogurt, vegetables, and string cheese inside.

Cooking Safety and Storage

Fortunately, trucking professionals have plenty of options to keep food preparation safe while on the road. Mini-appliances can fit inside a sleeper cab and run off batteries. Drinks can be kept cool with a 12-V cooler during warmer months, microwaves can warm up meals, and coffee makers can be stored for early morning cups of coffee. Altogether, these items can help to cut down on costs.

For more intricate meals, slow cookers can be utilized, creating homecooked meals away from home. But while slow cooker meals can take a little more care to prepare, they can be made easily, even while behind the wheel.

Truck drivers should stay away from using a propane stove inside their cab as carbon monoxide can fill the air and cause major health problems. Also, electric frying pans can be used, but along with small grills during overnight breaks and afternoon stops.

What you have to be aware of is keeping away from open flames as well as any gases on the inside of your cab. Have the urge to grill? This can only be done outside, of course, and when you have time to make a stop and enjoy time preparing and cooking.

Insuring Drivers’ Safety

Trucking companies should enforce specific and strict safety guidelines for their employees. Truck insurance can help to protect truck companies in the event of an accident, even those including food-related injuries. While things like overeating and weight issues can’t be covered, injuries related to cooking preparation may be brought up as claims. It’s important for drivers to follow installed guidelines to ensure their safety.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

When Do Trucking Operations Need Occupational Accident Insurance?

Those in the trucking industry know that being safe behind the wheel may not always come by easily. There are a number of things to consider when trying to be safe—from weather conditions to other drivers to the truck itself, it’s becoming even more dangerous to get behind the wheel of a truck. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 4,500 people lost their lives as a result of a large truck or bus accident in the United States in a 2016 study, a 5% increase from 2015.

To protect against liabilities, there are different kinds of insurance that can help to keep trucking companies safeguarded from legal issues down the road. Among these truck insurance options is occupational accident insurance. This is similar to workers’ compensation, but has some specific parts that keep it separated. Let’s look at why you’d need this kind of truck insurance.

Occupational Accident Insurance

This kind of truck insurance provides benefits similar to workers’ compensation, but is specifically designed for independent contractors/owner operators. Since independent contractors aren’t technically on the payroll as employees, trucking companies aren’t bound by law to pay for their medical, disability, death, or dismemberment benefits in the same fashion that they would have to for a hired employee. If a trucking company hires an independent contractor for a job or set of jobs and that contractor is hurt, this is when occupational accident truck insurance would step in instead of workers’ comp.

Independent contractors hurt on the job still need help paying for hospital bills and can sue a trucking company claiming they legally are deserving of compensation. This kind of coverage doesn’t automatically cover the same statutory limits that workers’ comp does, but it’s an effective alternative, in essence. Most carriers usually purchase smaller workers’ comp packages to cover hired employees and add occupational accident truck insurance policies to cover contract drivers.

Know Your State Laws

There are some states in which trucking companies are allowed to cover their workers’ comp obligations through an OCC policy and some don’t. Almost every state has their own fine details when it comes to the wording of their requirements, so it’s important for trucking companies to look into what is needed to be done.

In Texas, trucking companies can be more flexible about allowing for occupational accident insurance rather than workers’ compensation. However, in California, where workers’ compensation is largely unaffordable by typical standards, most motor carriers have to rely on state funds for coverage. Regardless of your location, it pays to be diligent about the kind of insurance that is needed to keep your operations safe against legal risks.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

How Trucking Operations Can Protect Their Drivers’ Mental Health

While it’s important for trucking professionals to do their job well, including getting every haul to its destination on time and taking care of their payload to the utmost, it’s also important for drivers to take care of their self, just like how trucking companies can take care of their operations with truck insurance.

Driving for long hours alone on the road can take a toll on drivers’ mental and physical outlines, so knowing how you can take better care on the road is key. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than one million truck drivers in the United States will be involved in serious road accidents at some point in their careers, opening the door for post-traumatic stress.

Trucking companies can take care of their employees by offering suggestions to keep their minds sharp and spirits lifted. Here are some suggestions:

Consider a Travel Companion

If it’s allowed, truck drivers can consider bringing on a co-pilot for long hauls. This will help beat road isolation that becomes a common threat for drivers. From spouses to friends, fellow drivers or even dogs, having someone in the passenger seat can help keep spirits up, especially for bigger projects.

Keep a Strong Network

During taking breaks on the road, drivers should check in with loved ones or even support groups back home. The good news is there are so many different ways to stay connected. Social media, video calling, text, email–drivers have so many options to keep in touch. Even a quick chat between stops can make a big difference.

Have a Routine

Sometimes it actually backfires to have the same routine every day. But for drivers it can give them something to look forward to. From waking up at certain times to having morning rituals, like a stretch session or going on a run before getting the day started, drivers should make an effort to have some consistency every day. After the day gets going, drivers can add some variety to their days by looking forward to checking in with family and friends, posting on social media or even listening to podcasts.

Keep Fit

Spending long hours behind the wheel can also be hard on the body; back stiffness and leg problems are the most prevalent. That’s why making small efforts to keep fit on a schedule can make a big difference. Not only will staying active be helpful to the body, it can also be good for the mind and soul by adding confidence and helping with sleep. From light jogs to yoga to high-intensity interval training, drivers can help keep their mind and body in shape.

Bring Some Comforts From Home

While truck cabs may not be a good replacement for your living room back home, they can still stand in as great reminders of what’s waiting for you. Bring photos and small decorations to remind you of home and family or even just your favorite spots back in your hometown, like restaurants and sports venues.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

How to Recruit Truck Drivers During the Labor Shortage

The truck driver shortage has spread to the level of an epidemic in the United States as trucking companies are trying to find new ways to hire a new wave of drivers. Currently, about 51,000 drivers are still needed to fill empty driving roles, according to recent data. But with the trajectory of those statistics, the need will balloon to 175,000 by the year 2024. What’s more, the average age of a trucking professional hovers around 50 years old, with many approaching retirement, and technology has changed the landscape as well.

The trucking industry has been quietly changing for years with technological advances and the overall shift in American commerce. Consumers are ordering online at a higher rate and companies like Amazon are developing their own in-house trucking components. And on the tech side of things, companies like Uber and Tesla are already testing out their own self-driving trucking units. Given these tough facts, how are these trucking companies going to fill the massive gaps left by aged-out drivers and new automations?

Finding New Ways to Hire Drivers

Given the fact that truck drivers today will be phasing out in the coming years, trucking companies are needing to look at younger professionals to fill their seats. This can be a blessing in disguise as Millennial targets (those born between 1980 and 1998) are more prone to look at the role technology plays in their career path. Trucking firms that recognize the potential behind Millennial drivers can find successful and creative ways to recruit. Here are some to consider:

 

  • Social Media: No, your company doesn’t have to invest in augmented reality technology and try to keep up with trendy filters, but using social media as a recruiting platform has now become natural. One of the strongest options to entice recruits is to utilize Facebook, which now has a heavy emphasis on videos and live streams. Video ads and digital content outperform print ads, grabbing attentions and opening up plenty of storytelling opportunities.
  • Mobile Job Applications: The application process is now catering to an audience that wants things simplified. Who wants to continue to scroll on a desktop when all they want to do is throw their hat in the ring for a job? Offering streamlined, efficient and mobile-friendly applications will make this part of the process simple and to the point.
  • Promote Benefits: It would behoove trucking companies to tout their benefits and wellness programs. The trucking profession can be looked at as detrimental to a driver’s physical health, but companies are now investing in wellness benefits. Just like Truck Insurance is important for a company to have to protect its own well-being, it should be offering better benefits to cater to a new batch of drivers who are looking for long-term careers.
  • Work-Life Balance: Obviously, this is a big one. The idea around the trucking industry is that drivers are on the road, away from their homes and families, and missing out on living their lives. Having more time off and flexible schedules are great ways to improve the lifestyle of the truck driver. Also, trucking firms can use intermodal solutions to keep more drivers local and offer things like Wi-Fi in their trucks so they can stay in touch with their families while on the road.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

The Best Practices of Efficient Trucking Operations

Running a trucking company comes with its challenges, that much is true. But trucking operations owners can invest in a series of best practices to make daily operations smoother and more efficient.

From keeping vehicles and drivers safe to saving money and looking out for your bottom line, emphasizing a focus on efficiency in your company’s blueprint is an effective overall plan. Here are some best practices to consider when wanting to create and run on an atmosphere of efficiency.

Improving Safety

Safety should be the top priority of every trucking company. It’s important to keep vehicles maintained regularly, educate your employees on driver safety, and keep your truck insurance policy updated. Commercial truck insurance is specifically tailored to your trucking company’s needs and can dive into things like trailers, pollution and in general cover repairs and replacements of parts and trucks.

Trucking companies should stress the importance of having safe operational trucks that employees use daily. And with a new wave of self-driving trucking technology stepping into the big rig world, companies that are adapting have a lot more to worry about in terms of safety. Improving safety in trucking goes together with solid operation conditions and training for drivers. Trucking owners should also arrange safety programs and schedule regular meetings on refreshing everyone’s mind on driver safety.

Maintenance

As mentioned in the section above, it’s important to have vehicles routinely worked on to ensure overall operational safety. But beyond safety, vehicles can also be optimized to keep efficiency a priority. Tire pressure is always an issue with fuel consumption, especially when it comes to large commercial fleets driving from highway to highway.

Trucks should have regularly scheduled tire pressure checks as well as once-overs of assessing the integrity of axle alignment. Maintenance is a broad term when it comes to commercial trucking operations, but what’s important is to understand the frequency in which truck safety should be established through assessments.

Load Management Optimizations

Trucks can cut down on overall operations costs by maximizing the best potential load. Trucking companies should require packing and loading their trucks to as close to capacity as possible, especially when it comes to short-distance deliveries.

Trucking operations should try their best to keep away from running an empty load when picking up another load. There is software that is specifically outfitted to optimize pickup and delivery routes, whether it’s distance or vehicle capacity.

Optimizing Routes

The same software that helps boost more efficient loads can also do the same for travel routes. The goal is to select the most fuel-efficient and time-efficient routes, which may not be the shortest distances. Companies should consider factors such as speed limits, traffic signals, regular traffic levels in certain areas, and other times where trucks are stopped.

One way trucking operation companies can help themselves when it comes to planning routes is to make running lists of notes related to things like hazardous materials routes, preferred routes, and construction zones that are all need-to-know pieces of information.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

Breaking Down the Coverage You’ll Need for Your Trailer

One assumption in the trucking industry is that commercial truck insurance plans are one-size-fits-all, covering a laundry list of liabilities for trucking professionals. However, this just isn’t the case. Having trailer coverage added to a plan is a necessity for truckers who want to make sure they’re covered from end to end. But while coverage may be in place already, it’s important to understand the details of it to make sure that the right insurance protection is set.

Commercial Auto Policy

Utility trailers can be used for non-business purposes. If this is the case, then they are covered by a personal auto policy. A utility trailer used for business has to have a commercial auto insurance policy, however. This kind of policy covers the vehicle towing the trailer and extends from the vehicle to the trailer.

The main coverage on a commercial insurance policy is all about liability insurance. This insurance provides financial protection to the owner of he trailer if they cause an accident or they happen to injure someone. From here, the coverage pays the medical bills for the victim as well as legal defense if it gets to that point.

Property Coverage

This kind of coverage pays to repair or replace the utility trailer if it takes on damage in an accident. The coverages are comprehensive and collision, and owners can add these optional add-ons to a commercial or personal auto policy for more fees. The main concern for truck drivers is the health of their trailer, so if the trailer is damaged or stole, the insurance policy will fix it or replace it. There’s a deductible that has to be paid, which is a partial amount of the loss and can vary depending on policy.

Costs

That leads us to cost, the big issue trucking professionals may have when considering this kind of insurance. Insurance rates for a utility trailer depend on several factors. The trailer’s make and model, its annual mileage, and primary use will be looked at. There are discounts available for drivers over 25 with a commercial license and for trailers used in safer areas where fewer accidents per year are reported.

Things to Consider

Registration and licensing of a commercial utility trailer are needed in most states, especially if it’s being used on state roads. This means that the driver must show proof of insurance, and can even mean that some trailers must pass a safety inspection to qualify for registration.

Make sure to go over everything with your insurance provider to ensure you are getting the best protection at the best pricing for your needs. Having a trailer insurance package needs to be tailor-fit so you can be safe and protected when driving on the roads.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

Safety Tips for Trucking in Traffic

Trucking professionals have enough to worry about when it comes to transporting their shipment from location to location. Schedules need to be strict and time is of the essence, but safety shouldn’t be compromised because of a hurried driver. Besides being hasty, there are a number of things to consider when it comes to keeping safety the focal point when driving around regular traffic on streets and highways.

A recent study showed that 2016 saw a 2% increase in fatal crashes involving trucks and buses, and the trend points to a continued gradual increase year-over-year. While truck drivers can’t do anything to make other drivers around them more responsible behind the wheel, they can take certain tips to heart when making sure they’re doing their part to keep things safe.

Investing in Truck Insurance

Truck insurance is a safeguard for trucking professionals who wants to ensure their protection for injuries or property damage sustained. Just like regular auto insurance, this kind of insurance is specifically designed to keep trucking professionals safe as well as the truck they’re driving, and can cover the cargo they’re hauling. This should be the first step for truck drivers looking to be more responsible on the road.

Keeping a Space Cushion

Professional drivers hauling big rigs should monitor something called the space cushion between their trucks and other vehicles around them. Where smaller vehicles on the road are able to shift in and out of traffic more freely, trucks with great size can’t. Drivers need to make sure they are not too close to objects, whether stationary or in motion. Consider tight turns, low bridges and small streets as well as other vehicles.

Trip Planning

Just like you’re prepping to set out on a family trip, it pays to plan ahead and look for things like weather conditions and terrain. This will help to anticipate flow of traffic along your route before you leave to make sure you are traveling down the safest and most efficient roads. Always make sure to plan for and add extra travel time for things like construction, detours, traffic congestion and inclement weather.

Safe Speed

Speed always place a factor for drivers looking to be safe on the road. A couple things large truck drivers have to consider is the fact that it takes longer to accelerate their truck and longer to slow their truck down to a stop. Always be sure to slow down in work zones, but don’t hang back so much that will bring traffic behind you to a screeching halt.

Turns and Road Curves

Tight turns become even tighter for truck drivers. Entrance and exit ramps, and turning down city streets always pose a high level of difficulty and risk of bumping into an object, including cars, pedestrians, and street lights. When you’re entering a curve in the road or negotiating a turn, a good rule of thumb is to slow down. This will help to avoid bumping into anything or anyone as well as turning the truck over on its side. Always allow for distance and speed of other vehicles when making a turn across traffic or into oncoming traffic path.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

Why Every Trucker Should Have Roadside Assistance Coverage

Roadside assistance is an add-on type of insurance that some commercial truck drivers may not consider when looking for coverage. Having regular insurance on hand is a must, but budgeting for something like roadside assistance may not be at the top of a driver’s list. However, it’s important that drivers all around know the benefits of having some extra help.

In the event that a semi breaks down, roadside assistance can kick in. Drivers should consider commercial vehicle breakdown insurance to cover a wide range of issues including hotel and travel discounts, fuel delivery service and parts delivery. Let’s see how else vehicle breakdown insurance can be a benefit to truck drivers.

Towing

A semi-truck that finds itself broken down on the side of the road and needs transport to a mechanic will have to be towed away. Typically, this is a major expense under insurance plans and usually higher when it is outside of a roadside assistance program like vehicle breakdown insurance. Investing in this coverage can make things less complicated.

Flat Tires

Semi trucks are not immune to flat tires. Just like a regular car driver may need some help to change a flat, truck drivers could find themselves stranded and looking for assistance. Having a roadside assistance plan in place will offer up built-in help including bringing someone out to help change a flat, no matter the size.

Mechanic Service

Some insurance providers offer up mechanic service to help with things like electrical and mechanical issues. A provider will send someone out to your truck and make any minor repairs needed. Mobile mechanics may not be able to take on bigger tasks, like working on transmissions, but most disabling problems can be taken care of on the spot.

Jump Start

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, sometimes a simple jump start can be a lot to handle, especially for semi’s. Leaving the lights on or having a battery drained will put stress on any trucking operation. Getting a quick jump start will get you back on the road in no time, a must-have for any driver in any state.

Fluid Delivery

Low on oil? A provider can send help with a mobile mechanic who can drop some much needed fluids into a truck. This will help to safeguard against potential engine damage down the road and keep internal damage at bay.

Lockout Service

Forget your keys in the truck cabin? This happens to anyone. Having roadside assistance in place will also lend a hand when you forget your keys in your truck as a provider will send someone out to replace your keys or help you get back into your truck.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

Tired Trucking: How to Combat Driver Fatigue

With the rise of e-commerce platforms like Amazon and a huge shift in how we as a society shop for and ship items, the trucking industry has seen a huge boom in activity in recent years. More than 15 million commercial trucks drive along American highways, transporting more than 70% of all goods in the U.S. While this may be a good sign of consumer confidence, it also shows the built-in rise of risk behind the wheel.

According to a survey conducted by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), the main reason behind commercial truck crashes are fatigued and overworked drivers. Given the nature of the size of vehicle, these crashes ultimately result in serious injury and even death. While it’s important for truck drivers and the transportation companies they work for to invest in Commercial Truck Insurance as a safe precaution, it’s even more important to understand how driver fatigue can be avoided. Here are some ways to combat it:

Get Enough Sleep

This may seem like a simple idea, but more often than not truck drivers find themselves climbing behind the wheel without the proper amount of sleep. It’s important to get a full night’s sleep every night and try to avoid driving when you’re feeling drowsy. Drowsiness may impair the response time of a driver and increase the chances of being involved in a crash.

Have a Healthy Diet

Long hauls on highways may make it hard to maintain a healthy and consistent diet, but it’s a vital component to driver health overall. Going to bed on an empty stomach, skipping meals, or eating foods that don’t contain adequate nutritional value can all lead to interrupted sleep. Not being well-rested due to lack of nutrition and lack of refueling can impair awareness and reaction time.

Stop for a Nap

Even though driver’s like to stick to a schedule, if it gets to a point where you find yourself constantly sleepy behind the wheel, especially during the day, it would help to pull over and nap for a short period of time. A quick stop to recharge or even just rest your eyes without falling asleep for 30-45 minutes will rejuvenate drivers in the middle of a long haul.

Be Aware of Drowsiness

Keep paying attention to indicators of drowsiness such as frequent yawning, heavy eyes blurred vision, and hearing issues. Being awake for 18 hours is relative to having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, the legal level of intoxication. Be sure to recognize when it’s getting too hard to keep your attention focused, as this indicates drowsiness beyond a good limit.

Don’t Use Tricks to Stay Awake

From slapping yourself in the face to rolling the window down to let cold air in to chewing sunflower seeds, there are many different tricks that people have used to stay awake. These actually give you a false sense of security, making you feel like your gaming sleepiness. What they’re doing is actually making things potentially worse as you’re exerting more effort to stay awake when it’s easier and more sensical to pull over and rest.

What’s more, while caffeine may be good to get the day started, depending on caffeine to keep you awake will lead to insomnia, headaches and nervousness, a powerful combination that can lead to mistakes behind the wheel.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

Brake Safety Week: How to Make Sure Your Brakes are Maintained and Working

Braking systems are one of the most important components of any semi vehicle on the road. A matter of safety and security for not only the truck’s driver and the cargo they’re carrying, having a well-maintained brake system should keep everyone else on the road safe.

Brake failure is a common cause for accidents and fatalities that involve semi trucks, which will ultimately lead to lawsuits. Having truck insurance, like regular auto insurance, in place will help to provide legal help and liability protection in the event of an accident, but there should be a focus on overall preemptive safety beforehand. Here are some tips to keep in mind when evaluating and providing maintenance to your semi truck:

Replace Pads

Like everyday vehicles on the road, semi trucks have plenty of parts that need to be taken care of and, in time, replaced to uphold integrity on the road. Brake shoes have indicators built into the pads that display when replacement is a need. When a truck is taken in to have the pads replaced, make sure to replace the springs, pins and bushings for the brakes. Essentially, look at this maintenance as a full service job, making sure all components are new.

Slack Adjusters

These work to keep the brakes in alignment when they are in use. Trucks on the road have either manual or automatic slack adjusters, but both need to be greased to work efficiently and effectively. Automatic slack adjusters will keep the brakes in adjustment automatically, whereas manual adjusters require the driver to make the adjustments on their own.

Many operators regretfully forget to grease the slack adjusters, mostly because they are not regularly used. What happens when they go without maintenance for long enough is that they seize up and stop working, which can cause brake failure over time.

S Cams

The S cam is turned by a shaft that’s operated by the slack adjusters mentioned above. The S cams do their work by pushing the brake shoe into the drum to stop the truck. Obviously, they are extremely important given their nature. Make sure to check the bushings when getting maintenance done; bushings are part of the S cam, and need to be greased just like the slack adjusters.

Air Compressions

Check the application pressure and ensure that the gauge reads greater than 60 psi before getting the truck moving. The pressure should run between 100 psi and 125 psi, all working to stop the truck at a reasonable rate. The brakes should be serviced when the application pressure is consistently falling low and a truck should not be used if the pressure drops below 60 psi.

When Brakes Should Be Serviced

Make sure to set out a routine plan and schedule for evaluating and servicing your truck’s brakes for premium safety on the road. Distance traveled between service may vary depending on the truck, but no matter the size and condition of the truck, as well as the model and year, it’s important to have a routine maintenance done.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and  transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.