Bad Shippers?

Topic 18576 | Page 1

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Aaron M.'s Comment
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Hey guys and gals. Aaron here. I've been driving for swift for 5 months (4months solo). The experience: very challenging to say the least but I am expecting that.

Anyways, I am currently on a load that I picked up wednesday march 1 from a shipper out here in Ohio. The trailer weights is about 41000 lbs.

The load was suppose to go to Wisconsin on the 2nd and be there at 1500 hours. Obviously that ain't happen.

Why?

1. When I picked up this trailer wednesday, the tandoms were all the way to the rear. That's obviously normal for shippers to do that. I tried to move the tandoms forward but the 2 front pins wouldn't go in. I tried for about 45 minutes trying to get them to go in. The did move when tapped with a hammer, there is a spring in there, but they wouldn't go in or stay in.

Luckily here in ohio they don't care where your tandoms are located, so I called swift breakdowns, explained the situation, but unfortunately I wouldn't be able to get the trailer looked at til the next day (march 2).

The next day I go to the shop where swift told me to go and have the trailer tandoms repaired. The problem I was tild was someone used some kind of wire coat hanger to jerry rig a bolt to allow those pins to go in and stay in but that coat hanger thing-a-ma-jig broke off and so its no bueno.

Anyways, they put a new bolt in. Problem fixed.

I moved the tandoms where I needed them and was able to get scaled at the nearest truck stop.

Here are my first set of weights: Steer 12100 Drives 30620 Trailer 32040 Gross 74760

As you can see everything is good but I would need to travel through indiana to get to wisconsin and indiana's steer axle weight is 12000.

My 5th wheel is as far back as it can go and im still 100lbs over. I go back to have load reworked.

My new weights after getting scaled:

12460 28660 33600 74720

Its even worse.

By this time the load is already behind. I had to wait til today (march 3) to get it reworked a second time and they have their own scale here and its pretty accurate. Im still over on my steers by about 300 lbs.

The shipper told me they can't really do much about the steers since my 5th wheel is all the way back and they won't take anything off. I called my DM and she emailed csr to see what they say. Im still awaiting a response from her as I type this.

My question is what are some alternatives to a situation like this? I know you are suppose to wait to hear from your DM which I will do, but is there anything I could have done differently? With only 5 months driving a rig so far I clearly know NOTHING about this industry and thought maybe a more seasoned driver could do things a bit different if he/she was in my shoes.

Oh and this trailer was preloaded when I got here too.

Thanks for reading this overly long post.

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.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

If it were me, I would not sweat it being a little over on your steering weight. Is it legal? Of course not, but that's my opinion. What was your fuel load when you scaled?

Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

Never had anything like this happen to me, but kudos to you for not risking an overweight ticket. I got one before and it wasn't pretty.

The only thing I can think is how much fuel do you have and what truck do you got? I got a 16 cascadia and never had issues with the steers.

Aaron M.'s Comment
member avatar

Fuel is a little less than half a tank and I have a 16 freight with an auto. The front tires are brand new and each one can support 6500 lbs.

Aaron M.'s Comment
member avatar

I was at half a tank when I got scaled out the first time too.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Fuel is a little less than half a tank and I have a 16 freight with an auto. The front tires are brand new and each one can support 6500 lbs.

What hole are you presently in?

I have a hunch...I know this is going to sound crazy, but too much weight behind the tandems could be literally lifting weight off the drives, shifting some of it onto the steers. Remember the fifth wheel jaws grip the kingpin. If you can pull the tandems back 4-5 holes (towards the rear of the trailer). Try this and reweigh.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Aaron M.'s Comment
member avatar

Good call G-Town. The farthest I can go back is 43ft and I am at the 42ft mark though.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Good call G-Town. The farthest I can go back is 43ft and I am at the 42ft mark though.

Okay but what hole are you in on the tandem rail? That will give me a clearer picture. And what states r u passing through?

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

If it were me, I would not sweat it being a little over on your steering weight. Is it legal? Of course not, but that's my opinion. What was your fuel load when you scaled?

^^^^This...

If your steers are over, with your 5th wheel all the way back - then most of this weight is likely fuel.

I can't see how you would LOSE 2K off your drives, and GAIN 360 on your steers, unless you added fuel between weighs.

I've got friends that drive food grade tankers - a lot of their shippers require them to come in with FULL TANKS, so they can weight them on the way in, and max load the can, based on their full tank weight capacity.

Remember - 200 gallons of fuel, is around 1,500 lbs of weight. Typically 80%+ of that weight goes on (or comes off) of the steers. So full tanks are going to put 1,200lbs of weight onto your steers.

When you get a chance - check out the "Weights & Balance" section of the High Road Training Program.

I wrote a handy-dandy spreadsheet to do all the calculations covered in this section.

In your case - at 100lbs over in the steers initially - I would have run the 100 miles (or so) and burned that weight off in fuel. There was nothing wrong with your weight, that a little driving couldn't fix.

Again - check out the WEIGHTS & BALANCES SECTION. It will give you the physics behind how loads & axles work, and the proper way to calculate how to get your weights where they need to be.

Rick

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Hate to disagree with you Rick, but if he puts his tandems in the 11 hole...balancing out a load that's probably cubed out, his problem is solved. If he was driving an older ProStar, I'd agree with the fuel weight. I have never had this issue in a Cascadia.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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