New Hours of Service Rules Don't Prevent Fatigue

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration has announced new changes to the hours of service rules for interstate drivers. Many have expressed their concern that the new rules do little to combat fatigue, which has become a major public safety hazard for all highway users.

The new rule changes are summarized below:

New Hours of Service
PROVISION CURRENT RULE FINAL RULE – COMPLIANCE DATE JULY 1, 2013
Limitations on minimum "34-hour restarts" None (1) Must include two periods between 1 a.m.- 5 a.m. home terminal time.
(2) May only be used once per week.
Rest breaks None except as limited by other rule provisions May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver's last off-duty period of at least 30 minutes. [HM 397.5 mandatory "in attendance" time may be included in break if no other duties performed]
PROVISION CURRENT RULE FINAL RULE – COMPLIANCE DATE FEBRUARY 27, 2012
On-duty time Includes any time in CMV except sleeper-berth. Does not include any time resting in a parked CMV. In a moving property-carrying CMV, does not include up to 2 hours in passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper-berth. Also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
Penalties "Egregious" hours of service violations not specifically defined. Driving (or allowing a driver to drive) 3 or more hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered an egregious violation and subject to the maximum civil penalties. Also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
Oilfield "Waiting time" for certain drivers at oilfields (which is off-duty but does extend 14-hour duty period) must be recorded and available to FMCSA, but no method or details are specified for the recordkeeping. "Waiting time" for certain drivers at oilfields must be shown on logbook or electronic equivalent as off duty and identified by annotations in "remarks" or a separate line added to "grid."

While Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood noted that "Trucking is a difficult job, and a big rig can be deadly when a driver is tired and overworked," he went on to say the following "This final rule will help prevent fatigue-related truck crashes and save lives. Truck drivers deserve a work environment that allows them to perform their jobs safely." Unfortunately, the new rules don't go far enough to address the fatigue issue.

It is estimated that over 500 deaths occur annually as a result of fatigued truck drivers. While the hours of service changes do shorten the work week from 82 hours/week to 70 hours/week and the new rules add a 30-minute rest break after 8 hours of driving, this does little to truly combat fatigued driving. The biggest problem that need addressing was the 11 hour driving time per day. The 11 hour rule became effective under the Bush administration in 2003. Prior to that change, truck drivers had been limited to 10 hour driving days. The 10 hour day had been in effect for nearly 70 years. Interestingly, the FMCSA has admitted that "performance begins to degrade after the 8th hour on duty and increases geometrically during the 10th and 11th hours."

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Contact an Experienced Milwaukee Truck Accident Attorney

 

NTSB Calls for Cell Phone Use Ban on Truck Drivers

Cell Phone Use Banned for Truck DriversOn September 13, 2011, the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) issued a new safety recommendation to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration banning the use of cell phones for interstate motor carriers. The recommendation is as follows:

Prohibit the use of both handheld and hands-free cellular telephones by all commercial driver's license holders while driving in commercial operations, except in emergencies.

The recommendation came about in part as the NTSB investigated a terrible semi-truck crash in which the truck driver had made 69 calls or text messages in the 24 hours leading up to the collision. The driver had also made four calls in the minutes leading up to the crash, with the last call made at the time of the crash.

The NTSB chairperson, Deborah A.P. Hersman, said the following:

Distracted driving is becoming increasingly prevalent, exacerbating the danger we encounter daily on our roadways. It can be especially lethal when the distracted driver is at the wheel of a vehicle that weighs 40 tons and travels at highway speeds.

The recommendation has been a long time coming and the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration should act quickly to make the recommendation law.

Truck Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries

The vast majority of semi-truck crashes result in serious and severe injuries to the victims. Whenever there is enough force to cause any type of injury, the victim must be screened for traumatic brain injury. The brain is the most susceptible part of the body. The brain is composed of a gel-like substance that sits inside the skull. The skull has rough ridges, especially in the area just inside the nose, referred to as the cribiform plate. Whenever there is a significant change in velocity of the head and neck, the brain bounces back and forth inside the skull. The change in velocity often includes rotational forces, which can result in increased damage. This movement of the brain can result in shearing of axons within the brain.

Neurons are the fundamental building blocks within the brain. Neurons are composed of the cell body (dendrites), axon and presynaptic terminal. The role of the axons  is to transfer electricity from one end to another. Shearing of the axon prevents this flow of electricity. Human brains typically contain an estimated 86-100 billion neurons. Damage to just one axon on one neuron can result in a exponential disruption in brain activity because neurons communicate with hundreds of other neurons.

Mild traumatic brain injury is often missed by medical professionals. In fact a recent study concluded that mild tbi is missed more often than it is properly diagnosed. Unfortunately, medical professionals have often failed to obtain proper education on mild tbi because they had gone to medical school prior to recent developments that have occurred in last 10 years. The accurate diagnosis of mild tbi also requires the physician to spend a significant amount of time with their patients. It also requires the physician to listen to their patients. Physicians with time and physicians that are good listeners are both in short supply.

The following is a list of common symptoms following brain injury:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Bothered by noise
  • Bothered by light
  • Irritability
  • Loss of temper easily
  • Memory difficulty
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Personality
  • Emotional Volatility
  • Wide mood swings
  • Decreased judgment
  • Negative attitudes
  • Argumentative
  • Tactlessness
  • Apathy
  • Fearfulness
  • Loss of self-confidence
  • Immature behavior
  • Loss of sense of self
  • Reduced stress tolerance
  • Depression
  • Personality changes
  • Temper problems
  • Explosive irrational anger
  • More suspicious, paranoid
  • Defensive
  • Impatience
  • Loss of initiative
  • Drop in self-esteem
  • Sudden emotional outbursts
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Attributes bad motives to others
  • Decreased attention span
  • Confusion
  • Stuttering
  • General processing ability
  • Decreased ability to plan
  • Word-finding difficulty
  • Decreased perception
  • Difficulty expressing self
  • Loss of sense of purpose
  • Slower thinking
  • Slower reading
  • Loss of creativity
  • Difficulty following conversations
  • Difficulty understanding others
  • Decreased academic functioning (reading, spelling, math, etc.)
  • Decreased comprehension
  • Problems understanding ideas
  • Loss of intelligence
  • Change in sense of smell
  • Hearing loss
  • Ringing in ears
  • Nausea
  • Vision problems – focusing or blank spots
  • Coordination problems
  • Sense of taste or food preference altered
  • Sleep disturbance

If you are experiencing more than one of these symptoms following a semi-truck crash, then you should see a doctor and provide them with a list of your symptoms. You will also need an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney to represent you.

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Attorney Randy Rozek has been representing victims of truck accidents throughout the United States for over 15 years.

Another Greyhound Bus Accident: Is There a Tour Bus Crash Epidemic?

California Greyhound Bus CrashTwo weeks ago a passenger-filled Greyhound Bus in California crashed, killing 6 passengers and injuring dozens. The Greyhound Bus was traveling from Los Angeles through Fresno to Sacramento, when it crashed into an overturned SUV. The California Highway Patrol has determined the SUV was the primary cause of the crash.

Now a Greyhound Bus has crashed in Philadelphia, overturning in the Pennsylvania Turnpike, injuring at least 25 of the Greyhound passengers. While the investigation into the cause of this crash is also ongoing, it appears that driver error may have led to the crash. Speed, control and driver fatigue will be further investigated. 

Safety advocates are concerned that this is a growing trend. In all of last year, there were 28 tour bus crashes resulting in 30 deaths and 272 injuries. This years numbers have already exceeded those numbers from all of last year.

Experts feel this may be due to bus companies trying to save money, cut costs and increase profits, which can lead to deferred maintenance, pressure on their drivers to speed and drive longer hours.

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Rozek Law Offices, SC represents victims of Tour Bus Crashes nationally.

Hours of Service Regulation Differences for Truck Driver vs. Bus Drivers

The new hours of service regulations published in December of 2010 make a significant distinction between truck drivers vs. bus drivers. The differences are outlined below:

TRUCK DRIVER HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS

  • 11 Hour Driving Limit - truck drivers may drive for 11 hours following a 10 hour period of time off duty
  • 14 Hour Limit - truck drivers cannot drive after the 14th consecutive hour after they come on duty and this 14 hour limit cannot be extended by off duty time
  • 60/70 Hour On Duty Limit - truck drivers cannot drive after 60 hours on duty in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days - this time period can be reset only after at least 34 straight hours off duty
  • Sleeper Berth Provision - truck drivers using the Sleeper Berth Provision must spend at least 8 consecutive hours in their sleeper berth and then an additional 2 hours off, which can be spent in the sleeper berth or off-duty anywhere else

BUS DRIVER HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS

  • 10 Hour Driving Limit - bus drivers may drive for 10 hours following an 8 hour period of time off duty
  • 15 Hour On Duty Limit - bus drivers cannot drive after the 15th consecutive hour on duty after an 8 hour period off-duty
  • 60/70 Hour On Duty Limit - bus drivers cannot drive after 60 hours on duty in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days
  • Sleeper Berth Provision - bus drivers using the Sleeper Berth Provision must spend at least 8 hours in their sleeper berth which can be split into 2 periods, provided each period is not less than 2 hours

The FMCSA has created an Hours of Service Handbook for Truck Drivers and an Hours of Service Handbook for Bus Drivers.

New Business Model for Unsafe Trucking Companies

Dangerous Trucking CompanyAs described in an April 2011 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, the trucking industry has seen the development of a new business model. This new business model involves flagrant regulatory abuses resulting in a poor governmental safety rating, which then gives way to bankruptcy and restructuring under a new name with a clean slate.

The article describes the path taken by Franklin's JDC Logistics Inc. In the mid-2000's JDC was continually driving over hours and had a poor safety rating. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tracks the safety rating of trucking companies. One of the seven measures the FMCSA uses is driving over-hours or "fatigued driving." Another measure is "unsafe driving." JDC ranked low in both of these categories, which led the FMCSA to issue some of the heaviest fines in the country to JDC. The company eventually was forced into bankruptcy. However, the company would surface again under a new name, JTL Carriers LLC.

After bankruptcy and restructuring, JTL was essentially able to start from scratch with the FMCSA's safety rating, but it didn't take JTL long to once again earn rankings as one of the worst trucking companies in the nation. Not surprisingly, two of JTL's poorest rankings, are driver fatigue and unsafe driving. The FMCSA recently audited JTL's records and is in the process of downgrading the safety rating of JTL from "satisfactory" to "conditional." This will have a major impact on business for JTL, because shippers can be held legally responsible for negligently choosing an unsafe trucking company to haul their products if there is a trucking crash.

The comments in the online version of the Journal Sentinel article tells the whole story, as one former JDC driver describes how, he was often pressured by dispatchers and even JDC's owner to drive over hours. Another comment describes how the company used to maintain computer log books and it was not uncommon for dispatchers to go into the computer system and tamper with the logbooks to put drivers "under" the maximum driving hours.

If the FMCSA is successful in downgrading JTL to "conditional" it seems likely the JTL will be forced out of business again. The problem is obviously that they will likely rise again under a new name with the same unsafe practices. The FMCSA and federal legislators need to take action to prevent the gaming of the system by the worst of the worst trucking companies.

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Follow this link to contact an experienced Wisconsin Truck Accident Attorney.

Eau Claire County Truck Crash Kills One

Eau Claire County Semi-Truck CrashI-94 West four miles south of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was the scene of a tragic semi-truck fire Saturday afternoon, April 9, 2011. The Wisconsin State Patrol indicated that one tractor-trailer was pulled over on the side of the road when another semi-truck traveling westbound crashed into the semi that was pulled over.

Initial investigations did not disclose whether the truck that had been pulled over had set out the proper warnings. The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations require stopped semi-trucks to post proper warnings as soon as possible, specifically 49 CFR §392.22 mandates the use of vehicular hazard warning signal flashers, fuses and liquid-burning flares. The rule is very specific regarding the placement of warning devices, which provides the following:

(b) Placement of warning devices--

 (b)(1) General rule. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, whenever a commercial motor vehicle is stopped upon the traveled portion or the shoulder of a highway for any cause other than necessary traffic stops, the driver shall, as soon as possible, but in any event within 10 minutes, place the warning devices required by Sec. 393.95 of this subchapter, in the following manner:

(b)(1)(i) One on the traffic side of and 4 paces (approximately 3 meters or 10 feet) from the stopped commercial motor vehicle in the direction of approaching traffic;

(b)(1)(ii) One at 40 paces (approximately 30 meters or 100 feet) from the stopped commercial motor vehicle in the center of the traffic lane or shoulder occupied by the commercial motor vehicle and in the direction of approaching traffic; and

(b)(1)(iii) One at 40 paces (approximately 30 meters or 100 feet) from the stopped commercial motor vehicle in the center of the traffic lane or shoulder occupied by the commercial motor vehicle and in the direction away from approaching traffic.

(b)(2) Special rules--(i) Fusees and liquid-burning flares. The driver of a commercial motor vehicle equipped with only fusees or liquid- burning flares shall place a lighted fusee or liquid-burning flare at each of the locations specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. There shall be at least one lighted fusee or liquid-burning flare at each of the prescribed locations, as long as the commercial motor vehicle is stopped. Before the stopped commercial motor vehicle is moved, the driver shall extinguish and remove each fusee or liquid- burning flare.

(b)(2)(ii) Daylight hours. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section, during the period lighted lamps are not required, three bidirectional reflective triangles, or three lighted fusees or liquid- burning flares shall be placed as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section within a time of 10 minutes. In the event the driver elects to use only fusees or liquid-burning flares in lieu of bidirectional reflective triangles or red flags, the driver must ensure that at least one fusee or liquid-burning flare remains lighted at each of the prescribed locations as long as the commercial motor vehicle is stopped or parked.

(b)(2)(iii) Business or residential districts. The placement of warning devices is not required within the business or residential district of a municipality, except during the time lighted lamps are required and when street or highway lighting is insufficient to make a commercial motor vehicle clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet to persons on the highway.

(b)(2)(iv) Hills, curves, and obstructions. If a commercial motor vehicle is stopped within 500 feet of a curve, crest of a hill, or other obstruction to view, the driver shall place the warning signal required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section in the direction of the obstruction to view a distance of 100 feet to 500 feet from the stopped commercial motor vehicle so as to afford ample warning to other users of the highway.

(b)(2)(v) Divided or one-way roads. If a commercial motor vehicle is stopped upon the traveled portion or the shoulder of [[Page 897]] a divided or one-way highway, the driver shall place the warning devices required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section, one warning device at a distance of 200 feet and one warning device at a distance of 100 feet in a direction toward approaching traffic in the center of the lane or shoulder occupied by the commercial motor vehicle. He/she shall place one warning device at the traffic side of the commercial motor vehicle within 10 feet of the rear of the commercial motor vehicle.

(b)(2)(vi) Leaking, flammable material. If gasoline or any other flammable liquid, or combustible liquid or gas seeps or leaks from a fuel container or a commercial motor vehicle stopped upon a highway, no emergency warning signal producing a flame shall be lighted or placed except at such a distance from any such liquid or gas as will assure the prevention of a fire or explosion.

Investigators will attempt to determine what, if any, warning devices were utilized as well as what, if any training the trucking company provided its driver.

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Contact an Experienced Eau Claire Truck Accident Attorney

Schneider National Semi-Truck Accident in Dodge County Kills One & Injures Several Others

A tragic semi-truck vs. bus accident resulted in the death of one person and the injury of several others. Authorities investigating the crash concluded that the Schneider National tractor trailer failed to yield the right of way to a Riteway tour bus at the intersection of Highway 33 and Highway P in the town of Herman. The crash occurred Saturday night, March 12, 2011, at about 7:00 p.m.

The Schneider National semi-truck T-boned the Riteway tour bus at the intersection, causing the bus to roll over. The Schneider National truck was being operated by Kellie Bridges, 30, of Norcross, Georgia. There was also a passenger in the truck, Shomari Jackson, 30, of Atlanta, Georgia. Schneider National has not disclosed why there was a passenger in the semi-truck, as most companies forbid passengers from riding in their trucks, except under very limited circumstances.

Our condolences go out to the victims of this avoidable tragedy.

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Follow this link to contact an experienced Truck Accident Attorney.

 

The Importance of Hiring an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

I have become increasingly frustrated over the years by the quality of legal representation provided to Wisconsin truck accident victims. I am often contacted by potential clients requesting that I take over their cases after they had been represented by months or years by attorneys at the large TV-advertising law firms.

Feeling sympathetic, I reluctantly agree to review their file. The first thing I look for is the spoliation letter. As any experienced truck accident lawyer knows, the spoliation letter is perhaps the most important step in representing any truck crash victim. In my office, I insist that a spoliation letter be sent out the same day I am retained. This is not discretionary it is mandatory. The spoliation letter is sent certified to the the trucking company AND the truck driver. The spoliation letter puts the company and driver on notice of the claim and directs them not to destroy the essential evidence that I need to prove my client's case. The spoliation letter also directs the company and driver that if they decide to destroy this critical evidence, then the Court will likely instruct the jury that this evidence would have been favorable to the injury victim. My spoliation letters are very specific as to the exact evidence that must be retained. My spoliation letters vary depending on the facts of the crash. Only an experienced truck accident attorney has the knowledge to draft an appropriate spoliation letter tailored to the facts of the crash.

All too often, in the first five minutes of reviewing the file, I find that the potential client's former attorney failed to send out the spoliation letter. Under federal regulations, trucking companies are required to maintain the majority of this critical evidence for  months. Oftentimes, the trucking companies will intentionally destroy this evidence after 6 months, even though they are know of the crash and the possibility of a future lawsuit. Trucking companies that destroy this critical evidence are guilty of spoliation of evidence and can be found in default or the Court can instruct the jury that they are to infer the missing evidence would have been favorable to the injured person. While this inference is helpful, one can only imagine how helpful the intentionally destroyed evidence would have been to the plaintiff's case.

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Contact an Experienced Wisconsin Truck Accident Attorney.

 

 

Guest Blog: Avoiding Truck Dock Accidents

In our ongoing efforts to promote safety and decrease accidents in the trucking industry, we are pleased to publish the following guest blog about a wonderful product that has the potential to save hundreds of lives:

Dock Safety: Where There’s A Wheel, There’s A Way

SIMPLE, YET EFFECTIVE: The Power Chock prevents early departure and trailer creep.

Close up

The loading dock is considered the most dangerous part of warehouse operations—each year, numerous injuries and fatalities occur when lift trucks accidently drive off the dock or fall between the dock and the trailer.

While there are solutions to this problem—such as ICC bar or RIG (rear impact guard) type of truck restraints—there are drawbacks. Mechanical and hydraulic RIG bar restraints are comprised of many moving parts that are often damaged, requiring frequent repair. And ICC or RIG bars can also be damaged, rusted or in some cases, even non-existent.

GMR Safety Inc. has developed a simple, innovative product that addresses these issues. The company’s Power Chock vehicle restraints are wheel-based, so they don’t involve the ICC or RIG bars. By locking the trailers wheels, the Power Chock prevents early departure and trailer creep—the two leading causes of dock-related accidents.

“The Power Chock uses simple physics to restrain the vehicle by its strongest part—the wheel. It simplifies dock safety because it works on every vehicle, at every dock—where there’s a wheel, there’s a way,” says Gaetan Jette, GMR’s president. Jette co-founded the Quebec-based company in 1995 to facilitate a safe environment at the loading dock.

“At that time, the most common type of restraint on the market was the ICC bar and it could not guarantee 100 percent safety and that’s what our customers were really looking for,” says Jette. “One vehicle in four has a damaged or missing ICC bar, but every trailer that’s pulling into a loading dock has a wheel.”

Simple In Design

The Power Chock is comprised of an 18-inch high-tensile steel chock that is mounted to the end of an articulated, counter-balanced arm. The chock is placed in front of the vehicle’s rear wheels and locks onto a galvanized ground plate. Depending upon the needs of the warehouse, the restraining power of the Power Chock can be coupled with a communication system, sensors, lights and interlocks.

One of GMR’s first customers was Molson-Coors Brewery, Toronto, which has been using the Power Chock since 1997. “We had issues with trailers pulling away from the docks when they should not have been and we weren’t using any restraining devices,” says Steve Ropp, distribution manager, Molson-Coors. “We didn’t want to use the ICC bar restraint and we looked at what GMR was doing and liked their approach.”

Ropp says the truck drivers find it’s easier to put the Power Chock in place instead of the traditional little rubber chock. ”Once the Power Chock is in place, it’s sequenced automatically with the lights so they know the status of the trailer—whether it can be pulled out or not,” says Ropp. “The forklift drivers also know by the light sequencing when the chock is in place, so there’s no way the trailer can pull away from the dock while they’re loading it—it gives them a sense of safety.”

Another customer, Southern Wine & Spirits of Arizona, Tempe, AZ, has been using the Power Chocks for two years. “When we built this facility, we were trying to figure out what type of vehicle restraint we were going to use,” says Joel Benavides, warehouse manager, Southern Wine & Spirits. “Many of our customers were using a hook restraint and often our bumper was too low or two high and there were several instances where we had to get a tow truck out to free our vehicle from the restraints. So we didn’t want that. While we had the safety of our employees in mind, we didn’t want the frustration, the damage and the extra costs involved with a regular hook restraint.”

One of Southern Wine’s corporate managers pointed Benavides in the direction of GMR. ”We were really concerned when we first saw the Power Chock because it is just a tire chock with an arm. But we tested it and there’s not one thing I don’t like about it. We’ve not had one single issue with it—the chock has been very functional. Not one time have we had an instance where we’ve had a broken piece of equipment.”

That’s because of the simplicity of its design, according to Jette. “We’ve designed a system that will not break because it has minimal moving parts as opposed to a lot of other types of restraint devices—when they’re engineered with a lot of moving parts, it ends up breaking. We designed it not to break and to be able to withstand constant abuse.”

Molson has actually replaced some of its hydraulic dock locks with the Power Chock. “The hydraulic dock locks have become so expensive to maintain that we just go ahead and replace them with Power Chocks,” says Ropp.

More importantly, however, neither facility has had an accident since installing using the devices. GMR provides basic training for the employees, but Jette says the process is so simple that it’s self explanatory. “Our customers have told us their employees feel safer since they’ve installed the equipment,” he says.

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“The best reason to buy them is for safety and we haven’t had an incident on the dock since we installed the Power Chocks,” agrees Ropp.

Plus, the device is easy to operate. “When the driver backs into the door, he’ll step out of his truck, walk back and grab the chock and place it in front of his tire. It’s that simple,” says Benavides. “The chock is spring-loaded so it’s not too heavy for any individual to handle—and it’s not causing damage to anyone’s truck.”

Southern Wine has 17 Power Chocks in use, and Molson has about 40 at its Toronto facility and more than 70 at its Montreal location. Molson, which has some units that are 14 years old, is currently upgrading its Power Chock system in some of its locations, as its needs have changed.

“Every customer that we service is different, with different needs and requirements,” says Jette. “We go in and figure out the best solutions for each facility. We need to adapt to their operation and propose a solution that will fit within the company culture.”

The Power Chock vehicle restraint system line consists of three products: System 1, System 3 and System 5. Each system provides more bells and whistles—depending upon the users needs.

Reaping The Benefits

The advantages of the Power Chock, according to Jette, include:

High level of safety—simpler, reliable operations;

Universal compatibility—fits 100 percent of vehicles. Not dependent on the UCC bar;

Greater restraining force—restrains the wheel instead of the UCC bar;

Offers industry’s lowest total cost of ownership;

User-friendly—quickly and easily set by the driver in less than 30 seconds;

Maximizes productivity—designed to minimize maintenance costs and downtime;

Environmentally friendly—does not use toxic fluids, consumes minimal energy;

Not affected by extreme weather conditions—first developed in Canada to endure extreme winter conditions.

“During the development stage, we realized that traditional hook restraints and other wheel-based restraint systems made it difficult for snowplow operators to adequately clear loading bays. In speaking with customers we found they needed a product that had high restraining capacity and did not interfere with snow removal equipment. The Power Chock meets both these criteria,” says Jette.

The Power Chock has been designed so that all of its components are able to withstand extreme cold and heavy snowfalls. When not in use, the chock rests 12” above ground. It is installed to the side of the loading dock door so snow is easily cleared away from the building’s foundation wall and the entire loading bay. This makes the area safer for dock workers and truck drivers alike.

One ground plate model accommodates all snow removal methods; plowing operations require the all-direction ground plate model. A thawing agent may be applied to the ground plate to remove any remaining ice or snow providing maximum restraint even during the winter months.

Molson is also using GMR’s Clear to Go SB-Safety Barrier, a barrier which helps to prevent damage to the loading dock door and loading dock drop-offs. Damage can occur if there isn’t a safety barrier that protects the dock door when it’s closed. Then there is the hazard of forklifts falling off the loading dock when the doors are open. Damage to expensive material handling equipment and employee injuries are often the result.

“Often the dock door damage happens when a company does staging and a lift truck operator doesn’t see an empty skid or pallet and pushes it through the door,” says Jette. “For many companies, this is a recurring problem, and they’re seeing two or three dock doors hit each week.”

The Clear to Go system is comprised of a barrier whose pivot is designed to sustain impact. In the case of an accidental maneuver, the barrier—posted in front of the dock door—is struck before the door can be hit. Upon impact, the barrier separates from the pivot and an audible alarm is trigger, advising employees of the impending risk. Once separated, the barrier can be set back into place in a few seconds.

The Clear to Go system is designed not to break. “The unit’s arm disassembles, because it’s held with a patented magnetic joint—you can hit it many times without breaking it,” says Jette.

GMR has customers throughout Canada and the U.S., and is expanding to Europe. Jette says GMR works with each customer on a one-to-one basis. “We look at their objectives and go through our portfolio of products and figure out what will fit best their operations and their budget. We take a lot of things into account, such as their traffic, the types of drivers they have (in-house vs. outside carriers) and also the merchandise they move. We like to interface our equipment with other existing equipment to provide 100 percent safety.”

For more information please visit GMR Safety.