Brakes Just Caught On Fire And Burned Trailer.

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Rad 's Comment
member avatar

Slate hill and mountain road are incline, but once I get on the highway it’s a nice stretch of decline. I really don’t feel like I was riding the brakes.

This is all most definitely my responsibility and on me. I’m gonna take this all as experience going forward, nonetheless. I will pay more attention to the gear that I am in and basically walk my rig down any inclines. I’m not a speed demon I don’t mind cruising at 40- 30 mph the whole trip.

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I have been losing sleep over this actually. Been watching YouTube videos for a few days now. I’m green , but I don’t think I’m a complete moron. I’ve studied enough to know, a little something about truck brakes. I know you want to drive with distance and speed as to not resort to using your service brakes too much.

on my trip there, it’s only 100 miles each way. I basically take I 84 straight down. from the last exit to the destination it’s about .5 miles of mountainous driving, if that. ( I make a right on mountain rd and that leads me into slate hill road, so you can imagine the trip.. lol) i use maximum engine braking and a little stab breaking if needed. I arrived at the quarry no problem. I raised my axles dropped the load, picked up another, weighed and all was good. I pulled out and was feeling good about myself. I’m sure someone would have noticed if I had smoking brakes. No on the way back up it’s all incline pretty much. Which I what I don’t understand. My dad said maybe I didn’t depress the trailer brake in all the way. You know I’m not gonna rule that out. I really hope that wasn’t the case. And it’s something I will be looking out for in the future. (Experience gained +1💡). Either way I’m moving on along and I didn’t notice smoke till about 10-12 miles upon leaving the quarry. I Immediately pulled over to a nice fat shoulder and went to check and I called dispatch and told them I was smoking. I was told to then call the mechanic. The mechanic wasn’t too helpful said maybe a rock got stuck and I blew a tire and that he needed to know what was exactly going on. All the while the smoke is getting kinda worse now. I hung up the phone and then just took matters into my own hands. I started to see flames now so I grab the fire extinguisher till it was empty. it sorta died down, but then it’s like I just ****ed it off. Boom goes one tire. It got worst. So now I’m dialing 911!! I kept dispatch in the loop all the while. And was like this is out of my control now. Fire department is on the way. Boom another tire. I was just really disappointed and just worried. Fire department said it looked like the inside tire blew, because the rim was chewed up. But my this time, tow truck guys and everyone had an opinion. So I’m still waiting to hear back. I don’t know. One guy said it could have been a line or something. I don’t know man. But I’m supposed to call on Monday to see what the deal is. Police wrote up an accident report. So I don’t know how that’s gonna look and reflect on me, going forward. But I really want to drive. I really do like the dump truck outfit. And that’s about all I got to say about that. 🤷🏼‍♂️

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You asked how the brakes caught fire. How were you using them coming down the mountain? Riding them all the way down?

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So you were going uphill when it happened?

I’m not aware it’s possible to partially release your brakes. And if your gauges showed air it isn’t a leak not allowing them to fully release. Your gladhand hoses weren’t torn were they?

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rad 's Comment
member avatar

I did notice myself flooring it on some of those inclines and going 32-34 mph , if that helps. I need to watch my gauges more in those scenarios to see how she is handling it. I was really just watching my speed and mirrors. The automatics pretty much do all the shifting for you. But I think I need to pay attention more to temperature and the gears I’m in and how it’s all taking a toll on her.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
andhe78's Comment
member avatar

I've been thinking about this thread my last couple of shifts, because I haul this weight every day too. Honestly, if the only trailer you pulled before starting this job was an empty one you used to take the road test, then you don't have the experience to know whether or not you were using too much brake. You Were Using Too Much Brake. It's something that surprised me moving to overweight from flatbed-how fast your brakes can heat up, even with a couple extra sets on the trailer. All it took was a quick slow down on an off ramp and a few stops in city traffic, and I could smell them (but that's the thing-I know what hot brakes smell like, I can't believe you didn't smell anything.) I had to change my driving style-level three jakes all the time loaded, no playing the stale green game, looking further ahead to plan for longer stopping distances, etc. I honestly don't touch my brakes (unless emergency stop) until my speed is in the teens. My jakes are doing all the work. When I break over a hill, I am in the gear and at the speed I want to be in for the ride down. (Ignore cars behind you, put on your flashers.) If you're starting down a hill at 55 and brake down to 40ish when momentum has a hold on you, you aren't going to have enough brake left to stab on the way down (which I do very little of, too.) You're happy with 5-10 under the limit, but that is really nothing, I've got a couple hills I'm 40 under at that weight.

I also find it interesting the owner thinks you aren't to blame (wonder if he'll change his tune if you decide to apply elsewhere.) If I were to smoke a set of brakes tonight, I'm pretty sure my boss, my peers, and even I would believe it was my fault. And even if it was a mechanical thing, I should have noticed something wrong before reaching the ignition stage, or noticed it on a check. Did you do a check before leaving the quarry? Not that the weight is extreme, but I do a check every time I'm stopped and out of the truck just to help prevent incidents due to mechanical failures (our tankers have several more air line points of failure than most trailers.)

Disc or drum?

Rad 's Comment
member avatar

Apologies for the late reply. Thanks for your response Andhe, I really appreciate it. You hit it all right on the head. I definitely didn’t smell anything, but then again how would I really know. I’m still super inexperienced. They were drum brakes for sure. I don’t think I was riding the breaks was definitely using the maximum Jake’s, which is stage 4 going downhill and whenever I felt I needed to slow down, a little more than usual. Other than that I had it at stage 3 high. That day I didn’t check anything before or after leaving the quarry. I was naive in believing my trainer the day before that the trucks were serviced every night. BIGTIME lesson learned on that one. I’m pre trip, inspect master now, anytime all the time.

And to keep you guys up to speed. They ended up calling me back. I inspected the other “new “ truck that morning. I drained the air tanks, Oil was at 30% on the dipstick. And I found 3 flat tires on the inside back trailer. I let them know and they told me to take it to the tire shop. First time I ever did that. I was told to pick up some wood and drop it off in the yard. At the end of the day, they let me go. They said I needed more practice backing. 🤷🏼‍♂️ Everything happens for a reason, so I was cool with it. I am a little peeved that a ruined my fresh new little license with that incident it’s definitely marked as an accident on my MVR. As a property damage. 😔. Not happy about that at all. Almost regret going all the way through with this company. The dump truck was definitely fun, even though I didn’t know exactly what to be looking out for and such. I thought I handled it pretty well, it being my first time ever.

On a brighter note. I took all of you guys suggestions and found an LTL. I think it would be a good start. I have to use a forklift and load my own truck or at least unload it. The pay is pretty good. Overtime after 55 hours nonetheless, but it’s pretty much a M-F local. I’m reading the reviews now and am a little nervous. It’s called central transport in Brooklyn, ny. The yellow trucks. The reviews are pretty bad , the place does look a little run down. Apparently the trailers are old and unsafe. I guess I will see first hand when I start. Oh yeah I’m hired, I explained the accident on my MVR and they gave me a shot. What do you guys think. You all did say ltl. Who is gonna hire a guy with no experience. Im pretty appreciative. Not sure what I’m getting into, but safety os gonna paramount to me. Hope it doesn’t cause any problems. I really cherish this license and don’t want any more problems or marks on it. At least not this early on in the game. Never used a forklift and yet to do a docking by myself. Any and all tips are appreciated. Love you guys. 🙏🏼

I've been thinking about this thread my last couple of shifts, because I haul this weight every day too. Honestly, if the only trailer you pulled before starting this job was an empty one you used to take the road test, then you don't have the experience to know whether or not you were using too much brake. You Were Using Too Much Brake. It's something that surprised me moving to overweight from flatbed-how fast your brakes can heat up, even with a couple extra sets on the trailer. All it took was a quick slow down on an off ramp and a few stops in city traffic, and I could smell them (but that's the thing-I know what hot brakes smell like, I can't believe you didn't smell anything.) I had to change my driving style-level three jakes all the time loaded, no playing the stale green game, looking further ahead to plan for longer stopping distances, etc. I honestly don't touch my brakes (unless emergency stop) until my speed is in the teens. My jakes are doing all the work. When I break over a hill, I am in the gear and at the speed I want to be in for the ride down. (Ignore cars behind you, put on your flashers.) If you're starting down a hill at 55 and brake down to 40ish when momentum has a hold on you, you aren't going to have enough brake left to stab on the way down (which I do very little of, too.) You're happy with 5-10 under the limit, but that is really nothing, I've got a couple hills I'm 40 under at that weight.

I also find it interesting the owner thinks you aren't to blame (wonder if he'll change his tune if you decide to apply elsewhere.) If I were to smoke a set of brakes tonight, I'm pretty sure my boss, my peers, and even I would believe it was my fault. And even if it was a mechanical thing, I should have noticed something wrong before reaching the ignition stage, or noticed it on a check. Did you do a check before leaving the quarry? Not that the weight is extreme, but I do a check every time I'm stopped and out of the truck just to help prevent incidents due to mechanical failures (our tankers have several more air line points of failure than most trailers.)

Disc or drum?

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Benevideslauren67 B.'s Comment
member avatar

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Thanks Anne, Yeah prime, western express , CR England. They all want to take me on. Not sure about now after this? I’m just not ready to be OTR. I enjoy being home on the weekends and in my bed every night. Respect to everyone that’s on the road .My son is 5 , we are playing baseball. This was like ideal as it gets and pretty enjoyable , as well. Definitely, have new found respect for the trucks. I have my hazmat and tanker endorsements. Imagine if that was a flammable tanker!! It would have been over. So I really want to know what the story is and just be better. I do understand the severity of all this. I’m sure they are looking at the tape and are inspecting the remains. They are fixing the trailer now and I guess will let me know the outcome of the entire event.

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Rad M.,

Sorry for your misfortune & I sure hope the guys at TTR aren't flaming you too bad, sincerely.

This is why, HERE at Trucking Truth, we recommend prospective drivers get their CDL through, and train/drive with, an OTR company; for at least the first year.

I'm not sure what your future holds, but we've got THIS link, that could help:

Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

Wish you the best~

~ Anne ~

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I hear ya, Rad. Our daughter was 3 and our son was born while Tom WAS driving OTR. Yes, they gave him ample time off, however.

I 'know' there are ways 'around' all the OTR stuff, but .. it comes with sacrifices; really ANY way you cut it!!!! Have you looked into 'Dock to Driver' programs, in your area? (Wish you'd post that location, as well!) Look at posts by Banks, for example. It's how he got into FedEx. Many LTL companies do this, also.

I'd type more, but my guy just got home... hopefully you'll give us an update when tomorrow comes!

That's trucking, in a nutshell. Wish the best, as always!

~ Anne ~

ps: ALL those interested companies are excellent, and I'd approach them in EXACTLY the order you listed.

Hello. thanks for sharing this as I'm new to this and very helpful for me. "Doc to the driver" - super. Thank you. Best ben

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OTR:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

FedEx freight will. Overtime after 8 hours a day, good equipment and they'll train you well.

As for central, I've never heard anything good about them. The pay rate is low, the equipment is bad, they don't do direct deposit and they short people on hours worked. You load your own trailer to start the day and unload it at the end.

Could be a local issue, but I've heard it from more than one person. LTL people tend to stay in the LTL world, even if not at the same company.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Rad 's Comment
member avatar

Well, I’ve already committed to central transport. I start Monday. They are starting me off at 28.00 an hour. I train for 2 weeks at 180 a day. I won’t get paid till the third week. I’m not too worried about all that. What I am worried about is how everything going to go down, when I come across a bad trailer or equipment? Are they going to pay attention to my concern or force me to push something that’s obviously a hazard. I really don’t want any strikes on my license. I’m really going to be in top of my hours and any issues out the gate. Gonna keep a nice like and gonna be that annoying guy with the check in messages. Soon as I start…lol.

I would like to work for fed ex, but all of their terminals are gonna require tolls and most likely a 45 minute or more commute. This would be a steady 30 minutes and it’s M-f. I just need to get at least 6 months experience nice and clean. Apparently they days are going to be 10-12 minimum, 14 even. I’m not feeling the overtime after 55 hours. But I’m willing to earn my keep, for the experience. I just reallt hope the respect my concerns if I come across some malfunctioning equipment, especially a trailer I would have to drive or tractor. I will call the department of labor if things get funky..lol. But seriously, let’s all respect each other and we will be fine. If you want to be mean to me because I’m new that’s cool too, but don’t do me dirty, is all I’m saying. Side note : just today an iron works company offered me a job. 23 an hour driving a B truck. It had teamsters union access, and I believe she said 100% benefits. I originally was gonna go with it, but central got me first. I had already filled out their application and took there medical. I just went through they whole interview process and got picked up. I explained the MVR incident and they said ok. So I was like cool. I was turned on by the whole union deal , but I thought that the 23 was kinda low and I would have to work some Saturdays. She said to keep in touch if anything. I thought I left them with a good impression. The job was basically delivering iron and stuff like that into the city’s construction sites. It sounded pretty sweet. Some deliveries would be at 4 am, I didn’t have a problem with that. That 23 though was kinda killing it for me and it’s a B truck. Like I said I was gonna do it.

Central has 45’ trailers, a little smaller which I think would be good for me to whip and learn with. I hope someone shows me some good load securement lesson. Never loaded a truck on my own. Gonna be YouTubing that stuff. I have tanker and hazmat so who know what they gonna throw at my rookie butt. But I promise you all to do my best and be as safe as possible. If they get mad at me, it’s gonna be because I’m trying to be as safe as possible. Learned my lesson already with that. Lol. And to top it all off I’m just gonna be pushing nice and easy. And if they feed me to the wolves with the backing, just gonna be handling that slow motion and I’m gonna be getting out allot, most likely. Sorry 🤷🏼‍♂️ Lol. Peace and love everyone.

FedEx freight will. Overtime after 8 hours a day, good equipment and they'll train you well.

As for central, I've never heard anything good about them. The pay rate is low, the equipment is bad, they don't do direct deposit and they short people on hours worked. You load your own trailer to start the day and unload it at the end.

Could be a local issue, but I've heard it from more than one person. LTL people tend to stay in the LTL world, even if not at the same company.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Rad 's Comment
member avatar

Last thing. I really do like the dump truck outfit. Like I really do. Hopefully, I’ll get my experience up and can revisit that scene with a better company. Most of them it seems are union. But I really wouldn’t mind doing that all day. We will see what the future holds for me. I’ll Keep you all in the know.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Central has been around a long time. They have an old school, 1950s look to their color schemes.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I wish you luck Rad, unfortunately Banks is correct Central Transports reputation in the LTL world is less than stellar. That said give it 100% and be the best driver they have.

You will run into a lot of bad equipment especially trailers there. Do not let them pressure you into running something that isn't safe. Even if the more senior guys do.

1950s look to their color schemes.

Probably because that's is when their trailers where built!

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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