Managing Breakdowns

Getting back on the road quickly and safely is vital after a breakdown and there are some important practices that will help prevent, as well as manage the event if a breakdown does occur.  The top reasons for breakdowns are tires, electrical systems, brake issues and running out of fuel.

The first line of defense against most breakdowns is preventive maintenance. Regularly scheduled maintenance on your trucks tires, electrical systems and brakes can prevent problems from happening and help avoid emergency situations.

Pre and post-trip inspections can also help owner-operators identify equipment defects before they cause failures and prevent costly roadside repairs and downtime. Repairing a damaged tire at a terminal or truck stop is safer, faster and less expensive than a roadside service call.

When drivers and trucks are properly equipped and prepared, road side emergencies are handled faster and more safely.  At the first sign of trouble, if unable to exit the roadway, move to the shoulder, pull off the roadway in a safe manner and as far as possible. Set the brakes, turn on hazard lights, set out triangles and call for assistance if repairs cannot be made expediently and safely.

Drivers should know what to do and who to call in case they do breakdown.  It also helps to be familiar with the truck so that a simple repair can be done quickly without assistance.

Every vehicle should be equipped with the following safety items:

  • Safety triangle reflectors
  • Reflective vest
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Gloves
  • Tool Set & spare hoses
  • Food
  • Emergency phone numbers

Remember to always report a breakdown to the Safety Department at 800-872-9496.

Join in on the Landstar Safety Thursday Conference Call on the third Thursday of every month at 12 p.m. (noon) ET, Dial 877-717-5921.