What Would You Do In This Situation?

Topic 26369 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
Old School's Comment
member avatar

I think I know the proper answer to my question, but I want to pose it to you guys for discussion.

I got myself in a unique situation the other day. I'm in Delhi, Louisiana on a weekly basis since I'm a dedicated driver for the Hydro (formerly SAPA) plant here. There's a rail road track running parallel with Hwy 80 and it causes some headaches for truck drivers. There are some places where there's not enough room to go over the tracks and get stopped at the stop sign without straddling the tracks. That's just not a smart move. One of our drivers actually got hit by a train as he was leaving the plant. I typically stop before the tracks, wait until everything is clear, then roll over the tracks, make a cursory stop at the stop sign, then roll on through.

Just down the road from the plant is the intersection of 17 and 80. There's a traffic light at this intersection. The other day I was North bound on 17 and going to turn West onto 80. There's room to cross the tracks and stop for the light. I do it all the time. On this occasion as I'm approaching the intersection there's already an eighteen wheeler sitting there at the light, but there's still plenty of room for me to tuck in behind him. There's probably enough room for two more cars behind me, but not enough room for the flatbed truck who pulls in behind me. He straddled the tracks as two more cars pull up behind him.

There we all sit when the crossing warning system starts ringing its chimes and lowering the gates! I look to the East and there's the headlight of a fast moving train coming our way with his horn screaming at us! The flatbed behind me is doomed - he can't move anywhere. He starts blowing his air horn in a panic. I can't move anywhere, and the four wheelers behind him seem oblivious to the danger.

I quickly grab my C.B. mic and try to get the grain hauler ahead of me to roll through the red light - there's no crossing traffic. He pulls up as I follow close behind him. The foolish flatbedder behind me gets clear. Somehow the train came roaring through there with none of us getting hit.

I've thought about that scenario for days. I know how I'll handle it next time. What do you think is the best way to handle that situation?

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bingo's Comment
member avatar

I don't think you could have done it any better. The flatbedder was an idiot and he was lucky you and the guy in front of you could think and act quickly. I'll bet he doesn't sit on the tracks ever again, lol.

Oz's Comment
member avatar

Agreed, UPS trains to always have an out (ride along as helper one year, great experience). Only other option I could think of without seeing that section of road would be to jump curb/oppose traffic to make room. Good to hear no damage/injuries and how lessons were learned well.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

There are two such scenarios on routes I frequently take...one of them almost identical to what you described crossing SEPTA tracks.

My approach to them, and the one you mentioned; is to wait until I can clear both the tracks and the intersection (green light). This way you basically block any stupidity that can occur to your rear. Tracks always elevate my "oh-sh**" meter...! Thank the Lord you had a CB.

Bird-one's Comment
member avatar

Foolish is an understatement. I about had a nervous breakdown reading this. Crazy how it seems these days you have to not only drive for four wheelers around you but fellow truck drivers. I've keep going back on forth on this. Since you were already pulled behind the grain hauler im guessing you have no way to pull around him and move up. So I guess the only other answer would be you be the one to stop before the tracks?

Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

Just to preempt the possibility of it happening again, I'd stop before the tracks... even with room and even though I'm not responsible for the stupidity of a driver behind me, no matter how you phrase it we've gotta look out for each other.

Although I've had this happen where then 4 wheelers will slide around me, fill all the space and still block the tracks but I don't see any way around that really, sometimes stupid's just gonna stupid.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

My thinking is what I've said before on this forum: Who is holding the wheel? You did good watching out for yourself and your equipment. The driver behind, responsible for his own, failed a surprise CDL IQ test and you were fortunate enough to get him out of trouble.

As Keith mentions, if you have a chance to help look out for the other guy, do it. And in this case, holding back for safety while two 4-wheelers sneak around in front (because they see the room for themselves), you still make it across the tracks alive, and so does anyone behind you.

Now the question is, if you want to dwell on it, did Driver #2 learn something, or did he simply soil his Jockeys?

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.
Spaceman Spiff's Comment
member avatar

100% with G Town.

As it says "professional" in "professional driver," you can manage the situation by holding back and possibly saving an inexperienced youngin the pants changing event that old school hold turned into a visual learning experience instead as the train passes by harmlessly in front of you and well within the rear truck's visual field.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I would agree with Keith. Unless you had ample room for your truck and another truck behind you to clear the tracks, you should stop before the tracks. However, the guilt is squarely on the flatbed driver for stopping on the train right of way. I was taught very plainly that you NEVER NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES STOP YOUR TRUCK ON RR TRACKS. This shouldn't even have to be taught, it's just common sense.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

I would have gotten the flatbedders address so I would know where to send his Darwin award. (Too mean?)

Page 1 of 3 Next 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

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