My First REAL Screwup

Topic 26353 | Page 2

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

There is no such thing as being in such a hurry that you can't do a proper pre-trip. You wouldn't believe how much it slows you down if you get shut down by DOT or your truck goes flying off a cliff. Really messes up your day.

If you watch anyone who is truly a master at their craft, they always move very deliberately, but efficiently. They never hurry, but they never waste any time because they've learned the most efficient and effective ways of doing everything.

I was a Harley mechanic for a short time back in the day. The real masters never looked like they were doing very much. They'd be talking, laughing, and singing along with the radio. Suddenly they were finished with the job in an impossibly short amount of time. Something that would've taken me 90 minutes takes them 15 minutes. You can't imagine how they could've done that! But they never rush, and they almost never make mistakes. That's what you're shooting for. Learn the most efficient way of doing things, but never try to hurry. Take as much time as you need to do everything as safely as possible. You'll get faster as time goes on.

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.

Donald B.'s Comment
member avatar

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

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There is no such thing as being in such a hurry that you can't do a proper pre-trip. You wouldn't believe how much it slows you down if you get shut down by DOT or your truck goes flying off a cliff. Really messes up your day.

If you watch anyone who is truly a master at their craft, they always move very deliberately, but efficiently. They never hurry, but they never waste any time because they've learned the most efficient and effective ways of doing everything.

I was a Harley mechanic for a short time back in the day. The real masters never looked like they were doing very much. They'd be talking, laughing, and singing along with the radio. Suddenly they were finished with the job in an impossibly short amount of time. Something that would've taken me 90 minutes takes them 15 minutes. You can't imagine how they could've done that! But they never rush, and they almost never make mistakes. That's what you're shooting for. Learn the most efficient way of doing things, but never try to hurry. Take as much time as you need to do everything as safely as possible. You'll get faster as time goes on.

I was just using the phrase "I guess" as a figure of speech, but on the job I don't like guesswork, no sir....i like competence....I like doing the work properly..... it's a pride thing with me....I've been just too accustomed to having sergeants constantly yell at the troops in the army "to pick up the step"...some civilian employers are like that too....go, go, GO!...hustle, hustle, HUSTLE!........I'm certain that with enough practice, things can be done properly, complete and yet in a timely fashion...until one becomes a driver in the field, they can't really yet understand how much pressure might be put on them by employer to produce....how much pressure do you drivers here get put upon you by your own employers to meet deadlines?....most employers over my work history have indoctrinated me with 'time is money'...but yes, a truck loaded with valuable cargo that wasn't PTI'ed correctly and goes over a cliff because of it will probably be very costly to the company indeed....freight hauling seems to me like a happy balance between "time is money" (the early bird gets the worm) and "haste makes waste"

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.

Bird-one's Comment
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Same thing happened to me Grumpy about 2 months ago. Never had the time too post about it. Almost put 41000 pounds of milk on the ground. I pulled in the yard, popped the brakes and went to start rolling the landing gear. A warehouse worker came over to talk and it completely threw me off. It started raining hard and on that particular day I forgot my rain jacket and thought CRAP so ran over pulled the pin, pulled the airlines and well you know the rest. Just missed it. Now whenever it's time to drop a trailer I go straight to the landing gear regardless of what's going on around me. All in a matter of 10 seconds almost gave myself a very bad day.

Donald B.'s Comment
member avatar

Same thing happened to me Grumpy about 2 months ago. Never had the time too post about it. Almost put 41000 pounds of milk on the ground. I pulled in the yard, popped the brakes and went to start rolling the landing gear. A warehouse worker came over to talk and it completely threw me off. It started raining hard and on that particular day I forgot my rain jacket and thought CRAP so ran over pulled the pin, pulled the airlines and well you know the rest. Just missed it. Now whenever it's time to drop a trailer I go straight to the landing gear regardless of what's going on around me. All in a matter of 10 seconds almost gave myself a very bad day.

just like an airplane......you don't ever want to try to put your bird on the ground without your landing gear down!

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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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.

I certainly hope not. But I will for sure continue stopping to be sure it stands on its own.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Same thing happened to me Grumpy about 2 months ago. Never had the time too post about it. Almost put 41000 pounds of milk on the ground. I pulled in the yard, popped the brakes and went to start rolling the landing gear. A warehouse worker came over to talk and it completely threw me off. It started raining hard and on that particular day I forgot my rain jacket and thought CRAP so ran over pulled the pin, pulled the airlines and well you know the rest. Just missed it. Now whenever it's time to drop a trailer I go straight to the landing gear regardless of what's going on around me. All in a matter of 10 seconds almost gave myself a very bad day.

That is exactly what happened to me. I thought about it later.

I always check the trailer inspection sticker when I disconnect the air lines, and I couldn’t read this one, so I interrupted my routine to walk around and check it.

From now on I am going to do my best to never do anything until my PAL/LAP routine is finished.

As far as truck PTI, remember we are driving the same truck every day and living in it, so I already know things like AC and heat work, since they have been running all night, my windows and mirrors are OK, etc. Those are things you have to do for your CDL that you will rarely do in real life, unless you skip seat, or leave your truck for any period of time. I spend one night a week at home but my truck is in my driveway.

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

At least you caught yours mine hit the ground with a mighty thud luckily it landed on concrete on level ground amd sustained no damage. 2 days later i was so worried about the legs I forgot to remove airlines from my rear trailer, nothing like pulling away and seeing the airlines juat hanging there.

Now I do lines, legs, 5th wheel when dropping rear trailer and legs, lines, 5th wheel on the lead.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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At least you caught yours mine hit the ground with a mighty thud luckily it landed on concrete on level ground amd sustained no damage. 2 days later i was so worried about the legs I forgot to remove airlines from my rear trailer, nothing like pulling away and seeing the airlines juat hanging there.

Now I do lines, legs, 5th wheel when dropping rear trailer and legs, lines, 5th wheel on the lead.

My first trainer from what I hear has dropped 2 trailers and ripped out the airlines as well.

My second taught me the phrase "pick up my PAL and go downtown, and get this girl off my LAP, it's time to go (apologies to the ladies, but it's easy to remember). I have repeated that every time, except this time. My takeaway is keep to your routine. Better I forget to check the inspection date than the landing gear. Especially since the company will message me if I hook to a trailer within 30 days of inspection expiration.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
member avatar

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Donald asks...

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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?

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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.

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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

I do the pre and post-trip every day. I walk around every time I stop. I don't call out what I'm doing as if an examiner Is there, but my mind thinks the words as my eyes and fingers do the work. I pay extra attention to the fifth wheel, landing gear and tandem pin. While it isn't common, people pull pins, fifth-wheel handles, and even crank down landing gear while you sleep. It's ugly but unfortunately true.

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.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Ralph D.'s Comment
member avatar

Grumpy, what does the PAL/LAP stand for?

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