Great West Casualty Company Blog

What You Need to Know About the Federal Clearing House For Drug and Alcohol Test Results

Posted by Great West Casualty Company on Feb 21, 2017 2:42:53 PM

In early December 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final ruling on the creation and management of a first-ever federal clearinghouse for driver drug and alcohol test results. Administered and maintained in strict compliance with Federal Security Standards and the Privacy Act, the clearinghouse database will become a central repository containing the alcohol and drug test records of every driver for five years, or until the driver has completed the return-to-duty process, whichever is later.

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Topics: FMCSA, Drug and Alcohol Testing

Things to Consider When Selecting an ELD

Posted by Great West Casualty Company on Feb 14, 2017 2:39:24 PM

The deadline to equip trucks with electronic logging devices (ELDs) is December 18, 2017. With this date looming, motor carriers should be well into the implementation process. If not, it is highly recommended to begin this process immediately. ELD vendors are warning procrastinating motor carriers that supplies could be slim as the deadline nears and motor carriers should allow at least six months for purchasing the equipment, installation, training, and post-production support.

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Topics: ELD

Keep Focused On Winter Weather Hazards

Posted by Great West Casualty Company on Feb 7, 2017 1:57:38 PM

There are four types of loss exposures that every motor carrier must address, especially in winter when the risk of vehicle crashes and workplace injuries increases. Loss exposures involving personnel (employees), equipment (tractors, trailers, facilities, etc.), net income (revenue), and liability (third party) can all be affected by a single incident, such as a truck crash. That is why management should lead the effort to communicate the dangers winter weather can present. Here are some simple yet effective tips to help workers avoid injuries and crashes when severe weather is present.

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Topics: Winter Weather, Driving Tips

Preserving the Crash Scene

Posted by Great West Casualty Company on Jan 31, 2017 2:23:05 PM

Preserving the crash scene and documenting the facts surrounding the incident can play an important role in minimizing the severity of a loss and proving where the fault lies. Because crash scenes can be chaotic, Great West Casualty Company provides its insureds with free crash reporting kits to help drivers manage the scene and document what happened. Be sure to report all crashes immediately, from the scene of the crash if at all practical. Here is a brief overview of the steps covered in the crash reporting kit:

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Topics: Crash Reporting Kits

Nine Ways to Fight Fatigue out on the Open Road

Posted by Great West Casualty Company on Jan 24, 2017 10:13:00 AM

Are you ready to avoid fatigue-related crashes?

Fatigue behind the wheel is a real danger. It can be a killer and happen any time, any where. But, guess what? You can control it. You are the key factor in determining whether or not a fatigue-related crash will happen to you.

At Great West Casualty Company, we say to look for warning signs including inattentiveness, erratic driving, tailgating, drifting, or failure to obey traffic signals. Most modern tractors have comfortable seats, relatively quiet cabs, and are temperature controlled. But, while these designs are convenient and comfortable, they can contribute to falling asleep at the wheel. We're all for driving in a fine ride, but we don't want these things to get the best of you when it comes to fatigue while driving.

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Topics: Truck safety, Truck insurance, Fatigue related crashes

Preparing for a Roadside Inspection

Posted by Great West Casualty Company on Jan 17, 2017 1:29:56 PM

Going through a roadside inspection can be an intimidating and stressful event, but it’s one that commercial truck drivers must deal with on a regular basis. Roadside inspections take time; possibly costing you money in lost loads, missed appointments, and perhaps, even receiving a fine for infractions. The key is preparation and to avoid bringing undue attention to one’s self and equipment.

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Topics: Roadside Inspection

Check Tire Pressure

Posted by Great West Casualty Company on Jan 12, 2017 9:24:36 AM

One of the most neglected aspects of a pre-trip inspection is the air pressure in the tires of commercial vehicles. It is not enough to scan tires for noticeably-low pressures or “thumping” the tires to gauge its pressure. Cutting corners in this area of the pre-trip inspection can be costly regarding dollars, times, and possibly lives.

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Topics: Pre-Trip Inspection

Recruiting vs. Retention: How to Keep Your Best Truck Drivers

Posted by Great West Casualty Company on Jan 3, 2017 11:00:00 AM

One topic that rears its head during conversations with insureds is the challenge of finding qualified applicants for the fleet. The costs associated with recruiting, orientating, and placing an applicant behind the wheel has been estimated at upwards of $5,000 per driver. With many fleets seeing turnover rates approaching 100% annually, the recruiting budget can quickly add up to a large portion of your annual expenditures. 

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Going from Moment to Momentum

Posted by Great West Casualty Company on Dec 28, 2016 9:52:53 AM

How does a company go from that “Ah-ha!” moment where they are all jazzed up about a new idea that will revolutionize the company to actually making it happen? This conundrum is common in the realm of safety especially when a company realizes what it needs to do, like instilling a culture that values safety, but then does not know how to achieve it. Those “Ah-ha!” moments can be fleeting if one does not act swiftly and purposely to build momentum and make their idea a reality.

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Topics: Truck safety

Visually Clearing Intersections

Posted by Great West Casualty Company on Dec 20, 2016 11:02:48 AM


Intersections can pose a serious risk to professional truck drivers. Besides the movement of vehicle traffic in every direction, drivers must contend with the unpredictable, like jaywalkers, bike riders, and countless other hazards. For these reasons, drivers must be extra vigilant when approaching an intersection. 

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Topics: Intersection-Related Collision