J. J. Keller's Tractor-Trailer Driver Training Manual
Written by an experienced transportation professional and former driver training instructor, this 2nd Edition Manual teaches the basics of safe driving techniques for tractor-trailer rigs and provides up-to-date regulatory information. The manual also helps you meet FMCSA's entry-level driver training requirements. It covers all four areas - driver qualification, hours of service, driver wellness, and whistleblower protection - that new drivers need to be trained on.
Based on the FHWA Model Curriculum, J. J. Keller's Tractor-Trailer Driver Training Manual follows PTDI's required curriculum for PTDI-certified schools, and includes:
- An introduction, learning objectives, a review, and a quiz for each chapter
- CDL test preparation
- A truck system troubleshooting section
- Three NEW chapters covering international driving; cargo, truck, and driver security; and business practices such as cost control and fuel management
- Quality illustrations, photos, tables, charts, and checklists
- Definitions and diagrams to reinforce key points
- And much more.
This comprehensive manual is a great resource to use for conducting accurate, up-to-date driver training. It includes chapters on:
- Control Systems - engine controls, vehicle instruments, primary and secondary controls
- Vehicle Inspection - pre-trip, en-route, and post-trip inspection procedures; reporting findings
- Basic Controls - starting, warming up, and shutting down the engine; straight line backing, turning the vehicle
- Shifting - shift patterns and procedures, shifting automatic and semi- automatic transmissions
- Backing - backing procedures, basic backing maneuvers
- Coupling & Uncoupling - coupling and uncoupling procedures, summary of safety hazards
- Special Rigs - oversized vehicles, special cargo vehicles, special handling vehicles
- Visual Search - seeing ahead and to the sides, using mirrors, seeing to the rear
- Communication - communicating intent and presence; misuse of communications
- Speed Management - speed and stopping distance, speed and surface conditions, speed and traffic flow
- Space Management - space cushion concept, space to the sides, giving space to others
- Night Operations - night driving factors and procedures
- Extreme Driving Conditions - adverse weather, hot weather, mountain driving
- Hazard Perception - road characteristics, road user characteristics, road user activities
- Emergency Maneuvers/Skid Avoidance - evasive steering, emergency stopping, blowouts
- Skid Control & Recovery - skid dynamics, tractor-trailer skids, skid recovery
- Vehicle Systems - the key parts of the tractor-trailer (frame, engine, suspension, etc.)
- Preventive Maintenance & Servicing - types of maintenance, inspection and maintenance requirements
- Diagnosing & Reporting Malfunctions - troubleshooting, reporting requirements
- Handling Cargo - proper cargo handling
- Cargo Documentation - definitions and forms, shipping documents, consequences of faulty cargo handling
- Hours of Service - introduction to logbooks, driving and on-duty rules, using sleeper berth time
- Accident Procedures - steps to take at an accident scene, reporting and evaluating accidents
- Personal Health and Safety - fatigue, alcohol, and drugs; roadside emergencies; on- and off-duty job stresses
- Trip Planning - recordkeeping and trip reports; estimating time, fuel, and money
- Public & Employer Relations (Trucking Professional) - customer relations, applying for a job
- Railroad Crossings - recognizing dangers/hazards; safety procedures
- Hazardous Materials - classes and divisions, loading and unloading, shipping papers
Title: J. J. Keller's Tractor-Trailer Driver Training Manual
Author: J. J. Keller
As well as being a regulatory requirement, proper vehicle inspections can go a long way in ensuring your vehicle’s safe and efficient operation.
- An unsafe condition can be discovered before it causes an accident.
- Mechanical problems can be found before they lead to breakdowns on the road.
- By avoiding breakdowns, costly on-the-road repair service can be avoided.
- By avoiding breakdowns, your company will experience fewer delivery delays, meaning better customer service.
- Enforcement agents will not put the vehicle out of service, causing delays.
- Catching mechanical problems early will help your company’s maintenance department control costs.
Types of Inspections
Three types of inspections are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
- Pretrip inspection (Sec. 396.13). This inspection is performed before taking your vehicle on the road. Doing a pretrip inspection allows you to identify problems that could cause a breakdown or accident.
- On-the-road (en-route) inspection (Sec. 392.9). Watch your vehicle’s gauges for signs of problems. Check all critical items each time you stop, including tires, wheels and rims, brakes, lights, electrical and air connections to the trailer, trailer coupling devices, and cargo securement devices.
- Post-trip inspection (Sec. 396.11). A post-trip inspection is conducted at the end your day’s work on the vehicle you are operating. This inspection includes filling out a driver vehicle inspection report (DIR.), listing any problems you may have discovered. This report helps a motor carrier make necessary repairs before the vehicle returns to the road.
What to Look at When Conducting an Inspection
As well as being a regulatory requirement, conducting vehicle inspections on a regular basis can prevent costly and time-consuming breakdowns and can prevent possible accidents due to vehicle failure. The following are critical items and issues that should be addressed regularly.
Fluid leaks — A fluid leak (oil, fuel, coolant, etc.) can lead to serious engine damage. Fluid levels should be routinely checked (pretrip, post trip, and occasionally en-route) if your vehicle’s gauges indicate unusual readings). Also, watch for fluid loss (drips, puddles, etc.) underneath the vehicle.
Bad tires — A tire problem can cause a blowout, resulting in handling problems, loss of control, or even an accident. A tire blowout can also result in downtime, costing both you and your company money.
Watch for too much or too little air pressure as well as excessive wear. Tread depth should measure at least 4/32 inch in the major grooves on the front tires. Tread depth should measure at least 2/32 inch on other tires. No fabric should show through the tread or sidewall. Look for cuts, bulges, tread separation, and mismatched sizes.
Wheel and rim defects — A damaged rim could cause a tire to lose pressure or come off, causing downtime andpotentially causing an accident. Watch for:
- Rust around lug nuts;
- Tightness of lug nuts;
- Missing clamps, spacers, or lugs;
- Mismatched, bent, or cracked lock rings;
- Unsafe or illegal welding repairs;
- Dented rims; and
- Loose rims.