Idealease Safety Bulletin
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October 6-12 Fire Prevention Week


National Fire Prevention Week is coming and it is a good time to review with your drivers how to prevent fires and how to react to a fire that occurs in their commercial motor vehicle.

Fire extinguisher inspection is a vital part of a driver's daily vehicle inspection process.  It amazes me how many times I will be looking at a truck and find the fire extinguisher has lost it pressure do to a leak or was used and returned to the truck without being recharged.  The actions of a driver at the time of a fire are crucial in saving lives and controlling the amount of loss.


When a fire occurs in a commercial motor vehicle the driver has to know two things:

1. Knowlege about fires.

2. How to operate a fire extinguisher.


Fire safety and fire extinguisher operation should be part of every new driver's orientation program.


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations require that all commercial motor vehicles have a fire extinguisher on board that is of the correct size, type and properly secured and labeled.  Did you know that a CMV with hazardous materials is required to have a different size extinguisher than those not carrying hazardous material?


Here are the requirements:


393.95 Emergency equipment on all power units.

Each truck, truck tractor, and bus (except those towed in driveaway-towaway operations) must be equipped as follows:

(a) Fire Extinguishers

(a)(1) Minimum ratings:  

 A power unit that is used to transport hazardous materials in a quantity that requires placarding  must be equipped with a fire extinguisher having an Underwriters' Laboratories rating of 10 B:C or more. 

A power unit that is not used to transport hazardous materials must be equipped with either:

A fire extinguisher having an Underwriters' Laboratories rating of 5 B:C or more.

Labeling and marking. Each fire extinguisher required by this section must be labeled or marked by the manufacturer with its Underwriters' Laboratories rating.

Visual Indicators. The fire extinguisher must be designed, constructed, and maintained to permit visual determination of whether it is fully charged.

Condition, location, and mounting. The fire extinguisher(s) must be filled and located so that it is readily accessible for use. The extinguisher(s) must be securely mounted to prevent sliding, rolling, or vertical movement relative to the motor vehicle.


When a fire occurs in a Commercial Motor Vehicle the driver should take the following actions:


  1. Get the truck off of the roadway and into an open area if possible.  Park away from buildings, trees, vehicles or anything else that may catch fire.
  2. Call 911 on your cell phone to report the fire and location.
  3. If the fire is already to a size that cannot be extinguished get away from the truck.  Your life and the life of the general public is your first responsibility.
  4. If you are operating a tractor trailer and can safely disconnect the trailer from the tractor do so as not to damage both units and cargo in the fire.
  5. If the engine is on fire turn off the engine as soon as possible.
  6. Do not open the hood if possible and try to extinguish the fire from the louvers, radiator or underside of the truck.  Opening the hood will provide additional oxygen to fire and it will increase at a more rapid rate.
  7. If the fire is in your trailer or cargo box of the truck keep the doors shut.  Here again additional oxygen will increase the intensity of the fire.
  8. A tire fire will not likely be extinguished with a fire extinguisher.  Try throwing dirt or sand on the tire to smother the fire.

What you can do to prevent the likelihood of a fire starting in your Commercial Motor Vehicle:


  1. Complete a thorough pre and post trip inspection daily of the fuel, electrical, exhausts systems, tires and cargo of your truck.
  2. Keep the unit clean from excess grease, fuel and oil.
  3. Monitor your dash gauges while in operation for signs of overheating.
  4. Utilize your mirrors for signs of smoke or flames.
  5. With new Post Emission 2007 and newer units be aware of regeneration of the after treatment program and where the regeneration occurs as exhaust temperatures reach high levels of heat.
  6. Know the cargo that you have on board and its fire potential.

Roadcheck 2013 Results


Commercial vehicle inspectors across North America completed 73,023 truck and bus inspections during 72 hours of Roadcheck 2013, the annual enforcement and safety outreach campaign carried out by the members of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.


Of those inspections, a total of 47,771 were North American Standard Level I inspections-the most comprehensive roadside inspection, in which vehicles and drivers are assessed for violations of federal, state or Canadian provincial safety regulations. Other inspections conducted were vehicle-only or driver-only inspections.


Of Level I inspections conducted in Canada and the U.S., 24.1% were found with Out-of-Service violations. There were a total of 71,630 driver inspections, including those conducted during Level I inspections, from which 4.3% were found with OOS violations. There were 899 seatbelt violations issued.


Cargo securement related violations represented 11.7% of all OOS violations issued during the event, down slightly from 12.3% in 2012. Although this equates to only one out of every 50 vehicles inspected, loss of a load by a commercial truck is always a severe risk to safety. Inspectors always watch for signs of improperly secured loads such as inadequate number of tie downs, damaged webbing or chain, and other load securement violations.


Brakes routinely stand out in the mix of OOS violations issued during Roadcheck. This year, 49.6% of vehicle OOS violations were related to brake adjustment and other brake system violations. Additionally, performance based brake testers or PBBTs were used during Roadcheck 2013. Nine U.S. states and one Canadian province are equipped with PBBT systems for enforcement use. Of the 287 enforcement inspections conducted with a PBBT, 36 vehicles or 12.5% were found with overall braking efficiency below the minimum required by U.S. regulation and the North American Standard OOS Criteria.


CVSA estimates that over 10,000 CVSA and FMCSA inspectors participated at approximately 2,500 locations across North America during this year's Roadcheck. On an annual basis, nearly 4 million inspections are conducted across the continent.


Roadcheck 2013 took place June 4-6, with approximately 1,000 commercial vehicles inspected every hour during the 72-hour event.




September 13th, 2013
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Next Week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week!


National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is when America takes the time to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy's most demanding and important jobs. These 3.1 million professional men and women not only deliver our goods safely, securely and on time, they also keep our highways safe. 



Next Week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week   


Sept. 15-21, 2013:

Make plans now to recognize your drivers.


Oct. 6-12, 2013: National Fire Prevention Week


The Idealease Safety Bulletin is provided for Idealease affiliates and their customers and is not to be construed as a complete or exhaustive source of compliance or safety information. The Idealease Safety Bulletin is advisory in nature and does not warrant, guarantee, or otherwise certify compliance with laws, regulations, requirements, or guidelines of any local, state, or Federal agency and/or governing body, or industry standards.