My First REAL Screwup

Topic 26353 | Page 1

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Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Could have ended in disaster, but luckily I was trained properly.

I was in a hurry, didn’t repeat my PAL/LAP phrase, and forgot to put down my landing gear. Because I was trained to correctly stop as soon as it unhooked, all I had to do was a bit of cranking.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Nice catch. Really!

I wouldn’t call that a screwup, unless dropped on the ground and/or someone in authority witnessed it. Besides, what’s important is that you caught-it and quickly recovered, the only loss being a little bit of time.

That’s happened to most of us. I doubt it will ever happen to you again.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I agree with G-Town. You were deliberate in your actions so you caught the mistake before it became much bigger. We all make mistakes, there's no getting around that. In trucking, it's critical that you don't make a big one.

I, too, always stopped before pulling out completely from under the trailer to make sure it stood properly on its legs without any weight on the tractor. Nice catch indeed.

Donald B.'s Comment
member avatar

Could have ended in disaster, but luckily I was trained properly.

I was in a hurry, didn’t repeat my PAL/LAP phrase, and forgot to put down my landing gear. Because I was trained to correctly stop as soon as it unhooked, all I had to do was a bit of cranking.

unfortunately, the army, at least when I was in, never trained it's drivers to stop as soon as the kingpin is free from the locking jaws of the 5th wheel...they assume the soldier will always be on the ball enough to first drop his landing gear (or legs) and then unhook his glad hands...the stopping rule for an uncoupling driver seems to makes sense...the military takes lot of shortcuts in terms of driving heavy vehicles...we were never trained to get under he truck to inspect the locking jaws with a flashlight...I have read civilian truck driving has a lot more steps and details...the military has the PMCS system for vehicles, preventive checks and services, according to a TM, technical manual....before, during and after operation....this is rather quick and simple as compared with the civilian industry's long-and-drawn-out pre-trip inspection...the military is always in a big hurry...an elaborate pre-trip like civilian drivers do for the CDL exam would be laughed at in the army... now, helicopters, military aircraft, are going to be given a much better inspection than road vehicles before the engines are even fired up....if a truck breaks down, you can pull off the road usually, if a chopper quits at 15,000 feet, well, you better hope the pilot has good auto-rotation and power-off recovery skills

how many drivers here do the pre-trip each and every day, come rain, shine or snow exactly as if the CDL examiner were observing them?

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Donald asks...

how many drivers here do the pre-trip each and every day, come rain, shine or snow exactly as if the CDL examiner were observing them?

Every day, to the point if I'm under 3 different trailers during a typical dispatch (frequent occurrence running Walmart), I'll perform 3 trailer PTIs in one 12-14 hour shift. It's required.

As far as if the examiner is observing... no. I don't narrate what I am doing, thus it requires far less time. In addition, I focus on the areas most critical to safe operation; tires, wheels, brakes & suspension. Although I skip nothing, tires; especially steer tires receive a lot of my attention.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
how many drivers here do the pre-trip each and every day, come rain, shine or snow exactly as if the CDL examiner were observing them?

Risk management requires discipline and prudent decision-making. The more often you cut corners or take things for granted, the more mishaps you will have. It's a numbers game. If you keep rolling the dice you will lose from time to time.

Keep in mind that with trucking, one mistake can mean someone's life, maybe your own. You may not get to make a second mistake.

It makes no difference what anyone else is doing. Just make sure that when your time comes, you do the right thing every time.

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.
Banks's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

how many drivers here do the pre-trip each and every day, come rain, shine or snow exactly as if the CDL examiner were observing them?

double-quotes-end.png

Risk management requires discipline and prudent decision-making. The more often you cut corners or take things for granted, the more mishaps you will have. It's a numbers game. If you keep rolling the dice you will lose from time to time.

Keep in mind that with trucking, one mistake can mean someone's life, maybe your own. You may not get to make a second mistake.

It makes no difference what anyone else is doing. Just make sure that when your time comes, you do the right thing every time.

When I worked at a warehouse, they were very strict about safety. Occurrences like jumping over a conveyor belt, cutting through restricted areas etc were grounds for termination.

I bring this up because my manager told me once "you have to get lucky every time, I only have to get lucky once". And I think about that every time cutting a corner crosses my mind. The house only has to win once and it's all over. I'd rather be late with a load, than have something horrible happen due to a negligent PTI.

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.
Donald B.'s Comment
member avatar

Donald asks...

double-quotes-start.png

how many drivers here do the pre-trip each and every day, come rain, shine or snow exactly as if the CDL examiner were observing them?

double-quotes-end.png

Every day, to the point if I'm under 3 different trailers during a typical dispatch (frequent occurrence running Walmart), I'll perform 3 trailer PTIs in one 12-14 hour shift. It's required.

As far as if the examiner is observing... no. I don't narrate what I am doing, thus it requires far less time. In addition, I focus on the areas most critical to safe operation; tires, wheels, brakes & suspension. Although I skip nothing, tires; especially steer tires receive a lot of my attention.

i guess once it becomes habit, one can still do a good pre-trip fast if one is in a hurry without missing something ... i would think critical areas to safety would be tires, wheels, brakes, springs, lights, wipers, mirrors, load securement, glass, seat belt, extinguisher and the inter-vehicular 5-th wheel coupling if there is one...although it's not officially an item on a pre-trip (I've seen a few pre-trip video tutorials already) I would be mindful of the working condition of my cab a/c in scorching summer weather as we are having right now ... the heater and defroster should be critical during the winter, one might think

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.
Donald B.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

how many drivers here do the pre-trip each and every day, come rain, shine or snow exactly as if the CDL examiner were observing them?

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Risk management requires discipline and prudent decision-making. The more often you cut corners or take things for granted, the more mishaps you will have. It's a numbers game. If you keep rolling the dice you will lose from time to time.

Keep in mind that with trucking, one mistake can mean someone's life, maybe your own. You may not get to make a second mistake.

It makes no difference what anyone else is doing. Just make sure that when your time comes, you do the right thing every time.

double-quotes-end.png

When I worked at a warehouse, they were very strict about safety. Occurrences like jumping over a conveyor belt, cutting through restricted areas etc were grounds for termination.

I bring this up because my manager told me once "you have to get lucky every time, I only have to get lucky once". And I think about that every time cutting a corner crosses my mind. The house only has to win once and it's all over. I'd rather be late with a load, than have something horrible happen due to a negligent PTI.

imagine if every automobile driver had to, by law, inspect his car for each and every trip with the same level of scrutiny and detail as a big-rig driver does.... at least, I always walk around my car before driving it... an animal might be under it or child might be reaching for a dropped toy or ball under my car....on long trip, i will inspect the tire pressures plus fluids, belts and hoses under the hood...i will give special attention to a towed light trailer with a light towing motor vehicle.... tires, load securement, safety chains, lights, pigtail, landing leg and ball hitch

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Donald guesses...

i guess once it becomes habit, one can still do a good pre-trip fast if one is in a hurry without missing something ...

I never said anything about “hurry”, never ever rush the PTI.

Here is the rule of thumb...

Reciting PTI for an examiner requires about 40/45 minutes. You must narrate the PTI using specific phrasing and in the case of the in-cab brake test, in an exact order. Takes time.

Take a look at this...

I can do a thorough PTI on both tractor and trailer in about 20 minutes. I know what to look for, have been doing it for over 6 years...I know the truck like the back of my hand.

Donald we do not hurry, rush, take short-cuts or guess.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.
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