Odd that a truck driver is responsible for finding sabotage but a pilot isn't

Discussion in 'Trucker Legal Advice' started by drivingmissdaisy, Oct 24, 2023.

  1. drivingmissdaisy

    drivingmissdaisy Road Train Member

    Jun 10, 2019
    I'm both a pilot and a truck driver. I've read numerous times on here how, if someone pulls your kingpin on your trailer while you're parked at a truck stop (or anywhere for that matter) and you don't catch it, YOU are responsible as the driver for the trailer flying off the truck. Now, while parked at a truck stop, if you drove 500 miles to get there, pulled in and parked, you have no reason to think your kingpin isn't connected. There is no reason to check it in the morning as part of any pretrip because you didn't touch it. Kingpins don't release themselves. But if you drop your trailer, the driver is at fault even though HE had nothing to do with his kingpin being pulled. Why? Because it's part of a pretrip. Did your trip begin at the truck stop? No. Then why would you do a pre trip at a truck stop? You pretripped before you left and you just made a temporary stop at the truck stop as required by DOT. Your trip wasn't starting or ending at the truck stop. It was merely a brief stop of a few hours.

    Ok, how do you define "trip?" If trip is picking up a load and delivering it somewhere, parking at a truck stop for a 10 hour break in the middle does not end one trip and start another so there is no pre-trip necessary. You didn't change trailers, so again, why would you think anything was wrong? Everything was fine when you parked. You drove it halfway across the nation like that. Don't call it a pre-trip if its mandatory every single morning, even within the same trip. What if you are woken up and told to leave immediately before your 10 hour break is up, and you panic, go on PC, start up and roll 10 feet and drop your trailer because someone pulled your kingpin? Were you still responsible? If you are, how come? Your break hadn't ended, your trip hadn't ended. You were told leave immediately or you'll be towed so you did what you were told to do. Are you FINALLY absolved of the responsibility of finding sabotage to your truck in this instance? I've seen drivers blamed for dropping a trailer in the fuel island when someone pulled their kingpin because they were "taking too long to fuel." At some point, you have to call this what it is, sabotage, a federal crime. Not the fault of the driver. Dropping a trailer after a drop and hook or a disconnect at a shipper/receiver IS the fault of the driver. But not a federal crime committed against his truck by a criminal. That can't be a truck drivers fault. What if he loses brakes because someone made a tiny slit in his brake lines way up under his truck where he can't even see? Do you people check every single inch of brake line every morning? Absolutely not. Most of you don't even pretrip. I've been driving the better part of a decade and the number of people I've seen do a real pretrip to their truck before leaving could be held up on one hand. But those same people are quick to toss rocks in a glass house if a driver has a felony committed against him and someone tampers with his truck and he drops his trailer in a parking lot or worse, on the interstate. If you wouldn't hold him responsible for the brake line failure due to sabotage, but you hold him responsible if he drops a trailer due to sabotage, why would you do that? Why would you draw a big line between those two?

    Yet, as a pilot, if I don't catch sabotage to my airplane during a preflight inspection, nobody blames the pilot if the plane crashes and the cause is determined to be sabotage. The FAA and FBI are called in and they make an attempt to find out who did that. There has not been a SINGLE instance in the last 50 years of a plane that was sabotaged where the pilot was held at fault for not catching it before taking off. Not a single time. In fact, the FAA tends to blame pilots automatically for crashes EXCEPT in the event that sabotage is found. Then the pilot is immediately absolved of all responsibility for that crash, no matter what. Why are truckers not afforded the same luxury? How many people blamed the pilot of Pan Am flight 103 when it got blown up over Scotland? Nobody. Why? Because it was sabotage. But he's responsible for everything and every person who enters that airplane, so why did nobody blame him?

    Anyone else find it odd that pilots don't have to catch sabotage to their aircraft but truckers have to catch sabotage to their trucks or else somehow THEY are at fault?? This is not about it being preventable with pulling the truck against the trailer when you park, etc. This is STRICTLY about blaming truckers for not catching sabotage to their trucks.

    Remember, the victim of a crime is never at fault.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2023
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  3. JonJon78

    JonJon78 Road Train Member

    Jul 1, 2018
    Please post your pilot license. Thank you
  4. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    Show me the regulations that say you have to stop at a truck stop.

    Air travel is regulated by the federal government, trucks are regulated by the state with a central set of regulations agreed to by the states to follow and those are the FMCSA regulations.

    When there is an accident with a plane, there is a need for the feds to be involved but in some cases the states have jurisdiction.

    When there is an accident in a truck, the state laws precede all federal laws because of the nature of the system.

    So why in the hell do you want more federal involvement when the states have laws on the books for messing with cars and causing an accident?
  5. InTooDeep

    InTooDeep Donner party survivor

    Jan 17, 2016
    Carmichael CA
    And why are you not checking your king pin every time you are away from your truck?
  6. North Pole Nightmare

    North Pole Nightmare Medium Load Member

    Dec 15, 2021
    Do a walk around every time you stop,just like an airplane.
  7. homeskillet

    homeskillet Road Train Member

    Jun 1, 2013
    Dayton, OH
    If you stretch the rig every time you get out of it, then check your 5th wheel jaws every time you come back, you'll never have to worry about accidentally dropping the trailer.
  8. Kyle G.

    Kyle G. Road Train Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    Eastern Iowa
    Sounds like somebody dropped a trailer.
  9. Kyle G.

    Kyle G. Road Train Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    Eastern Iowa
  10. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

    Dec 20, 2019
    Marion Texas
    Doesn’t the FAA determine “pilot error” as a default cause of a crash if anything else as a cause can’t be determined in the investigation. Someone or something must be blamed or the case is never closed. So if they don’t find the sabotage it will be the pilots fault.
  11. KB3MMX

    KB3MMX Road Train Member

    Dec 29, 2014
    Orrstown, PA
    This is just another attempt to skip pretrips, mid trips, post trips , anything that involves actually looking at the truck for safety.
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