Another Freaking Accident. What Are My Options At This Point?

Topic 31586 | Page 1

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TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Hate to be writing about another accident. This is 2 in one month smh. This just happened so excuse me if I don't explain in detail.

I made a right turn and hit a light pole and street sign. 0460479001646977355.jpg

Wrecker had to come and pull me away from the pole.

The ticket says offense was reasonable control and no truck route. Gps told me to make a right turn

0467766001646977755.jpg

The police officer said the place I'm looking for was a left turn at that corner not a right, a quarter mile down the street make another left and the place will be on that road. Gps clearly says turn right.

I'm so disappointed. Not angry, just feeling down. My nightmares have come true of having an accident in my rookie year. Worried this is my final delivery for this company.

Is there anything I can do to fight the ticket because the gps said turn right? That's all guys, thanks for any replies...

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

It's not because of the GPS. You didn't scope out you're delivery location and the way to get in there ahead of time.

You can only wait to see what Knight does this time.

BK's Comment
member avatar

It looks like you were driving at night in the dark. When it’s dark, it’s very hard to see the passenger side rear tandems of the trailer. In that situation it’s imperative to evaluate the possible obstacles as you pull up to a stop. You should have observed that utility pole before you even started your turn. As G Town famously says: “Watch your wagon”. You failed to do so. It doesn’t matter what the GPS told you.

My question is why couldn’t you have backed up and taken a different trajectory? Why did a tow truck have to rescue you?

My hope for you is that the company brings you in for additional training and let’s you keep driving. But with a ticket being issued I believe this is a DOT reportable accident, (correct me if I’m wrong), so you may be terminated. You will only make your situation worse by blaming the GPS.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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".

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

You need to fight that ticket but I don't know on what grounds it would be. Blaming GPS is not a valid excuse. This is why we say GPS WILL mess up. It's still the drivers responsibility to be sure they're not blindly following it into trouble. Although the GPS routed you down a road it shouldn't have the real issue is that you weren't aware of where your trailer was. Don't be afraid to G.O.A.L. if you can't see your tandems when making a tight turn. Its safer and much faster than dealing with what you're currently dealing with.

Often times in cities they'll have a street name followed by E,W,N,S. I'm guilty of sometimes rushing when trying to input it into GPS and gone the wrong way a couple times because I'd put the wrong letter. Do NOT blame this on GPS. Sure you can mention that GPS told you go that direction but also mention how you were at fault. There will be times you take a non truck route delivering to smaller locations. If you ever have any doubt if that's the correct way stop immediately and check your address to the GPS and Google maps to ensure there aren't any problems ahead.

Just take a deep breath and try to relax. What's done is done you can't change that. Knight will assess the risk vs reward of keeping you on the same way other carriers would. Much of it comes down to your attitude and how you're going to avoid doing this again. They've invested a lot of time and money into you and expect you to make mistakes but 2 accidents in a month is a big deal. Please keep us updated on how this turns out.

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".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Man, sorry to see this. Hopefully knight will be lenient. A few things come to mind.

One is to take ownership of this mistake and deliver a solution on how to prevent this type of thing from occuring in the future. I think that stating my GPS told me to turn isn't the best statement.

Another thing, I'm assuming that flatbed uses the same messaging and protocol in Zonar as we do in dry van. We get directions to the shipper and receivers after we get our load assignment.

I've implemented a system to prevent this exact type of thing from occurring. When I get my load assignment and directions, I check them in my Garmin OTR500, then I look at the route message and check that against the Garmin, cross check it in the rand McNally truckers Atlas if it's on unfamiliar roads. Finally, I plug in the shipper and then receiver into Google maps and check the final approach/departure in satellite and street view. I thoroughly recon the local path in and out from the freeway exit to the dock, memorize it and have a plan. If I can't find a decent way in, I'll call the shipper/receiver and ask as well as my DM.

I do this system every time, I don't even have to think about it, takes at most a few minutes. I'd be prepared to deliver some sort of solution on how you can prevent further incidents and be proactive about it.

Most of all, don't beat up on yourself, use this as an opportunity to grow.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Dm:

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Fight the ticket, but only by trying to get it reduced. Protecting your license is always a vital thing. Forget the whole GPS defense. You failed to navigate the turn. Right or left, that's on you.

All you can do now is hope for the best. When you talk with Knight, do so with full acceptance of your responsibility in this. Offer to undergo further training if they feel it's necessary. They are your best hope right now, show them you're worth it. Good luck.

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

How do I go about fighting the ticket? Do I need a lawyer involved? I have no clue on what to do in this situation.... There is no valid excuse for what happened. Totally driver error.

Right now I have no clue on how to avoid this from happening again. G.O.A.L next time perhaps. I thought I did the correct steps. I used Google maps satellite before starting my trip. Typed the directions in the Hammer app and had both the Zonar and Hammer app running while driving. This is a new location I'm delivering to and I don't know where I'm going without GPS. If the GPS is wrong then what am I to do?

I complained many times to my DM and headquarters about the Zonar GPS. I asked my DM if I could switch tablets and he said that won't do any good, they are all the same. My exact words to headquarters were "It's an accident waiting to happen"

I'm trying not to beat myself up but this is 2 accidents in a months time. Why would they keep me? I feel like my career is over with now with only 52 days solo driving. Didn't even have the chance to enjoy being a truck driver. The only saving grace is in those 2 accidents there were no damage to the truck or trailer. Property damage on this current incident though. Maybe I should have just switched to dry van since I didn't receive training with flatbed. My stubbornness put my career at risk....

Dm:

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Davy’s got it right... everyone needs to read this. This is the right approach to trip planning. Lots of good information here.

I've implemented a system to prevent this exact type of thing from occurring. When I get my load assignment and directions, I check them in my Garmin OTR500, then I look at the route message and check that against the Garmin, cross check it in the rand McNally truckers Atlas if it's on unfamiliar roads. Finally, I plug in the shipper and then receiver into Google maps and check the final approach/departure in satellite and street view. I thoroughly recon the local path in and out from the freeway exit to the dock, memorize it and have a plan. If I can't find a decent way in, I'll call the shipper/receiver and ask as well as my DM.

TwoSides... I’m sorry this happened. Every morning I read the forum and dread this kind of post. It becomes very real. No one is exempt from this risk.

So... “yes” fight the ticket, however your first concern is to keep your job. Prepare for the “talk”; think about the problem and how you will effectively adjust to prevent it in the future. Be professional, humble and gracious. Turtle emphasized attitude... I agree.

Good luck, I hope Knight gives you another chance.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Dm:

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Right now I have no clue on how to avoid this from happening again.

Hey TwoSides, we are all sorry to see this. We are a little surprised though at some of your comments. I am going to sound a little tough on you, but it is because I genuinely want to help you. DO NOT blame this on the GPS or the Zonar tablet when talking to the folks at Knight. Those are not legitimate excuses for what happened. The problem is that you didn't know how to get into the shipper. ALWAYS check out the turns to get in there with Google Earth satellite view. I still do this all the time when going to a new location. This was clearly a failure of trip planning on your part. That is the lesson you need to learn. That is what Knight wants to hear you say. They simply want to know if you learned where the failure took place and what you learned to keep it from happening again. Telling them the GPS told you to turn right is not going to go over well at all. You are the one in the driver's seat. You made the mistake. You have got to own that and admit to it. When you blame it on the GPS it is just like telling them this will clearly happen again. The GPS is a tool that often fails. You have to have a prior knowledge of where you are going. The tool is handy, but it is not a final authority.

I complained many times to my DM and headquarters about the Zonar GPS. I asked my DM if I could switch tablets and he said that won't do any good, they are all the same. My exact words to headquarters were "It's an accident waiting to happen"

None of that is relevant to this accident. I know it seems it is to you, but we want you to realize that none of that carries any weight when you are talking to the folks in safety. You failed to execute a turn properly, and you were unsure of how to get to your customer. That's it - case closed. You have got to let go of blaming your equipment or the company. Again, I am telling you this because it is what will not only help you keep your job, but it will also help you become a professional at this challenging career.

Maybe I should have just switched to dry van since I didn't receive training with flatbed. My stubbornness put my career at risk....

Here again you are grasping for excuses. This had nothing to do with the fact that you were a flatbed driver. You failed your trip planning and your execution of a turn. You have got to let go of wanting to blame this on your employer. You were the man at the wheel. That is a huge responsibility. They need to know that you know that. Everything you keep saying denies that. If you want to keep trucking and keep your job you have got to swallow that bitter tasting pill. Own it. Declare it when you are talking to them. They hear drivers blaming their shortcomings on them everyday. They fire those types of folks everyday. Don't be one of the victims. Show them that you know you made a big mistake. Show them you know now how to rectify this situation. That is what convinces them to keep you rolling. The only stubbornness you are exhibiting is trying to find a way to blame this on your perceived lack of training. Get over it. You made a mistake. Make sure you understand that and how to keep it from happening again. That is what they want to hear from you. That is what will save you as a truck driver who is still learning the craft.

Now... take a chill pill. Try to relax and take in the great information our members have given you. Take ownership and learn from this mishap. If you can handle it this way you will keep on driving for Knight.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dm:

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar
Right now I have no clue on how to avoid this from happening again

If the road looks tiny and not very good for trucks don't even try to turn onto it. I've had directions telling me to turn onto roads that, once I see them, I'm like, "Nope. Not turning down there." I don't care if I lose time by trying to find a better way.

Even if you follow all the great advice about trip planning and scoping out your route beforehand, you might miss a turn or make a wrong turn or come upon a closed road. Just get to a place where you can pull over and figure out the best way to get to where you need to go.

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