Matt Manoli

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DKB Hurricane Relief Team Heads Home from FL

Posted by Matt Manoli on Sep 26, 2017 9:00:00 AM

way to texas-1.jpg

BOSTON, MA, Sept. 26, 2017/PR Newswire/ -  Two weeks after Hurricane Irma hit Southern Florida, ten fuel trucks from New England are on their way home after working with FEMA in both the Texas and Florida restoration efforts.

When the trucks were requested to head to Florida, Massachusetts-based fuel distributor Dennis K. Burke, Inc. already had trucks working with FEMA in Texas. Diesel fuel and gasoline were needed for generators, first responder vehicles, and other needs on the ground.

Along the way, the drivers saw convoy after convoy of utility trucks and tree-cutting crews heading there too. At the peak of Hurricane Irma, 15 million people were without power. Fuel trucks were sent to help support the utility vehicles traveling to some of the worst hit areas of Florida.

One of the Burke trucks was assigned to meet up with utility trucks from Texas, and traveled with them through the night, fueling their trucks and equipment as they worked their way down to a staging area in the Orlando area. Support was pouring in from around the country, and their vehicles needed fueling too.

About 27,000 utility workers were working their way across Florida to restore power. That’s not including the tree-trimming crews that worked alongside the utility workers.

The utility crews and tree-cutting crews stayed overnight at 20 staging areas across the state. At these staging areas, trucks and equipment were fueled while they were parked and out-of-service. Each of these sites provided fuel, food, water, showers, and a place to sleep for about 1,000 workers.

Power has been restored in most areas, except in areas where there was extensive flooding or tornado damage. Clean up continues, and for many storm-ravaged neighborhoods, the long road to rebuilding has begun. 

“We’re so proud of our drivers helping with storm recovery,” said Dan Hill, director of operation for Dennis K. Burke, Inc. “They worked hard and under difficult conditions for many days. We look forward to welcoming them home.”

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Topics: Safety, FEMA, texas, Florida, hurricane irma

DKB Heads to Houston for FEMA Emergency Response

Posted by Matt Manoli on Aug 30, 2017 2:00:00 PM

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Boston, MA, August 30, 2017 - On behalf of FEMA, early Monday morning Dennis K Burke mobilized several tankers to head out to Fort Hood military base outside of Houston, Texas, to help with the area’s emergency management needs in the wake of unprecedented disaster from Hurricane Harvey. Dennis K Burke Inc. has worked with FEMA before in a post-storm emergency response capacity and look forward to doing everything they can to help Texas recover from this devastation as quickly as possible.

As you probably have seen, Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 storm and has dumped a years’ worth of rain on the Houston & Southeast Texas areas, causing devastating floods. To put the amount of rain Texas has received in perspective, according to the National Weather Service, “if Southeast Texas were New England, the area in which 20-30 inches of rain had fallen over the first 3 days of the storm would encompass all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.”

The NWS is keeping an eye on the storm, which is impacting Louisiana currently on its track back to the Gulf. Obviously, this storm could continue to have substantial impacts. To keep up on the latest alerts, visit the National Weather Service here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#Harvey
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Topics: Tank Truck Safety Training, hurricane harvey, texas, houston

Final Version of E-Log Regulation to be Released This Month

Posted by Matt Manoli on Nov 19, 2015 10:39:08 AM

Inside of a truck cab with GPS navigation

This week the White House signed off on a final version of the proposed regulation to require e-logs to be used across the trucking industry in order to more efficiently track driver hours for both employers and, more importantly, to ensure DOT hours of service compliance.

The DOT has announced that the final language of the regulation and its effective dates will be published by the end of this month.

E-logs have been a contentious issue in the trucking industry for the past several years - So much so, in fact, that the proposed regulations have been pushed off and delayed several times.

There’s some consensus that e-logs are a good thing, a lot of the issue is a feeling that implementation costs etc.  affect smaller fleets and owner operators much more severely than say larger, or national fleets. That’s very true. There’s also concern about yet another mandate.

A pretty good summary on what the for and against arguments are that I read was recently published on a CCJ Point-Counterpoint Recap and you can read the whole thing here:( Point-Counterpoint: Truckers Square off in Debate)   (As an aside, CCJ is an excellent news source on all things trucking)

For our part, we have been using e-logs for quite some time and would never go back. It definitely simplifies tracking compliance for the DOT, and even more importantly it saves our drivers from the time and aggravation paper logs can be the source of.  However, we’re a pretty large fleet, so it made sense for us and our drivers, that may not be the case for everyone.

It will be interesting to see what the final ruling looks like and how long fleets will have to implement, and if there will be any exceptions for smaller operators.

What are your thoughts on the e-log mandate?

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Topics: Safety, elogs

New Hampshire goes 100% Hands-Free Driving July 1

Posted by Matt Manoli on Jun 25, 2015 1:32:19 PM

Road sign reading, Don't text and drive, arrive alive. 

In case you missed it - the State of New Hampshire is going Hands Free. The new law, effective July 1 2015 bans the use of any hand held electronic devices including cell phones, tablets, or any other electronic device requiring user input. 

The use of handsfree and bluetooth communication devices will be allowed. 

You will still be able to use one-hand, non cell phone radios as well. 

Emergency calls to 911 or public safety agencies are exempt from the ban. 

So what happens if you break the law? Some pretty steep fines, from $100 dollars for the first offense, up to $500 for the third offense within two years - not including possible additional penalty assessments. 

Why is NH going hands free? Distracted driving is a serious issue, and the State reports that 116 fatal crashes occured in the last 4 years as a direct result of distracted driving. 

I think this is a positive safety move for the State - we adopted a company wide hands free policy in 2010 (you can read the policy here: Distracted Driving Policy

If you are concerned about employee or driver compliance with hands free or no cell phone policies, there are several apps on the market to ensure compliance - you can read about the one we use here: Want Safer Drivers? There's an App for That )

Any thoughts or questions about the rule, feel free to give us a shout.

Thanks for reading! 

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Topics: Safety, Safe Driving Policy

Get Your Trucks Ready - Road Check is June 2-4!

Posted by Matt Manoli on May 12, 2015 11:56:13 AM

Woman performing a truck safety inspection

The Annual Road Check 72 hour inspection blitz on Commercial Vehicles is set to take place this year from June 2-4. 

The CVSA inspects an average of 17-18 Commercial Vehicles PER MINUTE during the 3 day period, so it's important to make sure you and your truck are prepared. The purpose of the annual blitz is to ensure the safety of the public traveling on highways, but it also serves to protect drivers themselves by reminding us to be vigilant checking on all possible safety issues on our vehicles and stick with best practices to ensure everyone is as safe as reasonably possible. 

The top categories for violations are: Brakes, Lights, Tires, and Cargo Securement. 

Quick steps to make sure you pass:

  • Make sure youre wearing your seatbelt! It sounds silly but this is actually the most commonly cited violation on inspection, and its the easiest one to correct.
  • Make sure your brakes are working properly and dont show excessive wear, corrosion, or air leakage
  • Make sure coupling devices are present in proper number and are in acceptable condition - no excessive wear, missing parts, or cracks. 
  • Make sure all your lights are working properly
  • Make sure your tires are in proper condition - acceptable tread depth, proper inflation, no obvious visible damage
  • Make sure your cargo is secured properly! This is the 4th most common reason for being put out of service, and really should be something we are all on top of every day. 

The above points are critical for the annual inspection, but they're also things you should really be checking in your pre and post trip vehicle inspections daily as well. It takes very little time to give your truck a once over and make sure everything is as it should be, and the payoff for doing so is enormous. 

We pulled the information for the above points from the CVSA's published "The Inspectors Seat" chart, which you can read in full here: The Inspector's Seat . There is also a lot of excellent information about the Road Check program, prior year results, and general safety info at the CVSA's website, which is www.cvsa.org 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us in the comments section. Good luck everyone!!

 

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Topics: Safety, Safe Driving Policy, Roadcheck, Hazmat

Gov Baker Issues Hours of Service Waiver for MA

Posted by Matt Manoli on Jan 28, 2015 10:41:57 AM

Snow plow plowing a snow covered road

Governor Baker has issued an Hours of Service waiver for Heating Oil and Propane deliveries in Massachusetts. This follows the Declaration of Emergency and State-Wide Travel Ban issued for Monday's blizzard.

The travel ban is lifted, but the HOS waiver is in place as of January 28th until the Governor declares it's over.

The executive order is attached for your review, if you're a carrier in MA make sure you check it out and keep a copy to make sure you remain in compliance. 

As an aside - The travel ban might be lifted but its still crazy driving out there, take it slow and be safe! 

You can access the official waiver document here: Governor Baker - HOS Waiver 2015

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Topics: Safety, Emergency Fuel, hos waiver

Extreme Driving Conditions - Quick Tips to Stay Safe

Posted by Matt Manoli on Jan 12, 2015 9:11:25 AM

Snow covered road with a road sign showing the road is slippery

We all know the running joke, no one in New England seems to remember how to drive the second it starts raining or especially snowing. But in all seriousness, its important to take a step back when the temperature drops and the snow starts falling, and make sure you're taking the simple steps necessary to make sure youre handling the tougher conditions safely.

Stay Back - Leave Time to React

In ideal road conditions, the safest following distance is 3-4 seconds. In snowy or icy conditions however, you want to leave at least 8-10 seconds of following time between you and the vehicle ahead of you. No easy task on some of our more infamous Massachusetts highways, but still an important proactive and simple measure you can take to vastly decrease your odds of a collision.

Be Aware of the Day's Varying Hazards

Is there a rain or wind advisory? Fog? Is the sun glaring off all that snow and ice? 

In rainy or slushy conditions, speed management is critical for avoiding hydroplaning, and keeping a safe distance between your truck and other vehicles is of paramount importance. The same goes for speed management and distance with foggy conditions, as the lack of visibility means its more important than ever to give yourself the most possible reaction time.

Sun glare can be mitigated with sunglasses and a visor, obviously. But keep in mind also that the difficulty in visibility even with those measures in place means you should still be watching your distance from other vehicles and speed, because not everyone else on the road is taking the steps to maximize their own visibility. 

Snow Driving - the worst, right? In any type of snow, but especially thick, slushy snow managing your speed and making sure youre taking your time on accelerations and decelerations is absolutely essential. In both snow and ice your braking distance can be much greater than it is in ideal conditions, so distance from other vehicles is key. Reduced traction from snow or ice packing on a road can result in it having 20% of the traction of a wet road. Poor traction means spinning wheels, so paying close attention to your speed, acceleration and deceleration is critical.

Black Ice - one of the most dangerous driving situations out there in the winter. Drivers should pay attention to the spray thrown from other surrounding vehicles - if it suddenly stops, it may indicate black ice is forming ahead.  

Reduced visibility from snow and ice buildup is hazardous. If you cannot see in ALL directions, it is not safe for you to be driving.

Additionally, should your vehicle break down in any of these extreme conditions, immediately call into your dispatcher or supervisor. You should not attempt to walk for help unless absolutely neccessary, and if so leave a note indicating your direction and attempted destination, etc. If your engine is able to run, remain in the truck with the engine running and the window cracked to prevent carbon monoxide buildup and wait for help to arrive. 

 

 

 

 

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Topics: Safety, Safe Driving Policy, winter driving

It Pays to Pay Extra Attention to Your Truck for Winter Driving

Posted by Matt Manoli on Jan 9, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Semi-truck driving on a snowy mountain road

It Pays to Pay Closer Attention to your Truck Inspections in Extreme Weather

In addition to your regular daily vehicle inspections, once the cold weather hits its important to remember to pay extra attention to certain parts, fluids, and accessories. 

  • Coolant & Antifreeze - both of these fluids need to be full at all times to help prevent any cold related engine problems
  • Windshields - Make sure your defrosters are working properly at all times, your wipers are properly fitted so they press the window hard enough to completely clear the vision field. Your washer fluid should always be full, and you should be using a cold weather fluid, like a -20 formula.
  • Tires - you need to make sure your tires are in good condition for winter driving, good tread, properly balanced and inflated. 
  • Brakes - Make sure your brakes are properly adjusted, and make sure you are regularly checking for ice on the brake linings, and keeping air tanks as moisture free as possible. In a winter where youre dealing with a lot of ice driving & braking, pay attention to wear.
  • Fuel Tank - you should be keeping your fuel tank full at all times if possible, especially overnight. Definitely do a top off when the forecast is calling for bad weather the next morning. 
  • Lights & Reflectors - make sure that your lights are working, and make sure that all lights and reflectors are free from ice and snow before heading out - in this weather you need all the visibility advantages you can get.
  • Exhaust - make sure exhaust fittings are tight to prevent carbon monoxide leaking. Also make sure your exhaust piping is free of snow and ice.
  • Wiring & Airlines - any exposed airlines and wiring on your vehicle should be free of snow and ice
  • Coupling Devices - Before coupling its critical that all snow and ice is removed from the 5th wheel. In below freezing temperatures, the jaws of the coupling device may not lock if the grease is frozen. The locking should be double checked, and the 5th wheel should be lubricated.
  • Handholds, steps, and deck plates - should always be cleared of ice and snow to avoid falls. Always remember the 3 points of contact rule!


Winter Driving Equipment

The following items should ALWAYS be in your vehicle for winter driving:

  • Windshield scraper
  • Snow Brush
  • Small Shovel
  • Flashlight
  • Warning Devices 

Its also advisable to think about your safety too - keep bottled water, some snacks, a cell phone/CB, and something to keep you warm should the need arise.

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Topics: Safety, Safe Driving Policy, winter driving

Ensure A Safe Winter Delivery with these 3 Steps

Posted by Matt Manoli on Jan 8, 2015 10:43:37 AM

Winter is officially here! Just a quick reminder on simple steps that help DKB drivers deliver safely and efficiently to your business during inclement weather. 

First, when snow is predicted, please utilize a Safety cone over fill ports.  This deflects snow and ice from covers and fills which allows drivers to locate the fillports in a timely manner.  Time spent searching for fills and chipping ice is time not spent delivering fuel.

Second, please make sure fills are properly color coded per API specifications.  We have attached a chart for reference below. 

 Third, please be sure that all drive isles, stairs and access ways are clear of snow and ice so Drivers can safely make deliveries to your tanks.

 Thank You all for your business and cooperation this winter season.  Remember, you are never the last stop!

API fill chart

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Topics: Safety, API, safe delivery

Maintaining SPCC Plan for Proactive Safety & Environmental Compliance

Posted by Matt Manoli on Nov 14, 2014 12:11:15 PM

Red circle with a line through it covering oil barrels with an oil slick coming from the barrels

There are dozens of things to keep in mind to stay on the right side of Environmental Regulations for us fuel dealers, one of which is the SPCC plan.

Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans (SPCC's) are a critical part of operating safely. If you store more than 12,000 gallons of petroleum products, regardless of packaging, you're required to have one but its actually a positive requirement when you think about it, and one that insures that your company and employees are always taking safety into account by knowing exactly what to do any time there is an issue. 

We retrain all our drivers on SPCC plans annually to make sure we keep everything fresh, and this also lets us get feedback from drivers on issues they see in the field, so we can proactively address them as needed. Your drivers are your eyes in the field and boots on the ground and your best source of information for both keeping everyone operating safely,and keeping them happy!

Making sure everyone is up to date and has a step-by-step detailed plan of action is a relatively simple way for us to make sure we're all focused on safety all the time. 

Ed wrote an article for Oil & Energy on SPCC plans and staying on top of regulations for the November issue, you can read the full article here at Oil & Energy Online 

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Topics: Safety, environment, Spill Prevention, SPCC Plan, Environmental Compliance