*This post is based on an internal email sent by Patricia Nowak on 4/21/2021.
Every trip should start with good planning.
I want to remind everyone of some policies that need to be followed.
These are all in the Star Fleet binder that is handed out at orientation. Please make sure that you have familiarized yourself with these policies and are following them.
When you don’t follow them, it makes our customers wonder whether there are any policies and why our independent contractors are not following them.
It also doesn’t help if you are in an accident and do not follow the policies. If it goes to court, it looks really bad if the company and/or drivers are not following the policies and laws that apply.
- Accident and damage procedures: All accidents and damages must be reported to dispatch or the terminal manager right away. Do not go on to delivery without having permission from Star Fleet dispatch or manager. The customers get really upset when they don’t know ahead of time that there is damage. The shipper may need to contact the consignee to see if they still want the delivery. If there is a frame or axle issue, they may want to send out someone to look at it and/or repair it at the scene. Damages at the pickup point need to be noted on the inspection sheets. If this is a new RV, the factory may not want it shipped so if there are a lot of scratches, any dents, holes, cracks, or broken items, let dispatch know and wait for an answer on whether it is clear to be moved. If it is a used unit of any kind, make sure you take photos and mark all the damages on the inspection sheet. This is especially important on autos. Ask you terminal manager for a “Drug and Alcohol letter” in the event you are in an accident. Please read this letter and follow the polices set forth in the Star Fleet binder.
- Torqueing lug nuts: Both the RV and manufactured home factories require lug nuts to be torqued to a specific amount depending on the type and size of the rim. Make sure you are torqueing the lug nuts properly at pickup and again within 50 miles down the road. Failure to do so could result in a wheel coming off. Wheels could end up hitting other vehicles or pedestrians! If you do not wish to manually torque your lug nuts, it is recommended we use a pneumatic torque gun versus an impact wrench, as an impact wrench can weaken the stud of the bolt. We want to avoid this.
- Hours of Service: Every vehicle that works for Star Fleet is being driven by a commercial driver. You are required to fill out either a time sheet if working as a pull in driver or a log book if driving over the road. These are required by FMCSR §395 to be completed every day, 365 days a year! The hours of service rules are in the binder and in the FMCSR pocketbook that everyone receives in their binder. I encourage you to read the regulations. Star Fleet requires every truck to log every trip as a round trip. We do that because of guidance we receive from the regulations in not only the FMCSR but also from the ICC – Interstate Commerce Commission. It doesn’t matter if someone tells you that you aren’t required to log your return trip home from delivery. Star Fleet requires it because many in the FMCSA and insurance industries give us guidance that it is the correct thing to do. If you are claiming those return miles on your taxes, the IRS will ask for proof that it was work related during an audit. If you can’t prove it was work related, they will not allow you to use the miles for a deduction. Work related items must be logged on your log book as on duty and/or driving time per the FMCSR. Advancing yourself to gain an advantage toward movement toward your next pickup must be recorded as driving time (not personal conveyance). Driveaway drivers are a little different and I will send out a separate reminder to that fleet regarding how to log your returns.
Change of equipment: If you wish to use a different truck or lowboy trailer, it must be leased on to Star Fleet Trucking. Contact recruiting at 574-825-1060 to speak to them about the new equipment and to schedule an appointment to inspect and sign the lease. All commercial equipment must have a DOT inspection completed with a receipt. Recruiting will also need the registration for pickups (25,000 – 26,000 lbs.), title in your name if it is going to be apportion plated by Star Fleet, current commercial insurance certificate for $1,000,000 in either unladen or bobtail insurance, and the vehicles must be outfitted to Star Fleet’s specs so we can service our customers better