ABS Light, Did I Make The Right Choice?

Topic 28736 | Page 1

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James M.'s Comment
member avatar

I've been solo for about 3 weeks now, fresh out of training with Swift. It's been very hard. I feel like I'm always waiting around for something to get fixed or trying to get a hold of dispatch on OnRoad.

I picked up a load yesterday in Shafter, CA. It is a hyper focus and high value load that's supposed to T Call in Phoenix, AZ the next morning.

The Trailer ABS light is on. I take the trailer and go back to the truck stop. I call On road. They say someone is coming from TA to help me and that it will be 2-3 hours.

5 hours pass. I call back, I'm on hold for an hour. 6 hours have passed now. The guy tells me that there is nothing in his system for my truck or trailer and that TA has said they don't do roadside assistance for ABS and that I need to get it to the TA an hour away.

Ok, I figure. It would've been nice for them to call and inform me instead of leaving me sitting all day. I would've just went to TA from the start if they had just told me that!

I get to the TA at 8 pm. I get in for service at 1 am. I stay up with the truck while it's in service until 6 am (load due at 6am but here I am still in the shop in CA) At this point they tell me they need an ABS harness from the dealer but the dealer doesn't open until the next day. They get on the phone with Swift and try to see if they'll pay more to get the part a day early. They say no.

It's now Sunday, my load was due 5 hours ago, and they tell me I won't be going anywhere until at least tomorrow when the dealership opens.

My question is this. Did I make the right call? I want to drive safely, I want to drive safe equipment. All of my driver buddies say they would've just driven it down the road like it is. And I said I don't want to do that because if something happens on the road due to it, it's on me. How important is ABS/trailer ABS really? I want to believe I made the right call, but I can't stop feeling like I didn't. I feel like I'm screwing everyone over. The company, the driver waiting for this t call, I don't know.

Georgia Mike's Comment
member avatar

If its broken down report it get it fixed. That's the point of pretrip. If its broke down or needs repairs you are saving your life a possible dot ticket and the driver that has that trailer next. Being late is not your fault if the trailer needs work on it. It is frustrating but you have be like water off a ducks back and let it roll right off.

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.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

ABS light on a trailer are weird. I'll hit a bump and I'll turn on and stay on, then I'll hit another bump and it'll turn off and stay off.

My advice is always the same. If you feel unsafe or like you're taking an unnecessary risk, stop driving. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably just take it to where it's going and make the company aware of it. Some people I work with put black tape over the light or pull the wire. I advise against that. Good luck explaining a piece of tape to a DOT officer. My plan was always if I got stopped or inspected I'd say it turned on during the drive and I'm going to get it serviced at the nearest service stop.

That being said, it's a tough call with it being "brake week". This week, I'd probably do what you did and sit it out.

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.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I'm 100% with Banks, same thing happens to me where they come on and go out, I usually just note it on my DVIR.

James M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you guys. I feel a bit better about it now, I think I just needed some reassurance from some other, more experienced drivers. My friends and family at home (not drivers) all say I'm doing the right thing and then everyone I talked to in the industry is kinda giving me the 'f it, just go' spiel (my friend, who has only a little bit more experience than me, and the OnRoad guy both said this)

I've tried the tricks with the cleaning off the electric connection, making sure there's no debris, and checking the abs line in the back of the trailer to no avail so I figured obviously the trailer needs some kind of work. Turns out it needs a new ABS harness and I have to wait another day for that.

Also, what is "brake week?"

James M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm 100% with Banks, same thing happens to me where they come on and go out, I usually just note it on my DVIR.

When you say you note it on your dvir, I have a few questions.

Do you do a dvir electronically through the Qualcomm or on paper?

And how do you do that? My trainer taught me to always say that everything is satisfactory on the dvir, even if it's not. And if it's not satisfactory, get it taken care of. But never say that the vehicle's condition is unsatisfactory.

Is that bad advice?

And if you note it on your dvir do you put 'no' when it asks if condition is satisfactory?

Does it put your vehicle out of service or something if you put no?

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

"Brake week" is when the DOT conducts random inspections on trucks at a higher rate, they usually focus on one particular area a year last year was logs this year is brakes.

Ours are still paper, ours ask us for defects. If i find a defect ill mark it if it is something that puts me out of service I will unfortunately have to deal with it then and there. If it's something that can wait I turn the DVIR and let dispatch know it needs attention.

If you know there is a problem and do not write it down it and get it caught or something happens and someone gets hurt or killed you will have to explain why it wasn't noted. Personally I've always been in favor of writing it down and dealing with it then, instead of taking chances.

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.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

ABS lights can be a pain in the rear. You did the right thing.

I’ve had plenty of situations where a previous driver disconnected the light. And I’ve had the situation (recently) where a shop put an annual inspection sticker on THAT MORNING and the ABS module was bad.

Hang in there, communicate with your team leader and DRIVE ON! 😎

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

Personally for an abs light I just keep on moving. The brakes still work. If you do that on every trailer you get with the abs light on you will spend a ton of time sitting and waiting. If it were something I felt affected the safety I will fix it everytime but not the abs light. Maybe I'm wrong for that and you will get many different responses but I bet the vast majority of drivers don't bother with it. However getting it taken care of is never a wrong thing to do.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

James you were faced with a judgement call. This will happen often. Main thing is you made a decision. ABS lights are a pain. Many things can trigger them. Dust on a sensor can do it. Never unplug one. If the brakes are working then you could roll with it, however if dot catches it you will get a ticket. Last week being brake check week you absoutely made the right call. Getting it out of central ca to phoexix most likely you would have got caught either by chp or AZ at the point of entry. Just my 2 cents

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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