Commercial Truck Insurance: Guide to Getting the Right Coverage

The commercial truck industry is one of the most diverse and highly regulated industries in the United States. This is because commercial trucks can be used for such a wide variety of applications and all will mandate different truck insurance coverage amounts. Trucking companies haul standard or household goods, garbage, building materials, refrigerated produce, hazardous materials, and fuel, to name just a few of the many ways commercial trucks are utilized.

This degree of specialization has spilled over into the commercial truck insurance industry. With so many different ways that commercial trucks are used, some special types of insurance are needed. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the most typical types of policies.

PRIMARY TRUCK LIABILITY INSURANCE

Primary truck liability insurance is a form of commercial truck insurance that the United States Department of Transportation requires all commercial vehicles to be covered under. It entitles drivers to financial coverage for injuries and damage costs if involved in an accident where a truck driver is at fault.

Motor carriers often provide this coverage to their employees. Even independent owner/operators are eligible for coverage while under contract. Unfortunately for them, they may need additional coverage to protect their personal assets and for when they are off the job.

PHYSICAL DAMAGE INSURANCE

An independent trucker’s most valuable asset is his or her truck. It is of the utmost importance that that truck be well maintained and that it can be repaired if something unfortunate happens.

Physical damage insurance will cover the cost of damage in an accident whether or not the truck driver is at fault.

NON-TRUCKING LIABILITY INSURANCE

Because liability coverage is required by law at all times a truck is on the road and because motor carriers cease to provide coverage for their independently contracted drivers once the job is done, additional liability insurance must be purchased. Thankfully, non-trucking liability insurance provides this coverage without forcing drivers to pay when they are otherwise covered.

COMPREHENSIVE TRUCK INSURANCE

Comprehensive truck insurance is sort of a continuation of physical damage insurance. Think of a comprehensive coverage policy as including primary truck liability, physical damage and other insurance clauses that prevent against disasters like fire, theft or vandalism. If you want total coverage of your own personal assets, comprehensive insurance is usually the best way to go.

TRAILER INSURANCE

It’s less usual for independent owner/operators to actually own and operate with their own trailers-typically, trailers are either owned by the trucking company or actual shippers, so trailer insurance usually becomes a commodity that’s better included within a motor carrier insurance policy. Still, it’s important to differentiate trailer insurance so all truckers are aware that trailers typically aren’t included in basic truck insurance without specific additional provisions.

CARGO INSURANCE

The same is true for cargo insurance-typically it’s something that’s more beneficial for motor carriers or fleets to carry as blanket coverage for their business. Independent truckers aren’t usually going to benefit from cargo insurance since they will usually fall under the truck insurance of their hiring fleets if any issues with cargo damage arise.

MOTOR CARRIER INSURANCE

Motor carrier insurance usually incorporates the same policies for regular trucks, though motor carriers will need to cover all the vehicles they employ. Bundling general liability policies, truck, cargo and trailer insurance, and policies like workers compensation within one company can save trucking companies or motor carriers a significant annual premium in most cases.

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Bucket Trucks – A Guide For Maintenance Safety

Maintenance is necessary for safe and consistent operation of bucket trucks. Only qualified workers should be allowed to service or maintenance a vehicle. It is advised that, while you are working on the bucket trucks, you attach a tag or sign to the starter or steering wheel stating to not operate. If you don’t need to start the truck while working on it, you should take the key out of the ignition.

Preparing your work area is integral to safety. You must have a level and clean working area with plenty of room. Make sure there is enough light to see what you are working on. It is important to clean up grease, oil, or any other slippery substances before maintenance.

Protective gear is made with a specific reason in mind; to keep you safe. You should always wear appropriate safety gear or clothing that the job requires. Safety glass, face shields, rubber aprons, rubber gloves, and safety shoes are all part of working safely on bucket trucks. Be cautious around moving parts and keep loose clothing and hair away from them. If your hair is long, tie it up. You definitely do not want to be involved in a freak accident.

When working on the truck, always start the engine from the driver’s seat. Trying anything else is extremely dangerous and should never be done. Plus, if it’s a manual, you’re just going to have a dang hard time. Make sure there is no pressure in the hydraulic system when you go to disconnect components, as serious injury can occur. For example, if you get hasty and disconnect the hydraulic system before you check the pressure level, you could have a major eruption of hydraulic fluid. It can get in your eyes, in your hair, or on your skin. None of that is good. Be sure to also properly ventilate your work area if you are planning to run the engine.

Test the insulated boom and the liner regularly. This is from ANSI’s most current revision of safety practices. This must be done when hose, oil or other components pass through the insulated portions of the boom.

Make sure to use the proper support systems when working underneath bucket trucks. If you don’t, pinching or crushing injuries or even death may occur. Make sure the jacks or hoist are in good condition before using them and never use concrete blocks. If a bucket truck or other utility truck happens to fall on you, it will probably be the last time anything falls on you.

Disconnect the battery before working on electrical components of the truck. As obvious as it seems, this is one of the most over looked safety precautions. It’s also the quickest way to get you electrocuted. Removing the ground cables first is the best option. Avoid battery hazards at all costs. Batteries contain very damaging acid and must be treated carefully. Never charge or jump a battery if it is frozen. When working with pressurized fluids it’s best to install cylinder rod support struts. Wear your gloves. Remove caps slowly and gradually. Always clean up spills as soon as possible. If it a spill of significant size, pour some sand over it to soak it up.

Cooling systems are important to be careful around as they can get to very hot temperatures. Make sure after running the vehicle, you wait until it has cooled off before you remove the radiator cap. Smoking while near an engine is never a good idea. Use common sense. Fuel and fumes can catch fire sending the entire work site up in flames.

Tires are also an important aspect of the bucket truck that needs to be constantly and properly maintained. Specific tools are required to change tires and must be used correctly. Tire repair manuals are the best source to follow step by step. Never operate bucket trucks with defects in the tires or wheels. Be sure to keep tire pressure at the right level and make sure to check pressure often. Maintenance and repair of tires should be done only by experienced workers. Tires on bucket trucks are significantly larger than your average truck tires and, in addition, need commercial tools to get the job done.

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Cheap Truck Insurance Guide

Make no mistakes, Americans love to drive trucks. As a statement of fact, according to research by experts, pickup truck drivers and owners top the list of loyal car and insurance buyers in the United States. The high cost of gas and hard economic times still does not discourage these drivers.

No matter the truck you love to drive; be it the common Ford F-Series, a Chevrolet Silverado or the rugged Dodge Ram, it is wise for you to know and understand some of the major factors that affects the rates you pay for truck insurance.

Being equipped with the right information on truck insurance rates, truck lovers and owners can save hundreds of dollars from their monthly insurance premiums. This makes more money to be available for gas, little repairs and maintenance, and customization for those that loves to be unique.

For you to enjoy lower insurance rates for your truck, be sure to for or install the following in your truck:

4 wheel, anti-lock disc braking system

Front and side curtain airbags

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

Hill start function or assist

Trailer sway balance and control. This helps when there’s need for towing.

These features may not present in older trucks but they are mostly added to newer truck models. Truck buyers are advised to have this in mind when there’s need to buy a truck and deciding between buying a new truck or a used truck is an issue.Trucks are great vehicles and so they require high quality protection at a cheap price.

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