Cautionary Tale

Topic 25032 | Page 1

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Bruce K.'s Comment
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To all my friends here on TT, I'm going to embarrass myself by relating the most horrific experience I've had so far in my rookie year. This is very sobering.

I missed the entrance to a delivery, so I had to move on to find a place to turn around. I was so intent on looking for a turn around place, that I didn't see a low bridge clearance warning. When I did see it, 13'3", It was almost too late. I stopped inches from the bridge. It was the sign posted on the bridge itself. Fortunately I was going very slow at the time. I got out and evaluated the situation and saw there was sufficient clearance for my trailer. But only by 2 or 3 inches. So I was able to move on and find a route to get back to my delivery destination. This was an extremely frightening experience, one that I will never forget. If I had hit a bridge, my driving career would have, in all likelihood, been over.

So please, never discount the importance of watching for each and every warning sign. Especially when you get "out of route". Concentrate while you are driving, relax when you are parked.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for sharing that Bruce.

That's one of those things that will take precedence in your mind before long. On the road our senses are taking in 1,000 things all at once, and our brain can only process about 5 of them. One of the most important things our mind does is figure out what to prioritize, and what to ignore. For instance, if you're focused on how beautiful a flower is and you fail to notice a bear stalking you, that could be really bad!

To this day I still get a funny feeling in my stomach when I'm going under a bridge, even in my pickup truck years after I retired from driving. To a truck driver, a low bridge is about as scary as a bear. You're still in your rookie year so your brain is still learning the new priorities. But after this close call I can assure you those bridges will steal your attention from now on.

Great story, and great job catching that sign before it was too late.

Everyone makes mistakes. In trucking you just have to make sure they're small ones.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Good post that you shared with everyone, Bruce. Every driver, now or future, can learn from this. Keep the big picture in sight, but don’t forget about all the small pieces of the puzzle you might encounter while getting there.

G-Town's Comment
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No need for embarrassment. You handled it well, recovered and with a little luck came out of it with only a slightly bruised ego.

I’d call that a success, and not a failure.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

I agree Bruce.

Near misses are just that!

Thanks for sharing. Be safe! good-luck.gif

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Nothing embarrassing at all in that. You recognized a hazard before it became a much bigger problem.

Here's an article by Old School on the subject:

Don't you dare miss that sign!

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