Recovering An Abandoned Tractor/trailer

Topic 21026 | Page 1

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Turtle's Comment
member avatar

So I'm on hometime in Jax, FL and mid-way through my time off I get a mssg:

"Morning Rich, sorry to bother you but when you come back to work Friday would you be willing to recover one of our trucks that was left in Jacksonville? We would need you to bring it to Springfield and then we'll get you a rental car to return back to Jax and pick up your truck. Meals and hotels will be covered, and of course you'll get paid mileage for both ways."

Well sure, I guess I can do that.

I asked what the story was, and was simply told the driver just quit without saying anything and left the truck in a customer's lot. So Prime had a wrecker company tow it to their lot, which happened to be less than 10 minutes from my sister's house where I stay when I'm in town.

Rather than wait till friday morning, I chose to get the truck today and bring it to the truck stop up the road, so I can clear any snags before going back to work. This is my first recovery, and I was quite apprehensive as to what condition I would find the truck. I mean after all, a disgruntled driver could do a lot of bad things to a truck before leaving! That and I'm accustomed to a spotless truck since my neat-freak wife rides with me and cleans daily haha.

Luckily the driver left the truck in decent shape, completely emptied of everything, including all trash. Just some dirt and dust to deal with. No biggie. The only bad thing was the batteries were nearly dead. I had to have the wrecker dude jump start me.

After getting fired up, I saw the numerous QC messages Prime sent to the driver, first asking if he was ok, then asking if he wanted to discuss any problems they might have, then ultimately offering to provide a ride home if only the driver would return the truck to Springfield. The final message stated how bad abandoning a truck could impact a career. All messages went unanswered.

I got the feeling that Prime really tried to resolve this peacefully, to no avail.

So anyway, this truck is a manual, and I literally only spent about 2 hrs total in a manual, including my cdl road test. The rest of my training and solo driving has been in an automatic. I'm proud to say I floated through them gears like a semi-pro though, with just a couple grinds and once forgetting to hit the splitter. She's now at the truck stop, parked next to my truck, awaiting the ride back to Sprimo.

Just thought this was something worth sharing with y'all. It's a new experience for me.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Deke's Comment
member avatar

Wow....hope the guy is ok. Makes me wonder what on earth would lead a person to just walk off like that. The only thing I could imagine would be some sort of family emergency. It would be very hard for me to not want to be home immediately if something happened to my wife or kids.......

Parrothead66's Comment
member avatar

Deke it happens a lot more than it ever should (which is never) but guys just up and quit. Sometimes mad at the company, decide trucking isn’t for them, think they’ve got a better offer....then instead of facing up to the problem at hand they just up and walk away....whatever the reason there’s no excuse to abandon the equipment and it’ll severely hurt their chances of future employment in the industry. Abandoned equipment can lead to great expense for the company no matter if they have 5,000 trucks or 5. If it was some sort of family emergency I can guarantee that he had at least 2-3 minuets at some point to make a phone call, email...make some sort of contact. Turtle if you only forgot the splitter once, well done I usually forget it once a day.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Yeah this guy definitely quit because he completely emptied out the truck of all his belongings, bedding, and everything. He left all the flatbed gear, and most of it is still like-new. So that tells me he hasn't been on the job very long.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Deke it happens a lot more than it ever should (which is never) but guys just up and quit. Sometimes mad at the company, decide trucking isn’t for them, think they’ve got a better offer....then instead of facing up to the problem at hand they just up and walk away....whatever the reason there’s no excuse to abandon the equipment and it’ll severely hurt their chances of future employment in the industry. Abandoned equipment can lead to great expense for the company no matter if they have 5,000 trucks or 5. If it was some sort of family emergency I can guarantee that he had at least 2-3 minuets at some point to make a phone call, email...make some sort of contact. Turtle if you only forgot the splitter once, well done I usually forget it once a day.

All very well said. I totally agree.

Things that make truck drivers mad enough to quit and walk away without saying anything? Let's see......air, blue sky, gray sky, rain, lack of rain, snow, a bad day, a good day, heat, cold, holidays, homesickness, and did I mention air?

rofl-3.gif

Truckers can be a fickle bunch.

In all seriousness, never ever ever abandon a truck. It's one of the dumbest career moves you can make. It's certainly going to wind up on your DAC and I can assure you that no one who checks your DAC is going to hire you after that. It speaks volumes about the type of person you are.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Bob H.'s Comment
member avatar
If it was some sort of family emergency I can guarantee that he had at least 2-3 minuets at some point to make a phone call, email...make some sort of contact.

Agreed. Seems he had time to clean the truck out fairly well, but decided against trying to work out the problem.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Here's an interesting story about an abandoned truck that I recovered.

The truck was parked at the TA truck stop (no longer there now) near Roanoke VA. The guy left all his stuff in the truck - clothing, food, tools, medications, and even his C. B. Radio.

My dispatcher told me the guy had got mad and quit about five weeks ago. I asked, "What am I supposed to do with all this stuff in the truck?" He said, "That guy obviously doesn't want it, so just clean it out and throw it in the dumpster at the truck stop. I'll give you $150 X-pay for your trouble."

I threw away much of the stuff, and then went and got the mechanics from the TA shop and let them fight over the stuff like tools, C.B., and work boots, most of which was very usable.

That truck became my first solo truck at Western Express. About two months later I get a call from a different dispatcher telling me the guy who had abandoned that truck was coming back to work for them and he wanted to get his "stuff" back out of the truck!

Sometimes bizarre things happen in this job. I am still puzzled to this day how any driver would think he can just up and leave without notice, leaving all his property in the company's truck at a remote location unrelated to the company, then several months later waltz right back into the job and expect another driver to be preserving his "stuff" for him to retrieve.

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.
Steak Eater's Comment
member avatar

Sometimes bizarre things happen in this job. I am still puzzled to this day how any driver would think he can just up and leave without notice, leaving all his property in the company's truck at a remote location unrelated to the company, then several months later waltz right back into the job and expect another driver to be preserving his "stuff" for him to retrieve.

I don’t know if I’m more dumbfounded at the driver’s expectation to retrieve his belongings after a couple months or that the company would hire him back after abandoning his truck.

John M.'s Comment
member avatar

Here's an interesting story about an abandoned truck that I recovered.

The truck was parked at the TA truck stop (no longer there now) near Roanoke VA. The guy left all his stuff in the truck - clothing, food, tools, medications, and even his C. B. Radio.

My dispatcher told me the guy had got mad and quit about five weeks ago. I asked, "What am I supposed to do with all this stuff in the truck?" He said, "That guy obviously doesn't want it, so just clean it out and throw it in the dumpster at the truck stop. I'll give you $150 X-pay for your trouble."

I threw away much of the stuff, and then went and got the mechanics from the TA shop and let them fight over the stuff like tools, C.B., and work boots, most of which was very usable.

That truck became my first solo truck at Western Express. About two months later I get a call from a different dispatcher telling me the guy who had abandoned that truck was coming back to work for them and he wanted to get his "stuff" back out of the truck!

Sometimes bizarre things happen in this job. I am still puzzled to this day how any driver would think he can just up and leave without notice, leaving all his property in the company's truck at a remote location unrelated to the company, then several months later waltz right back into the job and expect another driver to be preserving his "stuff" for him to retrieve.

I'm surprised they even hired him back...

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.
Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Here's an interesting story about an abandoned truck that I recovered.

The truck was parked at the TA truck stop (no longer there now) near Roanoke VA. The guy left all his stuff in the truck - clothing, food, tools, medications, and even his C. B. Radio.

My dispatcher told me the guy had got mad and quit about five weeks ago. I asked, "What am I supposed to do with all this stuff in the truck?" He said, "That guy obviously doesn't want it, so just clean it out and throw it in the dumpster at the truck stop. I'll give you $150 X-pay for your trouble."

I threw away much of the stuff, and then went and got the mechanics from the TA shop and let them fight over the stuff like tools, C.B., and work boots, most of which was very usable.

That truck became my first solo truck at Western Express. About two months later I get a call from a different dispatcher telling me the guy who had abandoned that truck was coming back to work for them and he wanted to get his "stuff" back out of the truck!

Sometimes bizarre things happen in this job. I am still puzzled to this day how any driver would think he can just up and leave without notice, leaving all his property in the company's truck at a remote location unrelated to the company, then several months later waltz right back into the job and expect another driver to be preserving his "stuff" for him to retrieve.

Wow that's insane! I'm amazed they hired the guy back!

The truck I just moved into at AFW (first truck had a major shaking problem we couldn't hack) has a CB and a couple really nice antennas (I can't remember...home now...but I think they're Wilson2000's) the previous driver left behind. I have no idea if he quit or was fired but I sure like the radio setup!

Another thing about abandonments--yeah a lot of companies won't hire you if you've abandoned a truck, but there's more. If a company offers you employment while you're currently employed, don't abandon your truck to go work for the new company! Many companies will actually rescind their offer after they find out about the abandonment.

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.
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