Safety Tips

The Crucial Role of 'Get Out and Look' in Trucking Safety

Scot Barney
5 minutes

The Crucial Role of 'Get Out and Look' in Trucking Safety

I’d imagine every truck driver has seen a G.O.A.L. sticker on a truck. It would be surprising if there were a CDL holder who wasn’t familiar with the “Get Out and Look” acronym. It is so universal in the transportation industry that you would think someone must have made a boatload of money on the copyright. I went in search of answers and didn’t find much. I found “G.O.A.L.” in some current Smith System copy. The Smith System goes back to 1952, but that doesn’t mean it was in the original literature. It isn’t clear where the earliest use of G.O.A.L can be found, but some trucking pioneer should be proud of their legacy.

"Get Out and Look" is all there in the acronym. I think it is normally used in regards to backing, but there are some customer stations at bottling docks and refineries where it would really help to walk before driving in at all. There are a few old sayings that come to mind like, “hindsight is 20/20” or “measure twice, cut once,” which are powerful reminders that not everything is like a light bulb that can just be unscrewed. Sometimes you have no idea that you are about to have a bad day until it is too late.

The moral of the story is, if you don’t want to get out and look, hop out and get the lay of the land (HOGLOL), have a walkabout (HAWA), ambulate, analyze, plan, and execute (AAPE), call it what you like. Also, put out your cones (POYC). Just remember, hindsight is 20/20, side mirrors are not.

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