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Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

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Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

Ian, we realize this trucking career is one tough nut to cut. We work real hard at teaching people how it works. We had no personal animosity toward you, but we couldn't let your statements stand. They would mislead anyone who reads them in the future.

You gave us an excellent opportunity for teaching some of the harsh realities of this career. You said this...

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Some people have told me that I overanalyze things and that making quick decisions is not one of my strengths.

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If there's one thing truck drivers need to be able to do regularly it's be decisive and quick on their feet. Our whole career is one dynamic element of chance and change. It's an extraordinary job that requires a lot from those at the wheel. It's common for people to blame their company when things go badly for them, but it is very seldom a true version of the facts.

We all wish you the best in your endeavors, but we just couldn't sit idly by and let you slander the career we've all excelled at. It's a complicated business, and it takes a lot of responsibility to pull it off. Nobody knows that better than the men and women who have done it well consistently.

Thank you. I hope people who find this thread in the future take the time to read the whole thing so they don't get any wrong impressions.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

Rainy, he probably would attempt to blame the company, because they FORCED him to take a local job with an hour commute each way.

Waaaahhhh

No, it was strongly emphasized that it was my choice. I just didn't expect the daily work hours to increase from 12 to 16 plus commute, but it's still my fault for not speaking up.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

Yes, i blame my generation for this. When we started putting kids on the "naughty chair" instead of smacking them in the face for back talk, we ruined the world. Now we have a bunch of wimpy cry babies who cannot hold down a job let alone support a family.

However, since i have no children, i did not directly cause it. If i did have kids, they wouldnt have been wimps and could have held valid arguments.

Physically punishing children isn't going to make them "hold down valid arguments", they'll just be afraid to make any argument at all. Then no one will have the occasion to provide a rebuttal to their argument, so they'll just go on thinking that they must be right. "Back talk" may be frustrating but I don't see why you think it's a punishable offense, unless you feel entitled to power because you're older than them. When has censorship ever solved anything?

If you're going to attribute my position to assumptions about the way I was raised, at least know that you are wrong that my parents did not use physical punishment.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

If you didnt want to go home then why did you take a local job that was so demanding? Why not go right back to OTR when you realized what it was like?

Spending the night at home wasn't important, I only cared about full days off.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

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Rainy asked: Did you see a doctor??? You keep spouting fatigue but do you realize those symptoms apply to depression, ADD, anema, temporal lobe epilepsy, low blood circulation and probably a dozen other conditions???

ian replied: Which is why I say fatigue is hard to identify.

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So the answer is NO, you didn't see a doctor and have diagnosed yourself. A thing you have no degree nor training to do. You got fired from a job you were trained, yet you decide you can diagnose yourself on a condition that is difficult to diagnose?

Wow! You are truly amazing! Somehow you crammed 8 years of college, medical school and a couple years of residency into the few months it has been since you got fired.

You never saw a doctor about a condition you claim is so serious it got you fired, yet you had no problem seeing a lawyer to help you out of trouble. We all see where you priorities lie

Stop claiming it was fatigue. Cause you have no proof it was. It makes for an easier explanation than the fact you screwed up. What woukd you think about someone walking around clsiming they had cancer yet never saw a doctor? you would think they are both stupid and crazy.

You have no way to prove it in court, so you lose, case closed.

Its not fatigue. It is laziness.

I know I said I wouldn't post anymore but this is the last one, I promise.

I can't argue with that at all except perhaps the "laziness" remark, but I that's unimportant. You are all correct, I have still been trying to deny that I screwed up and that was no one else's fault. I'm sorry it took this long, but the breaking point was that I couldn't come up with a good response to your post because my reasoning was already so distorted.

I would like to apologize for coming across as a hostile know-it-all trying to avoid responsibility. That did indeed describe me when I started this thread but I have come to realize I have the wrong approach. I know this must have been just as frustrating for you as it was for me. Some people have told me that I overanalyze things and that making quick decisions is not one of my strengths. I should really learn to take more time to "let it sink in" before I get too defensive. It took me a few days of "overanalyzing" but ultimately I have come to realize that you have the right ideas. The trucking industry isn't going to change so I need to find a career that is better suited to my abilities. Next week I start classes at a community college.

This forum really does tell the honest truth, even though it wasn't at all what I wanted or expected to hear. Thanks for the reality check.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

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The company required me to work off the clock illegally

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No, they didn't. They said you could log off duty when you're at the docks because you're relieved of duty. You're not doing anything. If you were inside counting freight or loading freight, that would be on duty not driving, and you could still drive 11 hours in a 14 hour period even with some on duty time.

Stop trying to bullsh*t us. We've been at this for a very long time. We know the job, we know the laws, and we also know the tactics that guys like you try to use to deflect the blame off of yourself and onto others who are innocent. Your company was 0% to blame, you were 100% to blame. There is no gray area here.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the law, but I thought watching for the light to turn green is technically "work". I can understand why it doesn't seem like work, but as long as I'm required to be there and be awake I'm not truly "relieved of duty".

So you're not a rookie anymore. See how totally disingenuous you are? You'll try to bullsh*t anyone about anything.

I was reassigned as a local driver with about four months solo OTR experience. This wasn't a factor in the accident, but it exemplifies the company's "not my problem" attitude toward safety. They shouldn't have hired me at that time if I wasn't qualified.

Yeah, and getting to go home and sleep in your own bed every night is a luxury you had and OTR drivers do not. Now who do you think should sleep better, someone stuffed into a tiny bed in a walk-in closet in a parking lot with the engine running or a guy in his own quiet home in his big, luxury bed?

You assume I wanted to go home every night. In fact I didn't like having to commute and would have preferred to sleep in a truck if that option had been available to me. There was no point in going home because all I did was go to sleep, then get up and go back to work. Sometimes I didn't even have time to eat while I was at home.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

I really don't understand the direction the world is going in with the way they teach young people to think. I guess every generation feels that way. The idea that nothing is ever your fault and everyone's a winner no matter how you perform. Where do the people that teach this stuff think it's going to lead? Do they think it's going to somehow lead to happier, healthier people and a better society?

Will these people be able to endure the hardships that life throws at all of us when they've been sheltered from hardship? Will they be able to do the critical self-analysis needed to improve oneself and grow as a human being when they're taught they're never wrong and nothing is ever their fault?

I think this conversation shows the stark contrast between us older folks and the new way of thinking these younger folks have. When we screwed up we were taught to own it, take full responsibility, suffer the consequences, learn from it, and get better. Now they're taught to find a scapegoat, point the finger at innocent people, and never feel bad for what you've done.

Crazy.

So, if you represent "your generation", how is your post not an attempt to avoid responsibility, as you are accusing me of? Young people had to learn the so-called "new way of thinking" from observing older people. "Your" generation that you're proud to be a part of set a bad example, but younger people should have been expected to recognize that you were poor teachers, so now it's their fault that you perceive them unfavorably?

I actually don't see how your stereotype is even relevant. You already convinced me that the accident itself was completely my fault and preventable. There's no disputing that. The rest of my posts were an attempt to explain, not rationalize, my reasoning for what I said and did. I also pointed out some common misconceptions about fatigue to educate others. My comments seem to have been interpreted as trying to deflect blame, which I admittedly did at first, but was no longer my intent after you all pointed out my errors in doing so. At this point, I'm not sure what else you expect me to say.

I believe that the company's actions CONTRIBUTED TO, but did not DIRECTLY CAUSE the crash. Valuing personal responsibility is good, but it seems your values are so deeply held that you're too willing to accept 100% of the blame no matter what happens. The company intentionally put me in a dangerous position, knowing that a safer course of action existed. They should "learn from this experience" as well. If they pretend not to understand all the factors that contribute to crashes, how can they say they are truly making an effort to be the safest company?

Most of you seem rather proud of "being able to manage" job stress, long hours, and sometimes erratic schedules. Admit it, all of you have driven while fatigued to some extent at some point. Trucking is so demanding, I don't see how it's possible not to be. You're bound to make a mistake at some point. Pointing out that external factors such as fatigue do influence behavior is not "redirecting blame".

You're right that I don't belong in trucking and I should get another job. So, that is what I will do. This will be my last post here.

Thank you for your time.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

I just started orientation yesterday and for a company that requires a minimum of 1 year experience for some drivers and 2 years for most. I am the least experienced driver in my class with one year experience. Several have 3-5 years, and one of the drivers has about 15 years.

I say all that to say this... today we watched many safety videos much like yesterday. I immediately thought of this post when, in one of the videos, sleep deprivation and fatigue were covered extensively. It was part of a distracted driving video. We had a conversation about it and even took a quiz. We then reviewed said quiz. Did your company maybe do something to this effect and you just don't remember because it was over a year ago?

I highly doubt the company you previously worked for, is any less or more safe then the company I am going to work for and vice-versa.

Oh and the last company I worked for had almost an identical orientation with the same videos. They too were highly safety oriented.

No, I'm certain the company did not do this. The only classroom instruction was describing the company's expectations, hazmat certification, and pre-trip video. They were more focused on road driving, pre-trip, and backing exercises. The topic of fatigue came up only once, in a brief conversation with my road trainer that I already described.

I am glad to hear my perception of other companies as being unsafe is wrong.

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

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every local driver at the company experienced the same problems I did and had about equal risk of causing a similar collision

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So if they all have the same risk, how come only you had the accident? Did you notice you just stated the driver aka you caused the collision? Does fatigue some how flash a neon sign on all the drivers foreheads except yours?

Did you ask the other drivers how they deal with it? Does it resonate now why inexperience drivers should not start out in high paced, high stressed local gigs just to get more hometime?

I don't know that the others didn't have accidents. Actually, the company sent out a message saying that they were having a record number of "following distance" incidents, so they probably were. They were always guzzling coffee because the potential for fatigue was obvious, but I never did that because I knew it wouldn't address the underlying cause, which was poor scheduling.

I did not accept the local job "just to get more home time". My reference to home time was describing a different position at the company that I never held, and I actually got less home time with the local job. The reasons I accepted were higher pay and prescheduled days off.

If rookies shouldn't do local jobs, wasn't the company negligent by hiring me?

Posted:  5 years, 4 months ago

View Topic:

Fired for accident and not sure what to do.

I think your whole outlook is baloney. You rear ended someone, because you were following too close and possibly speeding also period. You say you weren't sleepy, so just get over it and admit it was all on you. Oooh. 55 hours a week? We work 70 hours a week much of the time.

No sympathy from me, and with your attitude, I'm glad I won't be sharing the roads with you behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound death machine.

The "55 hours a week" is only the time that was actually logged on duty. The company required me to work off the clock illegally, and also commute daily. The total time I was required to be awake was between 85 and 90 hours. Even if the daily commute is removed from that figure, the company was still requiring me to falsify my logs to make it look like I wasn't violating the 70 hour rule, which exists for good reason. I suppose I still won't "get any sympathy", seeing how everyone in this industry is always trying rationalize breaking the law in the name of profit.

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