Modern WorkTruck Solutions February 2016 : Page 48

New Approach to an Old Issue A QUICK, SAFE, EFFECTIVE SOLUTION TO SNOW AND ICE BUILDUP ON TRUCKS PART 1 OF 2 by Debora Babin Katz According to the ATRI, removing snow and ice from the tops of trucks and trailers creates a series of safety and operational challenges. OPERA TIONS A ccumulated snow on the tops of tractor-trailers and trucks—or any vehicle in transit—is a significant safety concern and one that the trucking industry has been trying to address for years. In 2008, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) conducted an extensive study of this winter-related issue for the trucking industry in North America. “The size and weight of ice sheets that may dislodge from larger vehicles in transit create a more significant safety concern for the trucking industry. Operational impacts from accumulated snow and ice are also possible, including size and weight limit violations and lowered fuel economy,” writes ATRI. “Removing snow and ice from the tops of trailers creates a series of safety and operational challenges.” SAFETY AND REGULATION CHALLENGES While those who are not in the trucking industry may believe that the best solution is to have either the truck driver or a maintenance employee ascend to the top of a truck or trailer to remove snow, this is a highly risky method of snow removal. Trailer/truck rooftops are extremely slippery surfaces which, combined with high elevations and adverse weather conditions, are dangerous for any person. “In many cases this practice violates federal or state worker safety guidelines,” according to ATRI. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) guidelines for worker safety dictates personal protection equipment (PPE) standards for workers who use raised platforms or catwalks to clear snow or ice from trailers. This standard applies to activities inside the facility or contiguous to a building or other structure where the installation of fall protection is feasible. OSHA’s General Duty Clause requires an employer to provide employees with a free of hazards workplace. “If OSHA is notified or an OSHA inspector witnesses a driver or any employee at a company facility climbing on top of a trailer without fall protection, the trucking company can be cited for violating the General Duty Clause,” notes ATRI. With the continuation of harsh winters, we have seen an increase in state legislation, particularly in the Northeast, while some states simply rely on existing transportation legislation to detain and cite vehicles whose snow accumulation is deemed unsafe. They may use “loose load” or height/weight restriction or they may issue a citation for a violation if an incident occurs due to snow accumulation. Certain state highways, such as the Mass Pike, have additional rules to try to combat the issue. In 2008, Canada's efforts to address this safety issue were seen as more progressive than US efforts. For example Quebec has a regulation specifically prohibiting any vehicle operator from allowing snow and ice to fall from their vehicle. Now, some US states have also adopted this “all vehicle” regulation, such as Connecticut, who adopted the law in 2013. TRUCBRUSH TrucBrush is 100 percent made in the USA and sold throughout North America. Find out more about TrucBrush, visit or watch the video at . PROVIDING A SOLUTION ATRI’s report on the advantages and disadvantages of methods employed by companies in North America to try to combat snow accumulation—namely snow scrappers, throwers, truck washes, catwalks, and rolling ladders—led 44 MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS WWW.MWSMAG.COM FEBRUARY 2016


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