Ok To Run With No Brake Lights Or Turn Signal On Trailer.

Topic 659 | Page 1

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Mike H's Comment
member avatar

The subject is not a typo that is actually a statement made to me from my breakdown department and my dispatcher. Here's what happened. Coming across I-10 east into Florida pass the agriculture inspection station then the weigh station green lights at both places so I keep on trucking down the road. About 20 miles later I move to the hammer lane to allow anther truck to merge onto the interstate. Put my flasher on and check my left mirror and see I have a marker light out at rear of trailer. I think great not first time this has happened to me hopefully a lose bulb. See a rest area is 2 miles down the road stop there get out and I have 8 lights out not 1. 2 of which are a break light and turn signal. Call the shop tell them they call back and say 80 miles down the road is a TA drive there and get fixed. I politely tell them no my truck will not move with one light out let alone 8. He says I'll call you back. 20 minutes later I get a call from dispatch demanding me to drive to the TA and get repaired and politely again I tell her no. Then she starts yelling at me saying you will be fined if you are late on this delivery. I inform her that I am 36 hours early and only 450 miles away and if I am late it will be because I'm on the phone arguing with you and not calling roadside repair to come fix me and I hang up on her. Message safety then call him and he has my back like I knew he would. Long story short I sat 10 hours before they decided to give me approval to call roadside repair then another 3 hours for the guy to get to me and repair me. Fun times.

Interstate:

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

Dispatcher:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Ok, I'm glad you shared that with us because there are several issues here to cover.

First of all, the #1 rule of trucking is "Don't hit anything", right? Right.

And the 2nd rule of trucking is "Do not aggravate or show up your dispatcher" or you'll be saying things like "I sat 10 hours before they decided to give me approval to call roadside repair". Now I can almost assure you that you're "in the doghouse" as they say and you're not going to get any favors from dispatch for quite a long time. They most certainly made you wait on purpose because they're aggravated with you. Even when you disagree with them, keep it respectful and polite. The difference between happiness and misery in trucking is exactly one mad dispatcher. So tread lightly when dealing with dispatch. Don't scream and yell, don't threaten or call names, and don't try to make them look bad.

What you could have said is, "I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of driving this thing without brake lights or turn signals. I'd like to call the shop to see what they say about it. Maybe they can help me get it going so I can get rolling again. I'll call you back in a minute to let you know what they said." If you would have said that, it would have made a world of difference. Instead you made dispatch mad by hanging up on them, and then made them look bad by going over their head to call safety. Now safety is on their *ss and they're going to be really, really mad about that. Remember, even when you disagree with them, these people are your co-workers. You want to get along with them and make sure you don't get at each other's throats. You need dispatch to keep you rolling and get you home when the time comes. If you get in their doghouse, you're going to be miserable out there. That is one thing you can count on.

Another thing you could have said is "Listen, if I get a ticket for something being wrong with this truck, I have to pay the fine and I can't afford to risk my paycheck over this. The truck is unsafe to drive like this and we need to find a way to get it fixed before I can drive it." If she still insisted on having you drive, you could have then brought up the safety department and said "Well, I'll tell you what. Why don't we ask safety what they think about it? If they say it's OK to move it like it is and they'll agree to cover any fines then I'll go ahead and take it to get repaired." Again, taking that approach avoids a gigantic conflict. You're not going over dispatch's head to make them look bad. You're telling them "Hey, let's see if we can get the approval of Safety for this." At that point, the ball is in dispatch's court. If they don't want to deal with safety, they'll call road service. Otherwise they'll ask Safety for a suggestion. But either way, you're not putting yourself in hot water by making them look bad.

Because you're new to trucking you're doing everything by the book and that's exactly what you should do. A veteran driver probably would have just driven it to the truck stop to get it repaired and hoped for the best along the way. But regardless of how you handle a situation, do everything imaginable to prevent any conflicts within your own company.

Unfortunately, it's a bit late for that. I can assure you you're now in the doghouse with dispatch. I would try patching things up. Apologize for going over their head and say "Look, I'm sorry. We should have found another way to get through this but I didn't want to drive the truck like it is and I didn't know what else to do about it."

Dealing with dispatch, especially on gray areas like we're talking about, is the most difficult part of trucking to learn. That first year is brutal because you don't really know how things are done in the trucking industry yet so you're just trying to get by day by day. Over time you'll learn the ropes and these types of situations will be easier to handle.

I have no problem with you refusing to drive the truck. It's a safety issue and you took the safest path. No driver would disagree with that. But the problem lies in how you handled it - you made dispatch look bad. That's something you definitely want to avoid in the future.

So I'd say the best lesson here is to always try to work together with dispatch and find a solution to problems like these without making enemies or showing anyone up. And anytime you're going to call someone other than your dispatcher to get advice on dealing with a situation, let dispatch know about it first. You could have said "Ok, I'm going to call safety to get their opinion on this. I don't think I should move the truck but if they say it's OK then I'll take it to the truck stop." If you would have said that, there's a good chance dispatch would have changed their tune and called roadside repair because they wouldn't want safety to know they told you to drive a vehicle with safety issues. You see the difference? You're basically saying "Ok, I think I know how this should be handled, but since we disagree then why don't we get another opinion on it?" Then you would have gotten your way without getting anyone in hot water.

You did the right thing, but the way you went about it is going to cause you some problems in the short run. I would definitely talk to dispatch about it and try to understand each other better. These relationships between driver and dispatcher are very complex and they take a long time to develop. This is an opportunity to mend things and move on.

Dispatcher:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Tesserae's Comment
member avatar

My first thought is how a pretrip might have been beneficial in this case, would have circumvented the whole nightmare.

Mike H's Comment
member avatar

My first thought is how a pretrip might have been beneficial in this case, would have circumvented the whole nightmare.

Wow a pretrip what a great idea I should have thought about that. I did do a pretrip that is how I got green lights through every scale house from California to Florida. I do my pretrips and enroutes like i'm supposed to. This problem was not able to be picked up on a pretrip.

Mike H's Comment
member avatar

"And the 2nd rule of trucking is "Do not aggravate or show up your dispatcher" or you'll be saying things like "I sat 10 hours before they decided to give me approval to call roadside repair". Now I can almost assure you that you're "in the doghouse" as they say and you're not going to get any favors from dispatch for quite a long time. They most certainly made you wait on purpose because they're aggravated with you. Even when you disagree with them, keep it respectful and polite. The difference between happiness and misery in trucking is exactly one mad dispatcher. So tread lightly when dealing with dispatch. Don't scream and yell, don't threaten or call names, and don't try to make them look bad."

Bret trust me I know and have heard stories of the way dispatchers can screw you if you upset them and that is the last thing I wanted to do. But this is not my normal dispatcher it is the nighttime weekend dispatcher so I won't have many issues to deal with thank god and also I'm not going to let anyone even the owner of the company try to tell me I have to drive a truck unsafe and illegal makes no difference if I have 3 months or 30 years it's not going to happen I was trained better then that at school and with the trainer I had here. I had no other option but to call safety they were not going to budge unless I either sat there until the normal dispatcher and breakdown dept people were in this morning or safety called and told them to get me fixed.

Dispatcher:

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.
RedGator's Comment
member avatar

Im really not trying to be rude when I say this but you really need to change your attitude. All of your post seem borderline aggressive. The worst thing you can do in this industry is have a bad attitue. Sometimes a little finess goes a long way. As a rookie you need to count your blessings that you have a good paying job. Appreciate your oppurtunitys and learn from your errors. Yes it was wrong of dispatch to say that but it was just as wrong of you to handle it that way. Ive been out here 7 months and have never had issues because I have a positive attitude. Ive faced trials yes but found solutions because I have a POSITIVE ATTITUDE.

Mike H's Comment
member avatar

Im really not trying to be rude when I say this but you really need to change your attitude. All of your post seem borderline aggressive. The worst thing you can do in this industry is have a bad attitue. Sometimes a little finess goes a long way. As a rookie you need to count your blessings that you have a good paying job. Appreciate your oppurtunitys and learn from your errors. Yes it was wrong of dispatch to say that but it was just as wrong of you to handle it that way. Ive been out here 7 months and have never had issues because I have a positive attitude. Ive faced trials yes but found solutions because I have a POSITIVE ATTITUDE.

Maybe my post are a little aggressive that is the type of person I am and I have yet to make a mistake so not much of me to learn from. Also I thought this was a truck driver website all I'm hearing is people sticking up for the dispatch. Here's something for new and old drivers and I really shouldn't have to say this everybody should already know. With Csa 2010 everything falls on the driver so and it is our RESPONIBILTY to drive safe equipment and do it in a safe manner. If I would have let dispatch and my shop talk me into driving with 8 lights out I would have been fined and placed out of service at the scale house. I explained that to her and my shop and that is why I sat not because I was ****y or rude because at first I wasn't. And when she started to scream at me like I'm a child instead is cursing her out like I want to I hung up and went over her head. And it worked I got fixed delivered and am headed to Orlando in the morning for a pick up. Also got a call from the owner thanking me for being smart and not driving the truck until it was fixed.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Its not about taking sides here. Its about attitude and how you handle others even if they **** you off. Brett had the right approach. And driving an unsafe truck is never a good idea. From reading your post and going only by that you and the dispatch butted heads from the start. They wanted you to do something and would not budge and you stated your refusal and refused to budge from that. The was no middle ground at all. What Brett posted was a good middle ground but you are discounting it straight out of hand without thinking about it. I have been driving for 15 years and have dealt with all types out here. I can promise you that if you would have taken Brett's approach you would have been up and moving in less than half the time. I am sorry you feel if sides are being taken. Its simply not the case. We can not change what dispatch said or did but we can give you good solid advice so maybe next time you can get through a situation the better the next time around. Simply refusing to see how you could of handled this a different way is not the best way to go.

crazy rebel's Comment
member avatar

Look here's a solution I don't know if this was covered but if ur company says go here and get it fixed,fine do so if ya have qualcomm ask them to give ya a message saying so and if not tell them if I get pulled over I'm letting the officer know ya told me to go to x place and get fixed so I'll be letting them know to call ya. then go and do as said above if there was a message sent show the officer.

yes this works I've done this twice once with qualcomm with knight and once with an owner op I drove for,the owner op got the ticket,all I had to say was I told him I needed fixed he said roll with it he will get me somewhere soon.I imagine there wouldn't have been a ticket if I had a place that I was goin to get it fixed.

and the ticket was wrote out to him and the dot told me this doesn't go against me its his and if he charges me for it I should consult a lawyer.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

crazy rebel's Comment
member avatar

Oh and PS is there any statistics on companies that will not hire a driver with a low CSA score? BC knight alone I think will hire ya with a 50% I will check on this later when my dim gets in.BC to me I say **** the CSA its a bunch of horse****

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

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