Written by Nick Newell, Occupational Health Trainer

At Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI), safety is our number one priority. When we put processes in place, it is to ensure our employees will be put in a much safer position to perform their job duties. For this article, we will define what process awareness is and take a closer look at different processes in our workplace. 

Process Awareness, simply put, is being aware of the safe way to perform a process within our field of work. The examples we will look at are cranking the dolly and pulling the fifth wheel—both with and without a hook.

Cranking the Dolly

When cranking the dolly, you want to make sure you check your surroundings and have the appropriate PPE (spare spikes, if needed). Start with a stable and slightly staggered stance with one hand on the dolly and one hand on the trailer. Your feet should be just wider than shoulder-width apart. Begin to crank the dolly in the appropriate direction. Be sure that you are in low gear, keep your face out of the line of fire, bend at the knees, and take your time. Below are some dos and don’ts for this process.


1. Engage your core–keep your chest up and back straight

2. Bend at the knees and not at the back

3. Keep your face out of the line of fire

4. Make sure to be in low gear  


1.  Bend or twist at the waist

2. Have your feet facing parallel to the trailer

3.  Use both hands to crank

4.  Assume it’s in the correct gear

Fifth Wheel Pull

If you are performing this task without a hook, the first thing I would suggest is to reach out to Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI) to get you a hook. Secondly, check your surroundings, make sure the landing gear is down, and airlines are off. Like cranking the dolly, start with a wide stance, hinge at the hips, bend the knees, and keep your back straight. Use your body weight to pull the pin out. Using too much of just your arms can lead to injuries down the road. 

To pull the fifth wheel with a hook, start with a wide stance, hips facing the truck, and use two hands—one palm up and the other down. Use your body weight to pull the pin out.

With Hook


1. Have your feet staggered

2. Have your hips facing the truck

3. Use your bodyweight to pull

4. Use two hands


1. Pull with just one arm

2. Square your hips up with the truck

3. Twist at the waist while pulling

Without Hook


1. Have your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and balanced

2. Keep a soft bend in your knees and hinge at the hips

3. Use your bodweight to pull

4. Keep your palm down


1. Have your feet close together

2. Twist at the waist while pulling

3. Jerk

If you have any questions, please reach out to your driver trainer or occupational health trainer.

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