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How Truckers Stay Safe on Roads


July 13, 2012- ALBANY, GA from WALB- An Atlanta family is mourning two days after an eight-year old boy was killed when a part of a tractor-trailer went across I-20 and crashed into the windshield of an SUV. It is an accident that has truckers checking their safety routines.

These Albany Tech students are in week one of eight of their commercial truck driving courses. They are learning how to be safe with these big machines on the road.

"When you look in the state CDL driving manual, the first sentence in the book in section two is "why inspect?," said Albany Tech commercial truck driving director Kenny Rogers. "It says safety is the most important reason you inspect your vehicle."

They say inspecting can prevent many accidents from happening. Albany Tech teaches them to do inspections throughout the day.

"You open that hood and you do a thorough pre-trip inspection of all of those parts to make sure everything is in good working order," Rogers said. "No cracks, no damage, cuts, frays, tears, leaks, or anything like that."

It takes a close eye for details to do the inspection correctly.

"I'm going to look at my steering gearbox," Rogers demonstrated. "I want to make sure it is securely mounted. The bolts are in place. There are none missing. There are no cracks or damage in my box itself. I don't see any power steering fluid leaking from it. I want to check my power steering hoses to make sure they are clearly mounted at both ends."

In the tragedy in Atlanta, a piece of a truck's transmission came off, bounced across the interstate, crashed into a car, and killed an 8-year old. Instructors could not believe that it happened considering where the transmission is.

"On this particular unit here, It is bolted up to the back of this engine," Rogers said. "It's back up in there bolted to the frame. It's right back up in there."

If the slightest thing is wrong on the road, there are procedures they teach truckers.

"We make an emergency roadside stop," Rogers said. "We will pull over on the side of the road safely. We'll set the brake, turn the truck off, put out our three reflective warning triangles to warn other drivers. We'll inspect it to see if we can locate the problem."

It is all to keep people safe while getting the job done.

Albany Tech students go through eight weeks of training. Then, they get more training on their job after college.

See the orginal story at WALB

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