What to Do When Your Semi-Truck Breaks Down on the Side of the Road

Semi-truck breakdowns occur more frequently than passenger vehicles. For example, American Trucking Association‘s (ATA) Technology & Maintenance Council’s survey reported breakdowns to occur about every 10,000 miles.

Semi-truck breakdowns for truckers are costly and potentially dangerous events. Drivers must know how to handle them among the many hazardous scenarios they encounter on the road.

Semi-Truck Safety Tips

Because it is critical to manage roadside breakdowns safely, we put together these tips.

  • Stay calm.
  • Stop driving and pull over immediately.
  • Call 911, then roadside assistance, and notify your company.
  • Use flashing lights and other warning equipment to ensure your truck is visible to drivers.
  • Avoid exiting the cab on the driver’s side, and always be extra careful when leaving either side of the truck.
  • Park your vehicle as far off the road as possible.
  • Stay in the semi-truck if there is no present dangerous circumstance, such as explosions.

Stay Calm to Keep Your Cool

Emotions and frustrations can get the better of anyone. We recognize that telling you to keep calm after a breakdown occurs when you’re already running on very tight deadlines is a hard ask. But such scenarios are when you need your wits to keep yourself, passengers, other motorists, and your cargo safe.

If truckers panic or lose their cool during an emergency, they are more likely to make poor choices in the flurry of immediate decisions. Being calm is a signal of strength, and so is taking a minute to slow down and take a few deep breaths to shake off unnecessary anxiety. Moreover, your ability to stay calm and collected may save your life or the lives of others in the worst cases of roadside breakdowns.

Get to Your Safest Spot

If you notice that your semi-truck is having mechanical issues, you must get off the road or highway immediately. Look around to be aware of vehicles moving toward you, especially if your truck is stuck on the road and you can’t exit. Whenever possible, in such situations, it’s helpful to guide traffic to move around instead of having them stop behind you to prevent being hit from behind and to avoid pile-up accidents behind you.

If you can safely make it to the side of the road, you’ll keep traffic moving and reduce the odds of your breakdown causing an accident. Look for the broadest hard road safe location possible; offramps are always better than roadside.

Call for Help

Dial 911 for help as soon as you have steered your truck to a safe spot. Tell the responder what happened. Answer their questions honestly and provide details about your location. Whenever possible, drivers should limp to repair shops, truck stops, or rest stations, which are all better and safer than waiting on the shoulder of the road.

Owner-operator Roadside Assistance

While you never want it to happen, expecting and preparing for the worst situations affects your outcome. Know who you will call before you need to contact them. Owner-operators are responsible for creating their list of repair facilities and safe stopping locations. A reliable guide to emergency resources provides peace of mind that you will get back on the road sooner.

Company Drivers Instructions

After reporting the problem to 911, company drivers should immediately contact their dispatcher or manager. In addition, your support can provide instructions for handling the breakdown, including what tow truck service is responding to and information on the facility that will repair the truck.

Providing your dispatcher with helpful information or indications about the problem is beneficial. Anything you can do or information you provide that can speed up getting you back on the road is worth sharing. Sometimes, a shop supervisor can advise on relatively simple, safe fixes that don’t require assistance or vehicle towing.

Create a Safety Zone Around the Semi-Truck

In all circumstances, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) require drivers immediately turn on their vehicle’s four-way flashing hazard lights when they must stop on the road for any reason. In addition, the 4-way flashers must be left on until the required emergency warning devices are placed according to FMCSR regulations.

Although regulations state emergency warning devices must be placed within 10 minutes of a semi-truck’s emergency stopping, it’s best to set them in place as soon as the unit is safely parked. Drivers should protect their safety by carrying the flashing devices so oncoming traffic can see them. Options for acceptable warning devices include reflective triangles, lighted lamps, and lighted fuses. When experiencing a roadside emergency, drivers must place three warning devices as follows:

  1. Place one on the traffic side of the vehicle, approximately ten feet or four steps apart, facing approaching traffic.
  2. In the center of the traffic lane or the road shoulder behind the truck, place the second device at 100 feet, approximately 40 paces, in the direction of approaching traffic.
  3. The third warning device goes in the traffic lane center or the road’s shoulder. Place them at 100 feet or 40 paces in front of the vehicle facing oncoming traffic.

Carry an Emergency Toolkit

A semi-truck should have the proper tools and supplies to fix it on the spot if it does break down, including a jack, tire iron, spare tire, jumper cables, flares, and a flashlight. Truckers should also carry standard automotive tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, and sockets. Having spare parts for items known to fail helps get you up and running quickly.

At Western Truck, we help our clients with all their trucking-related insurance needs, including providing best-in-class commercial truck roadside assistance services. Our clients get an array of services to help them get back on the road quickly while saving thousands in out-of-pocket expenses. Learn about our affordable Commercial Truck Roadside Assistance Benefits here.

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. Contact us at (800) 937-8785 to talk to our trucking insurance experts!

 

Involved in a Trucking Accident? Follow These Steps

Every 15 minutes in the United States, someone is killed or seriously injured due to a trucking accident. In fact, according to trucking accident statistics, around 500,000 trucking incidents occur each year in the United States, with about 5,000 per year resulting in death.

Step-by-Step After a Truck Accident

For truck drivers involved in an accident, it’s essential to take the right steps to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being following the event. There are things the driver can do to preserve the rights and legal options following a crash.

Call the Authorities

In most trucking accident situations, a call to 911 is essential. If you’re on a highway, the 911 dispatcher will route your call to local law enforcement and emergency responders. Let the dispatcher know how many people and vehicles are involved in the accident to ensure they send out the necessary emergency services. Even if the crash seems minor, complete a police report as this is the best way to have immediate documentation of the accident.

Medical Attention

Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. You may have suffered internal injuries that don’t show immediate symptoms. If you end up requiring medical attention later for an injury, it may be hard to prove that it was related to the trucking accident.

Document Any Evidence

Documenting the scene is something truck drivers should only do if they’re uninjured and it’s safe to be out of their vehicle and walking around. If you’re on a busy highway and the police aren’t yet there to direct traffic, you wouldn’t want to be out on the road.

Documentation should include photos, contact information for others involved in the trucking accident, and other notes about road and weather conditions. Documentation also includes gathering information from other involved parties such as the driver’s name, address, email contact, insurance information, and license number.

Contact Truck Insurance Provider

After a trucking accident, a driver should get in touch with the company they’re driving for and their insurance provider. Having trucking liability insurance is essential to keeping trucks, inventory, drivers, the company, and others affected by a trucking accident safe. This kind of coverage helps to pay out damages, legal fees, medical payments, and job interruption. A truck driver should contact the truck insurance provider right away so they can start their processing.

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. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

Navigating Trucker Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The spread of COVID-19 not only affected our sense of safety and the health of people around the globe but also the world’s economy and all the operations within it as well. From local businesses to global companies, the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted how we all live. One way it affected our daily living and our economy was shining a light on the world of freight and the need for supplies to be readily available. Trucker safety is paramount during this time as the hauling of goods now is more important than ever.

Truck drivers are the backbone of the freight industry in the United States, as 75% of the country’s freight is moved on highways and roadways. Since the need for supplies has increased, it’s important to look at how truck drivers can stay safe while operating during a virus outbreak.

Here are some tips for these professionals to remember to uphold trucker safety during their daily operations amidst COVID-19.

Personal Protective Equipment

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has allowed for health care staff to wear scarves and bandanas as facemasks in the event that no mask is available. And since durable facemasks, such as the N-95 mask, can be hard to come by, using these alternatives might be the best choice during pickups and drop-offs.

For eye care, truckers can wear sunglasses when coming into contact with individuals, which can help to minimize exposure. Any face covering will be effective to help minimize exposure, especially if someone near or around you is sneezing or coughing.

Filling Up

While pumping gas, drivers can maintain Trucker safety by using rags, towels, and one-time-use gloves to limit exposure to germs. If you’re able to, use a cloth or napkin as a barrier between your hands and the keypad and pump handle.

Using Cash or Credit

If at all possible, truck drivers should avoid using cash when making purchases, especially at truck stops, which see various people coming in and out all day, every day. Cash can be unclean, even without a contagious virus, such as COVID-19, going around. When possible, use card or contactless payment, such as Square or Apple Wallet, to limit any touches.

Eating On the Road

Truckers have to eat, but they also have a duty to keep themselves healthy and avoid potential risks related to the coronavirus. One alternative is to bring pre-packaged foods and meals onboard, carrying them in coolers or mini-fridges. If truckers decide to pick up food on the road, they should still avoid dining in and instead choose to-go or drive-thru options to uphold trucker safety.

When Nature Calls

Everyone has to use the bathroom at some point, but using public restrooms can create some stress for truck drivers. With germs related to COVID-19 being able to stay alive on surfaces for more than a few hours, it’s important to be vigilant about health and safety while using the restroom.

When opening doors and using handles, opt for the use of your elbow instead of your hand, or use napkins or paper towels to create a barrier. When done using the restroom, always remember to thoroughly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

Public Showers

Another necessary task related to trucker hygiene is the need to shower. Bringing a pair of shower shoes and one-time-use gloves to public showers can help to limit contact with germs that can live on surfaces. Be sure to bring a plastic bag to place used shower shoes in to keep the bottoms of them from touching anything.

Signs & Symptoms

It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 while out on the road. Some truck drivers may not show any signs when infected with COVID-19. However, many others do show signs, but may not think it’s related to the virus.

First, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s allergy season, so drivers with a history of allergies should take their medicine with them to weed out any potential for confusion. If signs and symptoms continue after medicine is taken, then it’s important to consider the possibility of needing potential medical attention.

Signs of potential COVID-19 infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste, and tightness in your chest. These symptoms can show up anywhere between two and fourteen  days after contact. If a driver suspects they have contracted the virus in any way, it’s important for them to contact their doctor and the company they work for.

While these tips may not completely rid the potential that a driver falls ill due to COVID-19, awareness and education about the virus as it pertains to trucker safety can help to limit exposure and boost overall health.

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. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

How Truck Scales Prevent Disastrous Shipping

Truck scales provide many different benefits for trucking professionals that extend beyond just weighing a truck for a transaction. They can provide an additional layer of protection for keeping trucks and their payloads intact while ensuring that roads are safe for all drivers on highways.

When a truck is overloaded, it can lead to potential damage to trucks and equipment, as well as increase the risk for accidents to occur. Heavier trucks, especially those that are overloaded, are more unstable when it comes to slowing down or braking and can even cause damage to the roads, bridges, and overpasses they travel on. It’s important for truck drivers and the companies they work for to understand just how vital truck scales are when it comes to upholding safety behind the wheel.

The Safety Benefits of Truck Scales

Truck scales provide a certain advantage when it comes to safety and highway regulatory compliance. Truck drivers may come across a number of different types of scales on the road all bearing different benefits.

First, there’s non-legal-for-trade type truck scales, which are helpful when running large trucks on the road. These scales provide drivers with an easy check on the cargo’s weight before they head out for the day. For time efficiency, drivers may use 760 and SWIM axle scales, which can weigh tandem axles and require only minimal space and effort to transport dual modules.

Another benefit of truck scales is that they provide much-needed solutions in preventing a potential shipment from overloading, which can end up causing accidents, as mentioned above. With indicators, displays and real-time information, truck drivers can get up-to-the-second data on truck weights so overweight shipments can be recognized and taken care of on the spot.

Reducing Damage to Cargo

Taking care of the overall physical nature of a truck and upholding the driver’s safety are equally important. In addition, keeping the cargo that’s being shipped from A to B safe should naturally be a top priority, as well. Scales can help to reduce damage to the payload inside through the use of low-profile scales that are designed to encourage low-incline approaches for quick access, or they can be installed in a pit.

Guide rails can also be installed to give a truck driver a visual cue regarding the location of the sides of the scale. These guard rails feature a single- or double-pipe design.

These scales and their benefits can help to keep drivers, their trucks, their cargo, and other drivers safe. They can help to keep many different types of liabilities low, including damage to products, trucks, and other cars and their drivers. Teaming the right scale up with commercial truck insurance and driver awareness can help to limit risk all around and keep operations running smoothly. If scales or trucks are damaged in some way, having the right kind of commercial truck insurance can help to pay down damages and cover most losses.

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. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!

How to Stay Warm When Trucking in the Winter

Winter is well on its way and has even settled in in some parts of the country. Major snowstorms can back up traffic, alter travel plans, delay freight shipments, and, at the very least, make people very uncomfortable. For truck drivers hauling loads on the highway, trying to stay warm can be a struggle when the temperatures drop.

There are many different ways to stay warm and keep the cold out for those who drive 18-wheelers and live out of their truck on long trips.

Here are some ways to keep the fire burning and keep warm this winter:

The Basics

First, it’s important for drivers to check with their company to make sure they have an extreme cold weather idle requirement. Most companies require the truck to run when temperatures get below 20 degrees. When drivers head into even colder climates, they should make sure they’re ready for the cold road ahead.

Also, trucking companies who hire out independent drivers should be sure to have their truck insurance intact, covering any liabilities that may arise from cold weather. Beyond drivers falling ill, risks such as road conditions and majorly inclement weather that causes delays should be covered against.

Inspect the Truck

Truck drivers are required by law to check their vehicles before every trip. A visual, hands-on inspection should check for things like any issues with tires, wiper blades, fluids, and lights. When temperatures go too high or too low, it’s imperative to check even more regularly and thoroughly.

Running a Heater

Truck drivers should opt for running a heater to keep their cabs warm, at least for a period of time to raise the temperature inside. As drivers are finishing up their paperwork for the day and getting ready for bed, a heater can be used with the fan on its highest setting to heat the truck up. It’s important, though, to remember to turn the fan down before the truck is shut off, or else icy air will blast through when a driver strikes it up again the next morning.

Sleeping Bags and Blankets

A basic, but still effective move is to always remember warm items like blankets and sleeping bags. A heavy-duty, low-temperature sleeping bag will help to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep while keeping the cold away. Plus, layering on some thick blankets to pile on top is another important tip do take advantage of.

Another option to increase warmth is to line a sleeping bag with a down comforter or keep one on top. While a sleeping bag is a must-have, it can be cold when slipping into it and zipping up. 

Mattress Pad

Mattress pads not only supply more comfort and support for drivers, especially for those with sore backs, but they can also be heated to add warmth. These pads are popular among truck drivers who have to spend some nights tucked away in their truck’s cabin.

The pads are plugged into a lighter socket and help increase warmth and comfort without having to idle the engine. The 12V mattress pad won’t deplete the batteries if they are in good working condition.

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.

Trucking Through the Mountains? Make Sure to Practice Safe Driving

Anyone getting behind the wheel of a big rig, no matter if they’re a seasoned trucking veteran or a newbie on the road, needs to be on their guard when driving through mountain ranges of any kind. From slick roads to low visibility to other dangers like falling rocks, there are plenty of risks waiting around every twisting turn for truck drivers.

Slick roads, weather, terrible road conditions, and distracted driving can all lead to major problems, including accidents and fatalities on the road. It’s important for truck drivers and the companies they work for to take heed of important tips that can help everyone and everything stay safe through a mountain range.

Keep an Eye on the Weather

Before a trip into and through the mountains, it’s important to know the weather along your intended route. There are so many weather apps available today to stay informed and help prepare for a trip. Weather conditions can change dramatically, and unexpectedly, with altitude, If tire chains are allowed, or required, make sure to have the correct number and size of chains.

Drive Slow and Steady

Truck drivers should be extra cautious when driving up or down hills, and especially when the road becomes windy. Pay attention to grade signs as they are meant to provide the right information needed to operate the truck safely. A general rule of thumb is to travel down the grade in one gear lower than you traveled up the other side. When on the ascent, choose a gear where you can pull the grade without having to downshift and maintain a steady mid-range RPM.

Be Prepared

Truck drivers should look into the status of their brake system. Having a properly maintained brake system, including the engine brake, and tires are critical maintenance components to travel through the mountains safely and effectively. Most roadways will have brake check areas for drivers to pull off to the side and adjust the brakes, if need be, before heading down a descent.

Runaway Lanes

Speaking of pulling off to the side, truck drivers should take advantage of runaway lanes on the sides of routes. If you are losing control or have lost control of the vehicle on a descent, make sure to use these lanes. They are available for the safety of the driver, the truck, and everyone around on the road.

Keep from Tailgating

No one likes to drive with someone directly behind them, right on their bumper. But when it’s a large truck carrying plenty of heavy cargo, this is even more important to note. Truck drivers should be sure to not tailgate and stay back with a significant amount of distance between them and the car ahead.

Staying Safe with Insurance

Truck drivers should be sure to invest in effective commercial truck insurance which can provide the right level of protection following incidents on the road. Trucking companies should make sure to look over their current level of commercial truck insurance and adjust accordingly to keep trucks, cargo, drivers, and others on the road protected.

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.

Driver-Facing Cameras in Trucking Operations: Yea or Nay?

The commercial trucking industry is in the middle of a major overhaul right now. From a massive labor shortage to the electric and autonomous truck markets developing at a fast pace, trucking isn’t the same as it has traditionally been, and is expected to continue in this way in the coming years.

One trend that is kicking up some controversy is the installation around installing driver-facing cameras in truck cabins. This issue has created issues around privacy and accountability and has even opened up new stipulations around commercial truck insurance.

Front-facing cameras, recording what’s going on surrounding the truck, have been used for years now, which has helped with security and legal issues, such as proving fault in something like an accident involving a commercial truck. But does this technology cross the line? How effective can it be?

Drivers as Assets

Technology is painting a picture of a driverless future as companies like TuSimple and Uber are already officially running their autonomous trucks on highways for long-haul projects. But until this becomes a full-scale reality, drivers are still the number one asset for the industry, especially for short-range projects, which will still see truckers in the driver’s seat even with self-driving trucks on the road.

And while truckers are valued in the industry and play a pivotal role in the entire freight industry when it comes to preventing a backlog, telling them cameras will be watching them may not be well-received. In an article from American Trucker, the consensus from those doing the driving aren’t on board for this addition to their operations. And with a shortage of 180,000 drivers expected by 2024, the industry can’t afford to lose any more favor.

Short-Term Effects

Installing driver-facing cameras that monitor drivers with the goals of monitoring performance and raising accountability may have short-term effects, such as causing them to drive more carefully or reducing their speed. But over time, drivers may forget the cameras are there or simply turn a blind eye, so to speak, when it comes to having their every move being watched.

On the other hand, for trucking operations, driver-facing cameras can be beneficial for a number of reasons. These recordings can be used as coaching tools to help with onboarding and adjusting performance expectations. And when it comes to accidents, driver-facing cameras can also help with proving fault or innocence when related to commercial truck insurance claims in incidents.

Other Considerations

Trucking companies can begin looking for feedback from driver recruiters and safety managers to highlight the pros and cons of having this kind of surveillance installed. Will it make the job easier or more stressful? What’re the long-term effects of how these cameras can help with performance?

Finally, the drivers themselves should also be considered in decision-making since it will be their jobs and reputations on the line. Surveyed drivers in the recruiting process can be asked if they would consider not taking a job if it included working under the watchful eye of a camera. Bottom line, discussions should continue and opinions should be expressed during planning and execution of this kind of change to the industry.

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 Safely Load and Unload Truck Cargo to Prevent Injury

Transporting trucking loads comes with many risks. From highway accidents to lost or damaged goods, there are a number of unique liabilities that can present themselves at any moment during transportation. But what about before or between shipments, such as during loading and unloading freight from trucks?

Workers loading or unloading cargo are exposed to serious risk and danger when working on trucks. Heavy or awkward objects can present a problem and a hazard to the overall well-being of those who work on trucks, creating additional risks for working in the industry. But there are a number of ways in which these issues can be avoided to keep safety a top priority. Here are some tips to stay safe during loading and unloading cargo.

Understand Proper Lift and Load Techniques

It’s a good rule of thumb to brush up on lifting and loading techniques at regular intervals. Moving cargo is more than just picking up and putting down, and it pays to give employees a refresher on the right way to work with heavy objects. Using proper technique in the workplace can help to prevent and limit accidents and injuries, and keep liability low.

Companies should also invest in the right truck insurance that will help with protecting their reputation, finances, and overall business during times of liability claims. There are a number of truck insurance solutions that can help to keep businesses safe in the event of injury to employees and cargo with occupational insurance coverage as well as cargo insurance to supply the right coverage for both employees and cargo, respectively.

Be Aware of the Loading Zone

Employees working on loading and/or unloading trucks should be aware of their surroundings, first and foremost. If a truck is backing up, staff should move away from the loading zone as it is very hard for the driver to see behind them and could easily back into anyone in their way. Loaders and unloaders should wait until the truck has come to a full stop before getting into the work area.

Secure All Loads Properly

Before a load is pulled down, they should be checked to see if they are all secure. If they are not, it could lead to broken objects in the truck, creating a lot of safety hazards during unloading. Employees should make sure their loads are secure by using load bars, vertical support systems, and road straps.

Mind the Gaps

When loading and unloading occurs, it can be difficult to see exactly where it’s safe to step and move around. If there’s a gap or drop off point in any place, it’s more than likely to not be detected, creating a risk of falling and getting injured. All gaps need to be sought out and protected against before loading and unloading happens so all employees can work confidently and safely.

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.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Breakdowns?

If you’re on a family trip and your car pops a tire, it may be unfortunate and a little stressful, but it’s a relatively easy fix. If the family van breaks down, again, very unfortunate, but a tow truck can come out. But what if it’s you’re truck that’s hauling loads of cargo and you’re in the middle of a desert highway? This is the situation all trucking professionals dread.

Sometimes, even the most seasoned truck driver may be stuck on the side of the road with a major issue. While some truck breakdowns may be caused by mechanical errors, many of the common reasons for trouble can be caught early and even prevented. Here are some ideas as to what could be causing unwanted breakdowns.

Tire Trouble

When it comes to physical issues with your truck, tires are typically considered to be the most important components of any vehicle. A simple flat really isn’t that simple and can sideline a truck for hours. Tires are the leading cause of truck problems for drivers, making up around 50 percent of all roadside failures. These failures are related to under inflation, low tread depth or misaligned axles. Always make sure to have each of your tires inspected thoroughly before you hit the road and look for those issues.

Electrical System

This mechanical part of a truck can cause some serious issues down the road—literally. This system is made up primarily of the starter motor, alternator and battery. If even just one of these components fails to function properly, your truck can’t continue on. Signs of a malfunctioning system include things like dead batteries, dim or flickering lights, unusual smells and clicking sounds when the engine starts up.

Refrigerated Trailers

These trailers are important for hauling temperature-controlled freight, such as food and medicine. When this kind of trailer breaks down, repairs are needed quickly so the load that is being hauled is not damaged, because this could turn into a major financial issue. To avoid this, it’s important to monitor the trailer during transit and look for any in-cab signals that indicate the unit is not working the way it should. To protect against loss, trucking professionals should also haul truck insurance.

Truck insurance can come in many forms including commercial truck roadside assistance, which can provide the right coverage when your semi is stuck on the side of the road for a myriad of reasons. Truck insurance will not only provide things like towing and roadside repair, but it can also provide financial protection in the event of a loss.

Brakes

Brake-related problems can lead to major accidents on the road and can involve passenger vehicles as well. A truck’s disc and drum brakes are exposed to consistent heat, pressure and friction, which means they wear down without the right maintenance.

Brake issues are usually related to things like air leaks, external corrosion and wear, and internal water contamination that causes airline freezing during the colder months.

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.