Friday, June 4, 2010

    GOAL – Do you do it?

    October 30, 2009 by Truckdrivernews · 3 Comments 

    This is a term, I think I will never forget. It’s even a good thing to do if you are driving any vehicle.

    GOAL – or Get Out And Look, is a term used in the trucking industry.

    If you look closely at a tractor and trailers mirrors, especially the drivers side one.

    I bet 90% of the trucks if not more will have those four letters on the mirror head.

    Backing accidents are the most common type of accident in the trucking industry. They usually happen in truck stops, at the shipper or receiver, anywhere a truck would be most likely to have to back up.

    It usually results in minor damage, because of the low speed factor. GOAL was enacted to help a driver to remember to “Get Out And Look” before he or she went to back up.

    Some things to remember before backing up.

    • Always “Get Out And Look” even if you are a vetran of truck driving.
    • Make sure your mirrors are clean and properly adjusted.
    • Use a spotter whenever possible
    • Take it slow and easy
    • Get Out And Look, I don’t care if you have backed up more miles than going forward, it only takes one time.

    Always try to get a pull through parking spot, away from others, which I’m sure today is very difficult to do. But, if you must park close to other trucks, it is always a good idea to write down the company name and unit number of the truck parked next to you.

    This will help in collecting damages should you discover your unit damaged after returning to your parked truck. Collecting damages may be difficult, but having a company name and unit number helps tremendously.

    If you are parked, in a tight truck stop and a parking spot is open next to you. If a truck pulls up to back in beside of you, jump out and give him or her a hand. You both will appreciate the help, for one you are the drivers eyes at the back of his/her trailer. Next, you prevented a backing accident, which cost money.

    Don’t do like most of the “super truckers” in the truck stop do. Don’t start yelling into the cb radio. Some truck stops have five-hundred plus trucks in them, how do you know you are talking to the driver backing in beside of you. If you get out and make contact with the driver then you know for sure.

    The best practice I have found is to pull into a truck stop, find the spot you want to back into, and reach up and shut the CB radio off. Some drivers out there get their kicks, from seeing other drivers have problems. If you remember to get out and look, every time you go to back up, there should be no reason to have an accident.

    © 2009, Truckdrivernews. All rights reserved.

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    3 Responses to “GOAL – Do you do it?”
    1. Todd McCann says:

      This is great advise, no doubt. Still, I only GOAL if I can’t see where I’m backing at night. If I’ve just driven by a spot and can see into it clearly, why would I get out? I think this falls under the category of “forget everything you learned in school” that you spoke of in one of your recent posts. Sure, it’s great advise, but sometimes it would just be overkill.

      As far as helping another driver back in, I only do so if the driver is clearly having a rough time with it. Once again, an extra set of eyes can never hurt, but I don’t lend my eyes if a driver appears to know what he is doing. Now spotting for a backer is great, but trying to “help” by telling him/her which way to turn the wheel usually causes more confusion than it’s worth.

      Please don’t take me wrong here. I’m into safety as much as the next driver. But my whole goal is to tell folks the truth about trucking. It’s true, there would be fewer acccidents if everyone actually did GOAL. The truth is also that few drivers do it and many times it’s just plain unnecessary. I mean really, the books teach you to always GOAL, but even a rookie doesn’t need to if he’s got a wide open dock or parking space with no trucks or other obstacles within shouting distance. Then again, with some of the backing jobs I’ve seen out here, maybe some people should always GOAL. At least if they’re anywhere near my truck.

      • Jason Cox says:

        Thanks Todd for the comment. Yes, I guess you are right if it is a wide spot, no other trucks there it would be ok to back in. I guess I should have explained myself a little more.

        But, the way my luck is if I didn’t go and take a look, something would suddenly appear…People walking around don’t think sometimes, and will pop out in an instant, also I have seen it a million times, you pull up to a spot and set yourself up and the truck behind you can’t sit and wait. Even though you got the 4 ways on and are moving in reverse they still go behind you.

    2. Trucker Steve says:

      I too agree with Todd. The reality is most people will not GOAL so here at May trucking we teach them to get in the habit of making corrections going forward. never back if you can’t see (line of sight on driver and passenger side)


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