Great West Casualty Company Blog

Subscribe

3 Wellness Tips for Truck Drivers

Truck driving does not typically lend itself to a healthy lifestyle. Spending up to 11 hours behind the wheel, frequently eating fast food, and rarely exercising could eventually jeopardize a trucker’s job if he/she can’t pass the Department of Transportation’s required physical exam. Drivers must be alert and focused when on public roads, which begins with leading a healthy lifestyle.
Read More

Roadside Inspections

Roadside inspections are a part of the trucking industry, but drivers can play a big role in determining the frequency with which they occur. Three factors that commonly trigger roadside inspections are the environment, meaning periods of increased inspections; the condition of the truck, both inside and out; and the driver’s behavior. Read the information below, and ask yourself if there are actions you can take to reduce the likelihood of drawing the attention of inspectors and prevent violations and possible fines.
Read More

10 Summer Weather Tire Survival Tips

Summer weather can be brutal on tires and can contribute to blow-outs and other problems. As the weather gets warmer, stay on top of this critical vehicle system – your tires. Here are some summer weather tire survival tips to follow. 
Read More

Pattern Driving

Every driver has a pattern of driving. These patterns, or habits, can be good or bad, or more precisely, safe or unsafe. A driver who integrates safety into all of his/her driving decisions, regardless of the environment, has established a pattern of behavior that reduces the risk of a crash. However, pattern driving can refer to practicing unsafe behaviors as well, like speeding and tailgating. Pattern driving can also occur when a driver gets too comfortable with his/her route or routines and lets his/her guard down. This is common when drivers run dedicated lanes to the same customers day after day and become complacent. In this case, complacency becomes a distraction, and drivers lose focus on their surroundings and the potential hazards that could lead to a crash.
Read More

Ask the Safety Rep: How do the new drug testing changes affect employers?

On January 1, 2018, the final rule went into effect amending 49 CFR Part 40. The DOT announced several revisions, most notably the addition of hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone to its drug-testing panel, as well as methylenedioxyamphetamine as an initial test analyte. The final rule also removed methylenedioxyethylamphetamine as a confirmatory test analyte.
Read More

Monitoring Drivers for At-Risk Behaviors

According to a 2014 study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the average cost of all large truck crashes is approximately $91,000 per crash. That amount can increase exponentially if injuries and fatalities are involved. Avoiding the indirect costs associated with a loss, meaning the unbudgeted expenses not covered by insurance, is imperative. While the root cause of a crash may not be your driver, experience has shown that future crashes can be predicted based on leading indicators, such as a driver’s history of at-risk behaviors. These behaviors can include speeding, following too closely, and making frequent lane changes, to name a few. If a driver continues to exhibit these behaviors, then the chances of him/her being involved in a future crash is more likely.
Read More

Operations' Role In Avoiding ELD Issues

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are here. Operations staff play an integral role in helping drivers plan efficiently and schedule their time to operate within the boundaries of the hours-of-service regulations. With the transition from paper logs to ELDs, a driver’s day must be calculated down to the minute. Because of this, it is important for operations staff to be a driver’s advocate and help the driver proactively address trip planning issues before they become a problem and create unnecessary business interruptions. This approach benefits both the driver’s and the company’s earning capacity as well as boosts morale and fosters teamwork. Three areas operations staff can help drivers manage their time and avoid ELD-related problems are delays at the shipper and receiver, parking, and communication.
Read More

Ask the Truck Underwriter: Can I Get An Exception for a Driver Who Doesn't Have an Acceptable MVR?

Good drivers are hard to find; can I get an exception for a driver who doesn't have an acceptable MVR? With concerns about the driver shortage, to get a truck moving again, it can be tempting to consider younger, less-experienced drivers or those with a history of crashes or violations. However, hiring at-risk drivers puts a motor carrier in a bad position. Not only can hiring at-risk drivers negatively affect a motor carrier’s insurance premiums and overall insurability, but also, if such a driver were to be involved in a crash, the motor carrier could face claims of negligent hiring or negligent retention. Exceptions are not the norm, and they depend heavily on the motor carrier’s ability to demonstrate it has the management controls in place to effectively supervise the driver and the added risk.
Read More

Post-Traumatic Growth: Improving Operations After a Catastrophic Loss

Every motor carrier operates in a challenging environment that exposes it to the risk of a catastrophic loss. Serious injuries, loss of life, and high-dollar claims are just one crash away. Yet, even with this awareness, many motor carriers are ill-prepared for what follows that dreaded phone call informing them that one of their drivers has been involved in a critical crash.
Read More

Disaster Planning: Plan and Protect Your Future

Is your organization prepared for a disaster or an emergency? Organizations who have a plan in place may recover more quickly, whereas others may shut their doors permanently after a short disruption to their business.  
Read More