Tough Lesson Learned, And SO Embarrassed

Topic 18416 | Page 2

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Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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I didn't read this whole thread....but could have been so.much worse. I know a driver who did the same.but the fully loaded trailer not only fell, but it was a muddy Tyson plant, and the landing gear missed the concrete strip so the trailer sank into the mud and had to be winched by a tow truck. It counted as an accident of course.

Watch the prime safety videos on the app. They discussed this recently where even experienced drivers have done it. Live and learn.

Embarrassing is not deadly. They don't pay your bills and u will never see them again.

Glad ur safe

Red Birds's Comment
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My husband nearly had the same thing happen to him a while back. He hooked up, swore he felt/heard it lock, did the tug test, etc. etc. , raised landing gear, all was well. Started to pull out, then stopped when he saw one of the guys at the yard running toward him waving frantically for him to stop. Thank god he did -- he got out and saw that his trailer with 45,000 pounds of cargo resting on its CORNER on the very edge of the back of the tractor, literally inches from crashing to the ground. He nearly had a heart attack when he saw that! You better believe he's super careful about making sure his locking jaws are secure now!

BUDLIGHT Express's Comment
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I carry a flashlight in my brief case. Before I roll up the landing gear, I crawl between the mudflap and landing gear. Shine the light on the jaws and make sure they're closed. Just a habit. I've heard too many awful experiences like yours. Thanks for sharing, it reminds us all not to rely so too much on the tug test. Glad it all worked out for you.

Rookie Lesson learned #127 - ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS do a visual check to make sure the locking jaws have closed correctly!!

I did the unthinkable and am thanking my lucky stars that everything turned out ok. Did a drop and hook at a meat plant yesterday picking up a trailer with 45K pounds of inedible parts bound for a rendering plant. Backed under the trailer...tugged...pushed back...tugged again...everything felt like it was supposed to. Hooked up my lines, raised my landing gear and began to pull out when I heard a godawful racket behind me, and my truck lurched forward. Pulled the brakes, got out, and lo and behold....there I was...lines all stretched out and the dang trailer on the ground. I was flabbergasted.

Not having any idea what to do, I approached a yard jockey hoping he could help raise the trailer back up somehow only to be told that they weren't allowed to help. So he tells me to put the landing gear on the easy setting and crank it back up high enough to ram the truck under it again...told me someone else (another lady driver) did the same thing a few days ago and got it cranked back up...took a while, but she did it. Ok, I thought... So I got to cranking, nearly giving myself a stroke with multiple guys standing around watching me as if I was prime time entertainment. Even had two different men...other drivers...come talk to me about what had happened, said they would move their truck to a parking spot and come back to help me THAT NEVER DID. I am in decent shape, but trying to crank up 50K pounds is just a bit too much. I worked on it for over an hour and raised it about two inches before I went into the office, told the lady behind the desk what had happened and just about begged for someone to just help me crank it only to be told no again. After another 30 minutes or so, the yard guy came back and said he just couldn't watch me struggle any more.

He helped me raise it some, and then two guys with those little forklifts came over and tried to help raise it. That didn't work, so the three of us took turns cranking until they had me get back in the truck while they directed me. Finally I was able to work up underneath it again. I was so incredibly thankful. I would have been there all night. Thank the good Lord above that there was absolutely no damage to the trailer, and when I delivered today, everything was ok inside. So...this is just my own personal shame. I haven't said anything about it except to my family and sharing it here in order to hopefully spare some other rookie the same moment. I felt like a complete idiot....and I will never trust a tug test again....EVER.

On a much better note, before this all happened yesterday, my dispatcher told me he had nominated me for driver of the month and praised my performance thus far. I just couldn't bring myself to tell him this morning about my ordeal yesterday....

confused.gif

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

You may have been embarrassed but you learned something vary valuable. And you also taught me something to make sure I always check when I start driving thank you for sharing.

I agree, thank you, as a soon to be going to CDL School driver I am so thankful you shared this, hopefully Before I go to pull the load I'll remember to do that.

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.
G-Town's Comment
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BUDLIGHT Express wrote:

I carry a flashlight in my brief case. Before I roll up the landing gear, I crawl between the mudflap and landing gear. Shine the light on the jaws and make sure they're closed. Just a habit.

And a really great habit I might add.

I do the exact same thing. What Budlight Express described requires minutes to perform and should not be skipped,...ever.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

BTW....I posted on here last year about my locking jaws not gripping properly. When I looked, it was wrapped around, but on three trailers when I tried to pull away it broke free. I had to slam the trailer a few times to truly trio...handle in and jaws looked around.

The mechanics came to the conclusion that built up lube from the trailers hardened around my jaws preventing them from fully gripping. They used a power washer to clean out the jaws. Never happened again. After that I oaod attention to the built up hardened lube on trailers. If there is a ton before I back under it I wipe it away. Necessary? Maybe not. Prevented a recurrence? Possibly.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rainy wrote:

BTW....I posted on here last year about my locking jaws not gripping properly. When I looked, it was wrapped around, but on three trailers when I tried to pull away it broke free. I had to slam the trailer a few times to truly trio...handle in and jaws looked around.

The mechanics came to the conclusion that built up lube from the trailers hardened around my jaws preventing them from fully gripping. They used a power washer to clean out the jaws. Never happened again. After that I oaod attention to the built up hardened lube on trailers. If there is a ton before I back under it I wipe it away. Necessary? Maybe not. Prevented a recurrence? Possibly.

Great point. Had the same thing happen to me, snow and ice build-up can also cause this. I too inspect the jaws as part of my pre-trip before getting under the day's load. Another one of those details you should add to your list.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

BTW....I posted on here last year about my locking jaws not gripping properly. When I looked, it was wrapped around, but on three trailers when I tried to pull away it broke free. I had to slam the trailer a few times to truly trio...handle in and jaws looked around.

The mechanics came to the conclusion that built up lube from the trailers hardened around my jaws preventing them from fully gripping. They used a power washer to clean out the jaws. Never happened again. After that I oaod attention to the built up hardened lube on trailers. If there is a ton before I back under it I wipe it away. Necessary? Maybe not. Prevented a recurrence? Possibly.

Do you wipe off the king pin or just your locking jaw area? I would not have thought about that! Thank you for mentioning it!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Kat asks:

Do you wipe off the king pin or just your locking jaw area? I would not have thought about that! Thank you for mentioning it!

Although I have never seen a build-up of muck on the kingpin, I do give it a quick visual before gettin' under the wagon.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Usually the front part and the front under the trailer. Look at where the buildup is....as u back under, the friction and vibrations will cause the stuff to crust hard like dried mud. As you back it can fall into the jaws.

I don't do it on every trailer, but you can see a noticeable difference on the really bad ones. I ran a lot of Midwest at the time too...so not sure if the cold froze the gunk and made it harder.

All I know is that I haven't had the problem again..so something is working. Lol

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