Take 5 For Safety – Don’t Crowd the Plow


During winter storms, snowplows work around the clock to make roads passable. These large vehicles can present a hazard for drivers who follow too closely. Observe these tips to stay safe while giving snowplow operators room to do their jobs:

* Keep well back from snowplows Plow drivers can’t see directly behind their trucks. Sometimes they must stop or back up. Staying a safe distance behind a snowplow will protect you from possible injury and protect your car from sanding material that plows spread on slick roadways.

* Know where the snowplow is on multi-lane highways The plow could be in either lane, or on the shoulder. Watch for snowplows on interstate ramps and “authorized vehicle only” turnarounds.

* Never drive through a snow cloud or whiteout conditions You can’t be sure if such conditions are caused by crosswinds or by a snowplow, so be patient. snowplow operators periodically pull over to allow traffic to pass

Snowplow operators are extremely safety-conscious, but they need your help. Stay back and let them safely do their job of clearing the road for you. Don’t take a chance. Don’t crowd the plow!

Maalt Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

Brian J. Hecht, CSHO

Director of Safety

Maalt, LP


O – (817) 563-3538

C – (817) 597-8146

bhecht@Maalt.com (mailto:bhecht@Maalt.com)

www.Maalt.com (http://www.maalt.com/)


Take 5 For Safety – Guiding Principle of Cargo Securement



* Cargo being transported on the highway must remain secured on or within the transporting vehicle.


* The cargo must remain secured on or in the transporting vehicle:
* Under all conditions that could reasonably be expected to occur in normal driving.
* When a driver is responding in all emergency situations, EXCEPT when there is a crash.

An improperly secured load can result in:

* Loss of life
* Loss of load
* Damage to the cargo
* Damage to the vehicle
* A crash
* Issuance of citations/fines to driver/carrier
* The vehicle being placed Out-of-Service.
The following conditions must exist before a driver can operate a commercial motor vehicle and a carrier can require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
1. The commercial motor vehicle’s cargo must be properly distributed and adequately secured.
2. The commercial motor vehicle’s structure and equipment must be secured:
* Spare tire
* Other equipment used in the vehicle’s operation
* Cargo securing equipment.
1. The cargo or any other object must not:
* Obscure the driver’s view ahead or to the right or left sides (except for drivers of self-steer dollies).
* Interfere with the free movement of the driver’s arms or legs.
* Prevent the driver’s free and ready access to accessories required for emergencies. OR
* Prevent the free and ready exit of any person from the commercial motor vehicle’s cab or driver’s compartment.

Maalt Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

Brian J. Hecht, CSHO

Director of Safety

Maalt, LP


O – (817) 563-3538

C – (817) 597-8146

bhecht@Maalt.com (mailto:bhecht@Maalt.com)

www.Maalt.com (http://www.maalt.com/)

Copyright © 2015 Maalt Tranport, All rights reserved.


Have you ever wondered what you can do to prevent accidents? Maybe, like many people, you believe accidents are bound to happen and there’s not much you can do about them. Or, you may think that they only happen to the other person. Well, the truth is that accidents do happen to everyone and often can be prevented.

Something To Think About

Here’s something to think about. Statistics show that in many cases the victim could have prevented an accident. And, in other cases, by a co-worker. Think of accidents that happened to people you know. Usually, it was a stupid mistake. Right? In other words, that person or someone else working on the job could have prevented it.

Seven Excellent Suggestions

Here are seven ways you, personally, can do something about preventing accidents:

  1. Make accident prevention a part of your daily routine: Plan safety in advance. Before beginning a job, be sure your tools are in good condition. Also, see that you have the required protective equipment.
  1. Report unsafe acts or conditions to your supervisor. If you see something that’s dangerous or someone working in an unsafe way, do something about it. If it’s an unsafe condition, correct it if you can. Otherwise, report it to someone who has the authority or ability to do so. If you see someone committing an unsafe act, warn that person in a friendly way.
  1. Follow instructions: You’d follow instructions if you were dismantling a time bomb —and very carefully at that. Well, take the same attitude on the job. When we give you instructions, it’s only after we’ve considered the safest and best way to do it. Sometimes doing something just a little different from what you were told can get you or someone else in a lot of trouble.
  1. Make suggestions: If you see a safer way of doing something, bring it to our attention, by all means.
  1. Practice good housekeeping: Nobody likes a slob. It’s upsetting to see someone with a messy work area. And it goes even further than that. A sloppy work area is not only hard on the eyes, but a breeding ground foraccidents. Trash and materials strewn around can result in trips, falls, and fires.
  1. Dress for the job: In addition to wearing protective equipment, dress so that you won’t get hurt. Don’t wear floppy clothing (such as loose sleeves or cuffs) or jewelry that can catch on something or become entangled in machinery.

Maalt Safety Excellence – Is It In You?

Brian J. Hecht, CSHO

Director of Safety

Maalt, LP


FORT WORTH,  TX  76119

O – (817) 563-3550




Step 1: Make sure that your truck is prepared for winter driving.
Tires are the most important aspect of keeping your vehicle under control in snow and ice condition. Traction tires on the drive axle(s) of the truck with ample tread depth provides the best control in snow and ice conditions. The tread depth and condition of the steer axle tires is also vital in keeping the control of the steering.

Step 2: Lights On.
Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.

Step 3: No Cruise Control.
Don’t use cruise control on snowy or icy roads.

Step 4: Bridges, Overpasses infrequently traveled roads.
Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.

Step 5: Don’t “pump” the brakes.
If your truck is equipped with ABS brakes do not “pump” the brakes.

Step 6: Drive slowly.
Driving too quickly is the main cause of winter accidents. Just because you are a large truck with a heavy load doesn’t mean that you’re invincible, be sure to drive slowly and carefully on snow and ice covered roads.

Step 7: Pay attention.
Maneuvers are more difficult to make in the snow. Be sure to anticipate what your next move is going to be to give yourself lots of room for turns and stopping.

Step 8: Don’t tailgate.
While tailgating is a bad idea under normal driving conditions, it is much, much worse in winter weather.
Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement. Be sure to leave a lot of room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. A good rule of thumb is to leave four vehicle lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 mph you are driving.

Step 9: Brake before making turns.
It is difficult to steer vehicles while applying the brakes in snowy conditions. So make sure to smoothly step on your truck’s brakes to reduce speed before entering turns. Once you have rounded the corner you can accelerate again.

Step 10: Drive smoothly.
Snowy and icy roads are much less forgiving than dry pavement. Make sure not to make any abrupt turns or stops when driving. Doing so will often cause your vehicle to lose control and skid out.

Step 11: Be familiar with your vehicle.
It is always a good idea to be familiar with your vehicle’s driving dynamics. This is especially true when driving on snow or ice. Also, be aware of the weight condition of your truck. As your load and weight diminish the handling of the truck in snow and ice will change.

Step 12: Learn how to control skids.
While it is best practiced in a driving school or on a closed course, it is not a bad idea to practice controlling skids in your vehicle so that you know how to react if it ever happens under real world driving conditions. When skidding, you actually need to go against your natural instincts and turn into the skid and accelerate. Taking your foot off of the brakes and accelerating gently during skids transfers your vehicle’s weight from the front to the rear and often helps vehicles to regain control.

Winter Tips to follow concerning the vehicle:

  • Blended fuel purchased and a diesel supplement is added to the fuel tanks as temperatures creep below 32*.
  • Make sure the unit block heaters are plugged in when unit is not in use during the winter months.
  • Initial start up each day should follow this order – unplug block heater before start up, ignition in “on” position, if equipped with “wait for glow plugs” light, wait for light to go out, start unit, once running, unit should be brought up to temperature before operating.
  • If equipped with air brakes and air tank pull cords and/or drain orifices, you should purge tanks daily, make sure the air system airs to 120psi, and listen for the air drier to purge the system clean of moisture.
  • Make sure all fluids are up, including window wash. Now is the time to check additional fluids, such as DEF, “Wet Kits” etc.
  • Make sure wiper blades are functional, all glass/mirrors cleaned, if equipped, heated mirrors functional, make sure headlights tail/turn lights are cleaned off of snow/ice/salt and operational
  • If you have driven in snow, ice, slosh, before stopping the vehicle at the end of their shift, lightly have the brakes applied to clean off and dry the shoes, drums, rotors and pads to prevent brakes pads freezing to drum/rotors while the unit is parked.
  • Make sure any steps and grab handles are clean, secure and dry to avoid slipping.
  • If you are operating in state that require chains to be on board, make sure the chains are the correct size, properly secured, clean, and not broken as to be easily applied when necessary.

Most important dress warm with self-wicking clothing and have extra clothing in the event the unit may break/shut down to avoid hypothermia.

Maalt Safety Excellence – Is It In You?


I’m sure everyone here is aware of the dangers of blind backing. Not only is there the possibility of injuring someone, but of causing property damage. Today we’re going to review safety measures necessary to avoid such accidents.


The first requirement for safe backing is to have a spotter, someone to direct the driver. A spotter is necessary when the driver or operator does not have a full view of the backing path. This holds true for any vehicle or piece of equipment, whether it’s a batch truck backing up to a paver, a mixer truck backing into a hopper or hoist bucket, or a materials truck making a delivery. This is the important rule for drivers and operators: “Don’t back up unless you have a spotter directing your movement.” It’s an easy rule to remember. The important thing is to obey it.


Let’s talk about the spotter. This person has to watch out for others as well as for himself, and make sure the vehicle doesn’t damage property. This may appear easy. It seems that all the spotter has to do is to direct a vehicle to back up when the path is clear of persons and objects. But there are dangers involved.

Sometimes when you’re a spotter, you may have to pass behind a vehicle. If so, stop the vehicle first. As you’re passing behind it, extend your hand at arm’s length and place it against the back of the vehicle. Then if the vehicle starts to move because the driver’s foot slips off the brake or clutch pedal, you’ll be able to feel the movement and get out of the way.

When directing the driver, stand at the rear but well to the driver’s side of the vehicle. This gives you an unobstructed view of the entire backing path. And the driver can see you clearly. It’s important that the driver understands your signals. So get together with the driver before any backing and explain the signals you will use. In this way you can be reasonably sure there will be no misunderstanding. Always be sure to use the same signals for the same moves. Hand signals are much better than vocal signals. Because of noise, a shouted signal may not be heard or may be misunderstood.


Always be sure that you can be seen. In addition to standing well to the driver’s side of the vehicle, wear a fluorescent vest. At night, don’t blind the driver by shining your flashlight in the rearview mirror. And, day or night, when you walk backwards, be careful not to trip.


Togetherness was never so important as when it comes to spotters and drivers of heavy equipment. Working as a team, they not only protect property but the lives of their fellow workers as well.

Maalt Safety Excellence – Is It In You?



“OUCH! Why did I try to lift that much weight on my own?” Did you ever ponder those words after you hoisted something heavy, or lifted from an awkward position? These incidents are well known causes of back strain, but you might not have considered other “underlying” factors that lead to back injury. Several conditions influence your “back health.”

The cause of most back problems is poor posture, loss of flexibility, stressful living/working habits and above all, a general decline in physical fitness. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. When you “let yourself go,” (and most of us do with age) the first thing to go can be back strength. Along with correct lifting techniques, we should also work on our overall physical condition.

Nutrition–is an important key to staying physically fit! As we grow older, our metabolism slows down. To counteract this natural event, we have to eat the right types of food-and not too much of it-or the pounds come on quickly! Now, what does nutrition have to do with a healthy back? For one thing, a healthy back is correctly balanced on your spine. With a “sway” back, that balance is lost-and those darned potbellies cause sway backs. Carrying around excess weight puts tremendous strain on back tissues, so lifting even a small extra load may cause an injury.

Exercise–plays an important role as well. A form of exercise as simple as walking 30 minutes a day can raise your heart rate and burn enough calories to help keep you lean. Flexibility is another condition that changes as we grow older, if we don’t work to retain it. It’s true, as they say-“Use it or Lose it!” Without flexibility, we lose our body’s full range of motion. Then, when a sudden, physical demand takes a muscle or joint further than it’s used to, the risk of injury is high. You can do stretching exercises every morning to keep yourself flexible and ready for the physical demands of work. After all, don’t athletes warm up before a game to prevent injury?

Fixed positions–not moving enough–can also cause back problems. Staying in a fixed position for too long can lead to muscle spasms. We feel it as stiffness, but by the time discomfort from “static” muscle contractions is experienced, low level tissue damage has begun. Take stretch breaks between long standing or sitting periods to improve circulation and prevent back strain.

Poor body mechanics and bad lifting habits usually “trigger” a back injury-and are more likely to do so if overall physical condition is poor. Remember these techniques to help escape injury:

  • Avoid using fast, jerking motions when lifting.
  • Avoid bending and twisting at the same time.
  • Avoid handling a load too far away! Keep the load close to your body.
  • Teamwork! If the load is too heavy, two persons should carry the load.

Emotional Stress leads to mental distraction, so that things other than proper body mechanics are on your mind. Stress and back pain seem to go together. Low back pain has been called “a tension headache that slipped.” Solving our personal problems isn’t always easy to do, but it often takes away back pain and helps prevent repeated injuries.

In Conclusion: Improper lifting isn’t the only thing that causes back injuries. People who do not also stay in good physical and mental condition are at high risk for back problems.

Maalt Safety Excellence – Is It In You?


Most of us know that accidents are caused by only two things – unsafe acts or practices, and unsafe conditions. Some of us even know that 9 out of 10 accidents are the result of unsafe acts, or things we do when we know better. This is kind of strange if you think about it. We have more to fear from our own actions than from any other job hazards around us. Why do we deliberately expose ourselves to injury every day?

It Won’t Happen To Me

Basically, most of us are just thinking about getting the job done and we tend to rationalize the risk of getting injured. We think to ourselves that we have done this job many, many times this way and nothing bad has happened. Therefore, nothing bad will happen to us today. On an intellectual level, we realize there is a potential for danger but decide that the risk of being injured is low. Because we have not been injured so far, we actually think of ourselves as being very safety conscious. We know the right way to do it, we realize that it is hazardous to do it this way, but what we are really thinking to ourselves is “it won’t happen to me.”

We Take Short Cuts

Some of us are fairly meticulous about following safe work practices, but because a job “will only take a minute” we use an unsafe method or tool. For example, not using the 3-points of contact while entering/exiting your vehicle, not putting on our safety glasses because the job will only take a minute, or not locking out a machine because an adjustment will only take a second.

Usually we think about it just before we do something a little unsafe, or maybe quite a bit unsafe. We know better, we know the safe way to do it, but we take that little chance. In effect we are saying, “I know that this could result in an injury, but “it can’t happen to me.” Maybe it’s human nature to think that accidents always happen to someone else, but they can happen to you too. What makes you different?

Why take a chance in the first place?

Maalt Safety Excellence – Is It In You?


  1. Make sure you have a clear path to walk to and from the back of trailer. Slips, trips and falls are very common when working in an off-road environment.       Keep an eye out for rocks and holes in ground. Awareness is the key!
  2. Use 3 points of contact when entering and exiting the cab of the truck. This is the best way to avoid falling out of the truck.
  3. Proceed with caution when making deliveries to places you have never been before.
  4. Make sure you are wearing proper footwear.       Tennis shoes and cowboy boots should never be worn while on the job.

Maalt Safety Excellence – Is It In You?