Rookie Mistake

Topic 440 | Page 1

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Troubador222's Comment
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So we had an air freight load running from Tacoma Wa to Memphis Tn, and we were routed on I 80, right behind that storm. We were in Wy and knew 80 was closed ahead of us, but were still trying to get as close as we could. Most of the first part of the road was not too bad, but toward the middle of the state I started running into snow and ice. Then saw a flashing sign that said 35 mph winds ahead with severe winter conditions. So I found the first truck stop and pulled in. Well the place was packed and I pulled to the side of the access road, just to send a weather shut down message right away, and then I was going to look for a place to park. The first thing I did was set my breaks, then sent the qualcom message. My codriver got out to go to the bathroom and noticed the rear of our trailer was slightly out into the car entrance to the parking lot. No problem I say, I have 15 feet to the truck in front, and when he gets back from the bathroom, we'll look for a permanent spot. Well guess what, I forgot that lesson in school about not setting the trailer breaks in freezing weather when they could be wet.rofl-2.gif They were frozen, and to make matters worse, when I tried to pull up, the I slid backwards. So now my trailer is about 5 feet into the entrance road. I have visions of getting a ticket, and irate truck stop workers. So I trudged up to the truck stop, and told them what was up. They had no services there, and suggested I call the TA about 50 miles away. So I went into the drivers lounge and asked an experienced driver what to do. He said pump your breaks, and if that does not work, beat the drums with a hammer. I bought a hammer, and trudged back through the snow to the truck. (11 degrees out). Well pumping the breaks worked, and I got out of there and found a parking spot. We were delayed about 8 hours until 80 opened in Eastern Wy and Nb. And next time I set the breaks, I made sure I did not set the trailer breaks.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Oh man....you were so lucky they came loose by simply pumping them. That's great!

The easiest thing to do under those conditions is drag your brakes coming off the interstate and along the road going into the truck stop. You don't have to do it hard, but hard enough that you can feel the brakes are actively dragging. You'll be pushing lightly on the gas and the brakes at the same time. Do that for about 15 seconds and they'll heat up enough to evaporate any water that's on em.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

hamrhed12's Comment
member avatar

Yes, you were lucky, but there's an old saying: "I'd rather be lucky than good." Why? Because nobody, rookie or seasoned professional, is so good they never make a mistake. The trick is not to keep making the same mistake and keep learning! (I know. Easy for me to say!)

Okay, so you started your new "adventure" the week of February 4, as I recall. Have you been back home yet? And, how do you like team driving?

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Troubador! You were so fortunate to not have to lay down under the truck in those conditions. So glad it all worked out for you. It's all a part of that great learning curve we talk about when a person goes solo. Keep up the great job, we enjoy hearing from you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Why do the tractor brakes not freeze too? or do they. In freezing weather, should you not set the tractor brakes either? Should you use chocks instead?

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

Speaking of rookie mistakes...I almost made one about 20 minutes ago. I was backing into a spot. I had plenty of room on the left, but...I Got Out And Looked. Guess what I found? If you said less than one foot between my D.O.T. bumper and the front of a tractor, I would say you win. What do you win? Well nothing. I'm a truck driver after all.

Dave

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Why do the tractor brakes not freeze too? or do they. In freezing weather, should you not set the tractor brakes either? Should you use chocks instead?

Tractor brakes can also freeze. The one advantage you have is the power of the engine to break them loose. But depending on the type of rear end in the truck and whether or not you have traction control and anti-lock brakes, you may not be able to break loose all of the drive tires if they were all frozen.

In freezing weather you can set your brakes. Just make sure that on the way to your parking spot you drag your brakes for about 15 seconds or so. For instance, if you're heading into a truck stop you're already on the brakes coming off the exit ramp. Once you turn off the ramp and on the road rolling toward the truck stop entrance, that's a good place to drag them lightly.

Just drag them hard enough that you can feel the brakes holding you back and you need a little throttle to keep rolling forward. You don't have to do it very hard. The heat will be enough to evaporate the moisture off the drums and shoes and you'll be fine. To be extra safe a lot of drivers will only set the tractor brakes and not the trailer brakes. That's up to you. But just be aware of your circumstances. If you're parked on a snowy or icy incline, not having those trailer brakes set might be a bad idea.

Never, ever park the truck without setting at least one set of brakes though. Never rely on chocks by themselves to keep a truck from rolling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Troubador222's Comment
member avatar

I will remember that about dragging the breaks, thanks!

hammerhed, teams has its good side and bad. Andy and I have our moments, when we get tired and can get a bit snippy, but we blow it off. He is very good at some things, like trip planning and backing, so has helped me. On the flip side, there is zero privacy at any time. You even over hear phone conversations with each others loved ones. Without trying. Just impossible to avoid.

One thing that we can and try to do, is to keep this truck moving. Those airfreight loads are usually time sensitive, and we go from one end of the country to the other with only brief stops. We can also push our 11 hour clocks, because we can switch drivers with just a brief stop, and be rolling again in under 5 minutes. We do a one pre trip a day, and check things like the tires when we do stop for bathroom breaks. We are only in this truck for a month, as it is due to be traded in and have no fridge, but we do have a cooler, and always have water, food, and supplies for when we roll hard. That means fewer stops. Of course showers can be a problem. I showered in Tacoma Wa then took a load to Memphis Tn, then ran hard to Dallas Tx, then back to Denver before I had time to stop for another.

Tonight,we are parked at a Walmart in a little town that is basically part of Scranton PA. We both have about 22 hours left on our 70 hour clock, so we are hoping they give is something in the morning, then we can worry about a reset. We did ask permission of the manager at Walmart, and promised to be very neat, which we are.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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