Consumer Energy Alliance Trucking Safety Task Force Promoting trucking safety in oil and natural gas development areas through educational outreach, support for robust law enforcement, and shared commitment to safe, responsible, and considerate driving.
Trucking Safety Task Force Co-Chairs
Trucking Safety Task Force â€” Recommendations
The recommendations will be used to develop informational brochures on the need to provide safe and considerate trucking operations in the oil and natural gas sector for transporters and producers. The effort will highlight the value of oil and natural gas development to the country and the importance of trucking to that development. This will be an educational campaign involving specific targets and metrics for improving trucking safety in oil and natural gas development areas. Developing domestic oil and natural gas resources provides a tremendous opportunity for North America to become energy self-sufficient. Developing these resources is dependent on many factors, including trucks that deliver equipment and materials such as water, sand and chemicals to the fields and in hauling product and produced water from the fields. As oil and natural gas exploration and production activity increases, producers and transporters must continue working together to provide safe and considerate Energy Truck Transportation.
Recommendations For Transporters Obey the laws and regulations on the books. Truck safety begins with a commitment from leaders of transporters to put safe drivers and equipment on the roads. Members of the industry have taken this commitment seriously and are adhering to the principle that no load justifies overlooking safety standards or violating trucking regulations. Always have proper credentials and licenses. Drivers who will operate tanker vehicles carrying liquids or gasses are currently required to have a tank truck endorsement on their Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs), even for non-hazardous materials. Drivers who will transport hazardous materials in placarded quantities must have a Hazardous Materials (HM) endorsement which is issued after the driver provides his/her finger prints and successfully completes a federal background check. These requirements provide safeguards for drivers, those who employ them, and the general public. Make sure all drivers have the proper training and promote awareness and access to proper safety education resources. Training is critically important. Drivers are trained for the types of equipment they will handle and the operating environments they will encounter. Drivers coming to the oil and natural gas industry from other driving jobs have to be educated on the challenges of driving on smaller roads, through towns off the interstates, and in the various terrains encountered in the fields. There are many commercially available driver training and monitoring programs and consultants who can assist in driver training and regulatory compliance. Safety and regulatory information can be obtained from national and state trucking associations. Training and continued education is crucial for promoting safety in this industry.
Ensure proper registration with the FMCSA and PHMSA. Transporters engaged in interstate commerce are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They must also maintain minimum levels of insurance. Transporters, including intrastate carriers, that haul hazardous materials must register and obtain an HM number from the U.S. Department of Transportation (http://phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/registration). Review Transporters Publicly Available Safety Data. Measurements of each transporter safety and compliance performance are publicly available on-line. These measurements include the companiesâ€™ safety ratings and scores in FMCSAâ€™s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. Producers should review this information for areas of concern, address them with the trucking company to verify the accuracy of the reported data, and ask what steps the company has taken to mitigate the problems.
Recommendations For Transporters Meet regularly, educate and coordinate with local emergency responders. To increase safety, transporters and producers are working with local emergency response leaders to explain what materials are being transported and how to respond to crashes or incidents involving those materials. In many areas, the industry is also providing training and physical resources to those responders who might become involved in a shale truck incident.
Promote continued education of drivers to avoid tank rollovers. Tank truck rollovers can occur in any terrain and especially in off-road conditions such as those found in and near oil and natural gas operations. The tank truck industry and U.S. Department of Transportation have developed a Cargo Tank Rollover Prevention Video and other materials to help combat this problem. The video can be downloaded at no cost at: http://www.fmcsa. dot.gov/about/outreach/cargo-tank-video.aspx. Even experienced drivers will benefit from reminders and new information about risks. Proactively meet and work with members of local communities to address transportation issues and concerns. Support of oil and natural gas operations has brought trucks to communities not accustomed to heavy truck traffic. Many transporters and producers are working collaboratively with local communities to minimize the impact of increased traffic. This can include self-imposed time of day or special events restrictions.
Maintain close attention to the condition of roads and potential hazards and communicate these risks to other drivers. Companies must not operate illegally overweight equipment to avoid the corresponding impact to local roads. When such equipment is necessary, carriers must obtain appropriate permits for oversized/overweight loads. Logistics managers should travel the same roads as their trucks will to plan trips and develop possible time and route options. Maximum allowable size and weight limits on particular roadways might not be the most practical limits and need to be regularly evaluated to enhance safety. Ensure drivers are well-rested and prepared for the challenges ahead. Transportation companies should manage their operations to prevent driver fatigue and frustration, especially for drivers who are new to oil and natural gas operations. For drivers who will be working away from home for long periods of time, schedules should be developed that enable drivers to manage their alertness within hours of service regulations and to get home on a regular basis for quality rest and relaxation.
Recommendations For Producers Although transporters are independent contractors, producers should evaluate transporters and contractors carefully.
Meet regularly with local officials and law enforcement to identify concerns and address safety issues.
Producers understand the importance of truck safety and should identify and utilize transporters that can demonstrate their commitment to safe trucking.
Producers and transporters are working with local community leaders and law enforcement officials to identify safety issues and promote transparency regarding oil and natural gas operations and associated transportation services. Regular meetings can help minimize traffic congestion or other conditions creating potential hazards on local roadways.
Require proof of regulatory compliance. Producers should ensure that the transporters they use meet regulatory requirements which may include, but are not limited to, proof of registration with appropriate federal, state and local authorities, minimum levels of insurance required by regulations, and hiring, training and safety programs. Establish a system to verify transporter compliance and provide feedback. There are many new transporters seeking to serve oil and natural gas producers. Producers should learn as much about the experience of the companies and their drivers as possible. How long have they been in business? How have they adapted their practices and procedures to provide safe and considerate transportation to this sector? How and where are the transporters conducting vehicle maintenance? Producer visits and audits of transporter facilities should be conducted to ensure safety and compliance. If wastewater and other materials are being transported from a site for disposal, the producer should develop a system to verify compliance with all transportation and environmental requirements.
Conduct frequent meetings with transporters to evaluate safety issues and establish processes that promote safety. Producers should help inform drivers on any special conditions they might encounter in their operations. When possible, they should work with transporters to schedule deliveries and movements to minimize the traffic impact on local communities. Safety information on well sites should include both driving and workplace safety issues. Minimize wait times and provide basic facilities when extended waits are necessary to support and promote alert and well-rested drivers. Where possible, producers should communicate with transporters to minimize the amount of â€œwaiting timeâ€? on well sites.
Recommendations for the General Public Always pass trucks on the left when possible. If possible, pass a truck on the left, not on the right, because the truck’s blind spot on the right runs the length of the trailer and extends out three lanes. Mirrors: if you can’t see them, they can’t see you. Maintain safe distance both in front of and behind a truck. Keep a safety buffer zone around trucks. Recognized safe distances are a 4-car length gap when in front of a truck and 20-25-car lengths when behind a truck. Never aggressively cut in front of a truck. To minimize traffic incidents caused by passenger vehicles moving in and out of lanes quickly in front of trucks, never cut off a truck. When passing a truck and moving into the lane directly in front, allow 4 car lengths to make sure the truck has adequate distance to stop if need be. A good rule of thumb is to only change lanes when you can see both of the truck’s headlights in your rearview mirror. Do not linger beside a truck, they may not see you. Never linger alongside a truck. Cars can momentarily “disappear” from view due to blind spots. Pass trucks quickly to increase visibility and reduce dangers associated with lingering beside a truck.
Check a truck’s mirrors. If you are following a truck and you cannot see the driver’s face in the truck’s side mirrors, the truck driver cannot see you. Stay aware of trucks at intersections: they often require extra space to maneuver. Allow trucks adequate space to maneuver. Trucks make wide turns at intersections and require additional lanes to turn.
Conclusion Development of North Americaâ€™s oil and natural gas resources can provide significant benefits to our economy and citizens. A joint effort among producers, transporters and the general public is essential to the safety of all drivers on the road.
For Additional Information Please Visit: National Tank Truck Carriers www.tanktruck.org American Trucking Associations www.trucking.org American Petroleum Institute www.api.org Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration www.fmcsa.dot.gov
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Trucking Safety Task Force