September 11, 2014

Central Office

Kansas City
St. Louis

Print Page
Print Entire Edition
Central Office

Health & Safety Tips

Working with Trailers

Trailers used to deliver equipment and materials can create safety issues if used improperly. A mishap with a trailer can be expensive, it affects not only the trailer and its cargo, but most likely the tow vehicle, other vehicles and even other employees in the area. Here's how to stay safe:

Pre-Departure Safety Checklist
• Before driving, make sure your vehicle maintenance and trailer maintenance are current. This is very important because towing puts additional stress on the tow vehicle.
• Complete pre-trip inspections on the power unit and trailer to ensure safe operations.
• Check and correct tire pressure on the tow vehicle and trailer.
• Ensure the tires on the trailer are in good condition including the tire tread.
• Make sure the wheel lug nuts/bolts on the tow vehicle and trailer are tightened to the correct torque.
• Be sure the hitch, coupler, draw bar, and other equipment that connect the trailer and the tow vehicle are properly secured and adjusted.
• Connect the trailer safety chains securely to the trailer hitch or tow vehicle by crossing them underneath the coupler. The safety chains should be long enough to allow for tight turns. Anything longer may weaken the safety feature of the chains if other connections fail. Also make sure the chains cannot wiggle or bounce free and don’t let them drag on the ground
truck and trailerCheck that the wiring is properly connected – not touching the road, but loose enough to make turns without disconnecting or damaging the wires.
• Check the air hoses and glad hands, ensuring they are serviceable and are not leaking.
• Make sure all running lights, brake lights, turn signals and hazard lights are working. Verify that the brakes on the tow vehicle and trailer are operating correctly.
• Check that all items are securely fastened on and in the trailer.
• Be sure the trailer jack, tongue support and any attached stabilizers are raised and locked in place. Check the trailer deck to ensure it is in good condition and will hold the load placed upon it. Inspect the tie-down points to ensure that they will handle the stress that will be placed upon them.
• Check load distribution to make sure the tow vehicle and trailer are properly balanced front to back and side to side.
• Trailers and equipment should be marked with the center of gravity symbol which helps with the positioning of equipment upon the trailer unit.
• Cargo must be contained within the vehicle.
• Only DOT, grade 7/70, three-eighths inch or better tie downs shall be used to secure heavy equipment. Any unmarked chain will be considered grade 30. Do not use lever binders.
• Check side and rear view mirrors to make sure you have good visibility.
• Measure the height of your cargo to ensure you do not exceed the 13 foot 6 inch maximum height requirement.

Safety Tips for Driving with a Trailer
It is the responsibility of the operator/driver to ensure their cargo is loaded and secured to prevent the cargo from leaking, spilling, blowing, or falling from the vehicle, even if the cargo was loaded by someone other than the operator/driver.

• Be a defensive driver, scanning the road ahead and the area beside you for potential hazards or dangerous situations. Drive at moderate speeds. This will place less strain on your tow vehicle and trailer. Trailer instability (sway) is more likely to occur as speed increases.
• Check your tie downs for tightness after the first 50 miles and every 150 miles or 3 hours of your trip. Check your mirrors frequently to ensure your cargo is still in place.
• Avoid sudden stops and starts that can cause skidding, sliding, or jackknifing.
• Give yourself extra distance to stop while pulling a trailer.
• Avoid sudden steering maneuvers that might create sway or undue side force on the trailer. Slow down when traveling over bumpy roads, railroad crossings, and ditches.
• Make wider turns at curves and corners. Because your trailer’s wheels are closer to the inside of a turn than the wheels of your tow vehicle, they are more likely to hit or ride up over curbs.
• To control swaying caused by air pressure changes and wind buffeting when larger vehicles pass from either direction, release the accelerator pedal to slow down and keep a firm grip on the steering wheel. Increase following distance to allow more time for slowing/stopping. Always anticipate the need to slow down. To reduce speed, shift to a lower gear and press the brakes lightly.
• When parked, have wheel chocks available to help prevent the unit from rolling.

The bottom line is to use caution and slow down. Protect yourself, your coworkers and other traveling motorists by following the above check list and safety tips.

Update on 100 Mile Challenge

100 mile challengeSt Louis is still in the lead with 13,588 miles. Closely behind are Central Office and the Southwest District, and the Northwest District has tallied 255 miles per person. Since our last update we have logged more than 14,000 miles.

If you have not signed up yet, it is not too late you can always register. You have until December 31, 2014 to log your miles.

Visit and create an account on any computer or device.

Central Office Happenings

Day of Remembrance

On Thursday, Sept. 18, we will observe our second annual MoDOT Day of Remembrance. On this day, we will take a few moments to honor the memory of our 131 fallen co-workers who died in service to Missouri.

The ceremony begins at 1:31 p.m. at the Fallen Worker Memorial. All employees who can attend are invited.
Another way you can show your support is to wear orange clothing or any clothing with a MoDOT logo.

softballFirst Annual MoDOT Statewide Slow Pitch Softball Tournament Reschedule Date
The first annual softball tournament, rained out last weekend, has been rescheduled for Sept. 20 at 9 a.m.

Make note that the location has changed. It will now be held at Binder Softball Complex, 300 Binder Lake Road, Jefferson City.

Play Ball!

flu shot

Flu Shots

Mark your calendar. Flu shots will be offered to Central Office employees Oct. 14, 15 and 20.

Watch for details on times and locations in upcoming issues of Connections.

mee zone logo

MEE Zone Event

Get the Facts on Parkinson’s Disease
By Jen Urich, Capital Region physical therapist
Sept. 18 - 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
CO Human Resources Training Room B, 601 West Main, Jefferson City
or from anywhere via video conference

Jen Urich specializes in neurological disorders and spinal pain and has been practicing for over 42 years. She also is involved in coordinating the Jefferson City Parkinson’s support group.

Enroll using the LMS Student Center.

For questions, or to register using video conferencing, contact:
Amanda Henley 573-526-5617

To view or print other pages, click on the links below:
Home Central Office Northwest Northeast District
Kansas City District Central District St. Louis District Southwest District Southeast District

Facebook Twitter Blog YouTube Flickr