It Could Have Been Worse...

Topic 25904 | Page 1

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∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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I had arrived at the shipper , for a Drop and Hook. This lot was a tight one, so I had to pull in the gate, go up a hill, then back into the trailer staging area. After I dropped my mt trailer, I located my loaded trailer of spool racks. The trailer was sitting on a pretty significant incline and had a good tilt, towards the right. The yard dog also put the trailer so far back, That the left side tires were off the ground, and the bumper resting on the rocks behind the trailer.


I did my walk around, checking the load, and getting an idea of my securement points, before hooking to the trailer. Being on on an incline like that, I took extra precautions after backing under the trailer. It still wasn't enough.

I checked that the apron was flat on the 5th wheel on all sides, I checked that it was locked around the kingpin. I got in, did a tug test, and then even checked the kingpin again, and all looked good. I plugged in, raised the landing gear, and got back into the truck, and fed air to the lines, and spotted where I was going to pull the trailer to secure the load. I put it in 1st gear, let off the clutch, and pulled forward, and hit the trolley bar, like I usually do, to feel the trailer brakes. And then It happened.

0073294001560819688.jpg0386574001560819728.jpg I was looking in the mirror as I pulled the trolley, and I think I swallowed my stomach several times, as it all happened in slow motion.

Somehow the kingpin wasn't fully locked in, and came out of the 5th Wheel, and slid off, downhill, and resting against the trailer next to it (one of ours, thank goodness.) I got out, disconnected the lines, checked for noticeable damage, and called Safety, as I went to inform the shipper of the incident. I ran through the entire scenario with safety, sent in all applicable pictures, and waited for the shipper to help me out, which the did with surprising quickness. I eventually got the load secured, and pulled up the road a mile, and finally logged off duty after an almost 16hr day.

It could have been FAR Worse than it was. The best part, is that since there was no actual damage to anything, safety told me that "it never happened" and to drive safe.

One of the workers admitted that I was not the first driver this has happened to, with a trailer in that spot. I told him, that it doesn't matter, it happened to me, and I should have been able to prevent it. He just looked at me, and said, "sometimes 'stuff' happens, no matter how well you prepare."


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.


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.

Tractor Man's Comment
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Never having been in your position, I will not even attempt to arm chair quarterback this one. Next time, ask the Yard Jockey to move it for you with the Goat. Then it becomes HIS problem. Glad it resolved itself in the end. Get some sleep!


∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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Never having been in your position, I will not even attempt to arm chair quarterback this one. Next time, ask the Yard Jockey to move it for you with the Goat. Then it becomes HIS problem. Glad it resolved itself in the end. Get some sleep!


This actually happened a couple days ago. I deliver this load tomorrow🙂

Keith A.'s Comment
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I had a similar dry trailer in Denver. I ended up having to slowly limp the trailer to level ground to get a level lock with the landing gear almost all the way down in case the trailer slid out like yours did. It's nerve wracking

PackRat's Comment
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Glad that wasn’t worse. Thanks for sharing this information. Be careful.

NeeklODN's Comment
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Ohhh nooooo! Worst nightmare! Thank God there was no damage! Keep it tight bro!

Old School's Comment
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That definitely could have been worse. Nice save!

I hope others reading this noticed what Danielsahn's procedures were. He checked everything, but it wasn't until he tried pulling his trolley bar, while pulling forward, that his problem appeared. If your truck doesn't have a trolley bar (I think Prime orders them that way) you can keep your trailer brakes set and gently try pulling forward to test that fifth wheel engagement. It's something you should do each time you connect to a trailer.

Really glad to see you got through that unscathed Danielsahn. I know that "Oh S***!" feeling you got is really unnerving. You were very fortunate!

Thanks for posting this experience - it's very educational for new folks getting started at this.

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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Thanks for sharing this and the pics. This is a moment that you or any other driver will not forget. I'm glad you or the equipment was not not damaged. As you said it could have been so much worse. Glad you are alright also.


Marc Lee's Comment
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Thanks for sharing Danielsahn 2.0!

Glad it worked out OK.

BK's Comment
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Daniel, so did you identify the exact cause of the disconnect? I mean if you checked it twice, kingpin locking jaw in place, release handle all the way in, what caused the disconnect? Could it happen again? Just curious.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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