Showing posts from tagged with: Trucker Safety

Hauling Freight During the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted on April 08, 2020

Truck Drivers - Truck Insurance









As we all face this challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, transportation, especially trucking services, have been deemed as essential services.  The importance of moving cargo from one point to another has been given top priority. Unfortunately, the current environment does not make this task an easy one. While many truck stops remain open for fueling, they are closed to all other truckers’ necessities. Many have even restricted truckers from parking and sleeping in their vehicles on premises.  While they try to keep their mechanical service centers open, many have shuttered as their employees are unable to make it into work.

As a cargo hauler, you face new challenges. While this memo is geared to the refrigerated loads, some non-reefer loads also have an expiration date and would be covered under the same guidelines.

Scenario 1.  While on the road, your vehicle breaks down. You drastically attempt to locate a repair facility to expedite the repairs but due to delays in getting parts, and no alternate vehicles available, your delivery is late and rejected by the consignee.  The shipper also refuses to have the cargo returned to them.

In this situation, you need to do everything to reduce your exposure. This may include the sale of the cargo to a salvage handler or jobber.  You will need to utilize these funds to offset any claim filed against you.  If you face yourself in this situation, and have no resource for the cargo, we will be happy to assist and supply you with the name of a salvor that may be able to assist you.

Scenario 2. You pick up a refrigerated load and when you go to make the delivery the consignee’s facility is closed. All efforts to deliver the load have failed and the shipper has refused to take the load back.

In this regard, you need to understand On-Hand Delivery Notification.  A simple definition:

A Carrier-prepared document used to notify the consignor and the consignee that a delivery cannot be completed, usually for reasons beyond the Carriers control and is meant to remove liability for non-delivery

From time to time and for various reasons, freight may be deemed to be “on-hand.” Freight will be deemed on-hand with or without notice. When freight is “on-hand” the legal liability of Carrier or TPC is altered from that of a motor Carrier to that of a warehouseman pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code.

The procedures which Carrier agrees to and will take as a warehouseman involve the use of ordinary care to keep the lading in a safe or suitable place or to store the lading properly. Carrier shall place the lading in public storage, if available, unless Carrier receives contrary disposition instructions from Customer within twenty-four (24) hours, and may offer the lading for public sale if disposition instructions are not given by Customer within ten (10) days of Carrier’s initial notification to Customer. In the case of perishable lading, Carrier may dispose of the lading at a time and in a manner, Carrier deems appropriate to avoid the commodity from spoiling or passing it’s “Used by Date.”

Customer will be responsible for storage costs and reasonable costs Carrier or TPC incurs in acting as a warehouseman. To the extent any sale or disposal revenues exceed the storage costs and the costs Carrier or TPC incurs as a warehouseman, Carrier shall remit the balance to Customer. If Customer gives Carrier timely disposition instructions, Carrier will use any commercially reasonable steps to abide by such instructions. Customer will pay Carrier’s or TPC’s costs and any additional transportation costs Carrier or TPC incurs in doing so.

PLEASE NOTE:  All on-hand notices should be done in writing on company letterhead or by email with copies of any correspondence kept for future use.  Proof of Delivery is highly recommended.  Any telephonic conversations about the cargo and the on-hand notice should be followed up with some form of written summary of the conversation.

Here are the current rules and requirements of On-Hand Notice

Freight held in Carrier’s possession by reason of an act or an omission of the shipper, consignor, consignee, or owner or for customs clearance or inspection, or by order of a government authority, and through no fault of the Carrier, or when held by Carrier due to rejection by consignee or instruction from shipper based on damage, will be deemed to be “on-hand. “

Freight will be deemed on-hand with or without notice. When freight is “on-hand,” the legal liability of Carrier is altered from that of a motor Carrier to that of a warehouseman pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code. The procedures which Carrier agrees to and will take as a warehouseman involve the use of ordinary care to keep the lading in a safe or suitable place or to store the lading properly.

Storage costs for on-hand freight will be assessed as follows: Storage charges on freight awaiting line haul transportation will begin at 7:00 AM, the day of business after notice of arrival has been made.

Freight stored in Carriers possession, will be assessed a charge of $2.00 per cwt. or fraction thereof, subject to the following minimum and maximum charges:

MINIMUM CHARGES: $20.00 per shipment per each 24 hours


PERIOD                                                                                    CHARGES

For the first 24 hours or fraction thereof                            $100.00

For the second 24 hours or fraction thereof                       $175.00

Third and each succeeding 24 hours/fraction                   $250.00

  • Per shipment or per vehicle if more than one vehicle is used to transport the shipment
  • Storage charges under this item will end when Carrier is enabled to delivery or transport the freight as a result of action by the consignee, consignor, owner or Customs Official.
  • Storage charges under this item will not apply on the day Carrier places the freight in a public warehouse. In that event, a charge of $3.00 per cwt., subject to a minimum charge of $45.00 per shipment will be made.
  • The term “FIRST DAY OF BUSINESS” as used in this item means Mondays through Fridays.
  • Charges provided in this item will follow the terms of the bill of lading unless written authorization is received by another party. Carrier reserves the right to require payment prior to release of freight.

Need assistance? Please contact our trucking experts!

This blog was created by Carrier Specialty Services, LLC.

4 Leading Truck Violations for Brake Hoses and Tubing

Posted on December 17, 2019

Fleet Repair, Fleet Insurance








The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) held its annual national Brake Safety Week this fall. Of the 34,320 trucks CVSA inspected, 13.5% received out of service violations. While brakes are just one element of typical inspections, they are one of the leading causes of accidents. Failing to inspect brakes properly before driving long distances is a significant safety concern that CVSA highlights during its annual brake inspections.  Inspectors noted the following as the most frequent tubing and brake hose violations:

  • Thermoplastic hose chaffing: 1347 violations
  • Thermoplastic hose kinking: 1683 violations
  • Rubber hose chaffing: 2567 violations
  • General misapplications of rule §393.45 of the FMCSA Regulations: 2704 violations

In promising news, highway fatalities are on the decline for the second year in a row. However, fatalities related to large trucks increased slightly. With the goal of zero highway fatalities, there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to trucking safety.

How to Inspect Truck Brakes

Seasoned drivers may think their experience means they don’t make pre-trip inspection mistakes, but time has a way of eroding skills. Reviewing what officers look for during inspections can help prevent an unexpected out of service order. To get started on inspecting their brakes, drivers will need to do the following:

  • Check brake adjustments when the truck is cold; heat expands the brake drum and can yield inaccurate results
  • Inspect the brake chamber to ensure the size is correct
  • Determine if the truck has standard or long-stroke chambers as this affects adjustment limits
  • Measure the brake’s applied pushrod stroke

Depending on the final test results, drivers can learn if their brakes are out of alignment, by how much, and calculate if they’re within adjustment limits. If not, they can take the next steps necessary to realign the brakes during routine maintenance.

To learn more about improving trucking safety, driver safety and truck insurance, contact the experts at Interstate Motor Carriers.

6 Maintenance and Fuel Tips for Winter Trucking

Posted on November 27, 2019

Winter Truck Driving








The winter months are very hard on commercial vehicles, especially trucks that experience heavy use. Without adequate maintenance and care, failure rates can skyrocket. Frozen fuel lines, poor traction, and stranded truck drivers are all real possibilities if drivers fail to meticulously winterize their trucks and their fuel.  Truck drivers should follow these key tips to keep trucks in optimal working order this winter:

  1. Be vigilant about tire pressure. Tire pressure changes with the temperature, and the change can be significant. As temperatures oscillate, they can result in dangerous changes to tire pressure. During the colder months, drivers should perform pressure checks with greater frequency. Without proper inflation, tires don’t grip well. In wintry conditions, proper traction is vital to safety.
  2. Stay fueled. While having half a tank of gas may seem sufficient, drivers shouldn’t allow it to drop below this point. When tanks are less than half-full, water vapor can collect, make its way into the fuel line, and freeze.
  3. Keep an eye on fuel ratings. Most gas stations carry a 2D blend of fuel in the warmer months while offering a 1D and 2D blend during winter months. While this blend isn’t as efficient, it’s less likely to cause engine problems during the winter. Drivers should make sure they’re using the best fuel for their weather conditions.
  4. Choose fueling stations wisely. While truck drivers running low on fuel have fewer options, staying on top of fuel volume allows them to be picky about where they refill their tanks. Drivers should try to fill up at larger truck stops. These locations move high volumes of fuel, which can help prevent gelling.
  5. Keep filters fresh. Fleets should replace fuel filters often and in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Particle buildup can lead to gelling.
  6. Drain air tanks and fuel water separators. As temperatures steadily decline, it’s easier for water to condense in fuel tanks. From there, it can make its way to the filter, which is the only thing protecting the engine from contamination. When temperatures drop to extreme lows, drivers should perform this task daily.

In addition to preventative maintenance and proper fueling practices, truck drivers should carry a roadside emergency kit for winter weather conditions. Even the most veteran drivers can experience unexpected conditions. For more tips on improving trucker safety and ensuring your truck has the right truck insurance coverages, contact the experts at Interstate Motor Carriers.

Leveraging Safety-Based Innovations to Reduce Trucking Accidents

Posted on August 07, 2019

Truck Accident  - Trucker Safety - Truck Insurance








Safety is always a hot topic in the trucking industry. With 4,761 fatalities caused by large truck collisions in 2017, there is obvious room for improvement. While previous years showed steady decreases in fatalities, 2017 saw a 9% increase compared to 2016.

The overwhelming majority of those deaths were among public drivers involved in accidents with large trucks—72%. Commercial truck drivers accounted for 18% of the fatalities and the remaining 10% were individuals outside of a vehicle (i.e. pedestrians and bicyclists). The cost in human lives and actual dollars is astronomical. Experts within the industry believe the answer to safe trucking lies in new technology, while not overwhelming drivers with high tech gadgets.

Truck drivers already have technology available to them to improve safety. For example, lane departure warnings and lane assisting technology are remarkable in their ability to prevent collisions. Technologies such as those below, which are current or imminent, can be leveraged to improve trucking safety:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot detection
  • Automated parking with anti-rollaway technology
  • Facial recognition solutions (to monitor driver alertness)

However, industry insiders are quick to point out that inundating drivers with multiple new technologies at once can be overwhelming. It’s best to incorporate new technology incrementally, especially technology which drivers can readily understand. For example, drivers that are comfortable with lane departure warning technology would likely adapt well to lane assist technology. These new safety innovations are very close to becoming a reality as trucking companies continue to put safety at the forefront of their agenda.

Interstate Motor Carriers strives to help trucking companies in their safety efforts. Contact us today to learn how we can help your fleet mitigate risks and losses.


Fleet Repair Technicians Must Keep Pace with New Truck Technology

Posted on June 25, 2019

Fleet Repair, Fleet Insurance







The trucking industry is undergoing massive and rapid changes as truck designs become more complex and nuanced. As a result, repairs to these advanced machines need to keep pace, employing more finesse and deeper diagnosis. Today’s trucks are vastly different from the ones in production twenty years ago. Yet with many repairs, mechanics and technicians are treating modern vehicles as they did with previous generations.

What are the Differences?

In previous decades, not many truck developers or repair mechanics gave much consideration to the first second of a crash. They were more concerned with the aftermath and ensuring the vehicle could be returned in good working order, as quickly as possible. Today, however, technological advancements have changed how trucks react to crashes within the first second, to keep the driver as safe as possible while improving overall fuel economy and performance. These include:

  • Lighter weight material to save on fuel
  • Upgrades such as foams, seam sealers, and rivet attachments to change how the cab reacts to a crash
  • Upgrades to comply with stricter regulations for greenhouse gases
  • Advanced steel with unique welding properties

Why These Differences Matter

Repair technicians need to consider these differences, or the repairs of today can become severe risks for tomorrow. For example, advancements in welding can create holes for rivets which may stretch during a crash. Sometimes, they’re only meant for one use and need to be replaced. While customers want their trucks back as soon as possible, expedience in this case can result in unsafe trucks on the road.

One of the biggest roadblocks is a simple lack of knowledge or training. The heavy-duty vehicles of today are vastly different than the ones most technicians worked on to learn their trade. Like any big change in the industry, fleets need to take the time to ensure their repair mechanics have proper training to keep vehicles in good working order without compromising safety.

Fleets can’t afford to overlook risks like outdated repair techniques. The experts at Interstate Motor Carriers are intimately familiar with the issues facing the ever-evolving trucking industry and we are here to help. Contact us to learn more about reducing your trucking company’s risks with our innovative solutions.