Driver Damages a Trailer Door - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by jfar28139, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. jfar28139

    jfar28139 Light Load Member

    May 28, 2012
    Rutherfordton, NC
    I run a small fleet (+/- 30 trucks). A driver tore off a reefer door by hitting a pole while backing. Re-hanging the door was about $300 (I think). We need to develop a policy on how to handle things like this. Do carriers make drivers pay for things like this? How is this handled elsewhere?
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  3. passingthru69

    passingthru69 Road Train Member

    Well this will open a can of worms here and it might get closed.
    But here is my take.
    Unless you have something in writing about driver and or contractor messing up something, you will end up eating the repair costs.
    Have it in writing about driver abuse, damages caused by driver, that they could and may have to pay for damages.
    Without said agreement you can only talk with them and find out the facts that caused the problem.
    Then even give them a written warning and keep a copy in their file, plusd give them a copy either through email/ cert. mail or in person. If in person make them sign form stating they received the warning letter. CYA.

    Good luck on how you work this out.
    I know there will be guys going well your trk/ trl. Why should I have to pay for the repair. Even though they tore it up....
    Lonesome, truckon and MJ1657 Thank this.
  4. sherlock510

    sherlock510 Road Train Member

    Jul 26, 2011
    Maybe write him up for it, I wouldn't make the driver pay for the door.
    He definitely didn't get out and look before backing, have him drop and give you 50!
  5. 77smartin

    77smartin Road Train Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    I dunno.
    Take the cost of damages out of the safety bonus...if they have one. Obviously this would be in writing, signed by driver when they start.
    BrenYoda883 and "semi" retired Thank this.
  6. joseph1135

    joseph1135 Papa Murphy

    Nov 8, 2009
    The Highway To Hell.
    An accident like this is minor. Very minor. These things sometimes happen, even to the best drivers. If the driver was negligent and caused this by being an idiot, by all means, $300 out of his check. If it was because of a tight dock or tight space, hey, cost of doing business. If a drivers tops a trailer, then all bets are off.
    Voyager1968 and Numb Thank this.
  7. double yellow

    double yellow Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    State of Jefferson
    Company pays
    driver loses bonus, is demoted, and/or fired
  8. AirborneLegg13T

    AirborneLegg13T Light Load Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    Albuquerque NM
    Eat the cost, w 30+ trucks he's not the first guy to mess up one of your vehicles
  9. Brandson

    Brandson Medium Load Member

    Dec 14, 2013
    Make a note of it in his "file", but otherwise, it's just something that happens. Heck, 300 is cheaper than a tire, isn't it..?
    Fatboy42 Thanks this.
  10. gpsman

    gpsman Road Train Member

    Dec 10, 2013
    You can't charge drivers for minor damage to a trailer any more than after a crash totaling the complete unit including any load. It's not a matter of degree of damage, the company is required to carry insurance to cover such matters, despite the folly of submitting claims for minor damages.
  11. RetiredUSN

    RetiredUSN Medium Load Member

    Jan 9, 2015
    Can I answer your question..... with a few questions?

    1. Does the person seem mature enough to learn from the incident?

    2. Was the person being up front and honest? ( a little remorseful)

    3. Does that person have a continuous history of incidents like this? .....( if so, you gotta let him/her go sooner or later)

    If driver fits into the first two categories.....Have a "face to face" on how they might have handled the situation a little better next time. Explain about how backing incidents make up a huge number of truck accidents and insurance hikes. Document the "face to face" for future reference. Maybe some documented backing training?............. ( couldn't hurt)
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
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