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Old 10-24-2015, 01:07 AM   #31
xoxoxoBruce
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And it took three days to get the grin off Ben's face.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:38 AM   #32
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I'd like to know what happend to the driver of the truck.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:47 PM   #33
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Nothing. No harm, no foul. He truly didn't know he had a passenger. His company bought the chair guy new tires and they all had a good laugh.......much later.
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:00 PM   #34
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That's one hellofa wheelchair to survive all that.

Whatever the brand of chair, think of the advertising they could do !
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:45 PM   #35
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From Johnnypayphone

Quote:
Mines are dangerous places, and it’s not like the olden days- mining companies care about safety. Injuries hurt the bottom line.
In order to get onto a mine site, you have to have three days of MSHA training. Then the operator itself is going to want to send you through a day’s training. Then you have individual training days for parts of the mine- like if you need to go into the pit. Going underground requires a 40 hour safety course. This isn’t how the company trains its employees, this is just what it takes for a guy like me to drive in and unload a truck.

So today I had to deliver a light plant (like a lamp and generator on a trailer) to a drilling contractor working at a gold mine, and bring the dead one back. I couldn’t load before 8 AM. The mine was 4 hours away, then I had to re-load and bring another piece back to a place that closed at 6. So that gave me ten hours to load, drive four hours, unload, reload, drive four hours, and unload. Doable, but only if things went smooth on site. That means I get up at six AM, do a pre-trip inspection, warm up the truck and charge its air tanks, make sure I’m at the load site by 7:45, and hopefully I’m grabbin gears by 8:30-9 AM.

The light plant has an eye on the top for the crane to hook onto. But here’s the thing, the mine had decided to go above and beyond MSHA safety requirements. In order to be on the back of a truck, you needed to have fall protection. The step-deck flatbed sits about three and a half feet above the ground. The crane operator can’t really swing his hook in there and catch the eye, so someone has to climb up on the truck and slip the hook through the eye. To do it according to regulations, they’d have to get into a fall protection harness, tie off a lanyard to both sides of the trailer (preventing you from falling off), and then put the hook through the eye.

If the contractor is caught just jumping up there and doing it, they could lose a million-dollar contract and be kicked off the site. But my company might bill $600 gross for this job. So they asked me to do it. If I refused, they’d think I was an asshole and my company wouldn’t get any more work from them. If I got caught, my company would be banned from the site. Bear in mind that I’ve entered a mine and driven 30 miles inside to the unload site, they’re big. Still, ever since MSHA became self-funded, they’re greedy for fines. They might fine the operator $10,000 for such an offense. The operator, and the contractor, are probably losing thousands of dollars a minute waiting for this job to get done. You have a crane, a crane operator, a drill crew of 8 or so, a trucker, and a truck. Time is money.
They were probably drilling a $2 million dollar hole in the ground. So I did it.

Trucking is full of moments like these. You’re constantly under pressure to break the rules, or the law. If you put your foot down, not only do you get labeled as a troublemaker, but you also lose money. If I show up and my truck’s not legal (a single burnt out bulb could make it illegal), I have to decide whether to shut it down or get the job done. If it’s a safety issue, I’ll usually shut it down at my own expense. Let some other jackass kill himself for the company. If I can fix it myself, I will. But often, you just have to run outlaw, in tiny little ways.
Maybe you drive for 12 hours one day. Maybe one of the eighteen tires on the truck has less than 4/32nd of an inch of tread just one spot, and the company doesn’t want to buy a $300 tire just because of that spot. Maybe a mud flap’s too high off the ground, or there’s condensation in a tail light. Some things a highway patrolman can spot from a mile away, and he’ll pull you over.

Other things are only going to show up if you go through a weigh station and the DOT decides to give you an inspection. Some things will just get flagged, other things will get you shut down. You constantly have to balance this complex system of regulations (height, weight, and length restrictions vary by state) against the thing that makes money, which is delivering your cargo to the destination. All those signs that say like “maximum length 48 feet kingpin to axle” that you normally ignore? Driving a truck, you have to pay attention to all of them.

We’ve had oversize loads where the trailer had to legally have four axles on the ground in Utah, but then when you hit the state line, you have to raise one of your axles to make it legal. Don’t ask me why, I don’t make the rules. I just try and follow them the best that I can, and try and get the load to its destination, even if those two things are often in conflict.
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:57 PM   #36
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I remember having a DOT guy check my bucket truck. He told me "See all these lights on your chip box?" "Yeah?" "Fix them, or remove them." "Really?" "I can park you if you like..."

I spent the rest of the day removing lights.
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:02 PM   #37
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They have the power, you can't argue, whine or appeal.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:05 PM   #38
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All true.

I have been to a mine. Yes to the safety stuff and silly training video. All of it. I even had to go and put on my steel toed boots to not leave my cab.

DOT can be real a-holes sometimes. Sometimes not. It truly depends on whom you are facing and what kind of day they are having.
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:42 PM   #39
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Interesting take on driving in Esquire...
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:21 PM   #40
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Trucking as an occupation is hard. It's not just a job, usually, it's a whole lifestyle.

There are many reasons for the driver turnover situation, which is probably worse than that report says. Low wages, crap miles, thoughtless dispatchers, aggressive police, insane traffic and shippers/consignees who have no respect for you or your time. And those are only the easy ones.

Most new drivers only stay for a year or two, until they find something better. We call em "meat in a seat". (Yes, we like rhymes)

Autonomous driving trucks will not replace a skilled driver. There are just too many variables to consider for a computer to do the job. And I'd like to see one find a parking spot and back in! only THEN will computers replace drivers.

Pam
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Old 12-09-2015, 11:13 PM   #41
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There's a lot more than shifting and steering, anticipation, that sixth sense to know when the shit might hit the fan, and what to do about it.
I can see autonomous trucks traveling superhighways between special terminals like some places did with the tandem trailers, but in congested areas with unpredictable people doing crazy shit, nope. Gotta have some poor bastard to blame so the company can wash their hands.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:57 PM   #42
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I can see them maybe working on a superhighway if and only if they are running in a dedicated, protected lane. No cars allowed. Volvo is experimenting with "platooning". Platooning reduces aerodynamic drag by grouping vehicles together and safely decreasing the distance between them via electronic coupling, which allows multiple vehicles to accelerate or brake simultaneously.

Link to more info on platooning here
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:24 PM   #43
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Backing into a complicated spot is one of the easiest things a computerized vehicle can do.

You know what it can't do to save its life? Pick the spot. It can't take directions from the warehouse traffic manager on which bay to back into. It probably can't handle it if you tell it to wait 15 minutes for something to open up. It can't follow hand-waving directions at all. It can't make on-the-spot decisions. Its main way of dealing with anything confusing will be to stop. An open parking lot is like the worst possible scenario. Do we follow the lines? Can we see the lines?

That's what I imagine anyway just from reading a little bit about it I'm no expert
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:00 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
Backing into a complicated spot is one of the easiest things a computerized vehicle can do.

You know what it can't do to save its life? Pick the spot. It can't take directions from the warehouse traffic manager on which bay to back into. It probably can't handle it if you tell it to wait 15 minutes for something to open up. It can't follow hand-waving directions at all. It can't make on-the-spot decisions. Its main way of dealing with anything confusing will be to stop. An open parking lot is like the worst possible scenario. Do we follow the lines? Can we see the lines?

That's what I imagine anyway just from reading a little bit about it I'm no expert


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Old 12-11-2015, 06:39 AM   #45
fargon
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I think that little knob on the dash board would just confuse me. And make it harder to maneuver.
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