Decisions Decisions... To Drive Or Not To Drive

Topic 17487 | Page 1

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Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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After having my reefer repaired, getting to the shipper to find out my drop n hook isn't ready and they live loaded it, then driving over a rail road track in their facility which caused a tire blow (found out by tire guy was not my fault, defective inflation system), then rolling splits from PA to WY at 600+ miles per day and trudging through sleet and high winds that pushed a car carrier off the road in front of me I'm parked.

I parked in WY headed to UT, but would have been about an hour late for my delivery....an accomplishment as far as I'm concerned. Dispatch had me swap loads with a truck parked near me, but this load is 20k pounds and light for these winds.

I'm still headed to UT thru forecasted blizzard conditions. I'm parked in Rawlins and seriously don't know if I even want to attempt to move when the sun comes up or say screw it cause I'm safely parked. I only drove out here once and would happliy go back to the northeast lol

How bad do you let it get before shutting down here? What is considered "strong winds" enough to shut down?

I only have 300 miles to go, but that could take forever if I'm going slow enough. I saw a light trailer tip over in WY last year. Not exactly wanting to be that guy.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Sambo's Comment
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I don't know.if the roads are icy, I'm thinking 20mph or above would be cause for concern. Granted, I'm still new to all of this, but I've seen video and pictures of truck blown over and getting Jack knifed due to the winds.

I'm in the same boat as you though. I hooked to a tcall load in Idaho Falls, Idaho headed to tomah Wisconsin. My trip taking me through north Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana I think. This is a partial load, only 15k in the box lol, gonna be interesting.

Steve L.'s Comment
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God bless you for being there and I say stay parked. If you're this concerned, there's good reason and you have the experience to justify that decision. Remember; just because other people drive on doesn't mean it's the best decision for you.

If parking is a mistake you might take a little heat for it. But if driving is a mistake you won't get a second chance.

if conditions improve and you wanna go on, so be it.

Thanks for all you do! Especially your contributions here.

Merry Christmas!

John M.'s Comment
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Stay there Rainy, it's going to get ugly out in front of you and that is no place to get in trouble on Christmas. Looks like you have had a great year try and end it on a good note.

G-Town's Comment
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As you know 20k in the box is light, even less stable in the wind if you are "cubed-out", floor to ceiling.

My rule of thumb for shutting down when empty is sustained wind speed of 30+ with higher gusts.

It's a judgement call, based on your comfort level, wind direction, and your experience driving in windy conditions. If you proceed be smart (which you are) drop your speed, eyes wide open, and if possible run in the lane pitched against the direction the wind is coming from.

If it feels unsafe...stay put.

Matt M.'s Comment
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Howdy Rainy.

Usually 50+ gusts is when you'll start seeing light trailers laying down. It can happen before that, and sucks to drive in, but that's generally around when you start seeing problems.

At least your past elk mountain.

I'm in Pendleton OR shut down right now. In two and a half years with Prime this will be the second time I'm late for a delivery due to weather. Chain law is up to the Idaho border and I'm not rolling 170 miles with chains on. Been there, done that. Bought two new sets of chains for my trouble. There's been intermittent closures as well.

Whatever you decide, be safe out there and Merry Christmas!

Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

Just checked wind maps, you look pretty good to me. Wyodot reporting dry roads to the border as well.

I'm not there though, so I don't know what it looks and feels like. Trust your gut.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
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I just followed you to this thread from the other one by Tractor Man.

Hopefully some drivers with experience out in that part of the country can offer some advice. I'm only familiar with the Northeast. But that's also part of this puzzle of knowing when to shut down. Another driver's suggestion is just that, a suggestion. Each decision to shut down due to weather is unique based on your current situation, and weather is always changing. One driver might feel more comfortable than another driver to push through the same weather. The right choice for one driver is the wrong choice for another driver. The only right choice is the one made by each individual driver. A dispatcher / planner should honor a driver's decision to shut down.

It's always better to shut down than move on into unfamiliar territory, or to be in a position where there's no place to pull off or no nearby rest area to park. With my run, sometimes I have to take hazmat loads that aren't permitted through the tunnels on the Penna Turnpike. This requires a hazmat detour through the mountains that include some steep grades, narrow roads, and no places to pull off. Drivers have gotten stuck on these mountain roads due to lack of traction when trying to climb a grade. Not very fun, especially when pulling doubles. I have to make decisions based on forecasts sometimes, because if I make an attempt on this route, that means I'm already committed and then I cannot go back. If I know it is going to be icy or treacherous, I will not roll. I heard about one planner telling another driver that he should be able to handle it, because of being a professional driver. This driver responded by saying it was his professional judgement that he could not make the attempt safely - I liked that.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Dispatcher:

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

Rick S.'s Comment
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Utah DOT Weather - pretty good maps with road conditions, advisories and LOTS OF CAMS so you can see exactly what road conditions look like LIVE.

Rainy - it's a JUDGEMENT CALL.

Weather in Utah, is supposed to get pretty nasty this afternoon. Probably going to be a bunch of closures as the storm progresses. Plows are out right now through Summit Park area on I-80, it's snowy, wet and as soon as the temps drop it's going to turn into a skating rink.

When is your delivery appointment? I mean - it's X-Mas eve. I wouldn't think anything is going to deliver before Monday anyways.

Less about the wind ****il it gets in the 25-30 and higher with a light load) and more about WHERE DO I WANT TO (potentially) GET STUCK. Lot's of folks probably hunkering down already in the area - you could slowly mosey on down in worsening weather conditions, and end up having to shut down for safety reasons, and not find a place to park.

All comes down to YOU (but you already knew that). If you're not comfortable driving into a weather situation - DON'T. Plan your route and your potential stops and see how crowded they are. If you've got clock and can safely move a little closer to your drop before being forced to stop by the weather - get some miles down.

Better to be late, than be DEAD. DM's and customers would rather have a late load - than an insurance claim.

Rick

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.

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.
Isaac H.'s Comment
member avatar

Be safe rainy. Trust your spidey senses.

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