Month: March 2008

Check out the new features.

I’ve added some new and updated features to the Trucking Blog. The coolest feature is just in time for the severe weather season. I know that keeping track of the weather is a huge factor for keeping trucks safe in severe weather. We have added a video feature from AccuWeather.com that updates automatically as weather changes. Severe weather watch boxes, tornado warnings, hurricane watches, weather maps, weather radar and daily forecasts are available at your fingertips from your computer. This feature is especially useful if you have a laptop in your truck and a high speed, wireless internet connection. I don’t suggest using this feature while you are driving, of course, but it is useful when you are about to embark on a trip or you are stopped for a rest break. The basic service is completely free and is updated as conditions warrant.

Look for this latest feature about half way down the page in the right sidebar area of the Trucking Blog. If you have any suggestions or features we can add to the blog, please leave a comment on the bottom of this post and I’ll look into adding that feature.

Trucking Safety: ”S” is for the Safe Driver

By Annette Estes

Have you ever wondered why some drivers seem to be accident prone and others have never caused an accident? Would you like to know you’re getting safe drivers before you hire them?

Safety research shows you can determine driver applicants’ probability of causing future accidents by determining their behavioral style and attitudes. (Source: Behavioral and Values Associates, 1993.) A behavioral assessment measures a person’s normal behavior in four areas: D (Dominant), I (Influencing), S (Steadiness), and C (Cautious, Compliant to Standards).

The D factor determines how drivers tend to handle problems and challenges, the I factor looks at their interactions and influence with others, the S at how they respond to the pace of the environment, and the C at how they respond to company and federal rules and regulations set by others.

A DISC behavioral assessment shows how the applicant ranks in each of the four factors from 0% to 100%. Fifty percent is the mid line; above this the person is said to be high in the factor, below 50% – low. The higher or lower the ranking, the more intense the behavior will be. In this article, we’ll look at the highs and lows of the S factor.

Research shows the safest drivers are high in the S factor. Here’s the reason why.

People with a Core S style tend to be steady, reliable, patient, and mild mannered. They’re genuinely nice people who care about serving others. And they’re safety conscious because their number one psychological need is to be safe and secure.

Drivers with a Core S factor can sit for hours without feeling antsy or restless. They can make good, steady time on the road without feeling stressed. They could drive even longer than regulations allow with less boredom and fatigue than those low in this style.

Drivers with a low S factor tend to be active, restless, and mobile and feel stressed when they have to sit for hours at a time. They need more frequent breaks than their Core S counterparts. They tend to drive faster and get distracted more easily.

Trucking companies that hire drivers with a high S factor have reduced accidents, costs, workers’ comp claims, and turnover. This is the driver you want to hire and retain.

A driver who also has both high S and high C behavioral styles is the ideal driver. Look for my next article on the Core C driver, who’s cautious and compliant to high standards.

©2006 Annette Estes. All Rights Reserved.

Annette Estes is a Certified Professional Behavioral and Values Analyst, Coach, and Trucking Company Consultant. She is an award-winning author and columnist. Subscribe to her free newsletter at HireSafeDrivers.com

Article Source: Trucking Safety: ”S” is for the Safe Driver

Trucking Safety: ”S” is for the Safe Driver

By Annette Estes

Have you ever wondered why some drivers seem to be accident prone and others have never caused an accident? Would you like to know you’re getting safe drivers before you hire them?

Safety research shows you can determine driver applicants’ probability of causing future accidents by determining their behavioral style and attitudes. (Source: Behavioral and Values Associates, 1993.) A behavioral assessment measures a person’s normal behavior in four areas: D (Dominant), I (Influencing), S (Steadiness), and C (Cautious, Compliant to Standards).

The D factor determines how drivers tend to handle problems and challenges, the I factor looks at their interactions and influence with others, the S at how they respond to the pace of the environment, and the C at how they respond to company and federal rules and regulations set by others.

A DISC behavioral assessment shows how the applicant ranks in each of the four factors from 0% to 100%. Fifty percent is the mid line; above this the person is said to be high in the factor, below 50% – low. The higher or lower the ranking, the more intense the behavior will be. In this article, we’ll look at the highs and lows of the S factor.

Research shows the safest drivers are high in the S factor. Here’s the reason why.

People with a Core S style tend to be steady, reliable, patient, and mild mannered. They’re genuinely nice people who care about serving others. And they’re safety conscious because their number one psychological need is to be safe and secure.

Drivers with a Core S factor can sit for hours without feeling antsy or restless. They can make good, steady time on the road without feeling stressed. They could drive even longer than regulations allow with less boredom and fatigue than those low in this style.

Drivers with a low S factor tend to be active, restless, and mobile and feel stressed when they have to sit for hours at a time. They need more frequent breaks than their Core S counterparts. They tend to drive faster and get distracted more easily.

Trucking companies that hire drivers with a high S factor have reduced accidents, costs, workers’ comp claims, and turnover. This is the driver you want to hire and retain.

A driver who also has both high S and high C behavioral styles is the ideal driver. Look for my next article on the Core C driver, who’s cautious and compliant to high standards.

©2006 Annette Estes. All Rights Reserved.

Annette Estes is a Certified Professional Behavioral and Values Analyst, Coach, and Trucking Company Consultant. She is an award-winning author and columnist. Subscribe to her free newsletter at HireSafeDrivers.com

Article Source: Trucking Safety: ”S” is for the Safe Driver

Trains vs. Trucks

It’s that time of year again, yearly inventory is wrapping up and transportation companies are ramping up. I’ve been out of the trucking loop for about a month now after being laid off at my most recent job due to slow freight. Anyone want to hire a 10 year veteran of the road, no accidents, no tickets and over a million miles? I don’t ask for much, just a livable wage, decent home time and good equipment.

Anyway, it seems as if the train companies are advertising on “green” friendly television stations and are on a push to make the general public that trains are more “Eco-Friendly“. What?! An eco-friendly train? The last train I saw in Washington was a smoky, dirty mess! The local fuel terminal is being threatened to be shut down because the leakage from the fuel tanks and hoses to fill those trains are leaking enough fuel to threaten the local aquifer. The latest advertisement states that a train can move a ton of freight 400 miles on a gallon of fuel. I did the math, the average truck can move a ton of freight over 500 miles on 2.5 gallons of fuel. Sounds like the train does a better job, doesn’t it? Except a train can’t back into a dock, transport that freight across town, nor can a train do it’s job without a truck!

I’d like to see the train company executives stop trying to compete with trucking companies, stop using poor examples of how much freight they can haul on a gallon of fuel, and start getting on board with true “green” or “Eco-Friendly” ideas to make the transportation industry a cleaner place in general. The trucking industry has spent billions on newer, clean burning engines and exhaust systems over the past ten years and we still get the brunt of bad PR as being dirty, pollution causing instruments of the environment.