Before the Cows Come Home: A Milk Hauler’s Pre-Route Checklist
Ensuring safe and secure transport begins long before haulers ever get to their pickup location; it starts prior to departure, when drivers perform their pre-route checks to ensure that they have the equipment they need, and that everything is in top working condition.
All drivers perform a pre-route checklist inspection (sometimes called a “circle check,” because it involves circling the vehicle to inspect it from all sides), but milk haulers need to take extra steps to ensure that their vehicles are safe to transport food products.
Before leaving to make collections, drivers must ensure that:
- The truck tank and transfer equipment are in proper working condition, and have been fully sanitized.
- The most recent wash tag, containing the following information, must be attached:
- The date and location of the tank’s most recent cleaning and sanitization
- The signature of the employee who performed the washing and sterilization
- The truck must have the following testing equipment:
- An adequate supply of sample containers
- A sample dipper
- Approved sanitizing solution in a covered dipper container, as well as a sanitizing solution test kit.
- An insulated sample carrying case with a rack, to hold samples.
- Adequate ice or other refrigerant to maintain the samples at the proper (cold) temperature.
- They have a dial thermometer that is accurate to within 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
- They have a waterproof, indelible marker to identify and label samples, and pens or pencils for all other documentation.
- They have a watch or other timing device, for ensuring adequate time lapses during measurements.
- They have an adequate supply of milk weight tickets.
- They have single-service paper towels, for proper hand-washing.
In addition to a regular pre-route circle check, these steps help ensure that milk haulers have the tools they need, in proper working condition, to perform their many necessary checks and evaluations. Performing proper checks according to the proper protocol is an essential part of how haulers ensure safe and efficient milk processing.