My fault or not? Gladhand broke while backing into dock.

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Canadianhauler21, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. Canadianhauler21

    Canadianhauler21 Medium Load Member

    May 15, 2017
    Ontario, Canada
    Today I pulled into a shipper and was given a dock in the back of the factory to pull into. The turn around in the back was fairly tight, but nothing that I'm not used to. I usually go to terribly tight places.

    Anyway, halfway through my turnaround at about a 90° angle my red glandhand tip broke off. The brakes locked not even 2 seconds later. So here I am in the back with a trailer that won't move and blocking an entire line of parked cars. Luckily another driver helped me out and moved my trailer out the way.

    My fault or was it just metal fatigue?

    I attached a picture of the glandhand.

    Attached Files:

    NavigatorWife, Magoo1968 and tscottme Thank this.
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  3. Dave1837

    Dave1837 Heavy Load Member

    Nov 16, 2019
    Things get old and break, it's hard to see wear on an aluminum glad hand to know it's gonna break. Not your fault. Be thankful it happened where it did! My red air line snapped while making a left hand turn in New York...
  4. skallagrime

    skallagrime Heavy Load Member

    Apr 10, 2012
    Yes its your fault sorta, but these things happen, always carry a pipe wrench and 10" adjustable and a spare gladhand or 2. In a pinch, steal the blue line to get things outta the way

    Ive broken 3 in the past 5 months, each time in a well over 90 degree situation cause the customer cant be bothered to have space for a full size truck
  5. Dockbumper

    Dockbumper Road Train Member

    Apr 29, 2020
  6. Arctic_fox

    Arctic_fox Medium Load Member

    Sep 16, 2016
    Yes and no. Yes in that you caused it. No in that its one of those things thats hard to prevent. That said always carry a spare set of gladhands and a wrench. You can also swap gladhands and lines out every year or two to help prevent this from happening. Cheap insurance.
  7. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    Burnsville, MN
    Not your fault - at all.

    I once had the green line snap. It somehow got wedged between the drives and pulled all the lines out and wrapped around the wheels before the broken red line stopped everything.
    Those little wings are great for wedging between two rubber tires.

    Having a spare glad hand and some wrenches does not help in that case.
  8. CrappieJunkie

    CrappieJunkie Wishin' I was fishin'

    Mar 9, 2014
    In a van down by the River.
    Not your fault. Things break.
  9. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    A lot of those are pot metal or zinc and they are porous which means they fatigue.

    just carry a couple spares and a clamp for an emergency.
  10. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Hampton Virginia

    I can't ever remember "breaking" a gladhand. I did lose a few pigtails over the years. What I did was give my tractor a good going over when I was stuck at some shipper/receiver and inspected my gladhands and things like my wipers. Several times over the years I wrote up a bad gladhand when I got home.
  11. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Hampton Virginia
    It's kind of funny in a weird way how topics posted on this board mirror a conversation or concern I have had. This one is no exception. I was talking to a very unhappy driver that runs reefer for a national top 20 carrier with a dedicated account close to my home. We discussed this very topic In regard to occupying your time while stuck somewhere. I am NOT in any way trying to infer the OP is at fault because things do break. My point is sometimes you can do things to identify future problems that can cause you problems. A good example of this was about 10 years before I retired. I was driving an old POS and had the engine running while I was getting fuel. I noticed air bubbles blowing upward from the bottom of the fuel tank. This is a sure sign an injector is bad or is about to go bad. I told my dispatcher about this and they routed me through to a Detroit dealer that found the bad injector. Sometimes when we old hands talk about experience it is not to beat down new green drivers. With experience and a little wisdom, you can sometimes see problems before they become a breakdown that can cost you money. The bottom line here is when a driver is stopped (for whatever reason) they are NOT making money! You get stuck somewhere instead of (redacted) about it, take that time to do something useful and go over these things. Check the batteries. There are all kinds of things that with some experience a driver can inspect and maybe head off a breakdown. HOWEVER, when something like this breaks it is NOT necessarily the driver's fault!
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