Frustrated And Tired Leads To Stupid And Careless Mental Errors

Topic 28256 | Page 1

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Wild-Bill's Comment
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Last night I had a long day driving(630 miles) after having a ridiculously long detention time for the live load. To top it off I had lost 1700 miles of preplan due to the loading delay. I was tired, cranky and just wanted to get this cursed load off me. So, I went to do my drop and hook. Gate had me slide my tandems back before I could enter which threw me off when I went to back into the dock, I had forgotten my angles would be off. I finally got it into the dock and pulled the brakes, pulled my air and electric lines, pulled the kingpin lock and started to drive off.

Those of you following along know what happened next. Instead of the gentle thump of the landing gear taking the load I felt a good jolt as the trailer dropped on the frame of my tractor. Yep, I was so distracted with my frustration, I forgot to lower the landing gear. So, after cranking up 44,000 pounds of cheese, I was finally able to finish the load and get some sleep. It’s a good thing I stopped as it hit the fame because I’m told in my company dropping a trailer it an instant career ender.

So, today, I’m driving along and went to change lanes after moving over for a stopped vehicle. I wasn’t paying enough attention and a car had slid into the lane as I passed the obstruction. I saw him just before driving him off the road.

Time to take a deep breath and refocus on the basics. I nearly created two career ending events in less than 12 hours. I’m 3 months in and just realized there is a danger zone there of getting overconfident and complacent. Hopefully the close calls will get me to refocus. Just thought I’d post my errors because 3 months seems a dangerous time period.

Tandems:

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".

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".

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Turtle's Comment
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Good on you for catching your errors before they became worse. This job requires 100% focus at all times. Anything less can be disastrous in a heartbeat. Thanks for sharing.

Freightdog (Shaun)'s Comment
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I used P.A.L.S. and S.L.A.P. as a checklist when coupling and uncoupling:

Coupling (P.A.L.S.) 1.) P-in...secure 2.) A-irlines...attached 3.) L-anding Gear...retracted 4.) S-afe to move? Area clear? Lights and tires functional?

Uncoupling (S.L.A.P.) 1.) S-urface... appropriate for dropping trailer? Not too soft, sandy, etc. 2.) L-anding Gear....down 3.) A-ir lines... disconnected 4.) P-in...release

Doing this checklist everytime has saved me from an embarrassing or potentially hazardous situation a time or two when I've been tired out and distracted. Hope it helps and glad your close calls have only been close calls and nothing more!

-Shaun

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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I made 321 and 123 for this.

When attaching a trailer , 123. 1 locked kingpin, 2 landing feet raised and 3 hoses hooked.

For detaching a trailer, the opposite. 3 hoses detached, 2 landing gear feet down, and 1 kingpin released.

123 reminds me of building a project, and 321 is like a launch countdown. Launching off the trailer like SpaceX or something.

Still do them every time. Horrified to drop a trailer, yes it is an instant career ender. Glad you had the wherewithal to stop, WildBill!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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Ok so after some checking at Prime, we basically just go by state regulations as noted in the post. However he stated it was between 400 and 600. Wonder where the 600 is.

G-Town's Comment
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No reason to rush. Take your time...see everything before acting.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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At least you caught your trailer on the frame, mine hit the ground with a nice big thud right in front of the terminal , myself and another driver cranked it up enough for a spotter to get underneath it and take it.

Since then when unhooking a trailer I "take a lap" lap = Legs, Airlines, Pin I always pull the 5th wheel last, that way if you forget to pull it the worst thing you can do is drag the trailer a few feet.

Shake it off, and learn from it I am a firm believer mistakes like that a great teaching moments as long as you learn from it, nobody got hurt and it didn't damage anything.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Mike B.'s Comment
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I start from the back with the landing gear then go to kingpin and the the hook-ups.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Trucking seems to throw you a curveball just when you think you're able to let your guard down. I'm glad you're able and willing to learn from your mistakes which will in turn make you a safer driver. We've all made mistakes. It all comes down to what you do after to prevent it from happening again. As you found out when our mind is on other things is when we make mistakes, or make a problem even worse.

Only thing damaged was your pride. Use it as a learning experience and don't allow it to happen again smile.gif

Old School's Comment
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Thanks Wild Bill!

There's just no room for complacency in this job. It's like an unpredictable little yapping dog, you just never know when it might decide to snap at your ankles. It doesn't matter if you're 3 months in, 3 years in, or 3 decades. Frustration, weariness, and complacency are all things to guard against. They are the building blocks for disastrous results. I'm glad you caught your trailer and yourself.

Keep up the great work! Your diligence will pay off.

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