Question About Flat Tires On Company Trucks

Topic 11058 | Page 1

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Kieran L.'s Comment
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So I recently heard from a company driver on a company truck for one of the major carriers, that the company will try to blame you if possible for any flat tire incident, and will try to charge you or dock your pay for the tire replacement. Is this normal or common? Can they legally do that? I thought that trucking companies always pay for repairs and maintenance on their own trucks and I did not think a company driver could be held financially responsible for a company truck like that... Scary to think I could have my paycheck snatched away if I have a flat or something else on the truck breaks and the company just decides it was my fault. I'd just like to hear more on this from people in the industry to clear this up.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Kieran heard

... the company will try to blame you if possible for any flat tire incident, and will try to charge you or dock your pay for the tire replacement.

First, if someone, or you, use the word "try" in a situation like this, the situation is based on bad information. No company "tries" to "get" you.

I drive for Swift, so I can speak about Swift. But I bet this works for most Trucking companies.

An individual tire is just part of business expense. I have had trailer tires blow (like boom!) while driving. I call on-road repair, get a new tire, and get moving. I've had a tire with a slow leak. Stopped at the terminal , got it swapped, and went back to work.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Kieran, I've heard of companies in the past that have charged drivers for small incidents like backing into someone's mirror at a truck stop or something. But I've never heard of them trying to charge a driver for equipment breakdowns and tires would certainly fall under that category.

Now if you were to run up on a curve and bend the rim or blowout the sidewall they may try to say you're responsible for that, I don't know.

But overall you don't have to worry about that sort of thing.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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Many companies run recaps on the drives and trailers. The reason being, they're cost effective with so much rubber on the road. I've never heard of a company trying to hold a driver liable for a blowout simply because once those tires shred, it's all but impossible to say why it let go. Now, pulling into an inspection lane and having tires under required air pressure or say a drive tire that's in the secondary rubber because you didn't pre trip? That's something they can hold you accountable for.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bud A.'s Comment
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One of my buddies ran over a rock with his rear trailer tires and bent a rim and popped two tires. He was charged for that. Since he's lease, his out of pocket was a $500 deductible.

Kieran L.'s Comment
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Thanks guys. Specifically the example I heard from this driver was that this certain flatbed load required him to drive along an unpaved rocky dirt road up a steep hill to get to the receiver's drop off point, and then back down the same road before returning to the pavement and real roads. Upon returning to the regular roads and driving a short distance, he discovered one of his tires was flat, he is almost positive it happened while driving up and down the rocky dirt road at that receiver, but after he called maintenance out they said he must have ran over something and its his fault so he's gotta pay for it.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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That certainly does not sound like a situation where the company would normally try to make you pay for it. Either he's leaving out key details or that was just an unusually aggressive company. But normally a company is only going to try to make you pay for something that was obviously driver error. When you see a rim is bent you know the driver hit something pretty big. Even curbs normally have no effect on rims or there would be 175,000 bent rims a day from coast to coast. So it would have to be a huge rock or a steel pole or something unusual. Those are the times the company is going to say, "Ok, what did you do?"

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks Brett. I'm glad to hear that this sort of thing is not normal in trucking. I was concerned because the driver saying these things drives for a major company I've been considering. I know there is lots of misinformation out there though, I took it with a grain of salt I just wanted to know if that was a common occurrence or not. Seems I got my answer.

Josh S.'s Comment
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I've had blow outs and haven't been charged, but as said if you hit a curb and that makes it pop, then you might get charged. I wouldn't worry about it too much, just be aware of your surroundings.

CajunWon's Comment
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(Apologies in advance for reviving old posts)

Do company drivers get additional insurance to cover truck maintenance not covered by the company? Or, do most just rely on their normal auto insurance, without and added rider clause?

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