Any Tips For Bobtailing Long Distances In Winter?

Topic 32577 | Page 1

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Harvey C.'s Comment
member avatar

In the past two weeks Michael has had to bobtail from California to Utah. While it wasn't snowing either time, there were areas he had to drive across snow and commented he didn't like that and also said the ride was a lot rougher. These are the first two times in 19 months of driving for Marten where's had to drive a long distance (~700 miles). Is there anything special you can suggest as a precaution or different driving style (i.e., avoid driving at night and early morning, etc.) that you can make?

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I would refuse to drive more than 100 miles bobtail on good weather days; but none at all for snow. It's too dangerous on snow covered roads and too rough a ride in general. There's no lack of trailers at Marten Transport that I know of.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Harvey C.'s Comment
member avatar

I would refuse to drive more than 100 miles bobtail on good weather days; but none at all for snow. It's too dangerous on snow covered roads and too rough a ride in general. There's no lack of trailers at Marten Transport that I know of.

Thanks, I'll share that with him later today. There does seem to be a shortage in California. Michael had to go hunting for one a couple of months ago and eventually drive to a Sam's DC 60 miles away to get one. He did say that several were in for repairs so maybe this will get resolved soon.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Harvey I’m in total agreement with PackRat.

There are many companies that forbid bobtailing on snow covered roads. I’d advise Michael to exercise extreme caution and be prepared to wait-out a major weather event.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Bobtailing and empty trailers are usually prohibited in winter weather. I've bobtailed in the rain a few times and lost traction.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

My least favorite thing about driving a truck is bobtailing. It's the worst ride in the world. Good info from PackRat.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

LOL Yep @ CRST 1 time, they had us take an empty from San Antonio TX, to Miami, Fl 1,200 miles, and bobtail back to San Antonio !! Mentioned this before, but yep rougher ride, but that long, you get used to it lol.....Even called our DM to verify this crazy trip, he confirmed it was real. Customer was paying for it, some special thing they were doing.....So as long as we're getting paid, we were all over it !! Dumbest part, was once we dropped the empty, found they had like 6 or 7 of our empties sitting there at drop lot???

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.
Harvey C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies everyone. Michael has not every bobtailed while it was snowing but said there were patches of snow in some spots in Utah. I'm not sure of the details, it might have been in parking areas. Now that I have thought about it more, there have been at least a couple of times when he's bobtailed from home to Riverside County, about 370 miles.

I believe once the only empty trailer he found in the Stockton yard had a padlock on it which he thought may have been some driver's attempt to reserve it or maybe he just forgot it (but why lock an empty trailer). He cut that off with his angle grinder after checking with dispatch to make sure the trailer wasn't assigned to anyone.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

I would refuse to drive more than 100 miles bobtail on good weather days; but none at all for snow. It's too dangerous on snow covered roads and too rough a ride in general. There's no lack of trailers at Marten Transport that I know of.

I’m glad you commented because my first thought to his question was “just don’t” but I wasn’t sure if that was a great answer. Bobtailing in anything but good weather is pretty terrifying

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

ambrose_johnson's Comment
member avatar

I would refuse to drive more than 100 miles bobtail on good weather days; but none at all for snow. It's too dangerous on snow covered roads and too rough a ride in general. There's no lack of trailers at Marten Transport that I know of.

Mr Rat, is it true that tractors with advanced/modern airbag suspensions will handle snow better and ride not so much like a wheelbarrow while driving in bobtail mode? Can ride softeness be dialed in on these rigs?

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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