Sunteck lovespets: Safety Tips

Happy National Bring Your Dog to Work Day!
We here at Sunteck LOVE pets! We are a huge proponent of trucking with pets, not only do pets decrease stress, and promote good health but they makes those long hauls not quite so long.
Unfortunately those long hauls can sometimes go through deserted areas. What if Fido gets sick? Or needs some first aid? Sunteck would like you to know what items to include in your first aid kit while trucking with your pet.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, the easiest and most cost effective way to start a pet first aid kit is to purchase a human first aid kit and add pet specific items. This way your kit can do double duty for you and your pet, not only saving you money, but space as well.
Some pet-specific items to include are as follows;
• Pet first-aid book – to guide you through unfamiliar pet first aid situations
• Phone numbers – to your vet and the poison control center (ASPCA poison-control center 1-800-426-4435)
• Paperwork – Keep your pet’s medical and vaccination history, and medication list in a zip lock baggy. Also keep a current photo of your pet in the event he or she gets lost.
• Extra Leash – In the event you lose yours, it becomes damaged etc.
• Vet-wrap – bandage that stretches and sticks to itself rather than fur (you can find it at most pet supply stores across the United States such as Petco, Petsmart or Petsupermarket)
• Unflavored Pedialyte – great for dehydration in dogs and cats, helps restore electrolytes quickly
• Muzzle or strips of cloth (don’t use if your pet is vomiting, chocking, or coughing or having difficulty breathing) – great to keep your injured pet from biting you out of fear or pain
• Benadryl – (get correct dosage from your vet) great for allergic reactions and hot spots in pets
• Hyrdogen Peroxide – to Induce vomiting (only when directed by Vet or poison-control center) Do not use Ipecac, it is toxic to pet
• Qwick-stop / Styptic powder – used to stop bleeding, especially if you trim your pet’s nails too short (you can find it at most pet supply stores across the United States such as Petco, Petsmart or Petsupermarket)
• Canned Pumpkin – (not pumpkin pie mix) Great for constipation and diarrhea in pets, talk to your vet about how much you should feed your pet
These are just a few of the items that make trucking with your pet easier in the event an emergency arises. We hope that you found this list helpful. As always if you are not sure about something talk to your vet.

If you truck with your pet we would love to see a photo! Like I said, Sunteck LOVES pets. Tag us with the hashtag #suntecklovespets on Facebook or Twitter and let us know so we can “oooh” and “aaaah” over your furry side-kick! Stay safe and enjoy time with your pet!


Happy Father’sDay!

Today’s blog is written by one of our Agent Response Coordinators, Erika Lippincott

Happy Father’s Day for those traveling Dads. Father’s Day reminds us of the special men in our lives, those who helped us become the people we are today.

I would like to like to take a moment to say a special Happy Father’s Day to the dads who travel. It’s a different dynamic when you don’t get to tuck the kids in every night or make it to the big game. It doesn’t mean that you love the kids any less than the stay at home dads.

My dad traveled my whole life, he provided for my mom, brother and me. But he also encouraged me to dream about far-a-way places. And to meet colorful characters, to realize that just because someone looks different or lives in a different house than mine doesn’t mean that they are any less of a person.

Dads that travel understand people from different walks of life and are able to explain love and compassion to their children that some parents are not able to convey.

So for all those dads on the road, do not think your work goes un-noticed. We thank you!


Safety Tips:Inspecting Your Equipment Q&A

How many kinds of inspections are there?

  • There are 3 types of vehicle inspections
  • Pre-trips … done every working day before you start driving
  • On the road inspection or in route
  • After the first 50 miles
  • Whenever a change in duty status is made
  • And every 150 miles or 3 hours
  • Post trip inspection (this is the one you must document on you Driver Vehicle Inspection Report or the DVIR)

What is the point of all these inspections?

  • The driver must be satisfied that the vehicle is in a safe operating condition & meets all safety requirements
  • If the vehicle doesn’t meet DOT safety requirement, don’t drive it. Get It Fixed First.

Tips for doing a good inspection as quickly as possible

  • First start at the same place every time you do an inspection. The driver’s door for instance.
  • Work your way around the truck in the same direction every time
  • Always check under the hood …

What should be checked under the hood?

  • Fluids like coolant, and washer fluid
  • Belt and hoses for signs of wear
  • Nuts and bolts for rust leaking out

How do you keep from missing something?

  • Always check everything … it’s the thing you skip that will cause breakdowns and delays.
  • If you check everything, every time, you will be alert to little problems before they cost you time, money and violations. Your eyes will begin to catch things that have changed.

What about tires, what are you looking for?

  • Check tire tread depth at the lowest spot … that’s where the DOT will check it
  • Tires with cuts or exposed cord material are an out of service violation and must be replaced on the side of the road at a very high price
  • You only need a penny to check the tread depth on your tires the distance between the edge of a penny and the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head is 2/32” the minimum tread depth for drive tires. Steer tires are 4/32”.
  • Don’t forget the wheels… if they have dirt and oil in them, there is a seal leaking and it needs to be fixed. If you feel heat coming from the hub (careful not to touch, they can be very hot) you may have a bad bearing or it may be low on hub oil.

There are a lot of lights on a truck … if one or two are out is that ok?

  • Be sure all lights work… If it’s on the truck it must work, even if it is a light you added that is not required.
  • A single light out on the truck give the DOT a reason to pull you over and look at everything.
  • Check your low beam and high beam headlights
  • Check your lights every time you stop… they can burn out during the trip

Are drivers responsible for the lights on a chassis?

  • Yes… you are responsible for the lights on the trailer or chassis, be sure they are working before you leave and check them whenever you stop. If they don’t work fix them.

What else should we look for on a trailer or chassis?

  • Check the sliders on both trailer and chassis and the locking pins on chassis
  • If you don’t bend over and look you don’t know if the slider’s pins are locked in the holes.

Is it possible wheels could come out from under the trailer?

  • Yes the wheels can come all the way out from under the trailer or chassis…
  • If you use zip ties to secure the locking pins on the 4 corners of the container you can be sure they stay locked and an added benefit is the DOT will see the zip tie and leave you alone.

What else should we check on the truck and trailer?

  • The DOT is looking at brakes very closely…it is important that drivers check them on every trip.

Any tips on checking breaks?

  • Check your brakes using your eyes, ears and nose.
  • Using your eyes … are the brake pads at least 1/4” in thickness? Are the brake drums cracked or grease? Do the push rods travel more than 2 ½ inches? If the answer is yes to any of these questions you could be placed out of service and in for an expensive roadside repair.
  • Use your ears… air up the brakes and listen for air leaks if you can hear it the DOT inspector will be able to hear it too.
  • Use your nose… if you smell a burning smell it could be oil or grease dripping on your hot brake shoes; this could be a warning of a leaking wheel seal.

ABS Malfunction Indicator

  • There are two Antilock Braking System malfunction indicator lights, one on the dash for the truck and one on the lower left rear corner of the trailer.

Should the lights be on or off?

  • These lights should come on when you start your truck and go off when the truck starts moving. If they don’t go off you have a problem with the ABS system on your truck which needs to be fixed before you continue your trip. If the ABS light on the lower left rear corner of the trailer is on … it is like having a sign on the truck that says,”Pull me over I have violations”
  • Remember the ABS lights should come on when you start your truck and go off when you start moving.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Windshield wiper
  • Horn
  • Emergency triangles … you should have 3
  • Is the floor neat and clean, so nothing that can get under your feet
  • Is the dash clear of item that could slide off and distract you
  • Is your truck clean… a clean truck is a happy truck and it is not inspected as often by the DOT

Motivational Minute:Harriette Thompson

Have you ever felt that you were too old, too young, too out-of-shape, or not talented enough to accomplish something? You should rethink that. Oftentimes, the biggest obstacles we face are in our own heads. I was reminded over the weekend that all things are possible with a little bit of hard work, self-confidence, and the willingness to challenge yourself.

Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, N.C., completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego yesterday in 7 hours and 24 minutes. Thousands of others finished the race too. Most runners finished the marathon in less time. The difference is that Harriette is 92 years old. Ms. Thompson now holds the record for the oldest woman to finish a marathon.

Harriette has completed 17 Rock ‘n’ Roll marathons. This was the hardest one. “It’s harder every year, but this year has been a bad one for me,” said Harriette, adding that her husband died in January, and that she had been suffering from a staph infection.

We can all learn valuable lessons from Harriette. One – push yourself. Don’t accept the limits that others put on you due to age, sex, education, or a multitude of other reasons why they believe you can’t do something. Two – age really is just a number. I know young 90 year olds, and I know old 30 year olds. Be the youngest, most energetic version of you that you can be. And three – try something new and challenge yourself. Harriette didn’t begin running marathons until after she was in her 70’s. I want to be like Harriette – not a bad goal for all of us to strive for.