For NTB’s seasoned drivers, this is a reminder. For our new recruits and hires, this is what we want you to know. G.O.A.L.—What does it mean and why is it important?
Get Out And Look
The meaning of G.O.A.L. is pretty self explanatory. Get out of your truck; walk all the way around the entire perimeter of the truck and trailer; and know, without a doubt, what is in front of, behind, and even under your rig.
When Do You Need to G.O.A.L?
G.O.A.L. is typically a reminder to physically check your surroundings before backing to a loading dock, but at NTB, we think it is important to take it a step further by checking before starting any drive. You could consider it an essential part of your pre-trip check. It may seem obvious that you’d notice anything unusual without making it a point to look. That being said, you are less likely to miss something not so obvious if you make observing your surroundings a routine part of beginning your work day or night.
Keeping in mind that what you can see from the driver’s seat of your cab is extremely limited when you are behind the wheel of an 18 wheeler, it is imperative that you get out and look any time you have been parked or are changing course. A semi-truck has more blind spots than almost any other vehicle.
With up to a 20 foot area directly in front of the truck that is visually obstructed, a driver must get out to look when coming off a break in the sleeper cabin. While it should seem obvious to not park closely in front of a big truck, a small vehicle or motorcycle could go unnoticed by a driver just coming off their 10 hour break. With the enormous 30 foot blind spot created by the trailer, it goes without saying that the driver also must check behind, before backing up.
You know that persistent feeling you get when you can’t remember if you turned the stove off before leaving the house? The same feeling should occur when you aren’t completely certain that there isn’t something in front of, behind, or under your rig. Pay attention to that feeling and go ahead and indulge it. You won’t regret the few minutes spent checking, but you might regret ignoring your mind telling you to do it.
“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” I Corinthians 16:13
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