Pre Trip- What Is The DOT Requirement

Topic 25561 | Page 6

Page 6 of 6 Previous Page Go To Page:
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

We hired on to a small company recently and the “safety officer “ firmly states we don’t have to log a Pre trip, just show at least 10 mim on duty. Can’t change her mind one bit!!

double-quotes-end.png

I understand that it's very common for "Safety Directors" to have never driven themselves. If so, how can they effectively understand their job? Anybody know more about this? (because it really boggles my mind.)

The safety director is an idiot and if he actually believes that to be true, he is not fit for his job. Ask him if the company is willing to pay a citation for a logging issue or failure to perform the PTI. I’ll bet not and he will quickly backpedal to CHA.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

thank-you.gifthank-you-2.gif

So I have been thinking about that one - my not comfortable passing thing - pretty much ever since it happened. I know it was a bit off topic but heck - we do that here! (Being fair... I figured I had the "right" people in the conversation!

(BTW... I think we were governed at 58.. 62 on cruise - no PTP...

So my take on it is I may have missed an opportunity but ultimately it was my decision to make. My trainer should have respected AND supported that.

What I think was going was this:

1. After 3 weeks of training he was getting ready to "hand me off to another" trainer.

2. He was a bit bored and perhaps a bit frustrated at my limited progress. This was obvious by him driving much of the time and the last day or two him on the phone almost the entire drive - (always hand-held to dial) after connecting an earpiece (while driving).

3. The final run he tried to impart a few "final" bits of wisdom... seemed almost as a sort of apology.

Trying not to be critical... he did teach me a lot... mostly "real world" stuff. But yet he drove for days without getting right or checking air pressure, etc.. We would check tractor and find it low. He would conclude it was the guage. Next day maybe same with his "good guage". Still low... must be the cold guage. I would offer my new guage (out of my backpack - not left in the cold)... "that's OK". 3, 4, 5 days and 500 - 1,000 miles later we might check it and air up.

Typical Day: 9:30ish AM arrivals at DC... 10ish departures... 24 hours to deliver two loads (down, back to DC, down again... maybe one more drop and hook (backhaul) in between). 250 - 400 miles. Back @ DC by 8ish if he drove, 1-3 hrs. later depending upon how much I got to do!

Just not sure why he would do that!

Was really looking forward to training with the woman he had trained.

I was struggling with getting a good "sight picture" to line up tractor with trailer. While day cab had a rear window, mirror views never made sense to me - I was always crooked! (School was all sleepers). He never had a suggestion I could use... just frustration at my struggles. He would tell me to straighten my wheels and I would try to peer out window... he would tell me to look at steering wheel (which, of course, can be straight or 1 or 2 turns off (either way)).

His other stuff was "watch EVERYTHING I DO" and "DO WHAT I DO!" That meant memorizing what lane he was in at any place at any time, etc.. Memorizing ELD steps, etc.. When I explained I needed lists/notes/cards he refused to help me fill out cards or to let me use them.

He pulled "Get the big picture" from the Smith System and whenever he did something right or I did something "wrong" it was always a "BIG Picture" thing!

Can't wait to get back to all this! Just hope to have the right mindset and to start getting it.

Oh yeah. "Get your mind right" was a favorite of his!

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.

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.

Matthew W.'s Comment
member avatar

For the backing under the trailer bit, most people use a point of reference to get lined up right. I line up theboutside of thw tire with the point on the front of the trailer where it starts to bend for the corner. As for being straight thats an experience thing, I will say its very important to be straight with the trailer, it is possible to come in crooked on a trailer that is low enough and still high hook the trailer. The king pun can ride up the side of the skid plate if you are not straight. Hope this helps at least a little bit Marc.

Matthew W.'s Comment
member avatar

Woops, I am terrible with typing on the phone. The outside of the drives with the corner of the trailer right where it starts to bend. My trainer told me sidewall of the drives with side of the trailer and,this worked with day cabs but didnt line me up well in my sleeper cab.

Also, dont forget to get out and check before backing under to make sure your trailer height is right.

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.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Big question RE: Slack Adjusters...

I think the ONLY time I may have seen this done was at the scale house early in class when we all bobtailed in (but one tractor which pulled a 53'er). I think they may have tugged on one when we were in the "pit" under the rig.

I have heard newer tractors and trailers "self-adjust". Dunno.

Bottom line... I have no clue when / how to actually check freeplay and slack though I believe chocking wheels and releasing brake buttons is required...

"Housekeeping" item:

Here are a bunch of missing right parens. as I seem to have a bad habit of forgetting them!

)))))))) ) ) ) )))))) ) )) ))))))))))))) )))))) ))) ))

smile.gif

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Big question RE: Slack Adjusters...

I think the ONLY time I may have seen this done was at the scale house early in class when we all bobtailed in (but one tractor which pulled a 53'er). I think they may have tugged on one when we were in the "pit" under the rig.

I have heard newer tractors and trailers "self-adjust". Dunno.

Bottom line... I have no clue when / how to actually check freeplay and slack though I believe chocking wheels and releasing brake buttons is required...

"Housekeeping" item:

Here are a bunch of missing right parens. as I seem to have a bad habit of forgetting them!

)))))))) ) ) ) )))))) ) )) ))))))))))))) )))))) ))) ))

smile.gif

Newer brake chambers (like as in "not ancient"), have "automatic slack adjusters" - which work OK if they are properly maintained. For the most part - they are better maintained on TRACTORS, than on trailers.

How To Check Air Brake Adjustment - YouTube Video Pretty detailed 16 minute video.

You can always do what they call "the 6 pack method" - that is - 6 hard brake applications at over 90 PSI in the tanks. This should take up the slack on the adjusters. Not a bad idea to do this every time you hook a new trailer anyways, just to take the slack out. The slack adjusters compensate for wear in the pads/drums. Back in the "good old days", they had to be adjusted manually - not a difficult task, but somewhat dirty and time consuming.

The video shows "plastic tabs", that clip onto the brake pushrods, they're not too expensive to buy a bag of. They make brake slack checks easy, and having them on all your brakes might show DOT man that you're actually paying attention to them. A 10 pack is like $20 on Amazon. Having them at least on your tractor, makes pretty quick work of checking slack.

If your brake stroke is too long after doing the "6 pack", to adjust the auto slack adjusters - then either the slack adjuster is broken, your pads are way worn, or something else is out of spec.

Rick

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I've got to admit I'm a slacker about checking the slack adjusters. Probably my personal "slack" needs adjusting.

If you drive for a company like Schneider that brings you in for regular preventative maintenance and keeps their trailers in good condition, regular inspections by maintenance, how important is it for the driver to inspect slack adjusters? How often do you do it?

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.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

I've got to admit I'm a slacker about checking the slack adjusters. Probably my personal "slack" needs adjusting.

If you drive for a company like Schneider that brings you in for regular preventative maintenance and keeps their trailers in good condition, regular inspections by maintenance, how important is it for the driver to inspect slack adjusters? How often do you do it?

Technically - this is supposed to be a part of your PTI. It's part of the PTI TEST when you get your CDL. You usually only state it once (I would check for the proper slack on the brake pushrod, and do the same for all other wheels). When I did mine (ages ago), I would make that statement for EACH AXLE.

In reality - probably VERY FEW drivers chock, get under, and test the slack. Anyone who says they do it EVERY TIME, is over exaggerating.

Odds are - if your company has good looking trailers and maintains them well, then chances are your brakes are in adjustment. OTOH - do you want to take the chance of getting jammed up in an inspection - or WORSE - coming down an incline and have NO BRAKES?

Good rule of thumb, every time you hook something new (as stated in my last post) is to do a "6 Pack", and that will take up the slack on a working system. Good idea for hills that have a pull-off for a "brake check", is to do that there also.

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.

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.
Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

All reason why I plan to carry a bit of tools with me to make any quick fixes or brake adjusts on the road. Rather than sit waiting for service if needed .Maybe carry extra mudflap, drive belt for tractor etc.

Back when I worked on garbage trucks, we would work Saturdays, to roll under each truck with service truck adjust all brakes on the fleet, note which needed brake jobs, blow out radiators of junk. If memory serves me we would run down slacks, then back off 1 full turn to have allowed rod travel.

When they switched over to Volvo Whites, with disc brakes, adjustment was rarely needed, as they had auto adjusts back then. And I "think" 1/2 inch travel was the norm lol been awhile.

Thinking maybe making a chalk mark on your tractors brake rods, would be easy way to always know where the rod travel is at. Of course, you'd need to pull the front air can rods manually,to check em, since they are service only air cans.

Been wondering, why checking the radiator / A/C condensors for debris is not in a PTI procedure? I mean they can accumulate trash etc and blockage causing problems hmmmmm

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Rick. Glad I asked!

I WI the test just required pointing and talking... not actually knowing (much less showing) how to actually check free play. Looks like Canada actually requires demonstrating it.

Plastic do-hickeys look cool. It think I might prefer zip ties... always keep some around. For this the day-glo colors might be good. BTW... all zip ties are NOT equal - especially in cold weather. Have snapped several in a row just trying to tighten them in cold weather (yes, they were cheap and colorful!).

Good stuff.

thank-you.gifthank-you-2.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Page 6 of 6 Previous Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Pre-trip inspection (PTI) Understanding The Laws
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More