Posted on August 27th, 2019
Every day, commercial truck drivers, and the motorists around them, put their full faith in a small pedal that promises to bring 35 tons of rig, trailer, and product to a stop. It’s something many take for granted. We just assume brakes will work each and every time we need them to.
This sort of mentality suggests a truck’s brake system can go ignored, and, judging by the statistics, they too often do. This is why the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) runs Brake Safety Week each year, bringing awareness to this most vital of components. This year, from Sept. 15-21, enforcement officials will be out in full force conducting roadside safety inspections. Vehicles with critical brake violations (or other critical violations) will be placed in out-of-service status until identified issues are corrected.
During the weeklong blitz, the CVSA will be emphasizing brake hoses/tubing. While inspecting these components are routinely part of a North American Standard Inspection, the organization wants to call extra attention to them as a reminder of their importance to vehicle mechanical fitness and safety.
“Brake violations currently make up about 28% of all out-of-service violations, the largest percentage of all inspections,” Aim’s Director of Purchasing & Training, Chris Disantis, said. “With the inspections this year being primarily Level 1 inspections with emphasis on brakes, the driver should be looking for hoses that are rubbing on a component or another possible hose where the rub point is wearing the hose. Also looking for proper routing is key for preventing issues and are easily adjusted.”
During a surprise Brake Safety blitz in May, 1,667 commercial vehicles were placed in out of service due to brake violations. This one-day event saw more than 10,000 vehicles inspected, which means inspectors shut down about 16% of those vehicles because of brake issues.
Because Aim’s primary concern is safety, Aim will be hosting a webinar to help its customers, as well as anyone interested, prepare for Brake Safety Week. During this meeting, on Sept. 10, from 3 – 4 p.m. (EDT), Aim Director of Maintenance Aaron Chamberlin and Aim Safety Coordinator John Rugarber will go over best practices for maintaining your vehicle’s braking systems, including what specific things inspectors will check for.
“During the webinar, we will be covering how Aim’s preventative maintenance process applies to brake safety,” said Chamberlin. “We’ll also cover the how the Federal Annual Inspection requirements are just a small part of a robust program designed to minimize our customer’s exposure on the road.”
Anyone interested in attending this free webinar simply needs to visit this link and complete the sign-up form.
Posted on April 8th, 2019
“Drive like you work here” is the theme for this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), which begins today and ends April 12. It’s a fitting notion as many commuters often see work zones as an inconvenience, taking little consideration for the individuals who work in these often-dangerous conditions.
On that, this effective tagline is asking us to do one simple thing: put yourself in the worker’s shoes. That is, if your life were on the line, would you slow down? Be more aware? More understanding?
The answer is yes.
Since 2000, the NWZAW is held each year in the spring (the start of construction season) to encourage safe driving in highway work zones nationwide. The key message here is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones.
You may be surprised to learn there were 710 fatal work zone crashes in 2017. The year before there were 687.
So, what are some things to consider when passing through a work zone? Here are some according to the Federal Highway Administration:
- Stay alert and minimize distractions
- Keep your headlights on
- Pay attention to the road (obey road signs, watch traffic around you, etc.)
- Merge into the proper lane
- Leave plenty of distance between you and the car in front of you
- Obey the posted speed limit
- Change lanes safely
- If there’s a flagger, follow his or her instructions
- Expect the unexpected
Posted on August 10th, 2018
DES PLAINES, IL – Recently, Aim hosted a safety meeting and “truck rodeo” for our customer Columbus Vegetable Oils at its base of operation in Des Plaines, IL. The event was part of the company’s annual safety meeting put on by Aim Safety Manager John Rugarber.
This year, however, was to be different than just the usual classroom setting.
Along with discussing safety topics with Columbus Vegetable Oil drivers, Rugarber enriched the meeting with a “truck rodeo,” which included both a driver skills and pre-trip inspection competition.
Roughly 15 drivers had multiple scoring opportunities in events including backing up to a dock, earning drivers more points the closer they got to the dock without hitting it; U-turn challenges; driving through a narrow lane of cones; stopping the truck’s front bumper as close to a designated marker as possible; and other challenges testing truck driving fundamentals.
The pre-trip inspection event gave each driver an allotted amount of time to inspect a truck and trailer preset with 20 DOT violations. Drivers scored points for each violation they discovered.
“The drivers appreciated the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of their peers and superiors,” said Aim Business Development Manager John Matthews, who also attended the day’s events. “The folks at Columbus Vegetable Oils are a great partner and I’m glad they allowed us to do this for them. They were certainly impressed with what John [Rugarber] put together and happy with the results.”
Matthews added, “This is a great example of the added value that Aim provides to our customers/partners. The Aim Safety Department is a major highlight when differentiating Aim from the competition. They are an important resource that greatly impacts our ability to sell Aim as a transportation provider”
Columbus Vegetable Oils has been an Aim customer for five years and has been in business for more than 75 years. They offer a full line of high quality vegetable oils along with vegetable and animal shortenings. For more on them, visit their website at www.cvoils.com .
For information on how leasing through Aim helps alleviate managing the responsibilities of safety and compliance, contact us through our website, www.aimntls.com, or call us at 1-800-321-9038.
Posted on May 31st, 2018
The Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) has recognized Aim driver Daniel Kinsman for his commitment to exceptional driving and community service that benefit the truck renting and leasing industry and respective communities.
“The honor I feel to be nominated for this award, I can’t put into words; it was, and still is, unbelievable,” Kinsman said. “I am also extremely humbled to be among other drivers who are counted as being amongst the best in the industry, despite my record not being near as accomplished as the others’. I don’t know how to convey how honored I truly am to have been chosen to represent Aim.”
Kinsman has been with Aim for 1½ years and drives for Aim Integrated customer Youngstown Pipe & Steel (YPS), out of Youngstown, OH, whose customers Kinsman is committed to taking care of.
Kinsman also trains Aim’s new YPS and apprentice drivers. And because of his positive attitude, patience and knowledge, Aim’s Operations and Safety departments rely on Dan to be “the face of Aim,” often pairing him with new drivers on their first days.
“Dan Kinsman shows up every morning ready to work, and most importantly, ready to work safely,” Mark Pelini, of Youngstown Pipe & Steel, said. “He takes care of one of our more difficult routes, and we truly appreciate Dan’s daily work ethic and communication. We at YPS want to congratulate Mr. Kinsman on his nomination for this great award and look forward to our continued work relationship for a long time.”
For those who know Kinsman, they’re probably not surprised by his adeptness behind the wheel. It is, after all, in his blood. His mother, who sadly passed away last year, was an over-the-road trucker and raised him in the truck, even going as far as to “homeschool” him while on the road. She did this for 16 years before becoming a driver instructor at New Castle School of Trades, in New Castle, PA.
And when he’s not in the driver’s seat? Well he’s still committed to trucking. In fact, he spends much of his free time developing new technologies for the industry and is currently working on obtaining a patent for a new suspension system he’s been working on for years.
Even with Kinsman’s extraordinary dedication to trucking, he still finds time to be an active participant in a Youngstown outreach program, where he helps the area’s homeless population.
Kinsman also spent four years serving our country in the United States Marine Corps.
“Dan Kinsman is one our best and brightest drivers at Aim. It is truly a pleasure working with someone that represents himself and Aim so well,” Aim Integrated Director of Regional Logistics Pat Grandy said.
According to TRALA, this year, the organization received 21 nominations, of which 20 drivers will be receiving certificates of merit for their outstanding service. These 20 drivers logged over 25 million miles, which includes city and over-the-road driving and have already earned statewide and company recognition for their safe driving careers.
Aim, as well as the transportation industry as a whole, is extremely fortunate to have individuals like Dan on the road and serving their communities.