UO Zero Waste Program
Vehicle Driver Training

Revised 9/17/08

UO Zero Waste Program

UO Zero Waste Van Training Video and
Van Safety video for Oregon State University's Motor Pool

University Motor Pool van safety test

The following constitutes the UO Zero Waste Program's vehicle operation manual. This document is neither exclusive nor exhaustive, but it represents the minimum operating standards and driving behaviors required of Student Recyclers operating program vehicles.

It is divided into five sections and two addenda, as follows:

I. Policies and Expectations
II. Parking
III. Safe Driving
IV. Accidents
V. Diesel Step Van Operations

1. Backing/Spotting Signals
2. Driving through the Heart of Campus


UO Zero Waste Program Employees are deemed qualified to drive only after:

Their on-going driving status is further contingent upon demonstrated safe driving habits. Employees deemed unqualified to drive based solely upon a lack of skill or experience are categorized as such with no detriment to their employment status or pay rate.

When driving for the UO Zero Waste Program, you are driving a state vehicle (designated by the "E" prefix on the license plate) and are being paid to drive as part of your job. Personal driving habits which may be in conflict with program regulations, traffic laws, safety regulations, good public relations, or acceptable driving habits are not acceptable.

Failure to follow policy is grounds for revocation of driving privileges, or termination. The driving status may be revoked at any time at the discretion of the Operations Supervisor. In the event any driving practice constitutes a willful violation of a Program employment or driving policy, termination may result.

Any citations received for traffic infractions (moving violations) while driving for the Program are the sole responsibility of the driver. All financial and/or traffic court matters must be handled solely by the driver. They will be reflected on the driver’s personal driving record with his/her state of licensure, and they may be made available to the driver’s personal auto insurance company through his/her state of licensure. Any parking citations received while driving for the Program are similarly the sole responsibility of the driver.

The avoidance of at-fault vehicle accidents is of paramount concern to the Program. Consequently, the following policy applies to all student drivers:

Any employee responsible for two at-fault accidents during his/her employment with the Program may have his/her driving privileges revoked indefinitely. Should any accident be the result of a willful violation of a driving or employment policy, termination for cause may result.

  1. Operator Requirements
  2. Van Use
    Program vehicles are State of Oregon vehicles for Program use only. With the exceptions of official business, mechanical failure, or emergencies, they are to be parked/stopped in University areas only. When embarking on an off-campus route, plan to use restrooms and other facilities on campus before leaving or at the off-campus location. Vehicles are never to be taken to or parked at non-University off-campus locations for breaks or lunches, nor is it permissible to stop at an employee’s residence or to use the vehicles for any personal use or errand. Lastly, vans are not to be taken off-route for the sole purpose of driving to a desirable break area -- including on-campus areas such as the EMU.

  3. Backing/Spotting Policy
    Student Recyclers are never to back any Program vehicle any distance without a spotter. Drivers are also expected to use a spotter when pulling forward in tight spaces. Both drivers and spotters are expected to work together to achieve a successful maneuver, However, drivers necessarily bear full responsibility for the actions of both themselves and their spotters; and should take the lead in ensuring that spotting is performed effectively.
  4. Successful backing and spotting involves:
  5. Seat Belts
    All vehicles occupants (drivers and passengers) are required by state law to wear seat belts when driving. Drivers are expected to enforce this for both themselves and their partners.
  6. Cell Phones and Head Phones
    Drivers are prohibited from using cell phones, wearing headphones, or using iPod’s while driving.


Program vehicles must observe both campus and public parking regulations. Failure to do so can result in a parking ticket, which will be the personal responsibility of the driver.

Since parking can be a confusing and/or frustrating endeavor – and since parking in and near campus is at a premium -- check with your Coordinator before heading out on route if you have questions or need suggestions about parking in a particular area.

Vehicles can be parked in any of the following areas:
On Campus

In any space marked "(State) Service Vehicles Only."

Off Campus Parking

Vehicles must never be parked in any of the following areas:

Also note that Kincaid Street is not University property, but rather a City of Eugene thoroughfare. Exceeding the time limit in metered spaces or “Commercial Vehicles” spaces may result in a ticket from the City.


Note the following safe driving and operational rules, observations, and suggestions. Incorporate these into your driving behaviors.

1. Vehicles

2. Driving

3. Weather, Darkness and Inclement Conditions


The program defines an accident as any event involving a program vehicle which causes damage to a program vehicle, another vehicle, or any stationary object; which involves an impact between any of these; or which entails injury to any person.

All accidents must be reported to program staff as soon as possible following the guidelines noted below. Failure to do so is considered grounds for dismissal.

Drivers who are in an at-fault accident will have their accident reviewed by the University’s Accident Review Committee. The Committee may require that the driver attend both a refresher Van Training course and a Defensive Driving course. Drivers must attend both of these courses or risk losing their University driving privileges and possibly their positions with the UO Zero Waste Program. Drivers will be paid for attending these classes. More information about both of these courses is available from the Operations Supervisor.

When an accident occurs:

Any citation received as the result of an accident will be recorded on the driver’s personal driving record with their state of licensure.

Accidents may also require the filing of a State of Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report which will be reflected on the driver’s personal driving record with their state of licensure. This can apply following even a minor accident involving no other vehicles and no citations. Program staff will alert you to this requirement and help you with the forms.


The following applies to the operation of the Program’s five diesel step vans. These instructions are crucial to the safe operation and long-term maintenance of these valuable vans.

1. Starting and Pre-Operation Procedures

1. Open Hood

2. Check fluids

3. Lower hood

4. Start Van

5. Warm up Van

6. Perform Exterior Visual Check

7. Perform remainder of pre-op checklist

8. Controls and Accessories

9. Driving

2. Starting the Van Mid-Route
The above warm-up period will always apply when starting a van for the first time each day, after lunch, and whenever the engine has been off for 30 minutes or longer.

For those instances when the engine is off for a short period of time (15-30 minutes or so), a warm up may not be required when re-starting. That determination must be made while starting the van.

Follow the above procedure for starting – allowing all lights and gauges to cycle through. Start the van. While starting, check to see if the engine temperature gauge needle moves (even slightly) above “C.” If so, no warm up is needed. If not, warm the van for 5 minutes or until you see the temperature gauge rise above “C.”

3. Shutdown Procedures

  1. Park/stop vehicle and place transmission in “Park.”
  2. Set the parking brake. An audible warning signal will sound when the engine is shut off if the parking brake has not been set. Setting the brake will turn off the signal.
  3. Allow vehicle to idle for at least 3 minutes to cool down, if required (see below)
  4. Shut off vehicle

The diesel vans are equipped with turbochargers which should be allowed to cool down anytime they have engaged while driving. They will engage during a hard acceleration.

For shorter drives and/or low-speed movements around campus, a cool-down period will not be required. In these situations, take care to not engage in unnecessary hard accelerations. When the van is stopped/parked, it can be shut off without a cool-down period.

Whenever you have accelerated hard enough or driven fast enough to have engaged the turbocharger (or whenever in doubt), allow the van to idle and cool down for 3 minutes before shutting it off.

The 3-minute idle requirement does not require that the vehicle be stationary – just idling or travelling slowly. Backing, parking, or otherwise moving the vehicle at a low speed allows for this maneuver time to count towards the 3-minute cool-down period. Whenever possible, use this approach to cut down on the time required to keep the engine running after parking before shutting off the engine.

Several areas of campus have posted restrictions on leaving vehicles running due to the proximity of building air intakes. This is true of several docks. It also applies to vehicles which have backed into the Quonset doorway. In these situations, try to position the van a distance from the area, and let it idle for a couple of minutes away from the area, dock, Quonset doorway, etc.. Then, idle it into position, the doorway, the dock, etc., and turn off the van once maneuvering is completed.

4. Tailgate




5. Van Dimensions
Be aware of the dimensions of the vans – particularly the height – when accessing areas with restricted/limited clearance. If necessary, get out and visually check for clearance(s).

Height – 116 inches or 9’ ”
Width – 90 inches or 7’ ”
Length – 252 inches or 21’ ”

6. Fueling
You will be shown how to use the vehicle fueling system (gas pumps) during training. Keep in mind the following:
• The step vans all take diesel fuel from Pump #1
• The cargo van takes regular fuel from Pump #2

7. Locking and Unlocking
To unlock a cab door, insert the key, turn it, and allow the lock cylinder to pop out. The door is now unlocked.

To lock a cab door, simply push in the lock cylinder from the exterior. The door is now locked.

Locks are also provided for the back overhead doors, which require the same key to lock and unlock them.

NOTE - The cab doors should only be locked from the exterior, as just described. Although an interior locking mechanism is provided, this mechanism -- once activated -- cannot be unlocked using the key from the exterior. Should you forget and lock this mechanism, and then shut the door, you’ll need to access the cab by unlocking the back door and walking through into the cab. The cab-to-box safety door can be opened from either side, allowing you to access the cab from the box even if the door is latched. Always keep the safety door closed and latched for safety.

Addendum 1
Backing/Spotting signals

Most Recycling Program accidents occur at a very low speed in tight areas, and are the result of a failure to successfully maneuver around, between, or near fixed objects. All of these accidents can be avoided with successful spotting.

The following backing/spotting signals are required of all spotters to guide their driving partners successfully without incident/accident.

Addendum 2
Driving through the Heart of Campus

The following policies and regulations apply when driving through the Heart of Campus – the area in the immediate vicinity of the EMU at the 13th and University intersection

Some “Do Not Enter” signs apply to us – and some don’t. All of that is noted below.

Taking into account the whole area of 13th, the closed portion of 13th, University, Johnson Lane, the Friendly/Allen parking lot, and the EMU -- the following apply:

  1. When driving west on 13th to the turnaround by the EMU Post Office, you can proceed west through the turnaround to:
  2. You can enter the closed portion of 13th heading eastbound from Kincaid – the “Do Not Enter” sign on Kincaid does not apply to us.
  3. When driving east on the closed portion of 13th from Kincaid to University, you can only turn right/south onto University when you exit the closed portion of 13th. You cannot go straight/east onto 13th, and you cannot turn left/north into the Friendly/Allen parking lot.
  4. When leaving the EMU Post Office lot, you can turn either left/west or right/east onto 13th.
  5. When leaving the Friendly/Allen parking lot, you can only go straight/south onto University. You cannot turn left/east onto 13th, and you cannot turn right/west into the closed portion of 13th.
  6. When driving north on University St. and approaching Johnson Lane and the barricade near the EMU Fishbowl, you can only turn left/west onto Johnson Lane or right/east into the EMU back parking lot. You cannot go straight/north through the barricade. Similarly, when leaving Johnson lane, you can only turn right/south onto University or jog into the EMU back parking lot. You cannot turn left/north through the barricade. This is the one “Do Not Enter” sign which does apply to us.

And here are two more prohibitions:

  1. Do not use the closed portion of 13th as a “shortcut” between Kincaid and University. Use it only to travel and park on to service buildings in that part of campus – not solely for the purpose of getting from Kincaid to University, or from University to Kincaid.
  2. Do not use the “shortcut” alley between Johnson and Chapman which goes from the Johnson/Chapman parking lot to the closed portion of 13th.

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