How Safe are YOU?

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Just a heads up. Due to some recent reports, we will be visiting mills and logging sites looking for safety vest and hard hats being worn by all our employees.

Even if the loggers allow you out side your truck with out them, you still look very unprofessional. We need to show everyone WE ARE THE PRO’S. It also is in your safety interest.

Always wear your personal safety equipment.

Troy Hutchens

Conserve Fuel with Routine Truck and Fleet Maintenance

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In an era of record high fuel prices, better gas mileage is a goal most of us share. And if fuel management directly affects your bottom line, you know the importance of minimizing your fuel consumption. Everything from driving style to your equipment and preventative maintenance can impact your fuel efficiency. The following tips will help you determine where you can make improvements to conserve fuel and save money.

  • Watch your speed. Every 1 mph increase over 55 mph lowers your truck fuel economy by 0.1 mpg.
  • Avoid excessive idling. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, idling can use a quarter to a half a gallon of fuel per hour, depending on the size of the engine and your AC use.
  • Keep tires properly inflated and check your tire pressure regularly. Under-inflated tires can result in shorter tread, shorter tire life and lower fuel mileage. Ask your Kenworth dealer about a tire pressure monitoring system like the Bendix SmarTire™, Link® Cat’s Eye®, Meritor® TIS or Hendrickson TIREMAAX®.
  • Use cruise control and avoid unnecessary acceleration. It takes more fuel to get a truck moving than it does to keep it moving. Cruise control helps you maintain a constant speed and avoid additional fuel burn from sudden acceleration.
  • Change your oil and filters regularly. Clean air filters can improve your fuel economy and a well-maintained engine will last longer. Lubricated truck components that move more easily can lower fuel consumption.
  • Get routine service checks. Preventative truck maintenance can have a significant effect on your truck fuel economy. Your Kenworth service technician can inspect the systems and components that affect fuel usage.
  • Practice Zen driving. Driving aggressively—speeding, rapid acceleration and sudden braking—wastes gas. In heavy traffic, driving slower is more efficient than stopping and starting. You can improve your truck’s fuel economy up to 30% by driving more efficiently.

Spring Safety Tips 2019

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With the frigid months of winter behind us, it’s time to start thinking about spring maintenance.  Trucks take a beating during harsh winter weather. Here are the top 4 spring safety tips for your truck.

Get a brake check.

Brakes can experience significant wear and tear during the winter and must be inspected as soon as possible. A technician can adjust your brakes if necessary, check for corroded parts and components, and inspect for air leaks. Make a brake check your top priority this spring.

Have your lights examined.

Your truck’s lights could be on the verge of burning out after enduring so many long winter nights. If your lights have dimmed, have them tested to see if the bulbs need to be replaced and to confirm that all electrical wiring is in proper condition.

Inspect your windshield.

Windshields take a pounding during the winter. Have a tech inspect for any cracks or chips that may have been caused by heavy rain, hail, or snow.

NFL Draft

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During this time of free agency in the NFL is a great time to convince your truck driving buddy to become a free agent and come join our team.

You bring him or her on and they stay 180 days, you get the $1,000 signing bonus. How cool is this?

Troy Hutchens

HELLO! REALLY?!

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We have a new trend that is not a good one going on. Two times in the last few months, we have had different drivers call up and say their trucks simply will not start. Of course, according to them, they have tried EVERYTHING. It just won’t start.

So, we bite the bullet and send out a mechanic. Rather it be a outside mechanic or company mechanic. It is very expensive to send out on a road call.

The mechanic shows up. Climbs in the truck and puts the truck in neutral. You know, like any truck you are trying to start should be. Once in neutral, the truck fires right up.

This is a very expensive lesson. So, I would like to pass on to everyone a message my Dad taught me when I was very young and getting into trucks for the first time.

After, and only after checking the oil and water, (along with everything else under the hood) climb in the truck. Rattle the shifter to make sure it is in neutral and start it, keeping a close eye on the oil gauge. Making sure it come up relatively quickly. If it doesn’t shut the engine off before doing serious damage.

These simple tasks will save you time and us money. It is just the right thing to do. Remember, you are the professional. What must that mechanic be thinking of our guys.

Troy Hutchens

Level II: Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection

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A Level II inspection typically includes only what can be examined without physically getting underneath the vehicle. At a minimum, the driver inspection must include a review of their CDL, alcohol and drug use, Medical Examiner’s and SKE certificates, HOS compliance, record of duty status, seatbelt usage, and vehicle inspection report(s). The vehicle inspection needs to include:

  • Brake, electrical, exhaust, and fuel systems
  • Cargo securement
  • Coupling devices
  • Driveline/driveshaft mechanisms
  • Frames
  • Hazardous materials compliance
  • Lighting devices (headlamps, taillamps, turn signals, etc.)
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Suspensions
  • Tires (including hubs, rims, wheels)
  • Van and open-top trailer bodies
  • Windshield wipers

Level I: North American Standard Inspection

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Level I is inspection of the vehicle and driver, and tends to be the most comprehensive. The driver inspection includes a review of their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), alcohol and drug use, Medical Examiner’s and Skill Performance Evaluation (SKE) certificates, Hours of Service (HOS) compliance, record of duty status, seatbelt usage, and vehicle inspection report(s). The vehicle inspection includes:

  • Brake, electrical, exhaust, and fuel systems
  • Cargo securement
  • Coupling devices
  • Driveline/driveshaft mechanisms
  • Frames
  • Hazardous materials compliance
  • Lighting devices (headlamps, taillamps, turn signals, etc.)
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Suspensions
  • Tires (including hubs, rims, wheels)
  • Van and open-top trailer bodies
  • Windshield wipers

4 Tips to Start Spring with Safety

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Did your truck check out? June 4-6, 2013, the CVSA conducted Roadcheck 2013, the largest targeted safety enforcement and outreach event in the world. Over a 72-hour period, approximately 10,000 CVSA and FMCSA-certified inspectors at 2,500 locations across North America performed truck and bus inspections aimed at motor carrier, vehicle, driver and cargo safety. In 2013, the organization issued approximately 30,500 CVSA decals to trucks and buses that were violation-free in the critical inspection areas. In preparation for 2014, to receive a CVSA decal, proper maintenance and routine safety checks can ensure you get one at your next roadside inspection.

The CVSA recommends the following tips to keep your truck or bus safe and help you avoid violations:

1) Wear a seatbelt. It sounds simple, but close to 900 seatbelt violations were issued at Roadcheck 2013. Buckling up will help you avoid unnecessary violations and, more importantly, help you stay safe.

2) Inspect your brakes. One of the biggest factors in commercial truck and bus crashes is insufficient brake maintenance. Brake system-related violations are also one of the top reasons a vehicle is placed out of service.  Be sure to do the following when examining your brakes:

  • Check for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system.
  • Check for audible air leaks around brake components and lines.
  • Check brake adjustment and measure pushrod travel.

Ask your Kenworth service advisor for additional information on brake maintenance and safety.

3) Check your lighting. Look at all required lamps for proper color, operation, mounting and visibility. Consider replacing any cracked or broken lights with all-makes TRP LED lights for an energy-efficient and durable option. TRP LED lights don’t contain filament and have a high-impact polycarbonate lens for greater nighttime visibility.

4) Pre-inspect your vehicle. Check for any load securement issues and make sure your mirrors are clean and adjusted properly.