Fired For This?

Topic 28250 | Page 1

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William J.'s Comment
member avatar

Not me, but a buddy who drives....3 year driver, no accidents, no tickets, no incidents, no late loads, no writes up etc.

Driving on “backwoods road” GPS went out and he was trying to fix it. GPS is on his phone. Phone is in holder, not in his hand. He comes around corner, car is stopped in middle of road, collision warning goes off, he slams on breaks. It was a sort of close but he stopped plenty in time. He is worried that hard break, camera showing he is messing with phone, even though it’s in holder combined with hard break might get him fired. ?

I told him they’ll likely give him a write up and stern warning due to clean history, but not be fired... maybe suspended a week...He asked me if I ever touch my phone in the holder. I said yea, most drivers do. Even my trainers back in the day did it to change music etc while driving. But I told him I’ve also never almost smacked into something while doing it. Big difference.

Anyhow, got me thinking about what constitutes “hands free device” I mean we have to press buttons and mess with the QUALCOMM while driving, there’s the radio, there’s turning your lights on and off and different switches, if you’re not holding the phone in your hand is it still a hands-free device? And most every truck or you pass has their phone sitting in a holder on the dash. Don’t tell me none of you touch it. LOL.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Geez...

Messing with his phone (GPS) on a back country road? Likely one he’s never been on...NO, I would not be “touching anything” except the steering wheel, with eyes on the road.

And how many times has it been said to not totally and blindly rely on GPS? Especially in remote areas with compromised service.

Trip planning; write the directions down on an easily viewed sticky note so when the GPS takes a nap, panic does not follow and an adequate backup is available.

Mikey B.'s Comment
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I often wonder why holding a phone is considered a distraction because you're holding it but holding the CB mic is not......

Pete B.'s Comment
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William J., I just see a whole lotta bad decisions being made here, by your friend. If he’s not going to use the navigation system supplied by his company with the truck, then he should have made himself real familiar with the trucker’s atlas, or have at least invested in a professional GPS programmed for trucks by one of those companies like Garmin, Rand McNally, or RoadPro. You reported he was using his phone’s GPS to begin with, which got him lost, and sticking with that same phone’s GPS to get him out of trouble? It should be a surprise to no one that he wound up in that predicament. I’ve taken a wrong turn on a back country road before, but I just kept going ‘til I found a suitable place to turn around (7 mi later). Did not interact with my phone or Qualcomm. The road was narrow and I was unfamiliar with it. And no, there is no reason to mess with the Qualcomm while driving. In our trucks, when the wheels are turning we can’t interact with any of its functions anyway.

There’s no good reason to fiddle with devices when you’re driving. There is no ‘need’ to, there is only ‘want’ to. When you’re driving your hands should be on the wheel, and your eyes on the road, mirrors, gauges, and professional nav system of choice. Messing with the gadgets shows a lack of patience, focus, and professionalism.

Seeing phones mounted on others’ windshields and dashes: what constructive point are you making? You’re not suggesting a hundred wrongs make it right, are you?

And Mikey B, phones and CBs... apples and oranges. Do the differences really need to be enumerated?

C’mon guys, stop arguing this stuff... be professional and be better.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

If his company has a no-tolerance policy on cell phone use while driving, then yes he will get fired, and probably should.

He should have never been touching a cell phone, Qualcomm , radio, light switch, etc while driving around a corner on a back country road in unfamiliar territory. That's a classic case of carelessness in my book. Bad decisions lead to bad outcomes.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Don's Comment
member avatar

As Turtle stated, "He should have never been touching a cell phone, Qualcomm , radio, light switch, etc while driving around a corner on a back country road in unfamiliar territory." with the technology (Google Maps, Google Earth, Qualcomm Navigation) available and the Road Atlas, there is no reason to be messing with your phone, looking for directions, etc.. If he was lost, he definitely should have stopped at the safest spot for a semi and got himself organized. Driving the twisty single lane county roads of Holmes and Wayne County, Ohio where I live, it only takes a split second to go around a bend and come upon either an Amish buggy going 15 miles an hour, deer in the the road or as happened to me twice last week, vehicles pulling out from sideroads or driveways in front of me. Those country back roads are not the time and place to be looking at anything besides the road ahead, especially in the mornings.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

TWIC:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Unfamiliar areas mean research ahead if time, before there may be a problem. Trip planning, as G-Town brought up. Kniw where you're going, before you're there.

This makes me think of Rob D's recent post, and the acronym he came up with, "S.C.R.A.P.E.". This would be a great example of a situation to utilize that.

GPS on his phone is a bad idea to start with. After that long driving, he should have obtained a real GPS for trucks a long time ago.

William J.'s Comment
member avatar

Well he lost his quarterly safety bonus and was given a warning he had to sign. Happens again, he’s toast. He’s got 390,000 incident ticket free miles and three years.

I’m not going to argue with any responses here. They are spot on. I’ll just say I learned long ago in trucking, a lot of drivers...”do as I say, not as I do” the real issue is not the GPS / being on his phone. A lot of us use truckers path and other apps to assist. The issue IS DISTRACTED DRIVING. Of any kind. And I could rattle off a list of 100 plus things many drivers do that momentarily distract from driving. That said, I told him to learn from it. He said it really rattled his cage and he has removed his from from the holder. Said it will stay in the bunk from now on while driving. Funny he said his dispatcher calls him all the time while he’s driving, so he said he will now have to wait hours until I can phone him back.

Dispatcher:

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

He was fortunate to keep his employment there.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

I think the punsihment fit the crime here. Lesson learned.

I see stupid things being done daily by truck drivers. Just because someone got into this industry does not automatically say they are proffessional. I see many doing the right things daily as well. It is up to each and every one of us to always do the right thing. Camera or no camera.

My company recently installed cameras and boy has there been backlash from drivers. It is part of our culture these days. Things happen even if your doing the right things sometimes. That is just the way it is. Be proffessional and always do what you can to minimize risks.

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