Trailer Talk

Safety

1  -  16  of  16

Second Connector Needed for Tractor-Trailer Communications?

Stopping distances could be even shorter and stability better with more precise signaling between tractors and trailers, which an extra cord or LAN would allow.

Second electrical cable (lower right) on this beverage trailer carries power to charge its liftgate batteries. It coud also carry signals to a high-performance braking system.

March 22, 2017

Increasing need for electronic communications between tractors and trailers could require use of a second electrical line, say brake-performance specialists.

Tags: Brakes, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, Safety, Bendix, Air Brakes

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, March 22, 2017 3:21 PM | » Comments(0)

Jackknifes Happen Often on Dry Roads, Too

This all occurred in just a second or two, though it took several seconds for the rig to stop, the trailer jammed against a corner of the tractor’s sleeper.

The rig lurches to a stop with probable damage to the tractor's sleeper and who knows what else. No word of any injuries.

March 13, 2017

Anti-lock braking systems are supposed to keep brakes from locking, but this time didn’t. Why might that be?

Tags: Trailers, ABS, Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, March 13, 2017 8:47 AM | » Comments(2)

On Slick Pavement, ‘The Sliding Wheel Wants to Lead’

Whichever wheels are skidding on a tractor-trailer will want to get in front and take the rest of the rig with it.

ABS is supposed to prevent jackknifes, but somestimes can't when pavement's icy, as on this freeway in the Northeast a few weeks ago.

February 24, 2017

When encountering a slick road, it’s a real good idea to test the brakes to see how the rig behaves. Then you'll know what to expect in a real application.

Tags: Driver Safety, Safety, ABS

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, February 24, 2017 9:03 AM | » Comments(1)

Old Sayings Apply While Driving Through Bad Weather

Slow way down in blinding conditions? Sure, but not so suddenly that you get rear-ended. Even better, park the truck in a safe place and wait out the storm.

Maybe that container simply had to get there no matter what. But now its contents have been badly shaken up in this tipover.

February 16, 2017

Fog and whiteouts caused by blowing snow can often be anticipated by considering the time of the year and what regularly happens along certain stretches of roadway.

Tags: Driver Safety, Weather, Safety, Weather Alerts

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, February 16, 2017 7:01 AM | » Comments(0)

Tanker Crashes, Driver Dies, Road Damaged, But a Fair News Story

"Tanker trucks hauling food, fuel and chemicals are part of the backbone of the economy. To some people, though, they are a growing danger." That's called even-handedness.

News report of a recent fatal tanker crash painted a sympathetic picture of the truck driver who was killed and explored the sometimes dangerous world of transporting hazardous materials.  Photo: Tom Berg, from WCMH-TV news video

January 31, 2017

We we might never know why the rig hit the guardrail, because as the story said, the truck and any evidence, electronic or otherwise, were destroyed in the fire.

Tags: Fatal Accidents, Hazardous Materials, Tankers, Liquid Tank Trailers, Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, January 31, 2017 5:04 PM | » Comments(1)

Lights Help with Hooking Up, But Inspections Still Necessary

Whoops! Landing gear collapsed and the trailer fell on its nose as a tractor pulled away.  Photo: "Trailer James" via YouTube.com

November 14, 2016

There’s dropping trailers, as in hook-and-drop operations, and there’s dropping a trailer, as in whoops! In his Trailer Talk blog, Tom Berg looks at two recent product announcements aimed at addressing the potential of trailers coming loose from fifth wheels.

Tags: Fifth Wheels, SAF-Holland, Purkey's Fleet Electric, Safety, Drop and Hook, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, November 14, 2016 10:47 AM | » Comments(0)

Can You Remember Every Pre-Trip Item?

If you do it from memory, you’re probably missing something.

It's not likely that there's anything wrong with this brand-new flatbed, but check it anyway. Photo: East Mfg. Co.

October 26, 2016

Pre-trips are supposed to be done before the vehicle is pulled away from a parking place and heads for the highway. In this blog from Senior Editor Tom Berg, we run through each item in a pre-trip inspection.

Tags: Driver Safety, Flatbed Trailers, Safety, Pre-trip Inspection

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, October 26, 2016 1:49 PM | » Comments(1)

SuperDuty Pickups Ably Tow, and Back, Heavy Trailers

Towing is a big deal for some pickup-truck owners, and Ford says its 2017-model SuperDuty pickups are more capable than ever.

This Load Max gooseneck trailer, laden with block and stone, weighed 29,960 pounds, a Ford engineer said. The F-450 easily handled it. Photos: Tom Berg

September 30, 2016

The heftiest trailer was a Gladiator Load Max gooseneck, loaded with concrete blocks and decorative limestone, and weighing almost 30,000 pounds.

Tags: Trailers, Safety, Ford F-450, Ford F-250, Ford F-350

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

NTSB Confirms Tesla Was Speeding When It Hit That Trailer

That explains why the rig turned left in front of the approaching car; the truck driver thought he had more time than there really was.

The speeding Tesla went under the 53-foot van in the area circled in red. The trailer sustained very little damage but the car's upper portion was mangled. Photo: NTSB

July 29, 2016

If Joshua Brown had been watching where his car was going, he’d have simply stepped on the brake pedal and probably avoided the crash.

Tags: Driver Safety, NTSB, Autonomous Vehicles, Safety, Tesla

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Friday, July 29, 2016 11:30 AM | » Comments(3)

Lift Gate Trailers Can Load Normally with New 'Lok' Device

Jeffrey Soule perfected his Liftgate-Lok over months of designing and testing. Its bar "fought the Dok Lok to a tie," he declared.

Liftgates do not have a place that dock restraints can grab onto, so many safety-minded shippers will not load them. This greatly cuts backhauling opportunities.

June 13, 2016

Lift gates cannot mate to dock restraints because they lack attachment points for the hooks, so shippers won't load the trailers, until now. Tom Berg has the details in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Safety, Lift Gates, Dock Restraints

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, June 13, 2016 6:54 AM | » Comments(0)

Driverless Tesla vs. Parked Trailer: Owner's Fault?

Was a "beta-test" version of the advanced electric car's control software to blame?

Car was short enough to slip under the trailer and its load and suffer only a smashed windshield. Photos: from KSL-TV news report.

May 12, 2016

Rear-underride collisions upset safety advocates because they badly hurt auto drivers and passengers. What about a front-underride incident with no driver and no injuries?

Tags: Underride Guard, Underride, Safety, Driver Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Thursday, May 12, 2016 11:55 AM | » Comments(3)

Snow Doesn’t Stop Poland Spring's ‘Safety Blitz’

Bottled water rides in trailers, and the shipper wants them all shipshape.

Hook and drop operations are hard on landing gear, so they're checks for bent bracing and legs, missing pads and worn gear drives.

April 26, 2016

Senior Editor Tom Berg braves the cold and freezing moisture to watch inspectors check equipment important to this transportation segment.

Tags: Safety, Inspections

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Tuesday, April 26, 2016 6:06 PM | » Comments(0)

Stronger Impact Guards Are Already Here

Canadian-spec "bumpers" have been standard on vans and reefers for a decade or more, so the feds' upcoming mandate for stronger equipment is not a big deal.

Is that bumper a Canadian- or American-spec? It could be either. Photo: Tom Berg

March 2, 2016

Absorbing an extra 5 mph amounts to almost double the force that slams into a trailer's rear, but isn't that expensive to produce, explains Tom Berg in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Underride Guard, Trailers, Safety, Regulations

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, March 2, 2016 6:56 AM | » Comments(2)

LTL Carriers Group Unhappy Over Rejection of Twin 33s

Longer doubles would've boosted efficiency, but Congress killed the idea on safety grounds.

Wabash National displayed a 33-foot trailer at an industry meeting last year. Labels showed the extra 5 feet of cargo space vs. current 28-footers. Photo: Tom Berg

December 16, 2015

Longer doubles would've boosted efficiency, but Congress killed the idea on safety grounds. The Coalition for Efficient and Responsible Trucking, made up of less-than-truckload and package carriers with outside backing, expressed its unhappiness this week in a statement, reports Tom Berg in his Trailer Talk blog.

Tags: Productivity, Safety, Trailers, Truck Size/Weight

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, December 16, 2015 8:20 AM | » Comments(0)

Out-of-Control Doubles Make Spectacular Video

On black ice, all the anti-lock braking systems in the western world can't do much to control a multi-trailer combination.

The truck had gone over the divider by this point coming to rest, only moments before being struck from behind.

January 26, 2015

This video is so graphic that parts of it, shot by a motorist along the New Jersey Turnpike, were picked up by ABC and CBS in their evening newscasts one day last week. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Tags: Double-trailers, Black Ice, Safety

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Monday, January 26, 2015 1:47 PM | » Comments(2)

Twin 33s Would Be Safer than 28s, U of Michigan Researcher Says

A 33-foot trailer's 5-foot-longer wheelbase would make it more stable when part of a doubles combination.

April 23, 2014

Double-trailer rigs with a pair of 33-foot trailers would be “inherently more stable” and therefore safer than the twin 28s now running throughout the United States, according to John Woodrooffe, director of commercial vehicle research at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.

Tags: Doubles, Safety, Trailers

Author: Tom Berg | Posted @ Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

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