Trucking is a high-risk profession. Many dangers come with trucking. Commercial motor vehicles need to have specific safety equipment to stay safe. The U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require emergency trucking safety equipment for every commercial motor vehicle.
The FMCSA states that every commercial motor vehicle (vehicles towed in a driveway are exempt) must have the following:
Fire extinguishers are an important piece of safety equipment. To be compliant with the FMCSA, all tractor-trailers (except those towed in driveaway-towaway operations) must have a fire extinguisher. Drivers need to have the appropriate fire extinguisher for the type of fire that could occur in their work environment. The fire extinguishers must be OSHA-approved, inspected monthly, and serviced annually. A commercial truck fire extinguisher must be filled and ready to use at all times. It must be placed in your truck in a way that does not allow it to move around.
Commercial vehicles transporting hazardous material must have fire extinguishers rated 10 B:C or more. Vehicles not transporting hazardous materials must have an extinguisher rated 5 B:C or more or two extinguishers rated 4 B:C or more.
Commercial truck drivers with vehicles that require fuses to operate required parts and accessories must have at least one spare fuse for each type and size of fuse needed.
As a truck driver, you never know when you might need to unexpectedly pull over on the side of the road. Parking your truck on the side of the road creates a dangerous situation. Especially if you are having maintenance issues and you are not able to move your vehicle into a safe location. Warning devices help make other drivers on the road aware that you are pulled over. The FMCSA requires that truck drivers have at least one of the following:
- Three bidirectional emergency reflective triangles that conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards No. 125, §571.125 of this title.
- At least 6 fusees or 3 liquid-burning flares. The vehicle must have as many additional fusees or liquid-burning flares as are necessary to satisfy the requirements of §392.22.
Drivers may use additional warning devices, but may not replace the required warning devices.
Additional Safety Equipment
Although truck drivers must have fire extinguishers, emergency reflective triangles, and fusees, they should also have additional safety equipment.
First Aid Kit
First aid kits are essential for truck drivers. Drivers should prepare for any scenario on the road. If an injury occurs, a first aid kit could be a lifesaver.
A safety vest should be in a driver’s cab at all times. The vest should be a fluorescent color and have several retro-reflective stripes. A safety vest increases visibility and helps reduce the chance of drivers getting injured by oncoming traffic.
Being a well-prepared truck driver means having tools in your truck that will help get you through any situation that comes your way. We know that every circumstance is different and sometimes you will need more than just tools to get you through. Check out our blog Tools Every Truck Driver Should Have.
Share with us in the comments or on our social media, emergency trucking safety equipment you keep in your truck cab.