Hard Breaking Events

Topic 14369 | Page 1

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R0adRa93's Comment
member avatar

So I had 3 HBEs this year... I am really worried that I may be terminated over this last one. The VP of Safety called me today about it and asked me about the first one and I explained it was my first time driving in the snow and the snow plow blew snow all over my windshield and I couldn't see anything making me apply the brakes harder than I should have. He then told me how he doesn't think I should be driving. I am currently looking for another company to jump to...

I absolutely LOVE driving! I wake up every day quite pleased. Today is the first day I actually am worried about losing this... I went almost 6 months without seeing my family, I work hard, I am on top of my pretrips I report items my trainer told me don't worry about. I don't know why I am screwing up like this though! I am looking for stale green lights in this case the light changed quickly and I didn't want to run the red... If I did that and someone hit me it would have been worse!

The Little Trucker's Comment
member avatar

Soooooo...I'm not trying to be a smart aleck here, but is your actual question "what company can I go to next?" or "How can I prevent further Hard Braking Events?" If your company is treating you right in most of the critical arenas (pay, hometime, etc.) and the only issue they have with you is hard breaking, then maybe you ought to be figuring out how to better your driving. Hard braking events are usually the result of inattentiveness, as in they are usually a last ditch effort to correct something that could have been otherwise avoided. If the light is stale-green and the speed limit is a little higher (such as 55 mph) there are usually signs that flash when the light is about to change. If there aren't, maybe try slowing down as you approach the light enough that you can stop safely and reasonably if needed. Also, if the light turns yellow and you cannot stop keep going.

I just think that if you go to another company, you're going to have the same problem. So instead of telling us "you don't know why you are screwing up like this," maybe try to figure out what you're doing that you can do differently. Hopefully I was of some sort of help.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

I really have trouble understanding companies taking these "hard-braking" events so seriously. I understand if someone is getting them frequently then there is probably an issue there.

I've had several and had dispatch ask me about them a couple of times, but not one was me being inattentive or even due to my personal braking at all.

Two or three due to onguard going bonkers (I seriously detest this system, it has nearly gotten me rear-ended by a truck that was following too close and no one was within a mile in front of me).

I've had two that were loss of traction and not braking-related at all. Wheel spin on the sisters when there was ice shot the speedo up and it slowed down quickly when I regained traction. Another I was bobtail and came over a railroad track that had a dip filled with gravel that caused wheel spin as well (in 6th gear no less).

The one time I have actually locked the brakes it didn't trigger this event. 55mph construction zone and a dump truck pulled out in front of me maybe 100 ft going 10 mph. It caused a massive line of trucks to brake check. One of those dumb left lane only deals where they put the trucks on the side of construction.

I'm baffled someone could have three in a year and have their job be in jeapordy. I am a ridiculously cautious driver and have had four or five over two years.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Baffle:

A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

Now that I've laid out my diatribe a couple of pointers to avoid hard braking.

When I pass snowplows I do it slowly. Like if they are going 40mph I'll pass them at 45 mph. I will frequently back off in snowy conditions when you have a wall of traffic moving as well.

I am not a fan of 55+ mph zones with traffic lights, I think they should be required to have those warning signals that it will turn red like they have on the Nebraska 2 and a few other places. That said, oftentimes you can judge the lights by the crosswalk countdowns and if you can't just slow down. Especially if you are running OTR , running 5 mph under the speed limit in the city or being cautious at lights isn't going to cost you much time.

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.
Peter B.'s Comment
member avatar

Defensive driving is the key I think. Expect that the driver in front of you will eventually slam on his brakes for that squirrel. Cushions cushions cushions is what its really all about. Make it a habit of stopping 15+ feet behind the vehicle in front of you even if your bobtailing.

Also how you drive in your personal vehicle is important too.

And straight from the FMCSA...."If you are driving below 40 mph, you should leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. For a typical tractor-trailer, this results in 4 seconds between you and the leading vehicle. For speeds over 40 mph, you should leave one additional second.

See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/driver-safety/cmv-driving-tips-following-too-closely#sthash.fZriGH71.dpuf

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Fm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

The Little Trucker's Comment
member avatar

Now that I've laid out my diatribe a couple of pointers to avoid hard braking.

When I pass snowplows I do it slowly. Like if they are going 40mph I'll pass them at 45 mph. I will frequently back off in snowy conditions when you have a wall of traffic moving as well.

I am not a fan of 55+ mph zones with traffic lights, I think they should be required to have those warning signals that it will turn red like they have on the Nebraska 2 and a few other places. That said, oftentimes you can judge the lights by the crosswalk countdowns and if you can't just slow down. Especially if you are running OTR , running 5 mph under the speed limit in the city or being cautious at lights isn't going to cost you much time.

And Matt just for the record, I don't think his job should be in jeapordy over hard braking events either. But he admitted in his post that he is indeed the cause of the events so it's not really a technical issue. I think if he's constantly having to hard brake he should try to find a solution to the problem instead of carrying the problem over to another company. I wasn't accusing him of being inattentive either. I was just saying it might be a factor or it might not.

And I don't know anyone who is a fan of 55+ mph zones with traffic lights. But they do exist and the only thing we can do is do our best to drive through them safely.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

No problems with your comment, just talking in general. And yeah the one sounds like not a good one, and we don't know what the other two were for.

Kevin H.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah, I've had a few hard braking events in my first few months and have been talked to about them, and warned that I could be terminated if they continue. Mine were all while bobtailing because the brakes are really sensitive(and not sue to speed or inattention), but they seem to take it very seriously anyway. I've been considering changing jobs too, because while I'm willing to work on avoiding them, I can't help feeling like I'm just waiting around to be fired because I accidentally hit the brakes too hard, and it seems like it would be smarter to change jobs while I don't have to tell companies that I was fired for too many HBEs,

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Listen, let me throw this out there too in the hopes it will help you guys relax a little bit.

Trucking companies famously like to make everyone think their job is on the line all the time for everything they do. Eat a Snickers Bar from the wrong end? You could be terminated. Get corn stuck in your teeth? You might be terminated. This is how many corporations do things. They're afraid the only way people will take anything seriously is if they think their job is on the line. And for some people that's surely necessary. For most it's just unneeded stress because we already take our jobs and our safety very seriously.

If you have a clean safety record I can't imagine you being fired for a few hard braking events. I agree with the guys above - everyone has hard braking events from time to time. There's no avoiding it completely.

Just focus on doing your job safely. Trust me, if you were fired for hard braking events and yet you had a clean safety record the next companies you apply to will be more than happy to bring you on board in a second. They'll be laughing at the fact your last company let you go for safety reasons without so much as a fender bender.

miracleofmagick's Comment
member avatar

I had 2 in one day once. I had just come off a week's home time and was Bobtailing. I was wearing new boots instead of the running shoes I usually wear and had my jakes on. Twice when I went to stop the heavier boys caused me to depress the brake pedal harder than I intended and the engine Jake's kicked in at right about the same time causing me to slow down daddy enough to trigger hard braking events on my Qualcomm. When we have a critical event report like that we get a message to call dispatch and explain what happened. If you have to many on a certain period of time you have to call safety to get a briefing.

Oh and I fixed that issue by only wearing NY running shoes while driving and switch to my boss when I need them.

If you drive safely, most hard braking incident will be prevented. Though my last one was just a couple of weeks ago. I had a herd of horses wander out into the road in front of me.....

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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