Truck Driver Killed After Load Comes Loose On U.S. 20 In Angola

Topic 14043 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
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This is a real tragedy and very sad to see. Accidents like this are more common than they should be though. Hauling steel loads like this require what I call a hyper sense of awareness. When I'm hauling steel I beams similar to this load I am doing the Smith System on steroids. Momentum and inertia are powerful forces that can only be controlled by gentle counter forces. Anything abrupt and they rear their ugly heads.

I completely agree with Pat, based purely on what you can see in the photo the driver did not secure this properly. When you don't use edge protectors under your straps on a steel load like this, the first time that steel starts to shift it will shear your straps in a heart beat. I always preferred using a combination of chains and straps when hauling these steel loads.

Without a significant bulk head it is very difficult if not impossible to keep a load like this from shifting in a hard breaking situation. Even if you try criss-crossing some chains on the front you will still have some beams that can slide. The best approach to hauling steel like this is to be hyper-alert to what is going on around you and being well insulated by space from any troublesome activity around you - that includes paying special attention to the vehicles coming up from behind you that are about to be in front of you.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

How is there not an endorsement for flatbed? I've wondered that all these years. How can you send people out hauling coils and girders without any form of official, third party training or testing to verify these people know what they're doing?

You need an endorsement for tanker but not for flatbed? Ludicrous.

In my opinion you should have to demonstrate the ability to do the math and then physically tarp and secure various loads properly. I really have no idea why this is not being done.

Kudos to you guys who do this stuff safely day in and day out. So much can go wrong with these loads. They are so unforgiving.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

By the way, for those of you interested in flatbed we have two awesome sections in our High Road Training Program:

Flatbed Cargo Securement

New York State Coil Endorsement

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.
OldRookie's Comment
member avatar

How is there not an endorsement for flatbed? I've wondered that all these years. How can you send people out hauling coils and girders without any form of official, third party training or testing to verify these people know what they're doing?

You need an endorsement for tanker but not for flatbed? Ludicrous.

In my opinion you should have to demonstrate the ability to do the math and then physically tarp and secure various loads properly. I really have no idea why this is not being done.

Kudos to you guys who do this stuff safely day in and day out. So much can go wrong with these loads. They are so unforgiving.

and yet... the government has plenty of time/effort/money to spend on mandating/monitoring all sorts of things relating to trucking/driving that are far less important.

Well said Brett.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
How is there not an endorsement for flatbed? I've wondered that all these years. How can you send people out hauling coils and girders without any form of official, third party training or testing to verify these people know what they're doing?

Brett, I completely agree with you on this, but for the record it should be noted that any time you go to a flat-bed company (at least any of the major players) they will have a test that you will have to pass to prove your proficiency at understanding load securement. I've seen this done on both experienced drivers and newbies coming through orientation. I remember having to get the now obsolete "Alabama Coil Certification," and being required to carry it in my truck with me, because some of the places that loaded coils would not load your truck if you could not produce the certificate which indicated you had been trained and passed the tests for securing steel coils.

I don't think I've ever shared the story about my test at Western Express, but after going through four days of securement training, both hands on and classroom, the handful of us new recruits who had made it that far took our final test for securement. After all the tests were turned in and about thirty minutes time elapsed the instructor came back into the room and called out the names of those of us who had passed. Of the ten or so of us that tested, there were three names that were not called out. Mine was one of them, and the other two were two guys who seemed to have a decent head on their shoulders, but were silly and just not taking this stuff seriously. I was flummoxed, I had studied engineering in college, and I was a licensed master electrician - I can do math!

The instructor told the ones who had passed to go down the hall and see somebody in another office, and the rest of us needed to come in and see him. We went inside and he basically started addressing the other two fellas about how disappointed he was with them, because he knew they could do better. Then he addresses me with this bizarre speech something like this: " Sir, I happen to believe you cheated on this exam, but I can't prove it. You are the first person who has ever gotten it all 100% right. There are even two trick questions in there that you somehow managed to figure out. Here's what we are going to do - tonight you are responsible for teaching these other two gentleman how to do the math for this test. If they both pass tomorrow then I will consider you as an ace at this stuff, but if they fail, all three of you are going through this class again, and it will be another week until you can go out with a trainer." We stayed up until one in the morning, but I made dang sure those two could pass, and they did!

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Twisted Truckers had a couple more photos up yesterday that showed the load a little better. There definitely wasn't enough load securement and in one of the better photos you can see that the steel was painted parts (possibly a kit of some type but who knows). The shipper might not have allowed chains but strapping it without edge protection? Big no,no.

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.

Michael C.'s Comment
member avatar

This is one of the major reasons why I refuse to drive flatbed. The idea of carrying Steel or suicide coils terrifies me. I rather carry a load of hazardous explosives then to be worried about if that suicide coil is going to roll onto my back. You guys that drive flatbed have my total respect.

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

There is another trick that I forgot about because it just comes natural now. That is to not use those plastic edge protectors but to use pieces of rubber mudflaps or conveyor belt. The rubber creates a higher friction between your securement and the load.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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