Our trucking division does the heavy hauling, delivery, and haul away of many materials and construction equipment. We rely heavily on our trucking team to provide everything needed for our construction sites. With new CDL laws, we wanted to recap some changes that are coming. Get full updates on our newsroom.
Those seeking a commercial driver's license after February 7th will have new requirements before earning permits to get behind the wheel. The new Training Provider Registry will improve highway safety by ensuring that entry-level drivers of commercial motor vehicles complete training as required by new Entry-Level Driver Training regulations.
The ELDT regulations set the minimum Federal requirements for training that entry-level drivers must complete before being permitted to take certain commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills or knowledge tests.
Who is entry-level? Drivers applying to:
• Obtain a Class A CDL or Class B CDL for the first time
• Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL
• Obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.
The ELDT regulations are not retroactive. Individuals who were issued a CDL or an S, P, or H endorsement prior to February 7, 2022 are not required to complete training for respective CDL or endorsement.
For more information on the program visit the Department of Transportation site.
Spring into 2022 with health. The Fortress Development Solutions team is putting on a health and fitness challenge to get employees to focus on their health this year. The challenge will go for 8 weeks, from January 31st to March 28th. Safety and health go hand in hand on construction sites. From staying hydrated to stretching, there are many small steps you can make to keep your construction sites safe.
Our team is committing to health in 2022 by kicking off a health and fitness challenge. Whether you’re looking to make small changes to your health or larger overall lifestyle changes, we have put together a few challenge options to choose from. Employees can track their progress and winners will be voted on by Owner and Division Managers. Check-in on payday at the Service Center with progress or check-in during tailgate meetings. Winners will get a cash prize! Below are a few of the challenges you can choose from. Pick a goal, or several, and let’s get healthy together!
• Stop or reduce tobacco use
• 1 gallon of water intake/day
• Calisthenics – reach your toes, stretching to reduce pain and risk of injury, try a new class
• Largest gain in weightlifting
• 7500 steps/day
• 20 minutes exercise/day
• Reduce daily caloric intake by 200 and show total weight loss
• Al a Carte Goal
• Before and after to show results of completing several challenges together
There are many things your business can incorporate to keep your employees safe. From staying hydrated to changing up eating habits, there are steps small and large you can take towards a healthier workplace. Below are a few things your employees can do to reduce injury on the job.
• Staying hydrated
• Eating healthy
Stretching for just a few minutes before work is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of injuries. Cold joints, tendons, and muscles are more likely to get strained, and stretching gets our team warmed up and ready to work safely.
Hydration is key when performing a physically demanding job like construction. Have water stations available for your team at each site to prevent dehydration or heat exhaustion. Even in the wintertime hydration is very important.
Staying active with exercise is another great way to stay healthy and prevent injury. Exercising will increase your muscular endurance on a job site, and increase your work capacity on the job. It’s also important to listen to your body and rest when needed. Getting good sleep after a workout will help your muscles rest and help keep you on track for your exercise goals. Here are a few exercises that are great for our line of work.
• Push up / press – moving equipment in place
• Squat – picking up a bag of concrete
• Deadlift – picking up materials
• Row – picking up a toolbox or material
• Overhead Pres – installing materials overhead
• Step-Ups – climbing ladders
• Pull up – compound exercise to build overall upper-body strength
When you work in a physically demanding job like construction, you’re constantly burning calories. Finding healthy ways to make sure you’re eating the right amount of food can help you stay fit and prevent that sluggish after-lunch feeling. Try developing a meal plan that works for you and never skip breakfast. Most construction workers are on the construction site from before sunrise till sunset. Making sure you have healthy snacks on hand can help keep you fueled for the day.
Let us know how you’re getting healthy on your construction sites. Tag us on your progress updates so we can all help each other stay accountable. Use #FortressFitnessChallenge
When it comes to keeping your construction sites safe, our team has many practices in place for year-round safety. From cold weather and ice storms to high winds and more, our team is working to make sure they’re staying safe on your construction sites. Safe work practices not only help with our employees’ health but also keep your projects running smoothly and on time. We did a roundup of some great toolbox talks to help your team with their next weather event.
High wind is one component of weather that can pose many hazards for workers. It can make hauling and trucking dangerous, move materials and equipment throughout work sites, and can even make heavy equipment operation more difficult. Our goal is to keep employees protected and keep our sites hazard-free. We can eliminate the hazards by enforcing stop work if you sense a hazard due to wind conditions.
• Jobs involving aerial lifts, cranes, and sheathing materials must be properly evaluated with wind conditions.
• Different or additional PPE may be required (goggles vs. safety glasses against flying dust and debris).
• Park heavy equipment and light-duty vehicles so that the wind is not blowing directly against the side used to enter/exit the vehicle.
• Do not react or reach for dropping objects (i.e. losing a hardhat in the wind). This can result in slips, falls, and strain/sprains.
• All hoarding must be designed/engineered to sustain loads to which it is likely to be subjected, such as wind, snow loads, and falling debris.
• Fencing must be set back an appropriate distance from the edge of an excavation - which varies depending on site conditions.
• Where a scaffold is enclosed by a tarp or other cover, induced loads (i.e. wind) must be considered. Consult with the manufacturer's instructions for the scaffold or seek the direction of a professional engineer.
Ice and snow can mess with timelines, equipment, employees getting to job sites, and can cause many more problems. One way to prevent issues is to remove ice and snow from worksites, equipment, and walkways.
• Use sand, salt, or other de-icing material to prevent slips and falls.
• Watch your footing.
• Steel beams, decks, and platforms may be clear in sunny areas but icy in the shade. The same goes for plywood decks.
• Simply turning icy planks over may not be enough because ice often forms on the underside. Remove icicles, especially when the temperature starts to warm up. If icicles can’t be removed, rope off the area below them and put up warning signs.
• Clear frost and snow completely from all windows, lights, and mirrors on vehicles and heavy equipment.
• When possible, keep your arms free to cushion a fall.
• Wear gloves, as well as head coverings that accommodate a hard hat. If you get hot while working, open your jacket but keep your hat and gloves on.
From icy road conditions and chain requirements to construction zones and more, there are many hazards on the road for heavy haul drivers to be aware of. Our goal is to keep our trucking division safe and keep your projects running smoothly. Check out these tips for your next toolbox talk.
• Make sure your lights are on and working and watch for brake lights on the vehicles ahead of you.
• Clean the ice and snow off mirrors, windows, lights, and reflective tape.
• Be extra cautious on entrance and exit ramps. A sharp turn on a slippery road means double trouble. Be aware of bridges. Their surfaces freeze first and can be more slippery than the roadway itself.
• Start braking early for stop signs and red lights. Intersections can be icier than the roads leading to them.
• Keep in mind the importance of a good following distance.
• Don’t drive in the ruts of other vehicles. Their spinning wheels have probably packed the snow into ice.
• Accelerate/decelerate carefully and gradually. Remember that the tractor must pull the trailer. If the pavement is slick, the conditions are ripe for a jackknife.
• Turn the engine brake off when on wet, icy, or snow-covered roads, when approaching bridges, on-ramps, or exit ramps.