2nd Accident In 3 Months.

Topic 6851 | Page 2

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Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

You gotta remember that 2 wrongs do not make a right but 3 lefts will get you going in the right direction.

I had a similar situation on a run that was very common with a right hand turn that was a bear. I made it but it was still too tight for my comfort. I made the first stop and the right turn was on the way to the second stop. Well what I did was reverse the order of pickups so with 4 lefts, I was heading back to the interstate.

First thing is that you need to TAKE the room that you need to complete your turn. I have waited in the intersection for on coming traffic to get the green light and clear out before I could make the turn. I have had people lean out their window to see if I was going to hit them on a right hand turn. I have also had one person in the summer when our windows were down yell "Holly S***". I was turning right and he was paying attention to his cell phone. It was loud enough for me to hear and I could not help but to crack up laughing. I think he looked up and all he saw was grill and bumper.

Interstate:

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

Sandman's Comment
member avatar

You gotta remember that 2 wrongs do not make a right but 3 lefts will get you going in the right direction.

I had a similar situation on a run that was very common with a right hand turn that was a bear. I made it but it was still too tight for my comfort. I made the first stop and the right turn was on the way to the second stop. Well what I did was reverse the order of pickups so with 4 lefts, I was heading back to the interstate.

First thing is that you need to TAKE the room that you need to complete your turn. I have waited in the intersection for on coming traffic to get the green light and clear out before I could make the turn. I have had people lean out their window to see if I was going to hit them on a right hand turn. I have also had one person in the summer when our windows were down yell "Holly S***". I was turning right and he was paying attention to his cell phone. It was loud enough for me to hear and I could not help but to crack up laughing. I think he looked up and all he saw was grill and bumper.

Maybe you saved someone's life? Maybe he will stay off his phone while in a car and pay attention? I think that's to funny.

Interstate:

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

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Well you can't change what has happened, but you gotta be extra careful and learn from your mistakes.

Cleft Asunder, I completely agree with Chris L's statement.

My reading of your post makes it sound like you are almost bitter about your training experience - several times you stated how you thought the training process should have gone, or how you would do it if you were a trainer. I completely understand - I had a terrible trainer. We try real hard to prepare folks here for the reality of what you are going to get into once you get started. I know you have heard us say "Don't hit anything", and I know you've been in here long enough to see posts concerning bad trainers. You can't blame an accident on being eager to prove yourself - you want to prove yourself by choosing easy parking spots and practicing on those easy ones until you become more proficient at this stuff. Maybe you didn't have much of a choice, and I know that is often the case.

Common sense will tell someone with a 53' trailer behind them to avoid sharp right turns and difficult backing maneuvers, you don't really need a trainer to point those things out to you. I'm glad you posted this stuff, and I'm glad to hear you express your feelings about all of it. The reality of the difficulty of what a new driver faces shows through in your post. For those of you reading this post realize what Cleft Asunder is saying. I would disagree with him on how harsh these companies are on rookies, they give us all a chance, in fact several chances to prove ourselves. But there is no hand holding - it is sink or swim, and it is completely up to the new driver to prove himself. The trainer is out of the picture once you've got the keys to a truck. It becomes your responsibility, and it is a trying one at the least.

I just want to point out one thing for anyone reading this concerning G.O.A.L. Take a look at this statement:

I got out and looked but too early btw. Wasnt too useful.

Getting out and looking is a step by step process. You can't get out too early and then say it wasn't useful. I wish I had some video of my first solo backing attempts to show you. I might back up three inches, set the brakes and go look at everything. Then I would do it all again, and again, and again, and again... until I got er in there safe and sound. Did people laugh at me? I'm sure they did. Were impatient truckers joking about me on the radio? I'm sure they were. Did I get it backed in safely? I sure did.

Cleft Asunder, I really do feel for you, I really do understand your frustration, but to try and blame it on your training is useless at this point. Personal responsibility has to grip you at some point in this career. We have to be hyper sensitive to the calamitous nature of these gentle giants we are commandeering. Always being super aware of your surroundings and never letting down your guard is part of the stress of this job. It is nothing short of demanding, especially for rookies.

The way these larger companies operate is that they filter out "bad" drivers. No accidents? You're a "good" driver! Hooray for you. It doesnt matter if you do 55mph down 6% grades every day, as long as you dont damage equipment, you're golden. Instead of building genuinly good drivers by letting them make the minor mistakes, they keep a taly; 3 "preventable" accidents and strike, you're out. You bad driver you. Meanwhile high horse joe (who sucks at driving) is accident free mainly due luck and he gets all the praise, while you (a potentialy good driver eager to learn) is going to be filtered out.

I'm hoping you just said the above statement because you are frustrated and you were venting. Because if you really think that way you are destined for problems in this business. An accident record really does speak volumes for a drivers ability. All rookies are going to make mistakes, but we are expected to be shaken up and learn from them very quickly, not to just think all the other guys are lucky.

Just so everybody knows, a veteran driver will get canned in a hurry if he has a few preventable accidents in a three month period - this isn't just harsh treatment for rookies. Trucking companies have a huge liability burden, and they have got to set some kind of limits to weed out potential problems. We might not be able to agree on how to set those limits, but they have got to be there none the less.

Hang in there Cleft Asunder, I'm a big believer in redemption. Use your head, be hyper cautious. Being eager to prove yourself is important, I'm glad you have that going for you, but do it with great caution - there are perils out there just waiting to trip you up. Don't let them get the best of you. The mental challenge you are facing right now is the biggest peril you are facing. You've got to overcome the negative attitude that is taking root in your mind right now about your choice of career and your understanding of the trucking industry.

We are all pulling for you!

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.

Cleft_Asunder's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the reply old school. Gonna take it slow and try to get to 1 year as smoothly as possible. Maybe i will switch to 11 western for a while so i go on more familiar routes. One thing is for sure, i am going to take home time off as much as possible just to decrease the chance of an accident over the year.

Yes its difficult being a good driver especially if you like to experiment and take minor risks like i do to see the outcome. I learn the best when i actually make the mistake, but there is barely any room for it in this industry because it can put you in an accident. I wish someone would have told me how serious they take minor accidents because i wouldnt have attempted the things i have and used more caution. Thats what im really bitter about.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the reply old school. Gonna take it slow and try to get to 1 year as smoothly as possible. Maybe i will switch to 11 western for a while so i go on more familiar routes. One thing is for sure, i am going to take home time off as much as possible just to decrease the chance of an accident over the year.

Yes its difficult being a good driver especially if you like to experiment and take minor risks like i do to see the outcome. I learn the best when i actually make the mistake, but there is barely any room for it in this industry because it can put you in an accident. I wish someone would have told me how serious they take minor accidents because i wouldnt have attempted the things i have and used more caution. Thats what im really bitter about.

I don't know that "taking as much home time as possible" in order to decrease the chances of getting in an accident - is either the solution, or even do-able. You get the home-time you get, according to how much road-time you accrue.

People tend to get the impression that longtime drivers become "complacent" as they get more miles under their belt. The opposite tends to be true - for those that DON'T HAVE ACCIDENTS. NEVER comes the opportunity to let your guard down - not for ONE SECOND. 80K lbs at 65 MPH makes for a big mess - REAL FAST.

Doing a little better trip prep, especially for the non-highway legs of the journey, can be helpful in determining whether you want to make "three lefts", or really try that tight right hand turn. I drove a 48' bus with 15' trailer for years, and got myself into some real pickles, by telling myself "you got this" and becoming too overconfident, especially in my GPS routing. And it's a lot easier to back a short TT rig with long trailer, than it is a long bus with a short trailer. I use googlemaps satellite view to do my "last miles" routing from highway to destination, to get a better idea of where I might need to deviate from GPS, in order to not get myself in a jam. Even Rand McNalley Road Atlas is not going to show you those tight intersections where you would have been better off making those 3 lefts, instead of climbing a curb with your trailer tandems and taking out a traffic light.

G.O.A.L. as much as you need to - no one else is going to be calling safety because you didn't GOAL a few extra times and took out the rig next to you - it's on you.

When you are behind the wheel, you are the captain of the ship - not the trainer, not the company, not the super-truckers laughing at you in the Pilot parking lot - YOU. When your career depends on getting there on time, legally, without running anything over - it is ALL YOU.

As Old School pointed out - no sense in being bitter (not very Buddhist of you anyway), no sense in looking back and blame-shifting. Do what YOU NEED TO DO in the future, to ensure your safe operation of your rig.

Best of luck...

Rick

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I am commenting on this not because I am better than anyone else, or feel the need to put you down...I say this as a person watching your back as I would hope (and have seen from the people on this site) that you would say the same to me if things weren't quite right.

Yes its difficult being a good driver especially if you like to experiment and take minor risks like i do to see the outcome. I learn the best when i actually make the mistake, but there is barely any room for it in this industry because it can put you in an accident. I wish someone would have told me how serious they take minor accidents because i wouldnt have attempted the things i have and used more caution. Thats what im really bitter about.

Brother you need to change your attitude or you will hurt someone. It may be that you hurt your career with too many accidents or you hurt someone in one of those accidents. You need to learn to identify risks and manage them accordingly, not take them without regard to the consequences; "just to see what happens". It is true that humans learn from making mistakes; however, the smart way is to learn from others mistakes. In my years in the fire department we took risks, but those risks had to be have reason. You don't charge into a burning building if there is not a life to be saved. You don't kill firefighters to save property. That career and driving are very similar; one mistake could be the last one you make...so don't go making them on purpose. And lastly, the only person you can truly control is you. When you have the wheel in your hands there is no one that has any influence whatsoever on what you do...maximize your sense of personal responsibility.

Now...chin up, belt up, and get out there and be the safe, professional driver you can be!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

There are some GREAT pieces of advice in this thread. WHY would any driver CARE what some other drive sitting in their truck thinks? IF that guy was so good, he should come over and teach the driver how to do it, since it is so easy for him or her.

Second, G.O.A.L.

As many times as you need to. Screw others. YOU are responsible for your load. YOU are responsible for your CDL. YOU have to live with yourself the next day.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
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