Can you be a really good truck driver and still be bad?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Lennythedriver, Aug 28, 2023.

  1. Lennythedriver

    Lennythedriver Road Train Member

    Feb 14, 2020
    I’ve been out here coming up on 5 1/2 years and I’ve questioned this. It’s kind of a philosophical analysis of truck driving. Can you be a really good truck driver. Follow all the rules, be a natural, be safe, do everything by the book, do your pre-trip, your post trip, make truck driving basically your life, live eat and breathe all of it. And yet somehow still be “a bad truck driver.”

    is the system rigged overall to bring you down? Perhaps keep you in your place? An incident came up the other day with a fellow truck driver of mine who I regard as one of the best drivers out there. And it made me think….Been at it for 30 years, basically has a perfect record, ex-military, has won numerous awards for driving, has been a trainer off and on for years, has driven every kind of truck out there. The other day we were talking and he told me that his record finally had a blemish on it. A “preventable” although it was insignificant in nature. A company driver. Driving at night. The truck a bit up the road peeled a tire off. And it was laying in the road right in front of him. Another truck to his left, construction barrier to his right, he had no choice but to run it over. It caused about $1200 damage to the fiberglass bumper. Safety reviewed the video and decided that he had ample time to come to a stop. He didn’t agree. At all….In the middle of the night, in the middle of the freeway. A black tire laying in the middle of the road. Pegged him with a preventable.
    Is this fair? Really? To a driver who has dedicated his life to truck driving?
    It got me thinking, if someone this dedicated and skilled at driving who has dedicated his entire life to this, can still be nailed with something that falls definitely in a gray area, then what are the rest of us really doing out there? Just waiting to be had? To invest out life I this and be taken out over some technical crap? Really made me think.
    Your thoughts?
    INRUT, Coffey, Magoo1968 and 4 others Thank this.
  2. Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  3. LtlAnonymous

    LtlAnonymous Road Train Member

    Dec 23, 2016
    I feel that megacarriers especially thrive on finding incidents to peg drivers with, so their options become limited once they have enough experience to job shop.

    A Schneider driver called in on me because I got CLOSE to a trailer at the Gary Operating Center as a rookie.

    1. I didn't hit it.
    2. To the driver that called in, what kind of a MAN are you?
    3. They spent a full week investigating an incident that had no evidence, just to tag me with something. In the end they had to admit they didn't have anything (because nothing happened, other than a rookie getting close to a trailer, seeing it in time, and fixing it).

    They know they aren't gonna keep drivers with amazing pay, so companies make them choose between staying there or working for Western Express, I guess.
  4. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

    Mar 4, 2015
    Nothing is rigged to keep anyone anywhere they don’t want to be. The driver wasn’t taken out over a technicality. There’s nothing on his “record”. If he chooses to apply at a company that doesn’t use Dac they will never know about his $1200 incident. People choose where to work, they choose what they’re willing to put up with for the job they do.
    INRUT, Coffey, rockeee and 9 others Thank this.
  5. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

    Apr 10, 2009
    Copied in Hell
    Getting a blemish doesn’t equal a bad driver. It just means you are human and can screw up.

    Bad drivers have bad following them around.
    1. Job hopping
    2. Need a cash advance the day after payday, every payday.
    3. Have to be watched on a piss test, every piss test.
    4. Has the wife/old lady contacting dispatch or asking questions on TTR, saying how her husband is a good driver but having rotten luck.
    5. Has lots of blemishes on record but not his fault according to him or his wife.
    Wargames, INRUT, dunchues and 20 others Thank this.
  6. Lennythedriver

    Lennythedriver Road Train Member

    Feb 14, 2020
    I think we’ve all dealt with chunks of tires or even an entire tire laying on the road. Most of the time I’ve been able to avoid them myself. A couple times maybe I clipped a piece of a tire that was small enough that I got away with it. But there have been a few times I’ve been out there that it was unavoidable I’m gonna run that chunk of tire over. Sorry I’m not willing to take the truck out or the four wheeler next to me. It was night, tires black. He couldn’t see it Until it was right up on him and then he couldn’t go off onto the shoulder or the lane next to them. Yet they still pinned it on him. Seems unfair to me. They offered to let him “pay for it” no record, But keeping his pride intact, he respectfully declined. So on his record it went
  7. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    I just chalk up that incident to things happen. Safety guy sees a close-call incident slightly on the preventable side of the scale, while your fruend sees it slightly on the non-preventable side of the scale.

    Lastly, few people are so brutally honest about every description such that they are the villain in stories as often as they are heroes. You only know one side of the story, his, and maybe didn't see the video. Maybe your friend made up the barrier or the truck pinning him in. Maybe the truck beside him was almost passed him and a moderate early braking could have gotten your friend into the space behind the truck beside him. I don't know. We don't know. Maybe ypur friend is the best driver in the country and the Safety guy is ignorant. That's why it's vital to have safe habits & a clean record so in the very few no-win situations your reputation helps decide in your favor.
  8. Siinman

    Siinman Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2017
    Kansas City, MO.
    I hit a tire in the middle of the road a couple years back. It was right outside of NYC and rush hour. I was in the second lane and was running 60-65. I could not stop in time and could not move to any side so I hit it. It tore my air line in my trailer and locked up my trailer tires, tires was almost new as well. Luckily I was able to get out of the road without getting hit but cost me new tires on the trailer all the way around. I run my own truck and trailer so no one to report it to but it happens to the best of us.
  9. LtlAnonymous

    LtlAnonymous Road Train Member

    Dec 23, 2016
    Unavoidable is unavoidable. This is why I get so pissed at drivers taking low pay jobs...what we do is dangerous on the BEST day.
  10. okiedokie

    okiedokie Road Train Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    If that’s the worst incident that happens in a truck, feel lucky. It's 40 tons or more of rolling iron.
  11. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Rosamond, SoCal
    And to have your own drivecam running at all times, there camera is not on your side.
    Siinman, tscottme and LtlAnonymous Thank this.
  • Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  • Draft saved Draft deleted