Downstream Affect Of Laziness And/or Ambivalence

Topic 23985 | Page 3

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Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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I might be guessing here a little but I'm thinking the moral of this is going to be, if the light is on there is a tire problem. STOP! Get it fixed!

The Prime trailers have a system like this also. It's critical to keep an eye on that light. Under inflated tires blow out and can build up enough heat to catch on fire.

I think it is that, but more along the lines of why that system is needed.

Turtle's Comment
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The moral is in the title. But I'll leave that to G-Town.

I once had this light come on mid-trip. Luckily I was only a few exits from a TA. Turned out to be a worn leaky air line, and they had me fixed even before my 30 minute break was up. I finished my Popeyes and went on my way

smile.gif

Bruce K.'s Comment
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I thought the ABS light was red, not amber. Is that my mistake? Is that white light a warning for low tire pressure, which would affect braking. Enquiring minds want to know!

Turtle's Comment
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Our flatbeds have a small but bright light like this one over the marker light

0572651001544107716.jpg

G-Town's Comment
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Thanks for the excellent exchange here (really great group on the forum right now). Grumpy; kudos Man, great initiative trying to figure this out, a trait that will serve you well as you progress through school, training and eventually 1st seat status.

Turtle is absolutely correct (smart like a fox)…this is about what can happen when a driver is lazy, ignorant, ambivalent (not caring) or a combination of all 3. So a quick back story on this scenario. This is a very busy time of year running Walmart Dedicated requiring that most things go to plan in order to get all of the work completed, meeting our Service Level Agreement with the DC. This time of year it’s all about an elevated need for efficiency and of course, safety. This is peak season, when we are often doubled-up, meaning a driver will have 2 dispatched loads for their shift.

Last Saturday my day began as it usually does, pre-trip the tractor, retrieve trip paperwork, and then proceed to the outbound load lot. My dispatched Walmart delivery route was a consolidated load of dry grocery destined for Hackettstown NJ and Phillipsburg NJ (a “drop & hook” location). The 3rd stop was a “drop and hook” backhaul from Nestle’ Waters in Breinigsville, PA. At that point I knew I’d have a second run to be determined once I had a more definitive PTA back to the DC.

Arrived at the Hackettstown store (first stop) on schedule, for a live unload of 7 pallets. As I was making my way to the entrance for the dock, another Walmart load, a reefer also pulled up, parked parallel to the dock area. Hackettstown is a small store and required this driver to wait until my load was delivered. I let the driver know I’d be quick, only 7 pallets to pull-off. I also asked where he was going next, he said Phillipsburg, same place I was going. (Remember that fact.) The 7 pallets were unloaded quickly and I was underway in about 25 minutes.

Upon arrival at Phillipsburg, I docked (at the only available door) and entered the dock receiving area to have them sign paperwork and confirm there was an available empty. They positively confirmed I could take the empty trailer. Back outside I dropped my load and coupled-up to the empty. Since there were no open doors and I knew the reefer driver I met at Hackettstown would be arriving shortly, I pulled the trailer away from the dock to free up the door. That’s when I saw the light, the light for the auto-fill was brightly lit. There was no missing it, like a beacon. So I temporarily parked the truck off the dock door to inspect the rear of the trailer and quickly discovered the curbside, rear outside tire was flat and had a “quarter-sized head” of something that punctured the tire. It obviously had some miles on it because it was polished bright silver and flush with the tire tread. I re-docked the trailer (blocking all doors now) and informed the receiving manager of the dilemma. I won’t bore anyone with the details of what I did, but suffice it to say it delayed me, delayed the next truck (reefer driver I met at Hackettstown, bound for Phillipsburg) and an assistant manager that had to drop what they were doing to unload the 23 pallets from the trailer I dropped and move them into the re-docked empty with the flat. I also called Walmart’s Shop so they knew there was an out-of-service trailer, gave them the number, what tire was flat and that it was parked on the Grocery dock at the Phillipsburg NJ store.

This may not seem like a big deal to most OTR drivers, but the schedules Walmart drivers need to meet during this time of year requires everyone to do their job and be professional in how business is conducted… Oh and that second load I was supposed to be dispatched on...it was given to someone else because I did not make it back to the DC in time. Instead I did a trailer shuttle run to Jonestown...better than nothing and I appreciated getting it.

So the point to all of this? Remember the image that accompanied the initial post, the clear light? Well that light, would have been on, lit in plain view of the driver who dropped the trailer earlier that morning. It was likely lit for a while based on the wear of the offending “spike” skewering the tire. And even so, part of our process is to perform a cursory check on lights and tires when dropping a trailer, so the next driver picking it up, isn’t delayed. It should have been reported and would have likely been repaired long before I showed up trying to take the empty trailer. “Ball dropped!” Call it lazy, call it ignorance, call it lack of care; the previous driver overlooked an obvious tire problem with zero regard of the downstream effect resulting from their decision to ignore it.

Not my problem, let the next driver worry about it...

My advice to anyone regarding this sort of thing, consider the next person getting the equipment that you are dropping. Check it (it only takes a few minutes), don’t ignore an alert coming from a warning light designed to proactively inform the driver to at least inspect the components it’s protecting. Report any issue to your DL and/or shop, so repairs can completed before the problem affects the next driver and the customer.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

Out-of-Service:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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Thanks, G Town, though I have to admit I was wrong about the why of your post

I thought it was going to be on the reason that system exists is that people were too lazy to check their tire pressure. LOL

Sorry you were delayed by an inconsiderate drover.

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.
G-Town's Comment
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Thanks, G Town, though I have to admit I was wrong about the why of your post

I thought it was going to be on the reason that system exists is that people were too lazy to check their tire pressure. LOL

Sorry you were delayed by an inconsiderate drover.

It’s designed to alert a driver of a trailer tire leak enroute, to avoid prolonged running on a flat (cause you rarely know it) and having the tire shred or roll-off the rim. Especially important for Prime drivers running super singles.

It will also light in the event of an air leak somewhere in the trailer (Turtle’s reply).

No need to apologize. This time of year the local trash haulers might be running a Wally load. Happens.

Trying to turn a negative into a positive learning opportunity for all of us.

Super Singles:

A single, wide wheel substituted for a tandem (two wheel) assembly. The main benefit of a super single is a reduction in weight and lower rolling resistance which provide better fuel economy. The disadvantage is the lack of tire redundancy (or a 'backup tire' in case of a blowout) from which tandem wheels benefit. A tire blowout is more dangerous with a super single and can not be driven on.

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.
Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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One other very important thing is a low over heated tire can catch on fire. Same as a super hot break. If this was to happen you can loose it all. Shannon, safety director at Jim Palmer, showed me pictures of several cases of this happening. It one case it was a month old trailer that was a complete loss. Not to mention the load.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

I thought the ABS light was red, not amber. Is that my mistake? Is that white light a warning for low tire pressure, which would affect braking. Enquiring minds want to know!

THAT ONE I DO KNOW!

ABS (indicator light on trailer) must be yellow or amber!

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Marc. Now I'll remember that.

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