Truck Safety

Lloydminster - Wednesday - July 27, 2005 by : Sandra Morgan
Regarding this notation in your truck photo essay

Heavy semitrailer trucks are a fact of life in this age and we have come to accept that they account for a substantial number of accidents on our highways. Because of their weight they can not stop quickly and despite the efforts of their operators, the severe competition in the industry means that many vehicles on the highway are occasionally running with less then minimum operating safety equipment. Inspections by safety officials have found that the independent driver-owner trucks are usually substantially better maintained then company fleet units.

Trucks, January 15, 1999

Careful what you say.

Originally from Armley area and currently call Lloydminster home, my husband and I have been long-hauling for an Ontario company for over five years.  We are lease operators and the company employs owner-operators, lease operators and company drivers.

Tractors have a mandatory safety inspection yearly but our fleet has a mandatory six month inspection no matter.whether the tractors are owed, leased or company. 

Having driven in all sorts of weather and road conditions in both Canada and the USA, I must point out that although some professional drivers are at fault in highway incidents, what the truckers refer to as four-wheelers are more likely responsible.

While we try to maintain a safe following distance, drivers of smaller vehicles insist on passing or filling in the space in front of semi units. A prime example of this is on the infamous Hwy 401 in Ontario, but we've come across it in all provinces including our home province.

Maybe it should be mandatory for ALL drivers to become more educated regarding semi units and professional drivers in order to lower the accident rate involving big trucks.

Being cut off by a smaller vehicle because the driver missed their off-ramp or turn leaving a big truck nowhere to go can cause a major incident and the driver who is truly at fault is likely unaware that they might have caused it.

The whole of the trucking industry is not made up just of local and provincial drivers and it is true that drivers are responsible for securing their loads. Being cost- and time-efficient is important but the personal safety of oneself and those around him/her should outweigh these. Safety education should be part of any company's hiring policy.
The reason semi units are so prevalent is consumer-based, of course. Railway tracks do not go to retailers or warehouses. If you have it, trucks brought it.

Sandra Morgan



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