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

Topic 659 | Page 2

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Also I thought this was a truck driver website all I'm hearing is people sticking up for the dispatch.

Oh this is definitely a driver's website and I can assure you we're 100% on your side. We want to see you succeed out there. But right now the way you're approaching things is working against you. And I don't just mean this topic, but other topics you've posted about as well.

Maybe my post are a little aggressive that is the type of person I am

Yeah, we can see that. And when I first started in trucking I was the same way. I was only 21 when I first started driving and I come from a background of steel workers, auto workers, construction workers, brick masons, and mechanics. I'm Italian, I'm from New York, and I was always the type to look you in the eye and tell you exactly how I felt without putting much consideration into how I was saying it. I mean, after all, you don't exactly have to be delicate with the type of people I grew up around. It wasn't that I was trying to be that way, that's just how things were in my life.

But I learned a few very hard lessons early on in my trucking career about dealing with office personnel. See, I never worked in an office. I had no idea how sensitive and delicate most of those people are! With most of em, the moment you start raising your voice, threatening, trying to pull rank, making demands, or anything of that nature you're digging your own grave. It doesn't work at all with them.

I've always felt that the cultural differences between truck drivers and the office personnel cause more problems than anything else. I had to learn how to talk to those people. I had to learn how to handle situations in a delicate manner without offending anyone. I had to learn that being firm but very kind and respectful was the only way to get what you want.

Seriously Michael - it will benefit you in a very big way if you'll learn those same lessons right now. Understand that you're dealing with an entirely different type of person and those people will ultimately decide your fate. They can give you the miles or let you sit. They can send you home or keep you out. They can give you 200 mile runs in the Northeast or 1200 mile runs to Texas. It's up to them and there's nothing you can do to force them into making life better for you. The only shot you have is to work together with them and be the type of person that they enjoy dealing with.

Trading favors is what moves the trucking industry. You run some lousy loads for dispatch, they return the favor with some great runs. You cover a 200 mile run in the Northeast and they'll send you on a 1200 mile run to the South. You stay out a few extra days and they let you take an extra day at home. It's a very complex and delicate relationship you'll have with dispatch and you have to use savvy and finesse to mold it into something productive and mutually beneficial. Do not try to force people into doing things the way you want them done. Use common sense, logic, and be firm when making your point but always do it with kindness and respect.

We could have blindly just taken your side and said "Wow, what a bunch of jerks you work with. That's a terrible company and an awful dispatcher and you should give them a piece of your mind and don't take that crap from em!" And within a week you'd be out of a job. That would be doing you a great disservice.

At TruckingTruth we have a policy of telling people what they need to know whether it was what they were hoping to hear or not. We're totally on your side and we want to see you succeed. We also know from the hard lessons we've learned over the years that your approach is going to cause a lot of problems for you and we don't want to see you make the same mistakes most of us have made.

So try your very best to be as kind and respectful as you can with dispatch and all of the office personnel. You want them on your side, not working against you. You don't have to compromise your own safety to please them, but you do have to watch what you say and how you say it very closely. I realize all of this seems like a gigantic pain in the *ss. It would be nice to just simply say what's on your mind without having to worry about it, but you can't. It will blow up in your face like it did for most of us at one time or another (or many times!).

And don't forget - with your background you're lucky to have a job in trucking. If you get fired from this one you'll have yet another thing working against you and that may be the end of your career entirely. So tread lightly and be as kind as you can possibly be. Trust me, if screaming and cussing and threatening and pulling rank was effective, we'd tell you to lay into them and give em what for. But we know what works and what doesn't. We learned it the hard way ourselves. Hopefully you can learn it the easy way now and your career will go more smoothly than ours did in the beginning.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G MAN's Comment
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Is it my stupidity, or shouldn't the different departments WORK TOGETHER to remedy this situation? Like in dispatch WORKS with safety and visa versa? Why did he have to go over dispatch's head to safety to get this fixed? Doesn't dispatch know the FMSCR's rules and what is allowable and what is not? Or, I know, they are just interested in getting the load delivered on time, and care about nothing else? Thoughts are appreciated.

G MAN

Fm:

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
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Ideally all departments would work together seamlessly, everyone would put safety and compliance with the law first, and we would all understand and appreciate the challenges our co-workers face in their day to day jobs.

Unfortunately, almost nothing about trucking is ideal.

First of all, the ultimate driving factor for everyone is money. The trucking industry has razor thin profit margins, if there are any profits at all. The industry averages a 3% profit margin. So every company tries to generate every nickel in revenue and produce every nickel in savings possible. And of course every individual is trying to make all they can. Most people in the trucking industry are paid some sort of incentive pay - commissions & bonuses for office personnel, mileage pay for drivers.

The ultimate limiting factors are human endurance and the laws governing the industry. A person can only drive so many hours safely, can only stay away from home for so long, and can only drive so many hours legally.

So you have the drive to make all of the money you can, tempered by the restrictions of human endurance and the laws governing the industry. So the question for everyone becomes, "How much risk am I willing to take to make an extra buck?"

The answer will vary wildly from person to person and company to company. This variance is where the problems usually manifest themselves.

A dispatcher will make more money if his drivers turn more miles and have a great service record (on time pickups and deliveries). So they push their drivers as much as they can get away with to put more money in their pockets.

The drivers get paid by the mile so they're willing to push the limits to make all the money they can.

The problem comes from the fact that drivers, by the nature of the job, take most of the risk. In the case we're talking about here, they wanted Michael to run with a trailer that had lights out in order to save the company money on hiring road service and to keep him on schedule. Well, that's easy for dispatch to say - they're not the ones taking the risk. They don't have to pay the fines. They don't get shut down without pay for 10 hours if the driver gets caught.

So you have this inherent conflict that goes on throughout the industry where everyone is pushing as hard as they can to make money, but in the end it's the driver that takes 98% of the risk on these decisions.

You also have the issue where very few people in the offices have ever driven a truck. They simply have no idea what life on the road is like. They don't understand being away from home, taking all sorts of risk, working really long hours, having an erratic sleep schedule, and dealing with the multitude of issues drivers deal with. So a lot of times the office personnel will expect their drivers to do things that are far more difficult and risky than they realize. To the dispatcher it seems like no big deal. To the driver, they know it's their paycheck, their license, their career, and their life that's on the line every day out there. You can only take so many risks before you wind up paying a big price.

A lack of understanding about the job your co-workers have to do along with the endless balancing act of risk versus reward is what causes so much conflict between drivers and office personnel. It's something that has gone on for decades and will continue to go on indefinitely unless some major legislation is pushed through that fundamentally alters the way business is done in the trucking industry. That's why the relationship between driver and dispatcher is so delicate and complex.

Manifest:

Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.

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.
G MAN's Comment
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Brett, you give a great answer, thank you!!!!

G MAN

RedGator's Comment
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I was in no way "taking sides" . I was simply trying to give you friendly advice one trucker to another. You really shouldnt take things so personal. I too had dispatch issues and was able to clear them up thru COMMUNICATION.

Mike H's Comment
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Let me apologize for coming off like a **** I gotta stop posting after my shift I tend to be a little cranky. Bret I know you are right I should tone it down and handled it different with dispatch "more flies with honey" right. Redgator I know you weren't against me I know you were trying to help and I apologize for insinuating you were taking dispatch side. Crazy Rebel what you said about the QUALCOMM even if that were to work which I only know for sure it works with over weight my company would never do that and if I did drive with the lights out and gotten caught I would have been in a world of crap with safety and the owner. I mean possible being fired deff suspension. They have a zero tolerance policy on unsafe and illegal driving they let you get away with it until you get caught. As far as csa scores effecting your future employment it may not have effected yours but with my criminal stuff it sure will mine I can 't afford anything on my record even something extremely minor for a while.

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.

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
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Having a criminal background is not as earth shattering as you seem to believe it is. I have been driving for 15 years. I love every minute of it. Probally I retirement party will consist of the dot prying my dead hands off the wheel and being taking to the graveyard.

But before all that I spent 1 year at Cummins Unit(minimum security) penitentiary and 4 years at Tucker max in Arkansas for fighting and nearly killing someone while at the Cummings Unit.

I don't say this to brag and no one here on this site even knew this before this post but to society I was trash. What was done is done and in the past. I did not and still do not look at this as a hold back to keep me from doing what I want with my life. Its only an experience that adds to what makes me ,me. Its not a handicap. Its through my past life that gives me the strength to do the things I want to do or must do. I have been a manager for a Fortune 500 company. Owned two,yes two trucks and have completed two different leases with the help of my brother who was my co driver.

Now I realize you are considering your background as a strike against you. Use that to help you succeed. Use that to temper your responses and actions towards your company. You can stand firm on your choices you make but learn to but learn to bend some so you do not break and your career goes down the drain.

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.

Mike H's Comment
member avatar

Having a criminal background is not as earth shattering as you seem to believe it is. I have been driving for 15 years. I love every minute of it. Probally I retirement party will consist of the dot prying my dead hands off the wheel and being taking to the graveyard.

But before all that I spent 1 year at Cummins Unit(minimum security) penitentiary and 4 years at Tucker max in Arkansas for fighting and nearly killing someone while at the Cummings Unit.

I appreciate the honesty and maybe 19 years ago it wasn't that hard to get into and keep a job with a background like yours. Mine is similar but with another charge or 2 on top of that. But today with insurance companies dictating who can be hired to the companies they insure it is extremely important as a rookie with a bad back round to keep a squeaky clean driving record because after you prove you can drive safely they tend to start turning a blind eye to the criminal stuff. I know I wont be stuck with my current company forever but I also know if I get any kind of violation even in my personal vehicle I lessen my chances of moving on. This has been told to me by numerous recruiters.

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.

Mike H's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Having a criminal background is not as earth shattering as you seem to believe it is. I have been driving for 15 years. I love every minute of it. Probally I retirement party will consist of the dot prying my dead hands off the wheel and being taking to the graveyard.

But before all that I spent 1 year at Cummins Unit(minimum security) penitentiary and 4 years at Tucker max in Arkansas for fighting and nearly killing someone while at the Cummings Unit.

double-quotes-end.png

I appreciate the honesty and maybe 19 years ago it wasn't that hard to get into and keep a job with a background like yours. Mine is similar but with another charge or 2 on top of that. But today with insurance companies dictating who can be hired to the companies they insure it is extremely important as a rookie with a bad back round to keep a squeaky clean driving record because after you prove you can drive safely they tend to start turning a blind eye to the criminal stuff. I know I wont be stuck with my current company forever but I also know if I get any kind of violation even in my personal vehicle I lessen my chances of moving on. This has been told to me by numerous recruiters.

Also I don't let it hold me back society still uses it against me. I also know that I have to be safer and work a little harder then the person without the background that is all I was saying.

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.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

We had the same companies and insurance companies back then also. Oh and BTW I have only been with JB Hunt a little under a year so yes I know what its like in recent times to get a job in the economy we have now.

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