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Give Me A Break! Am I exempt from HOS or ELDs?

Failing to have logs or follow hours-of-service (HOS) rules are among the top violations that DOT auditors and roadside officers cite every year. Many motor carriers and drivers think they're exempt from all or portions of the HOS rules — now including the rules for electronic logging devices (ELDs) — but many drivers who think they're exempt are not, while others don't use the exemptions properly. Are you or your employees subject to HOS and ELD rules? Do you qualify for an exemption? From local drivers to construction workers, sleeper teams to e-log users, this webcast will discuss who's subject to — and who's exempt from — the hours-of-service and ELD rules, and what you need to do to stay in compliance this year and beyond. Join us today!

Click here to review the Webinar !!

Be Responsible on the Road

Be Responsible on the Road Tip Sheet-2

Driving in the Rain

Wet pavement contributes to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes each year. When visibility is limited by wet weather, it's important that your car itself doesn't impede your sight. Safety starts before you drive, and your goal should be to see and be seen.

Check Your Vehicle

Once a month, clean the outsides and insides of windshields and windows, and check your windshield wiper blades for wear. Check the level of your washer fluid once a week. Do a quick check of headlights, taillights, turn signals and tire treads before driving the car for the first time each day. Rain or no rain, operating without signal lights, you're a hazard—and it's a ticketable offense. Proper tire tread depth and inflation areimperative to maintaining good traction on wet roadways. Check tread depth with a quarter inserted upside down into the tire groove. If you can see above Washington's head, start shopping for new tires. Check each tire's pressure, including the spare, and be sure to check the pressure when the tires are cold.

Avoid Cruise Control

This feature works great in dry conditions, but when used in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle can increase. The driver may need to reduce the car's speed which cannot be accomplished when cruise control is engaged. it is important to concentrate fully on every aspect of driving. Avoiding cruise control will allow the driver more options to choose from when responding to a potential loss-of-traction situation.

Slow Down and Leave Room

Slowing down during wet weather driving can be critical to reducing a car's chance of hydroplaning, when the tires rise up on a film of water. With as little as 1/12 inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the road. Drivers should reduce their speed to correspond to the amount of water on the roadway. At speeds as low as 35 mph, new tires can still lose some contact with the roadway.To reduce chances of hydroplaning, drivers should slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you. Also, it's important for motorists to allow ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance of the vehicle in front of them and beginning to slow down to stop for intersections, turns and other traffic early.

Responding to a Skid

Even careful drivers can experience skids. If a driver feels their car begin to skid, it's important to not panic and follow these basic steps:

•Continue to look and steer in the direction in which the driver wants the car to go.
•Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle's balance and make it harder to control.

If you feel the vehicle begin to skid, continue tolook and steer in the direction you want the car to go. Stay calm and avoid slamming on the brakes to maintain control.

Be Extra Cautious

Overall be extra cautious in wet weather. Slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and allow ample stopping distance between you and the vehicles in front of you. But just as you would stay off the roads in heavy snow, it's OK to stay home in heavy rain. If you have a small business in a flood-prone area and there's lots of recipitation on the way, try to make arrangements for employees to work from home so they don't have to worry about making the commute on potentially flooded roads.

For more traffic safety information visit the Our Driving Concern: Texas Employer Traffic Safety Program website at: or For more tips on driving in heavy rain and other extreme weather, check out the National Safety Council's defensive driving courses.

Text Message for Towing Dispatch

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MercurySend ( provides a new way for dispatch to follow up with roadside customers on quality of service via text message, it can also be used send valuable ETA messages and internal team member messages.

From any desktop, laptop or tablet dispatch can now login, create template messages, add users, and read all messages sent and received in their web based management portal.

Basically MercurySend is modern, cost effective and verifiable way for dispatchers to maintain constant communications with roadside customers.

Best of all text message reaches every cell phone model and plan making it the most reliable way to reach your customers anywhere.

According to Adam Davids Founder of MercurySend, "phone calls are now almost always ignored from a phone number people don't know, often going to voicemail that people don't listen to for days, if at all. This is a major problem for an industry that relies heavily on time critical communications, customer satisfaction, and feedback".

Dispatch can now send a text message and virtually everyone reads and replies to their text messages immediately.

The service provides dispatch with the necessary tools to follow up with customers and measure customer replies in real time.

For more information go to

Increase Your Tows

TowTrax is a free phone app that can be used by consumers, motor clubs, or other large customers to request on-demand tows on IOS and Android smart phones. TowTrax is designed to give both large and small tow companies tows they never had before along with a way to monitor existing business. The tow fees are pre-determined by region. TowTrax gives you a new revenue stream while reducing expenses.

Dispatch can monitor the location of each driver and the activity of each truck in your fleet giving the customer a quick response by sending the closest truck to the tow.
Why use TowTrax?

• Easily accessible
• Works on all smartphones
• Free download
• Easy to install
• Improved ETA's
• Gives you tows you never had
• Additional revenue streams
• Reduces your fuel bill
• Know where your trucks are
• Dispatch can see what drivers are available
• QuickBooks interface
• Audible job notifications to drivers
• Produces customer receipt that can be used as tow ticket
• Track driver productivity for payroll
• Option to accept or reject calls
• Know fee prior to tow; no "negotiating"
• Accurate, automatic mileage tracking
• Dispatch and customer can track driver progress
• Reduces customer calls for status
• Provides reporting

Go to and click on TowTrax Roadside assistance. See how it works. We are testing with several large customers and we have tows for you today. To sign up now call Dan Messina at 469-774-0340 or e-mail Dan at

Contact Info

  • Southwest Tow Operators
  • 660 N Central Expressway, Suite 230
  • Plano, Texas 75074
  • Toll Free: (866) 320-9300

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