09 Feb Check Yourself Before You Start the Engine
For Drivers of All Vehicle Classes
As a driver in the field, you will be asked to drive many different types of vehicles and vehicle-trailer combinations. You should always inspect your vehicle and the vehicle’s paperwork to make sure the unit is legal for operation. You should also check the weight rating of the vehicle and the trailer if you have one. You need to know this information so you can ensure you have the proper license to legally operate the equipment you are about to drive.
Some of the things you should routinely check are detailed below.
✓TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
The most important part of any moving vehicle is the DRIVER! Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel, eat well and stay fit. Stay healthy and well rested or DON’T DRIVE.
Did you know there are some vehicles that require a medical card that do not require a CDL? If you drive any size CMV (any truck or combination truck and trailer over 10,000 pounds) across the state line, you are required to have a medical card. When in doubt find your supervisor or jobsite safety coordinator to get the answers. Do NOT drive anything on the public roadway that requires a medical card unless you have your current, valid medical card with you. You should know when your medical card expires, and you should ALWAYS have it with you.
✓YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE
Always have your license with you. Know the expiration date. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get your license renewed before it expires. Most states allow you to renew your license 90 days prior to the actual renewal date, some even allow you to renew as early as six months in advance. There is no excuse for driving with an expired license. Know when your license expires and get it taken care of before it expires. If your license does expire, you must not drive a company vehicle or your personal vehicle on company business until you get your renewal.
✓KNOW THE LICENSE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE VEHICLE YOU DRIVE
Does that truck you are driving require a Class B CDL or can you legally drive it with a regular license? When in doubt find your supervisor or jobsite safety coordinator to get the answers. Do NOT drive anything you are not licensed to drive or if you don’t have the proper endorsements. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make your supervisor aware of what your restrictions and endorsements are. Nobody is going to require you to do anything illegal; it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to speak up.
✓COMPANY REQUIRED TRAINING AND TESTING
Have you had the required company training to operate that vehicle? Have you passed the company road skills test? Do you have your road test card in your pocket with your license or medical card?
✓WHERE IS YOUR CELL PHONE?
Either store your phone away or silence it so you can focus on the task at hand (driving). Before your departure plan your route, make your music selections, adjust the temperature, and eat your lunch. Do whatever needs to be done before you leave or find a safe place to pull off the road to take care of it while you’re not driving.