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In 2008, Free Geek was awarded a grant from the Meyer Foundation to purchase a box truck with lift gate for pickups and deliveries. It was purchased on April 3rd, 2008. To view the original proposal, go to Truck Grant Proposal.
- Year: 2004
- Make: GMC
- Model: W4500
- Engine Type: 4HEITC
- Transmission: Automatic, 4 speed
- Horsepower: 175
- Brake Type: Hydraulic
- Gross Vehicle Weight: 14,500 lbs
- Box Height: 12'
- Box Length: 16'
- Box Width: 8'
- VIN: J8DC4B14647007318
- Plate Number: CN02974
- Fuel Type: (Bio)Diesel
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 30 gallons
Free Geek's truck and drivers are insured by American States Insurance Company of Texas. All FG drivers must submit a copy of their driver's license to the insurance company and be approved prior to operating the truck. A current copy of our Automobile Liability Identification Card must be kept in the glove box at all times, along with the vehicle registration.
Each driver shall have a copy of the gas tank key presented to them with the ignition & padlock keys. The tank has a 30 gallon capacity and runs on bio-diesel. Refuel the truck when the tank is at 25% or before any pickups covering long distances.
We generally patronize Jay's Garage, located at 734 Southeast 7th Avenue. They are open weekdays from 7 AM - 7 PM, and weekends from 8 AM - 6 PM.
We have a credit account with them. After having them fill the tank, just let the attendant know you are from Free Geek (they should know this already since the truck has our logo on it) and they will give you a receipt. Bring this to a Bean counter, preferably Richard. .
- Before getting in to the vehicle, walk around the perimeter and look for anything broken, bent or out of place.
- The back of the truck should be locked, as well as both doors.
- Windows should be rolled up completely.
- Look under the truck and check for loose wires or sliced lines (it's happened before).
- Observe the tire pressure visually; in cold weather especially, tire pressure may decrease.
- Examine the lift gate to ensure it is in working order
Starting the Truck
Begin by putting the key in the ignition and turning it forward three clicks until all of the lights on the dash turn on. Hold it here until the TRANS and ABS lights shut off. Turn the key back toward you again, then forward all the way to start.
On cold days, the engine can take up to 15 minutes to warm up. Be sure to give yourself adequate time to start the truck before your pickup shift.
The smell of biodiesel may be like roses to the environmentally conscious, but it is not particularly pleasant for the people working in the warehouse. If you start the truck and plan to leave it running in the lot for a while, be sure the warehouse doors are closed unless the coordinator in the warehouse directs you otherwise.
Leaving Free Geek
The warehouse keeps traffic cones by the inside of the garage door. Place four cones to the right of the truck, with the last cone placed in the parking space closest to the rear of the truck.
Check both mirrors and adjust as necessary. Be aware that the mirrors may shift as you drive.
Ensure that the back of the truck is closed and locked before driving.
Ensure that the lift gate power switch is off (pressed in).
If a pallet jack is required, ensure that the wheel is firmly ensconced in the boot (located in the back of the truck) and that the jack has been lowered.
Buckle your seat belt!
Hand Signals - Back That Truck Up
Often times, loading docks are in awkward spaces and/or need to be backed in to. Both the driver and the passenger should be trained on proper hand signaling in order to provide assistance to the driver.
It is critical that the driver and the spotter agree on which signals to use when. If driving with a new spotter, review all hand signals together before leaving for the pickup.
Although different drivers prefer different signals [www.czutraining.org/safety/BackingGuideHandSignals.pdf Backing Guide Hand Signals] provides a good starting point for signals that are easy to understand and use.
The spotter should *never* walk behind the vehicle when it is preparing to back up. Likewise, if the driver can't see the spotter in their mirror, they should not back up.
Returning to Free Geek
Upon returning the truck to Free Geek, park outside of the warehouse by the stairs. Remove the traffic cones from the lot and return them to the warehouse.
In the glove box, there is a mileage record book that needs to be completed each time the truck is driven. Record the destination/purpose for the trip, miles driven, and who was on the trip in the appropriate columns.
Make sure all doors, windows and the back of the truck are locked and secure.
Nightly Truck Storage
After a recent spate of vandalism, Free Geek made an agreement with McGuire Bearing Company (947 SE Market Street) to park the truck behind their chain link fence every night. McGuire has a copy of the key, and brings the truck to our lot every morning around 7 AM. After 6 PM, one of the Free Geek truck drivers needs to return the truck to their lot; this is usually done by one of the warehouse staff, or the closer if they are a truck driver.
The key to McGuire's fence is located on a magnet in the red metal cabinet to the left of the garage door in the warehouse. Unlock the fence and park the truck in one of the first three parking spaces - or, if those spaces are taken, behind those three spots with the nose pointing toward SE 9th Ave. Make sure doors, windows & the back of the truck are locked and secure. Close the fence, lock it, and return the key to the metal box in the warehouse.
Other Items of Interest
Lift Gate Operation
The lift gate on the back of the truck is actually sized slightly too large for the model of truck that we have. As a result, the lift gate should only be operated while the truck is parked on a flat surface - an incline will make the gate impossible to deploy. If parking on a slope is unavoidable, there are two wooden blocks in the cab of the truck; place these under the back wheels and back carefully on top of them to provide enough room for the gate to open.
The switch for the lift gate is located in the cab of the truck to the left of the steering wheel. Pull out to operate lift gate; depress when completed.
Only trained staff members should operate the lift gate.
When riding the lift gate up, ensure that there is nothing over any of the edges of the lift - particularly the back end (closest to the truck), as the gap will close on any fingers/toes/hardware in that space and crush them most forcefully.
Locking the Padlock
The handle that closes the back of the truck has three loops through which a padlock can pass (A, B, C). Unfortunately, loop B is broken. It is still possible to lock the truck securely without it; to do so, make sure the back of the truck is closed and the handle completely deployed. Pass the padlock through loops A & C; loop B should sit above the padlock, but will be unable to move due to the structure of the handle.
When unlocking the padlock and entering the back of the truck, lock the padlock on to one of the two metal bars to either side of the back.
At no time that the truck is unlocked should it be unattended. One paid staff member must be with the truck, in sight of the back, at all times that the truck is unlocked.
Once a week, preferably the day after a pickup, take a broom and sweep out the back of the truck, including the walls. Separate the components of the waste and recycle responsibly.
Clean out the cab of the truck. Wipe down the steering wheel, doors & handles with antibacterial wipes.
- FG Vehicle Checklist
- Monthly Checklist for Free Geek Truck to be filled out at the beginning of each month and saved in a folder.
- The fuel separator was stolen out of the truck engine sometime in 2010. NW Truck Repair replaced during the work they did in January 2012.
- To lock the doors to the cab, you must hold the handles up as you close the door. It's easy to forget, so spot-check both yourself and your passenger whenever you exit the cab.
- The first aid kit is located behind the driver's seat in the cab.
- The passenger door can now be unlocked from outside the cab.