Unsafe Backing And Leaving Truck And Load At Terminal

Topic 23946 | Page 1

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Jeffrey B.'s Comment
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Not sure if this topic has been asked before so please forgive me if it has. I have been driving for 7 months now and yesterday 11/29/18 I was faced with a backing maneuver that I felt was unsafe. Basically what I had to do was back up along side the building and cut my wheels hard to the right and swing my trailer around the back of the building, straighten out a little, and cut hard again to avoid going down an embankment into a medium size creek and hitting a bumper high concrete barrier. I had 7 semi's on my right parked 2 deep side by side (day cab w/ attached 38' trailers) a box truck on the right back side of my trailer and a 53' ft trailer on left side. To envision what it looked like it would be a complete U turn maneuver but while in reverse with obstacles on sides.

I will admit I had trouble backing, after about 25 minutes, I asked the yard jockey if he could put it in the dock as it was a drop and hook , he said no. I asked another company driver who was at this consignee if she would assist me with backing and she laughed and walked away. Needless to say during the maneuver I brushed the bumper against the wall causing a gouge in the plastic, (these docks are made for day cab , and Box trucks, not a sleeper cab). The other company driver saw this and she came up to me informing me that she saw this, and proceeded to call safety right in front of me. I then got a call from my manager., after explaining the situation and telling him I felt unsafe doing this maneuver and that I was afraid of causing any more damage to the truck, he told me that I had to do it as it is a new account and I have no choice but to back in the way they want me to. I told him again that I felt unsafe, and he told me to get over it and do it., 45 minutes later I backed in the dock but not without breaking the top rubber piece of my side wings on the sleeper. I called mu manager again and told him about the damage and how unsafe it is to back, he replied "But did you deliver the load?". I said Yes. He told me that I will be going to this location to deliver often so I better get used to it. This is my first backing mishap since I have been driving, but I have never had to perform a maneuver like this before.

Going forward, I was then told to pick up a load in Aspers PA and get to Zanesville OH to the Dollar General WH. I told him that I only have 2:25 on my 11 hour and that I will not make it to Zanesville. I was told that I needed to do what I had to get the load there on time. I told him I would not risk safety.

I got so frustrated by them telling me to basically violate safety that I drove the truck with the load to the terminal in Shippensburg, cleaned out the truck, sent a message that due to what I perceived as safety violations I resign. I made sure the truck and load was secured, and had security put a padlock on the trailer to protect the apple juice. I made sure to file a claim for the bumper and rubber/plastic protector. I got a call this afternoon from Human Resources stating that they feel I abandoned my truck and load because I was under dispatch., does not matter that I parked at a secure terminal location and secured the load and truck.. They stated that they would report a preventative accident and abandonment on my DAC.

So I am guessing that my driving career is over?

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

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.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

JoAnne EC's Comment
member avatar

I have no insight here but I just wanted to say I'm sorry that happened - it sounds awful!! I hope it works out for you and you can move on to a company that's a better fit for you. All the best!

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Jeffrey, this tale is strange. I've never had any type of relationship with a dispatcher that seems so confrontational as what you just described. I'm thinking you probably left out some of the history in your relationship that led up to this event.

Do you think there could have been some other issues or experiences that led up to this?

Abandonment is generally the kiss of death, and something you don't want on your DAC report. As usual, this story seems to be missing a few pieces. I'm curious, what do you think your company would have to say if they were the one telling us about this?

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

This October I was at Swiift orientation and on day one the guy I roomed with in the hotel left. That evening he was again my roommate. He was upset. He was an experienced driver with like 8 years. He said they sent him home due to a situation very much similar to yours. On his DAC It showed an abandonment and he claims to have secured his truck/load even waiting for police and tow to show up. Swift wouldn't touch him. Trucking companies take that very seriously and dude was convinced his career was over, even tried to give me the Inverter he brought cause he said he wouldnt need it anymore. Once that's reported to DAC he said it's pretty much impossible to remove it.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

By the way... for those who are reading this and wondering why the trucking company would hit him with "abandonment."

He did a nice job of making his post look like he did everything just right, and he was only concerned about "safety." One may wonder, "What did he do wrong?" It all sounds so good...

I got so frustrated by them telling me to basically violate safety that I drove the truck with the load to the terminal in Shippensburg, cleaned out the truck, sent a message that due to what I perceived as safety violations I resign. I made sure the truck and load was secured, and had security put a padlock on the trailer to protect the apple juice.

If you are under a load you don't just park it and resign. That is abandonment. It doesn't matter that you took the trouble and initiative to take it to a terminal. You abandoned the load and now a customer is pulling their hair out. It's very bad form!

My gut feeling is that our friend here has a history of very poor time management and a poor record of being on time. I'm hoping he will come back and fill in some pretty obvious blank spots in this tale of woe.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Quitting while under a load is very similar to abandonment. It doesn't matter that you secured the load, etc. If your dispatcher is being that confrontational, call safety, and go "over their head" to get your issue resolved.

Yes, you returned the truck to a terminal , and seemingly did what was right. But you were under a load, and your company had to either shuffle drivers to complete that load, and possibly pay a fine for late delivery. Both costing the company money. It does make a small difference that you turned everything in at the terminal, but you will be hard pressed to find a company that will take you. If someone does, own your mistake. There were things that you could have done to fix things, but your inexperience and frustrations clouded your thinking.

Let this be a learning experience.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.
JoAnne EC's Comment
member avatar

Old School (and others), you have very good points! I, obviously, haven't even started school yet so I can't say either way but I can see how abandoning your truck and load is a HUGE deal breaker!

Brian's Comment
member avatar

There is just a certain way you have to go about things and this was far from it. Should of gotten that load delivered at minimum and than went on your way. That was it that was your mission.

What is strange to me is you mentioned all these day cabs parked and not one got out and helped? In my limited experience there is almost always a nice guy or gal that will come out and offer some kind of assistance. Especially sitting in a dock. At minimum so you don't hit them.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Jeffrey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the reply's., let me address some things.

The only time I have ever been late on a load is when the contributing factors were beyond my control ie. Weather, Mechanical, Traffic. My time management is just fine, I can not say that for all drivers as there are lazy ones out there who just do not care.

Yes I am very safety conscious always have been always will be, I am not going to be ne of these Super Truckers who know it all and risk lives.

What am I leaving out? Nothing at all, you can interpret as you see fit. I did not post to be chastised or have someone imply that I am a liar or story teller. You now what they say about some peoples opinions.

I spoke with Human Resources this evening and they listened to the phone conversations between myself and my Fleet Manager. She apologized. She stated that he is a newer Fleet Manager and this is a new Account only 2 weeks old and I would welcome my former Companies response, however I do not see that happening. The video feed was also pulled from the truck and Safety agreed that it was an unsafe backing situation.

I did apply to another company this evening and I was upfront and honest with them about what happened., we will see what happens.

But Thank you again for your responses even the accusatory ones implying that I am anything else but honest.

Fleet Manager:

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.
Mike D.'s Comment
member avatar

An unfortunate sequence of events no doubt. All the best.

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