At Transportation Safety Inc. our focus is on Commercial Vehicle Operations.
Commercial vehicles involve motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more including vehicles which transport passengers for hire and hazardous materials.
Motor carriers whether it be a bus or truck operation and their oversight of hiring, training, preventative maintenance and driver management is a major factor as far as "Safety"' is concerned. The vehicles mentioned are major tractor-trailer operations, straight trucks (no trailer), and buses carrying passengers whether for private operations such as farm labor, church, school, youth, transit, tour, motor coach and paratransit enterprises.
What do they all have in common? They all transport goods or passengers for profit or work as a private motor carrier. They require a commercial driver’s license, are predominantly air-brake equipped vehicles and weigh in at twice the weight to more than 20 times the average weight of a passenger vehicle. The fact that they are air-brake equipped creates a "Brake Lag" when the air in the system has to build up and then activate the foundation brake components brake linings to the brake drum in order to slow or stop. This takes approximately .35 to .50 seconds to activate the linings to engage the drums. Mr. Robert Wilson is a certified air brake technician by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in air and hydraulic braked systems, www.ase.com.
In addition to air brake examination, teardown, failure of the air brake components or a failure to maintain them in good working order is just a part of our analysis that results from criminal or civil litigation.
We examine the safety records from Federal and State agencies that oversee the motor carriers. We examine them for driver’s records, equipment failures, accident history, overall safety evaluations and deficiencies if any. We help the motor carrier by examining weak or overlooked items. These might be the fact that the motor carrier is simply unaware of the entire set of regulations, inspections, paperwork, updates on driver’s records, road tests etc. We then recommend go to the motor carrier and inspect and recommend changes in their operations in order to bring them up to all applicable standards be it Federal or State requirements as they do differ in some locations as opposed to others. See paper on this website, “Motor Carrier Requirements”.
We also teach at individual local and state agencies the Fundamentals of Commercial Vehicle Accident Reconstruction per their individual needs. We have taught at Los Rios Community College at the Northern California Public Safety Training and education Center in Sacramento, California, University of California at Riverside and most recently at the Utah State Highway Patrol Academy in Sandy, Utah.
We also download the electronic control modules from over the diesel engines on over the road trucks and buses that monitor the engine operations and driver input. See “Trucks, Trucks and Buses” on this website. You might also go to “Electronic Control Module Field Guide” from the Wisconsin State Patrol website for an overview of these seldom looked at major recordings of a traffic collision that record in second by second speeds, clutch and brake input by the driver.
Driver error is a major component of any analysis of a commercial vehicle traffic collision, spill of hazardous materials. Over-speeds, over-loads, lack of sleep, improper pre-trip inspection, inattention all factor into our examination. This might include improper hiring, negligent retention, failure to train, pre-hire, random, suspicious and post-accident drug and alcohol testing.
FEDOSHA and individual state OSHA regulations require a driver and the pickup and delivery points to be free of injury causing violations, lock-out and tag out rules also apply to the loading dock, forklift, load-securement and inspection prior to leaving and on the road load inspections plus the walk around inspections required during the trip and at each “Change of Duty Status”.
Change of Duty Status means changes from driving to on-duty, off-duty not driving, fueling, meals, rest periods, split sleeper berth periods, pickup and delivery times, days off. See the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49 Part 390.5 and 395.
Recently there have been some changes to “Load Securement” and “Driver’s Hours of Service” rules. These changes may be found at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website at www.FMCSA.dot.gov.
Merlin Robert "Bob" Wilson: (530) 363-4989 | Bob-Wilson1@msn.com
Patricia “Trish” Martineau: (530) 363-4988 | firstname.lastname@example.org