Using The Runaway Truck Ramp

Topic 25475 | Page 3

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G-Town's Comment
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I immediately pulled onto the shoulder and applied the brakes to stop. Since I had crested the hill and now was on the downhill side I managed to get my speed to 5 MPH but could not get the truck to stop

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Brett wrote:

Man, you should've pulled the parking brake right there and then, eh? That would've stopped ya.

That was my first thought. So yes there was that...

And this:

- “spring brakes engaged causing them to smoke”

And then this:

- to paraphrase “there was no clear indication of what actually caused the pressure loss in the first place”

I am really glad you lived to tell about this...and fact is most of us have never run aground on a catch ramp...hope I never need to use one.

That said why did you continue driving that truck after all that? Not knowing what actually caused the pressure loss issue in the first place, coupled with the possibility of brake damage (drums, linings, pads), at least for me that truck gets the once-over by a certified mechanic before I’m driving it again.

And maybe you did that, yet it wasn’t stated in your story. So not sure... But Man you dodged a bullet the first time...and then to hop in and drive-off “just like that”. You are a braver soul than I...

Please do not think for one minute I’m confronting you, I want the hundreds of newbies reading this to clearly understand how to survive an event as you described and the best course of action to take if you are able to walk away from it.

Glad you lived to tell of it.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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WOW! What an awful, scary ride that was for you. Glad you survived it in one piece, and glad you shared the details with us. Lots of folks would have not have gotten back behind the wheel after that experience.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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I immediately pulled onto the shoulder and applied the brakes to stop. Since I had crested the hill and now was on the downhill side I managed to get my speed to 5 MPH but could not get the truck to stop

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Man, you should've pulled the parking brake right there and then, eh? That would've stopped ya.

Glad to hear it ended so well though. Wow. I would've expected the truck to get torn up. I've seen the front axle ripped right off the truck in one of those emergency ramps.

That was my thought

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Buckaroo B.'s Comment
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I did a lot of brainstorming about my decisions on that night. The trailer was loaded in Monterrey Mexico, brought across the border and dropped in the company lot. Every time I picked up one of those trailers I had to COMPLETELY inspect the trailer for missing brake parts, lights, glad hands, swapped tires and wheels etc. I had to lift tarps to inspect the load and securement and scale it before I left town. This usually took 1-2 hours. On many occasions I would lose a day waiting on a mechanic to fix all the problems with trailer. As I recall, on this particular load I didn't find any issues with the trailer. It had good tires and wheels, all the brake components were in place and working correctly etc. I guess the one thing I should have done before cresting the hill was to look at the air pressure gauges. I was watching the tach, EGT, water temp and oil pressure which is what I was most concerned with pulling 80K lbs up a 5% grade. If I had seen my air pressure was only 80PSI before the crest I would have stopped then with the assistance of gravity. Takeaway #1 LOOK AT ALL THE INSTRUMENTS FOR SIGNS OF A PROBLEM. When I was on the shoulder at 5MPH and couldn't stop the truck, I thought about pulling the service handles to set the emergency (spring) brakes. However, once, while doing a pre-trip brake check, I wanted to see how effective the emergency brakes were on a tractor trailer at gross weight. At 20 MPH on flat ground I pulled both service handles. The rig very slowly came to a stop. My truck/trailer at the time had only emergency (spring) brakes on 1 trailer axel and 1 tractor drive axle. So I did a quick physics gut check. At 80K lbs moving at 5MPH on a 5% downhill grade with only spring brakes on 2 out 5 axles. That is a lot of kinetic energy with a big assist from gravity. Maybe the spring brakes would have stopped it but at the time I didn't think so. I couldn't stop it with soft pedal on 5 braking axles. I knew if emergency brakes didn't stop the rig, then they would be stuck engaged for 4-5 miles going down the mountain doing nothing but getting really hot and possibly catching on fire. It was my decision, right or wrong, to not use them. Eventually the service handles popped on their own due to low air pressure but this didn't happen until I was 2+ miles down the mountain. The pit was probably 10-12" deep filled with pea gravel. I went over the truck while we waited for the tire from LA to show up. The spot mirror was broke and that was it. I think the fact the trailer was a double drop and all the weight was low to the ground was a big reason this event had a happy ending. When i got to the consignee a day late, the manager came out and was mad because I was late. I just said yes sir and no sir because I didn't know what dispatch told him. I wasn't sure what I would find once the tarps came off. The tarps came off, and none of the glass was broken! A miracle! The glass had slid forward and stopped.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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