“Safety is 20% Common sense; 80% Compliance and the rest is good luck.”

Required Equipment

10 Chains & Binders

12-14 4” Straps

4-6 2” Straps

2 Lumber Tarps 8’drop (Most are 2 tone color)

2 Steel Tarps 4’ drop (Most are blue)

3 sets of Coil Boards, Mats, and Racks 

If GOING EAST  MUST take 5 sets
of Coil Boards, Mats, and Racks

Bungees –approx. 100

Strap Protectors

Corner Guards

Fill with DEF

4 Blankets

If going to Texas take four 4’ pipe stakes

Hardwood Dunnage (make sure it is secured to the trailer w/ 1”strap)

Load Bar

PPE Gear- Hardhat w/ chin strap, safety vest, safety glasses (side
protection if you wear glasses), steel-toe boots, long sleeve shirts, long pant

Fuel Economy

 Every 2% reduction in aerodynamic drag results in approximately 1% improvement
in fuel economy.
 Above 55 mph, each 1 mph increase in vehicle speed decreases fuel economy by
0.1 mpg.
 Worn tires provide better fuel economy than new tires, up to 7% better fuel economy.
 Used lug drive tires can get up to 0.4 mpg better than new lug tires.
 Ribbed tires on the drive axles provide 2–4% better fuel economy than lugged tires.
 Every 10 psi that a truck’s tires are underinflated reduces fuel economy by 1%.
 The break-in period for tires is between 35,000 and 50,000 miles.
 Tires make biggest difference in mpg below around 50 mph; aerodynamics is the
most important factor over around 50 mph.
 The most efficient drivers get about 30% better fuel economy than the least efficient
 Idle time is costly. Every hour of idle time in a long-haul operation can decrease fuel
efficiency by 1%.


Vehicle Operating Techniques

Excessive speed decreases fuel economy. In addition, excessive idling, operating the
vehicle in the wrong gear and accelerating and decelerating rapidly all consume extra fuel.
It has been proven that poor driving techniques can account for up to a 30% reduction in
fuel economy.

Tarping Safety

  • If you are in freezing weather, ask to put your tarps inside a warm building while you are being loaded. This will
    allow the tarp to defrost a little and make it easier to handle.
  •  Never stand on the load or the tarp. Instead crawl on the load or tarp.
  • Park on the leeward side of a large building or van trailer to block the wind before trying to tarp.
  • On loads requiring two tarps, always unroll and completely secure the rear tarp before unrolling the front tarp.
  • Secure all four corners first. If it’s windy, attach rolled up straps to the grommets with bungees before dropping
    the sides to keep them flush with the cargo.
  • Test for voids under the tarp before committing your weight, even when crawling.

Tips for Backing a Flatbed Truck

High enough, wide enough

Know your clearances! Before starting to back a truck, always make sure there is enough clearance for your trailer and enough room to back-in safely. If there is a delay between the start and finish of your maneuver, check again. By the time you finish that paperwork, somebody may have slipped in behind you.

Rear = right of way

If any vehicle or person approaches your truck from the rear, allow them to pass before continuing to back up.

Close needs care

Use care when backing against buildings or docks to prevent damage to your vehicle or the customer’s building. Slow is safe; safe is our goal.

Mirrors don’t have safety records

Mirrors can be deceiving. They should not be wholly depended on when backing. If you are in a tight spot, get out of the cab. Look if necessary, then look again.

Help isn’t always helpful

Do not depend on others to assist in giving you signals or backing directions. Spotters can be helpful, but they are never responsible for your collision; your truck, your responsibility.

Blindness is bad

Do not back out of a blind alley if there is any other feasible way of getting out. If you are considering backing blind because it seems faster or easier, reconsider. Choose slow and safe, every time.

Beware cross-traffic

Do not back in an intersection or while stopped in traffic unless it is absolutely necessary. Allow space in front of your truck to pull forward and around stopped vehicles. When in doubt, get out and look.

Road Conditions

511 Road Conditions

Check Local Road Conditions

XL Specialized Trailer Operation

Driver Safety Training