Safety Concerns

Topic 26543 | Page 1

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Jon H.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm a Class A CDL holder, but I work for a construction company driving a 26,000 GVW box truck. This truck doesn't require a CDL to drive, but basically is designed to skirt the requirement. My employer insists that I don't perform pre-trip and post-trip inspections or "waste time" draining the air tanks post-trip. I've been pressured to take very unbalanced loads and been dispatched to places I wouldn't take my Jeep. I've insisted on the inspections and loads being redistributed before move the truck. Is this a normal reality of trucking or should I be very afraid?

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

You're the one driving it, hence it's all your responsibility while doing so, good or bad.

By all means, inspect the vehicle at least once before starting and again at the end of the day.

Sounds like your employer does not give a hoot about safety. That's fine until something goes wrong, and it always does.

Bird-one's Comment
member avatar

Doesn't matter what your employer "insists" its your rear end if anything happens. I also drove a 26 footer for about 8 months. Inspections really don't take that long on them at all. As long as you are managing your time it shouldn't be an issue anyways. Same for when you tip over on an on or off ramp because you were unstable. Ultimately YOU accepted the load. Not too surprised though, typical of a construction company. Bottom line you are responsible for everything. Never allow yourself to be forced into doing something you are not comfortable with.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Ultimately YOU accepted the load.

Jon, that statement is true. Something else that is true: You accepted this particular job.

You didn't give us much more info other than your issues with your employer. Your remarks sound as if you are fairly new at this. Could you answer a few questions for me?

How did you obtain your CDL?

Are you a relatively new driver?

Why didn't you take an Over The Road job where you would have both the proper training and support for making a successful start at this challenging career?

We always advise against starting out in a local type job like the one you described. We also teach people of the perils of working for small companies in a truck driving capacity. Your experience confirms so many things we've been teaching for years.

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.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Jon H.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes and Yes. I'm very new to commercial driving. I obtained my CDL last year from a local school. My employer at the time begged me to stay on for another month and I was injured on the job during that time. A year later, I'm healthy and ready to go. I'd received a couple rejections from companies who previously wanted to hire me because it had been a year since my training. I really just happened into this job. Promises were great. Even sounded realistic.

You guys are correct. I can't choose what my employer does but I can choose to start the truck or not and ultimately who I'm willing to work for.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
A year later, I'm healthy and ready to go. I'd received a couple rejections from companies who previously wanted to hire me because it had been a year since my training.

Jon, all you've got to do is agree to do a refresher course with a company who offers Paid CDL Training Programs. Someone will be more than willing to take you on that way. Technically you aren't getting any experience with your current job. Nobody is going to accept your current job as experience.

If you take a refresher course you'll have to agree to a work commitment with the employer. It's really your best option. There's nothing like having a great foundation under you. Of course you know that already, being that you are working in construction right now.

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.
icecold24k's Comment
member avatar

. There's nothing like having a great foundation under you. Of course you know that already, being that you are working in construction right now.

I see what you did there.. Very clever. rofl-2.gif

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
There's nothing like having a great foundation under you. Of course you know that already, being that you are working in construction right now.

rofl-3.gif

Bruce you got competition!

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

There's nothing like having a great foundation under you. Of course you know that already, being that you are working in construction right now.

double-quotes-end.png

rofl-3.gif

Bruce you got competition!

Rob, haha. Competition is not my problem. My biggest issue is finding people to work. Subcontractors are so backed up that it really slows up the construction process for us small independent construction guys.

Just to relate that to trucking, there is soooooo much road/highway construction going on, the big road contractors are gobbling up workers and still looking for more workers. There's always laid off workers in the winter, but that doesn't help me now. However, it was a big thrill to get a flatbed delivery to the job site last week from a supplier on a direct ship arranged by the lumber company. The truck was a day cab , but it was fun to chat with the driver. And to all you flatbedders out there, we dropped everything we were doing and got him unloaded promptly. We got good service, he got good service. He was only stopped for 45 minutes, including our conversation.

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.

Jon H.'s Comment
member avatar

Just to close out this thread, I found a new job. Still construction industry but with a company that operates numerous trucks, CDL and non. Most of the employees have been there around 15-20 years average. Organized and focused on long-term success. I feel like I got a job I shouldn't be able to get this early in my career. I was very very honest about my experience, skills, background, and basic requirements from an employer and I was pretty much hired on the spot. Their last driver was let go because of DOT inspection issues. I think they were looking for someone meticulous. It's a very rare experience that I find an employer's investment and trust in me are greater than I've earned.

I won't, but I feel like I should call my former boss and thank him. Instead I'm just focusing on being worthy of the opportunity I've been given.

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.

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.

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