Oops, messed up on a delivery! [Gas Tanker Edition]

Topic 20359 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, last night I delivered my diesel compartment into the wrong tank at the gas station!

This particular gas station, located in the heart of the ghetto, has 4 underground tanks. They have a Regular 87 Tank, Premium 91 Tank, and X2 Diesel Tanks.

The first Diesel tank is Branded and the second tank is Unbranded. Branded means that the Diesel is the store brand (additives) and the Unbranded means the Diesel is from a different supplier (different additives).

They have two different pump islands for the Diesels. They have the gas station pumps which draw from the Branded tank and they have a fuel island off to the side that the commercial trucks use that draws from the Unbranded tank.

When I recieved my paperwork for my loads yesterday I noticed I was the unlucky one who is going to be constantly sent back and forth to the worst, most dangerous parts of town all night. Perhaps dispatch thinks I get along with these people?

I notice this load first, and on my paperwork it stated that the Diesel on this load is Unbranded. Unbranded has their own supplier numbers/accounts, as does Branded, so its really easy to know where its going. I call dispatch for the supplier numbers they want me to load the Diesel off of and dispatch gives me Branded numbers. "Strange, my paperwork says its supposed to be Unbranded," I said to dispatch.

Dispatch doesn't have a clue so I get them to call the customer. Per dispatch, the customer says its Branded.

And off I went. I loaded using Branded accounts and then got to the station and dropped the Diesel into the Branded Diesel tank.

The next day I get to work and everyone is asking me what happened with me not having a slight clue about what they're talking about. 10 minutes later I finally register what they're telling me (smelling these gasoline fumes has killed my brainpower) and I tell them my story.

Since I start later in the day my terminal manager has had enough time to conduct an investigation into what happened. All phone conversations are recorded in case something happens.

The result, I am innocent because I was following directions given by dispatch and the customer. Something was very off with this load, and instead of risking it I let someone above me make the decision. That decision was apparently wrong, but the price tag of the error isn't on my head.

--------------------------------------------------------

How does this relate to your life as an OTR trucker?

Do not allow yourself to be put into a "He said- She said" situation. Use the Qualcomm as much as possible so that everything is documented. In a reefer , if there's confusion about the loads temperature do not leave the facility. Get the shipping clerk/manager to write down the desired temperature with a signature and get their name.

Take no risks, always cover your ass.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Great story. Great advise. One can never CYA enough.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel's story shows how important documentation is, especially if you feel something isn't right. I'm going to add an incident that happened to me this last weekend, because it also shows you need to be100% certain when things don't seem right.

This last Sunday was the first "solo" for a new T-call rep. (T-call is the window that handles drivers walking up to the dispatcher office for nearly any question.) I drive a shuttle, and pick up my dispatch and bills at the T-call window. A shuttle involves me and a driver from another terminal meeting about half way, swapping trailers, and going back to the starting place.

I came in at 11am, 1 hour before my schedule time to get my dispatch. The new guy stared at the computer screen and says there's no order for me. (This is a route I drive every day, and occasionally I get cancelled, so this isn't earth shaking news.) So I sat in the lounge and waited. If I was cancelled I would have gotten a phone call before I left for work. Also, if one driver is canceled, both drivers get cancelled. It's a bigger deal than "Oh, well!"

At 12 o'clock, I checked back. The T-call guy stares at the computer screen. "No order yet". He almost agreed that I could be canceled and I could go home. This didn't feel right, though. Also, imagine my opposite driver driving across Missouri, from Kansas City to St Louis, and there's no meet driver in sight!

Finally, half an hour later, my DM comes in to do a few things. I get her attention, and ask her to double check the T-call guy's lack of information. Of course, she just points at the screen, "Here it is", and pulls the bills that have been sitting on the desk all this time!

The moral of my story is exactly the same as Daniel's: Get full back-up on anything that seems out of the ordinary to you.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, last night I delivered my diesel compartment into the wrong tank at the gas station!

This particular gas station, located in the heart of the ghetto, has 4 underground tanks. They have a Regular 87 Tank, Premium 91 Tank, and X2 Diesel Tanks.

The first Diesel tank is Branded and the second tank is Unbranded. Branded means that the Diesel is the store brand (additives) and the Unbranded means the Diesel is from a different supplier (different additives).

They have two different pump islands for the Diesels. They have the gas station pumps which draw from the Branded tank and they have a fuel island off to the side that the commercial trucks use that draws from the Unbranded tank.

When I recieved my paperwork for my loads yesterday I noticed I was the unlucky one who is going to be constantly sent back and forth to the worst, most dangerous parts of town all night. Perhaps dispatch thinks I get along with these people?

I notice this load first, and on my paperwork it stated that the Diesel on this load is Unbranded. Unbranded has their own supplier numbers/accounts, as does Branded, so its really easy to know where its going. I call dispatch for the supplier numbers they want me to load the Diesel off of and dispatch gives me Branded numbers. "Strange, my paperwork says its supposed to be Unbranded," I said to dispatch.

Dispatch doesn't have a clue so I get them to call the customer. Per dispatch, the customer says its Branded.

And off I went. I loaded using Branded accounts and then got to the station and dropped the Diesel into the Branded Diesel tank.

The next day I get to work and everyone is asking me what happened with me not having a slight clue about what they're talking about. 10 minutes later I finally register what they're telling me (smelling these gasoline fumes has killed my brainpower) and I tell them my story.

Since I start later in the day my terminal manager has had enough time to conduct an investigation into what happened. All phone conversations are recorded in case something happens.

The result, I am innocent because I was following directions given by dispatch and the customer. Something was very off with this load, and instead of risking it I let someone above me make the decision. That decision was apparently wrong, but the price tag of the error isn't on my head.

--------------------------------------------------------

How does this relate to your life as an OTR trucker?

Do not allow yourself to be put into a "He said- She said" situation. Use the Qualcomm as much as possible so that everything is documented. In a reefer , if there's confusion about the loads temperature do not leave the facility. Get the shipping clerk/manager to write down the desired temperature with a signature and get their name.

Take no risks, always cover your ass.

Like this?????

carlosTurqBl_1.jpg

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Take no risks, always cover your ass.

double-quotes-end.png

Like this?????

carlosTurqBl_1.jpg

I never thought I'd say this, and don't take it the wrong way, but you have a nice-looking ass, Pat.

Kurt G.'s Comment
member avatar

So just out of curiosity, what does the station do about that? Do they pump out the tank, or just figure that no one's going to notice if they get a tank full with the wrong additives? Does anyone ever make a mistake and mix gas and diesel, or are there different connectors or something?

Matthew K.'s Comment
member avatar

So just out of curiosity, what does the station do about that? Do they pump out the tank, or just figure that no one's going to notice if they get a tank full with the wrong additives? Does anyone ever make a mistake and mix gas and diesel, or are there different connectors or something?

From when I worked at a gas station: For mixing two (marginally) different types of diesel, I believe it depends on how mad the two companies get about it not technically being THEIR diesel, and how one essentially paid to fill the other's tank. Odds are its getting pumped and tossed, likely at the expense of the shipper. For mixing gas and diesel, it is entirely possible, the hookups are the same, and yes it has happened (not when I was there though.)

Either way, somone is shelling out money to pump it out and dispose of it.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Phox's Comment
member avatar

There was a situation last year I think, where one of the big 5s got def pumped into the truck diesel tanks... a good many trucks were damaged as a result...

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

So just out of curiosity, what does the station do about that? Do they pump out the tank, or just figure that no one's going to notice if they get a tank full with the wrong additives? Does anyone ever make a mistake and mix gas and diesel, or are there different connectors or something?

This particular station is a complete hole-in-the-wall station that simply doesn't care about quality. So the Diesel wasn't pumped out. The next day my coworker got sent there with 4000 gallons of Unbranded Diesel to put in the Unbranded tank. Who covered the costs? I have no clue.

The hook up for Diesel and Gasoline isn't the same actually here in CA. Diesel doesn't use a vapor hose, Gas does. So when we are delivering Diesel we only have the product hose connected with the Internal open and cap open so the compartment can breathe. With Gas you must always have the vapor hose connected.

I'd estimate we do about a dozen cross dumps in a year (my company alone). The result is a 3 day suspension without pay with a possibility to be terminated, especially if you're a problem driver.

What happens after a crossdump really depends on the company we are delivering to. We have companies that really don't care and show minimum effort to maintain quality, then we have companies that act like its the end of the world.

But here's a simple breakdown of what must happen if X goes into Y.

If 87 Reg goes into any octane above it, the tank gets pumped out and all put into the Reg 87 tank. If it won't fit they sell to a mom-and-pop station for dirt cheap who wouldn't mind the mixed gas. Technically, the Reg 87 was upgraded.

If a high octane gasoline, (example: Premium 91) goes into a lower octane gasoline (example: Regular 87), it stays there and does not get pumped out since the Reg 87 was upgraded. In this case, people are purchasing a mix of Reg 87 and Premium 91= Midgrade 89.

If there is a mix of gasoline to diesel or nice versa, the tank is completely pumped out and "cleaned out". The transmix is shipped to a place that can seperate it. This takes days to sort out, so the truck holding the transmix is out of commission until then. Big, big, big money from the companies pocket.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big T's Comment
member avatar

--------------------------------------------------------

How does this relate to your life as an OTR trucker?

Do not allow yourself to be put into a "He said- She said" situation. Use the Qualcomm as much as possible so that everything is documented. In a reefer , if there's confusion about the loads temperature do not leave the facility. Get the shipping clerk/manager to write down the desired temperature with a signature and get their name.

Take no risks, always cover your ass.

I picked up a load last night that was overweight and had a leak from one of the trailer tires. Once the tire was fixed I double checked the hours for the shipper only to find out they were closed before I ever picked up the load. I was told they opened at 0400 so I made sure I was there at 0400. I documented everything on the qualcomm. This was a cya because when the Fleet Manager started getting a bit cross I told him he could look back at the qc and see for himself. Result is I'm not on the hook for a service failure.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Fleet Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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