Flat Spot On Tires - Please Explain

Topic 12618 | Page 3

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Scott O.'s Comment
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Just to clarify, would I need to move every couple hours? Or just once? Also, is there a need to do this if you dried them out?

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If you moved once after waiting an hour or two you wouldn't have to move again. You're breaking free any ice that may be forming before it gets any worse and you would be fine after doing it once.

I was one to drag my brakes while I was going through the parking lot or rest area approaching my final spot for the night. That will get the brakes plenty hot enough to dry any residual moisture off them. If anything you might get a little condensation on the brakes from the hot metal in the cold air but I very much doubt that would be enough to lock them up. But often times to be extra sure I would also leave my trailer brakes released.

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Brett- I am inexperienced, so I was hoping an experienced driver would respond to Miss Red.

OK, so I park for the night, and don't engage the trailer brakes. Therefore there is air pressure in the system, so the pressure keeps the springs from pulling the brake pads against the drums. Won't the air gradually drain out, over night? Causing the trailer brakes to be engaged?

Only if there's a air leak.... (In most cases)

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Won't the air gradually drain out, over night? Causing the trailer brakes to be engaged?

If you had a slow leak in your system and you weren't idling your engine then yes, the air would leak out eventually and the emergency brakes would engage. If this happens, hopefully by that point any moisture on the brakes would have already frozen or dried up so the brakes wouldn't freeze while they were engaged.

If you were idling the system would maintain air pressure.

Depending on your circumstances you may decide to let the air drain out and the brakes apply or you may want to wake up during the night and idle the engine long enough to fill the air tanks again before shutting it down. That's the kind of stuff you have to experiment with a bit and kind of learn as you go.

CajunWon's Comment
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Is it common for flat spotting to be considered a "preventable" where company driver is charged for replacement? Saw video where this $1,200 charge was a reason the driver moved to another company. Happened early in his 1st year of trucking, so moved on at 12 months. I can see making a case that the CDL Manual does mention not to set spring brakes in very hot or cold conditions. But seems like the coal miner's year old hammer breaks and is garnished for a new replacement.

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.
Banks's Comment
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Is it common for flat spotting to be considered a "preventable" where company driver is charged for replacement? Saw video where this $1,200 charge was a reason the driver moved to another company. Happened early in his 1st year of trucking, so moved on at 12 months. I can see making a case that the CDL Manual does mention not to set spring brakes in very hot or cold conditions. But seems like the coal miner's year old hammer breaks and is garnished for a new replacement.

This is something that usually happens at small trucking companies. Tires are expensive and they're hurting for every penny and nickel so they use tactics like that. It's not something you would have to worry about at a larger company. A company like Prime or CR England would never garnish your wages to pay for damage, but enough preventables will get you terminated.

Preventables vary case by case and company by company. What company a considers a preventable may not be one at company b. Generally speaking, a preventable is damage to any property that could have been avoided by being more diligent and cautious.

I don't see how flat spotting could be considered a preventable, but it could certainly lead to one, but I've seen crazier things. I once worked for a FedEx ground contractor delivering packages. One day I got stuck in a driveway that was a gravel pit. The contractor called a tow truck and I got pulled out. The fee was 500 dollars. I know because he refused to release the vehicle until he got paid. The contractor paid over the phone and the next day the contractor told me he was going to deduct some money from every check until the 500 was paid off. I walked off the job that day and I never got my last check. So, there are companies that will do that your best bet is to stay away from them.

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.
Old School's Comment
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Generally speaking, a preventable is damage to any property that could have been avoided by being more diligent and cautious.

I don't see how flat spotting could be considered a preventable

In any given truck stop during nasty weather you are going to see some drivers who get their brakes locked up and others who somehow prevented it from happening. Typically it will be your drivers with years of experience in dealing with adverse weather conditions who manage to roll on out with no issues of frozen brakes. I've driven for years in all kinds of weather and have only had my brakes freeze up once. I generally take measures like driving with a little pressure on my brakes to dry them out before parking so that I can keep the brakes from freezing. If they freeze you just lay down in the snow under your trailer and tap them with you 2lb. sledge hammer until they break free. Those are prevention measures to keep your brakes from freezing. As long as you do them you won't be getting flat spots on your tires. It's definitely something that those drivers who are "more diligent and cautious" can prevent.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Is it common for flat spotting to be considered a "preventable" where company driver is charged for replacement?

I wouldn't say it is common but it does happen, generally you should be able to feel something is wrong because you will be bogged down maybe not in a high HP/ Torque truck since they have more power.

I've had one side not release while the other side did, I only drove maybe a truck length or two and could feel something was wrong and stopped that is when I saw the skid marks.

Like Banks said it depends on the circumstances but if you are driving for any major company you won't be charged.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

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Generally speaking, a preventable is damage to any property that could have been avoided by being more diligent and cautious.

I don't see how flat spotting could be considered a preventable

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In any given truck stop during nasty weather you are going to see some drivers who get their brakes locked up and others who somehow prevented it from happening. Typically it will be your drivers with years of experience in dealing with adverse weather conditions who manage to roll on out with no issues of frozen brakes. I've driven for years in all kinds of weather and have only had my brakes freeze up once. I generally take measures like driving with a little pressure on my brakes to dry them out before parking so that I can keep the brakes from freezing. If they freeze you just lay down in the snow under your trailer and tap them with you 2lb. sledge hammer until they break free. Those are prevention measures to keep your brakes from freezing. As long as you do them you won't be getting flat spots on your tires. It's definitely something that those drivers who are "more diligent and cautious" can prevent.

Those are good points. Generally, I wouldn't force a trailer to move that isn't moving. That's a recipe for disaster. I didn't think about dragging trailers because it's something I don't do.

I'm also kind of spoiled because I've never been OTR. I've never had to get rolling from a truck stop on a freezing day and if I ever do have issues rolling a guy from the shop comes over and checks it out. Fedex policy prevents us from tapping the brakes. It prevents us from doing any kind of repairs or modifications on company equipment and doing so can lead to termination. That means if I decide to stop somewhere and my brakes freeze, I have to call central and let them deal with it. If I go under the trailer and hit the brakes and something gets damaged, I'm out of a job.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stevo Reno's Comment
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Only had it happen once, right after a pm.Was parked at the terminal a few days. Moved parking spots, seen and felt a wheel locked up, rocked tractor back and forth til it popped free. A day later moved to a different spot for better wi-fi reception, the opposite wheel on same axle was now frozen (rained a couple days) This wheel would NOT break free. I smacked every part of the brakes, the slack adjuster, tube its in, the drum, shoes etc, NO GO.

Went to shop told em they adjusted my brakes way too tight, so they sent guy out to back off the adjustment, all fixed. I was a diesel mechanic 10 years, back in the day, so I knew it had to be their fault.

Told my Sr DM , when I say my truck, or trailer has an issue, he can believe me. I can't carry too many tools to fix everything lol

Truck was just serviced, so hopefully when I get back in it, the brakes work fine lol

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.

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.
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