Height Sticks and GPS
You’ve seen the videos and pictures on the web. You know it happens – just not to you. And this is exactly how it starts.
Every day we see a video of a truck carrying a large load hitting a bridge, underpass or some other object of civil engineering. In fact, over 60 percent of states say that over-height accidents are considered a significant problem. The problem is so bad in the empire state that New York is installing “Over-Height Vehicle Detection Systems” to alleviate it. (You have to wait for troopers to guide you to another route if you’re over height, and that can’t be an enjoyable process.)
So, how do these strikes happen so frequently when we all know to measure twice and plan the route accordingly? It’s all about safety culture and technology. Just like larger companies, small operations need to instill their safety processes and procedures – especially if they’re currently not in place.
It’s all about knowing everything about the load you’re carrying. Just as you know when you’re overweight, you also need to know when you’re over height. The only way to know that is to measure for it. If you don’t have a height stick; get one. Today.
Now that you know the height of the load, it’s time to plan the route to the destination. In doing so, there’s one piece of equipment you want to avoid; a noncommercial GPS system. If you’re relying on a GPS system, make sure it’s one used for the trucking industry. Consumer GPS doesn’t show low bridges or hazmat routing. They don’t need to. You, however, need to know.
Most commercial systems available will adjust your route according to the measurements, axle weights and whether you’re carrying haz-mat. Even the government wants to make sure truckers are aware of the benefits of commercial GPS. FMCSA recently published a visor insert to make sure everyone knows about it when purchasing a truck.
These are just a couple of ways to improve the safety of your organization. There are many more coming your way.