Ever Seen “Titanic”? Yeah, Don’t Do That With Your Trailer

Topic 29895 | Page 1

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Eugene K.'s Comment
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First things first, what follows was not a crash. There was no injury, no damage to anything, and the load was delivered on time. But let it serve as a cautionary tale!

Sunday morning was the first day of my solo week, the final proving ground before I finish training at Wilson and pick up the keys to my Pete on Friday. It’s myself and one other guy from my original training class, and they have us running Kraft products from their plant here in Springfield MO to their distribution center down in the caves, a few miles across town. We have in-house trainers with us for Day 1 to show us the ropes of hauling Kraft loads (paperwork, where to put the empties, etc.)

I drop my first load in the yard above the caves with no problem. Hook up to an empty and haul it back with no problem. Then, in order to access the drop yard, I have to set up for an extremely long, slightly curved back over some railroad tracks and a gravel lot, before lining up alongside a ditch to stack the trailer in front of the rest. For whatever reason, I’d been fairly nervous and jittery the whole morning, largely because I’d simply grown comfortable with my trainer for two months and this was the final testing week. As I’m setting up for my back, I get out and look several times, then for whatever reason fail to notice that I’m angling straight for the ditch.

Suddenly, I feel the cab jerk left suddenly and violently. I instantly stop and get out to look, and sure enough the empty trailer’s tires and sticking up in the air about three feet, hovering precipitously over the ditch. I virtually panic and manage to pull the tractor out, straighten it out, back it in, and uncouple the trailer.

Suffice it to say Wilson Logistics frowns upon inverted trailers. I didn’t get in any trouble at all, but they did want to reevaluate my backing yesterday morning. Certainly fair enough! And, wouldn’t you believe it, I execute four very smooth backing maneuvers out on their trailer yard with no issues. The examiner looks at me stonefaced and says.... “so what the hell happened yesterday? You know what to do.”

NERVES, folks. Don’t let them get the better of you. My career survives another day and all is going well, but remember this:

There’s a fine line between nervous that makes you more careful, and nervous that causes you to lose confidence. Stay on the safe side of the line!

RealDiehl's Comment
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Hate to think of what could have happened had the trailer been loaded. Near misses are a blessing in disguise. They help reinforce being aware of everything going on around you and to stop and really think about what you're doing. Like when a certain person who shall remain anonymous forgot to raise the landing gear after hooking up. That loud, grating sound of metal scraping on asphalt as you begin pulling forward, really drives the message home. Think before you act.

PackRat's Comment
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Hate to think of what could have happened had the trailer been loaded. Near misses are a blessing in disguise. They help reinforce being aware of everything going on around you and to stop and really think about what you're doing. Like when a certain person who shall remain anonymous forgot to raise the landing gear after hooking up. That loud, grating sound of metal scraping on asphalt as you begin pulling forward, really drives the message home. Think before you act.

That's true.

I witnessed a "Trifecta" at a GP in Georgia a couple nights ago. I saw a driver try to pull out with the red air line disconnected, then the landing gear was left down (Yes, sparks). Finally, the trailer doors were still hanging open as she drives out to the drop yard lot.

What was she not thinking?

Eugene K.'s Comment
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Suffice it to say this week is not going well.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting and waiting at the distribution center for a trainer to come down here from the center to help me back this load in so I can call it a day. It’s 5:10 now and I’ve been trying since 3:45. More than 25 resets / circling around, about 75+ pull-ups, five different empty spots. Can’t do it. I’m gonna do great out on the road.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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Suffice it to say this week is not going well.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting and waiting at the distribution center for a trainer to come down here from the center to help me back this load in so I can call it a day. It’s 5:10 now and I’ve been trying since 3:45. More than 25 resets / circling around, about 75+ pull-ups, five different empty spots. Can’t do it. I’m gonna do great out on the road.

Eugene.. wow. Dang. I know how hard you try. Could that be the culprit; trying TOO hard? Yes, that's a thing. Our son tends to be an 'overachiever,' as have I in my lifetime of corporate fun and broohaha.

I was hoping for updates, here...though I understand the hard logic. I read this to my other half, which probably matters not. He encountered a similar gent, North of Findlay off 75, tonight. This driver was a 'newbie' for Stevens Transport. (PJ's gal pal started with them.)

Pilot in Findlay

New guy sat in the fuel isle and circled after his 30.. just COULDN'T; was exhausted and almost in tears First week alone. Tom offered, and he obliged. Many companies DO NOT allow this; and I'm thinking most (if all) do not. The rookie chose the lesser of the 2 evils, and Tom turned his own dashcam off, and SURE DID NOT get any pics for 'momma' (me.) That rookie is sleeping peacefully, I'd imagine (left our cell# with) and.. easy out...so I've heard, how Tom left him set up.

I'm just wondering, why a 'hostler' .. 'spotter' ... 'yard dog' wasn't available to help, before calling your mentor ?!?! Rainy (Kearsey) always kept a few 20's in her wallet/truck, for instances like this. It's in her videos, and her diaries on here...if I recall correctly.

Don't let this abolish your mind, magnitude, and motivation.

S@*t happens. Sorry it happened to you, Eugene. It's NOT the worst of the worst, trust me. I can NAME those who've topped that, but I wont. I'm just wishing you the best and that you pick yourself up by your bootstraps, and call it a 'bad day.'

~ Anne ~

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Eugene K.'s Comment
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Thanks Anne, but I think you all think I am more down on myself at this than I am.

I’m try to adopt a stoic attitude of valor and acceptance in life. Have a job, don’t have a job, succeed at trucking, don’t succeed at trucking, live, die, that’s fate. All I can do is what’s in front of me today and improve the best that I can . If I can do a back today, great. If I can’t do a back tomorrow, great. If a job promotes me tomorrow or fires me tomorrow, it is what it is. I will bounce back fine in life no matter what.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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Thanks Anne, but I think you all think I am more down on myself at this than I am.

I’m try to adopt a stoic attitude of valor and acceptance in life. Have a job, don’t have a job, succeed at trucking, don’t succeed at trucking, live, die, that’s fate. All I can do is what’s in front of me today and improve the best that I can . If I can do a back today, great. If I can’t do a back tomorrow, great. If a job promotes me tomorrow or fires me tomorrow, it is what it is. I will bounce back fine in life no matter what.

We ALL 'bounce back' in life, Eugene. How we choose to, is in the eyes of the captain. Ship, truck, body, doesn't matter. I'm the captain of my much awaited (and coveted) Peloton. Yet, it still behests me.

If you read this, I wish you well. I tried here, before things got askew elsewhere. I wear humility as a badge; proudly. . . beside kindness and professionalism. Kind of like a Girl Scout, tbh. I was one, for many years; taught me SO much about life's lessons.

Sure wish you to be the best you can be; sometimes that's looking within. Backing issues nonwithstanding, but otherwise as well, good sir.

~ Anne ~

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.

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