Pre-Fireball Stage

Are you still in pre-fireball phase?

Not long ago, a colleague told me his company is in Pre-Fireball phase, meaning he has not experienced a catastrophic incident.

One of his goals is to keep his company in Pre-Fireball phase indefinitely, he said.

I immediately adopted that figure of speech regarding a 16-yr-old who shares our habitat and, to a limited extent, our meager financial resources.

“Why do I have to replace the Gas Tank?” he asked [on a jalopy that has a hole in the top of the gas tank, he didn’t need to say]

“Because you are in pre-fireball phase and that’s how your mother likes it” was my answer.

“Why do I have to take it to [certified mechanic] [after self-help installation of yet another stereo component] – I did it right, there’s nothing wrong with it”

“Because you are still in pre-fireball phase and there’s how we like it” I said [you will thank me someday, I didn’t need to say].

I was having fun with this whole “pre-fireball phase” thing and planning to incorporate it in one of my presentations or a blog soon.

Then one day last week I got a call from someone who mentioned to me a news story that apparently happened recently near his home town.

Apparently a fuel truck went up in flames, taking a convenience store and all the stored fuel with it. I could be wrong, but I think that is what happened.

If you want to read about it here are some links to a few news stories about it:

But it just made me think: If this was your truck and driver, what would be the next thought? Would it be:

–      “I hope no one else was killed or injured”

–      “I’m sure glad we have a robust maintenance system, because there is no possible way this was maintenance related.”

–      “I sure hope it wasn’t caused by a mechanical problem with the truck. I’ve been meaning to do more inspections.”

If you just looked at one or more of those pictures about that dramatic fireball, maybe you are thinking “I am just thankful my company is still in pre-fireball phase.”

I just looked at the BASIC scores of the company whose driver was involved, and it looks like they have a pretty robust safety management infrastructure.

For anyone who does NOT have well-developed safety management systems, which adequately addresses brake maintenance and a few other things we all know can easily lead to an “above-the-fold” catastrophe, here is another chance to beef up your maintenance program while you are still in pre-fireball stage.


Mike England

DOT Compliance Help Inc


About DOT Compliance Help Inc
Phone: 847-836-6063 web: e-mail DOT Compliance Help, Inc. is a full-service consulting firm specializing in the interpretation and execution of the regulations and guidelines set forth by the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. •Mission Statement• To assist our clients in establishing proper safety management controls in order to minimize accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The ultimate goals are safer roadways for the public and increased profits for our clients. Our core consulting competencies include FMCSA Assessments (mock audits), DOT compliance training (on-site and via webinar) and custom safety plans and policies. We also hold DOT compliance workshops and conferences all across the country. Utilizing a proprietary curriculum developed by our President, Mike England, our classes cover everything you need to know about the FMCSRs, how to survive your next DOT Compliance Review, and how Comprehensive safety Analysis (CSA 2010) will affect you.

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