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About 70 percent of the roads in the United States are in snowy areas during winter months. This presents a great opportunity for accidents to occur due to icy roads and wintry conditions. In fact, more than 116,000 people are injured every year due to a wreck caused by winter driving conditions like snow and sleet on the roadways. While this is a danger to every day drivers going about their regular commute, it’s even more of a serious problem for commercial drivers who see more time on the road during winter months.

From poor visibility to icy roads to less-than-adequate tires, there are a number of things to look out for if you’re a trucking operation preparing its drivers for dangerous hauls over the next few cold months. Here are some winter driving tips commercial driving truckers can heed to stay safe on the highways and byways this winter.

Inspect Vehicles Thoroughly

It’s in a driver’s DNA to give his or her truck a solid inspection before any trip is underway. From checking lights to kicking tires, it’s always a rule of the road to look over every inch of a truck. But during the winter it’s even more important to keep things safe. First, this can be accomplished by investing in commercial truck insurance to protect against major financial setbacks that come with traffic incidents. And beyond commercial truck insurance, proactively inspecting your trucks more delicately can prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.

Check the pressure, engine oil and liquid levels, like antifreeze, with the utmost care before the truck gets on the road. Mechanics can also step in to provide backup when making sure commercial vehicles are ready to hit the road with the best quality.

Tire Spray

Once you’re on the road it’s important to keep an eye out for possible issues that can turn into culprits of large-scale wrecks. One way to stay alert is to monitor the way water is coming off the tires of vehicles around you, especially in front of you. If a lot of water is being kicked up, the road is very wet, but if the water spray is relatively less, this may mean that the roadway is freezing, which means more caution is called for.

Slow Your Roll

No matter the conditions, it’s always a good rule of thumb to slow things down when you’re unsure of the roadway and traffic status. Most accidents occur because drivers don’t alter their speed. Drivers may need to compensate for bad roads and adjust their speed to keep things safe for themselves and those around them.

Give More Space

The stopping distance on wet roads is twice that of dry roads, and more than 10-times longer on icy roads. With this in mind, it helps to add more distance between your truck and others cars on the roads in winter. Overcompensating in this case is a good thing, helping to keep a safe distance to protect those around you. Leave plenty of room so you can move out of harm’s way or just stop with plenty of room to spare.

Check Tail Lights

It’s important to help out fellow drivers around you by keeping your taillights and license plate clean. If they’re covered in snow it will only create issues for drivers on the road who need to be able to see you. Even in a tailwind these can become covered by snow.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

The post Winter is Coming: A Guide to Safe Trucking in the Snow appeared first on Western Truck Insurance Services.

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Running a trucking company comes with its challenges, that much is true. But trucking operations owners can invest in a series of best practices to make daily operations smoother and more efficient.

From keeping vehicles and drivers safe to saving money and looking out for your bottom line, emphasizing a focus on efficiency in your company’s blueprint is an effective overall plan. Here are some best practices to consider when wanting to create and run on an atmosphere of efficiency.

Improving Safety

Safety should be the top priority of every trucking company. It’s important to keep vehicles maintained regularly, educate your employees on driver safety, and keep your truck insurance policy updated. Commercial truck insurance is specifically tailored to your trucking company’s needs and can dive into things like trailers, pollution and in general cover repairs and replacements of parts and trucks.

Trucking companies should stress the importance of having safe operational trucks that employees use daily. And with a new wave of self-driving trucking technology stepping into the big rig world, companies that are adapting have a lot more to worry about in terms of safety. Improving safety in trucking goes together with solid operation conditions and training for drivers. Trucking owners should also arrange safety programs and schedule regular meetings on refreshing everyone’s mind on driver safety.

Maintenance

As mentioned in the section above, it’s important to have vehicles routinely worked on to ensure overall operational safety. But beyond safety, vehicles can also be optimized to keep efficiency a priority. Tire pressure is always an issue with fuel consumption, especially when it comes to large commercial fleets driving from highway to highway.

Trucks should have regularly scheduled tire pressure checks as well as once-overs of assessing the integrity of axle alignment. Maintenance is a broad term when it comes to commercial trucking operations, but what’s important is to understand the frequency in which truck safety should be established through assessments.

Load Management Optimizations

Trucks can cut down on overall operations costs by maximizing the best potential load. Trucking companies should require packing and loading their trucks to as close to capacity as possible, especially when it comes to short-distance deliveries.

Trucking operations should try their best to keep away from running an empty load when picking up another load. There is software that is specifically outfitted to optimize pickup and delivery routes, whether it’s distance or vehicle capacity.

Optimizing Routes

The same software that helps boost more efficient loads can also do the same for travel routes. The goal is to select the most fuel-efficient and time-efficient routes, which may not be the shortest distances. Companies should consider factors such as speed limits, traffic signals, regular traffic levels in certain areas, and other times where trucks are stopped.

One way trucking operation companies can help themselves when it comes to planning routes is to make running lists of notes related to things like hazardous materials routes, preferred routes, and construction zones that are all need-to-know pieces of information.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

The post The Best Practices of Efficient Trucking Operations appeared first on Western Truck Insurance Services.

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Trucking professionals have enough to worry about when it comes to transporting their shipment from location to location. Schedules need to be strict and time is of the essence, but safety shouldn’t be compromised because of a hurried driver. Besides being hasty, there are a number of things to consider when it comes to keeping safety the focal point when driving around regular traffic on streets and highways.

A recent study showed that 2016 saw a 2% increase in fatal crashes involving trucks and buses, and the trend points to a continued gradual increase year-over-year. While truck drivers can’t do anything to make other drivers around them more responsible behind the wheel, they can take certain tips to heart when making sure they’re doing their part to keep things safe.

Investing in Truck Insurance

Truck insurance is a safeguard for trucking professionals who wants to ensure their protection for injuries or property damage sustained. Just like regular auto insurance, this kind of insurance is specifically designed to keep trucking professionals safe as well as the truck they’re driving, and can cover the cargo they’re hauling. This should be the first step for truck drivers looking to be more responsible on the road.

Keeping a Space Cushion

Professional drivers hauling big rigs should monitor something called the space cushion between their trucks and other vehicles around them. Where smaller vehicles on the road are able to shift in and out of traffic more freely, trucks with great size can’t. Drivers need to make sure they are not too close to objects, whether stationary or in motion. Consider tight turns, low bridges and small streets as well as other vehicles.

Trip Planning

Just like you’re prepping to set out on a family trip, it pays to plan ahead and look for things like weather conditions and terrain. This will help to anticipate flow of traffic along your route before you leave to make sure you are traveling down the safest and most efficient roads. Always make sure to plan for and add extra travel time for things like construction, detours, traffic congestion and inclement weather.

Safe Speed

Speed always place a factor for drivers looking to be safe on the road. A couple things large truck drivers have to consider is the fact that it takes longer to accelerate their truck and longer to slow their truck down to a stop. Always be sure to slow down in work zones, but don’t hang back so much that will bring traffic behind you to a screeching halt.

Turns and Road Curves

Tight turns become even tighter for truck drivers. Entrance and exit ramps, and turning down city streets always pose a high level of difficulty and risk of bumping into an object, including cars, pedestrians, and street lights. When you’re entering a curve in the road or negotiating a turn, a good rule of thumb is to slow down. This will help to avoid bumping into anything or anyone as well as turning the truck over on its side. Always allow for distance and speed of other vehicles when making a turn across traffic or into oncoming traffic path.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

The post Safety Tips for Trucking in Traffic appeared first on Western Truck Insurance Services.

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Cargo ships and fleet vehicles have enough to worry about when it comes to logistics, but having to prepare for the unexpected is another layer of stress that needs to be kept at bay. Your goods need insurance, just like someone needs health insurance, so understanding the benefits of this coverage is important when transporting actual precious cargo.

Investing in cargo and liability insurance will provide a layer of protection and peace of mind when behind the wheel. This kind of insurance is needed to protect what’s being hauled and shipped from things like theft, damage and collisions. Not having insurance in place will put the cost of loss and damage on your company, adding up a huge unnecessary bill and eating away at your finances.

Here’s are some examples of why and when cargo insurance comes in handy:

Reduce Financial Loss

At the end of the day, the bottom line is an important measure for any transportation company. If you’re an exporter who hadn’t been paid yet when it comes to the goods at the time of shipment, or an importer who has paid for all the parts without receiving them, there’s a built-in risk of taking a financial hit if said goods are lost or damaged.

Contractual Requirement

A sales contract may obligate you to provide cargo insurance to protect interest of the buyer or their bank’s interest. Failing to do so cannot only set you up for major financial liability when it comes to lost or damaged goods, but non-compliance with your contract terms in mind. Overall, this can ultimately lead to loss of sales and legal issues that can break a company’s bank.

Coverage for Limited Carrier Liability

Carriers aren’t responsible for common causes of loss that happen while in transit (i.e. general average, natural disasters), by law. Even if a company is liable, carriers’ liability in the event of a loss is limited. In most cases, you will only recover pennies on the dollar from the carrier.

Having This Insurance Gives You More Control

One thing you need to have is some sort of control on your side, on your terms, so you are not taken advantage of, or just for the simple thing of making sure everything is above board. Relying on buyer’s or seller’s insurance may be an option, but you have to be happy with the fact that the insurance has been purchased and that the insuring terms, valuation, and limits provided by all parties are satisfactory to your needs.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and \ transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

The post When Do You Need Cargo Insurance? appeared first on Western Truck Insurance Services.

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