How Screwed Am I?

Topic 31910 | Page 1

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Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

Ugh,

Well, I have two days left in my six weeks of training. Today, my trainer wanted to hit up a restaurant next to the Amarillo mall in Texas. While I was grateful to get experience making tighter turns, we ended up parking under some trees near the restaurant. One of the branches was low (which I did not see) and rubbed the top driver side of the trailer. There was a small scrape that was about 3-4 feet long on the top of the trailer, and the low hanging branch came off the tree (small branch).

I reported the incident to my safety department, took responsibility, and sent the necessary pictures.

My trainer is trying to cheer me up with stories of other guys who have done several thousand dollars worth of damage over multiple incidents and still have their jobs.

However, I am not so convinced. So give me the real. How F'ed am I?

I work for a medium/large but not mega carrier.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Best word I can think of is relax.

They won’t fire you for this, especially if you describe how you’ll prevent it from happening in the future.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Did it puncture the trailer and ruin the cargo? Other than that, you should be okay.

Lesson learned: Look left, look right, look below, and look above. Situational awareness.

Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

It was a slice that ever so slightly dug into the side. It didn't penetrate or ruin the cargo, but it will definitely need some slight patching.

This one stings because, frankly, I would have preferred to goto a truck or rest stop as I am currently running on recaps to Salt Lake City and I don't really trust myself to go into malls or other crowded tight areas with this truck unless I am doing so to deliver at which point I have already mapped out exactly how and where I will pull in and quickly exit. As a newbie, I know exactly where I stand within my means of operation. I know this is 100% on me and I own this, and unfortunately, probably the hit to my DAC , but this is the last time I ever listen to anyone else guiding me on where to drive after my training is done.

Did it puncture the trailer and ruin the cargo? Other than that, you should be okay.

Lesson learned: Look left, look right, look below, and look above. Situational awareness.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

They may or may not call it a preventable and it may or may not show up on the DAC. Pull it in a few months and you'll know for sure. I'm not sure what the reporting requirements are, but I think it's safe to say if it's but there by next quarter, they're not reporting it.

Everybody does something stupid at one point or another. Learn from it and move on. One time when hooking a set of doubles , I pulled up between 2 trailers and when backing I was so focused on behind me that I didn't realize that my hood mirror got caught on a trailer and it shattered the glass. Brand new tractor at the the with under 10k on the odometer.

Another time I hit an angling iron. I wasn't used to swinging doors and I backed it up like I would rolling doors. Line it up and push it back. A piece of the iron broke off and the trailer was fine. Nobody was around for that one, but I reported it anyway. Lack of integrity will get you fired.

Another time I hooked a set and the dolly electrical lines didn't work. I got frustrated because I had to hook the set again and it was snowing. Hooking in the snow sucks. My frustration got the better of me and I forgot to drop the landing gear when I pulled the dolly out.

All 3 required a written statement and a conversation with safety. 1 and 3 were not ruled a preventable, 2 was. Weird because the mirror cost more than the angling iron so it didn't make sense to (still doesn't). A shop tech just welded the piece back on and it's the one that I probably could've gotten away with.

I recently got an offer to be a mentor/coach. I own up to my mistakes and I don't repeat them. It's not the end of the world. Own up to it, accept it and move on. Kicking yourself over it is demoralizing and it can become a distraction.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

I did own it and I agree. I'm trying to not be in my own head these next couple days of training. Thanks for the pep talk.

They may or may not call it a preventable and it may or may not show up on the DAC. Pull it in a few months and you'll know for sure. I'm not sure what the reporting requirements are, but I think it's safe to say if it's but there by next quarter, they're not reporting it.

Everybody does something stupid at one point or another. Learn from it and move on. One time when hooking a set of doubles , I pulled up between 2 trailers and when backing I was so focused on behind me that I didn't realize that my hood mirror got caught on a trailer and it shattered the glass. Brand new tractor at the the with under 10k on the odometer.

Another time I hit an angling iron. I wasn't used to swinging doors and I backed it up like I would rolling doors. Line it up and push it back. A piece of the iron broke off and the trailer was fine. Nobody was around for that one, but I reported it anyway. Lack of integrity will get you fired.

Another time I hooked a set and the dolly electrical lines didn't work. I got frustrated because I had to hook the set again and it was snowing. Hooking in the snow sucks. My frustration got the better of me and I forgot to drop the landing gear when I pulled the dolly out.

All 3 required a written statement and a conversation with safety. 1 and 3 were not ruled a preventable, 2 was. Weird because the mirror cost more than the angling iron so it didn't make sense to (still doesn't). A shop tech just welded the piece back on and it's the one that I probably could've gotten away with.

I recently got an offer to be a mentor/coach. I own up to my mistakes and I don't repeat them. It's not the end of the world. Own up to it, accept it and move on. Kicking yourself over it is demoralizing and it can become a distraction.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

BK's Comment
member avatar

Drew, you are not going to be terminated because of a tree branch scratch. Especially if your trainer backs up your account of what happened and why. (I hope he has the backbone to accept his responsibility in this incident) Just get through the process and you will be fine and a more knowledgeable driver because of your experience.

Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hindsight being 20/20, I should have known better. I was a flatbed tow truck driver for 6 years for AAA before I got my class A. Situational awareness was something I was always good at. This was a moment of stupidity where we saw an opportunity for shade on a 100 degree day in Texas, and I just assumed I had clearance and underestimated the damage a branch could do. Now that the initial sting has faded, no excuses, just be better.

But on a side note, I am shut down early today due to an in-trip inspection during my 30. Noticed major problems with my rear trailer tires on the passenger side. One had a leaking nail and there were bulges on the other. Neither were present this morning. At the TA in Moriarty, NM waiting for repairs. ETA is seven hours.

When it rains it pours!

And thank all of you for your candid but productive feedback. I don't expect anyone to tell me what I want to hear (and I prefer it that way), but I also appreciate the lack of condescension.

Be safe!

Drew, you are not going to be terminated because of a tree branch scratch. Especially if your trainer backs up your account of what happened and why. (I hope he has the backbone to accept his responsibility in this incident) Just get through the process and you will be fine and a more knowledgeable driver because of your experience.

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

My first preventable was on my company at the times yard. The rear of my trailer clipped the thermo king indicator on another trailer. Yard dog reported me and I had to do pull thru etc. No harm to my dac and company did not terminate.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Drew D.'s Comment
member avatar

Good to know. My company is supposedly very lenient when it comes to accidents. We just lose our "safety penny" when something occurs until we do our time in safety jail. Still, it definitely took the wind out of me. I was on a good roll going into the last couple days of training until the incident followed by the breakdown. Oh well, just gotta learn and move on.

My first preventable was on my company at the times yard. The rear of my trailer clipped the thermo king indicator on another trailer. Yard dog reported me and I had to do pull thru etc. No harm to my dac and company did not terminate.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

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