Refusing to drive a truck with serious safety issues.

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by wa6ems, Nov 29, 2021.

  1. wa6ems

    wa6ems Bobtail Member

    Sep 9, 2012
    La Pine, Oregon
    I work for a tanker outfit and they bought a new fleet of Peterbilt's with collision avoidance system where the truck can lock the brakes up by itself. I was up in Canada driving this truck in the snow and ice and the system malfunction on me a multiple of times causing me too almost wreck. locking up the brakes. I told the company and I feel it is a pretty big safety issue but they seem to not care so I told them i am refusing to drive those trucks and i will be driving my old truck which does not have that system. Now is there anything in any laws or regulations that will protect me as a company driver. and all the company keeps telling me is that they will not even look into the issue because they save a lot of money on insurance. So, it seems to me they seem to care more about their bottom dollar then the lives of their drivers. Also, I am not they only who has made this complaint.
    D.Tibbitt, tscottme and austinmike Thank this.
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  3. motocross25

    motocross25 Road Train Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Overland Park, KS
    Probably not since your name isn’t the biggest one on the door. Only thing as far as laws or regulations is as long as you didn’t sign some contract with them, your employment is “at will”. They can terminate you at any time and you can quit them at any time. If you don’t like what they have to offer for equipment, bounce.
  4. okiedokie

    okiedokie Road Train Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    It's my way or the hiway. Time to move on.
    BobO1176, Kyle G. and Bean Jr. Thank this.
  5. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    When I started driving tanker my new 2018 Cascadia also had the auto braking system. It also would automatically panic brake with no warning. My system used a combination of the forward-facing camera and the radar sensor. Sometimes a shadow would cause a panic-braking event and sometimes something in or near the road (guardrail, overhead sign, overpass) would trigger the event. I started calling the 800 number for reporting dangerous events, like a spill or attempted hijacking, and texting my boss to create a record. My fear, and it never came true, was the panic braking would happen on ice or snow or heavy rain. The people in the offices think up these gadgets and they just can't imagine they will ever not be perfect. Nobody I reported this to seemed to take it seriously, but I created a "paper trail" so my heirs could become millionaires or to use in court if the company tried to blame me for jamming the brakes in a curve on ice.
  6. aaronpeterbilt3787

    aaronpeterbilt3787 Medium Load Member

    Apr 2, 2016
    Good luck with your complaint. I own my truck, 2020 Pete Ultraloft, with the same system. Paccar nor Bendix will disable the system, as they say it’s a factory installed safety system. I eventually was able to get them to reprogram it to “dummy it down”. In my convos with the bendix rep, he informed me in 3 years ALL new tractors will be required by law to have it installed at the factory. Even programmed parameters will be more stringent, and that they won’t be able to program a new truck the way mine is now.
    tscottme Thanks this.
  7. bavarian

    bavarian Medium Load Member

    Feb 13, 2014
    They are dreaming about this for a decade now.

    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  8. Studebaker Hawk

    Studebaker Hawk Road Train Member

    Oct 18, 2010
    NW Indiana
    When a truck operates in an abnormal manner, in this case it is applying the brakes hard for no apparent reason, the truck has a mechanical flaw. It is no different that any other mechanical flaw that affects safety, worn out brakes, lighting systems that are not fully functional, air leaks etc.

    And you handle it the same way. Write it up. Or as @tscottme is doing, creating a paper trail. Verbally does absolutely no good. And keep copies of your own, a journal of the incidents, no matter how minor. The law requires an inspection report every day there is a mechanical issue that might affect safety.
    Fortunately, these trucks have an elephant's memory. Everything that this thing does wrong is in the ECM. So your observations and records, combined with the computer record, you are in the clear when this thing jack knifes out of your lane, killing everyone in the mini van next to you.

    We went through this exact scenario when ABS brakes were required on all trucks manufactured after Jan 1978. The systems were flawed, but until enough trucks were on the road and causing accidents instead of preventing them, and here the important part the lawsuits identified the issue, it was ignored.
    They stopped the requirement, disabled the systems, and it was at least 15 years before they tried again.

    Bendix by the way was responsible for getting that legislation passed in 1978. They were almost sued out of existence then.
    Keep a good lawyers name on speed dial.
  9. Dave1837

    Dave1837 Heavy Load Member

    Nov 16, 2019
    In a truck I drove I was making a right turn onto a 4 lane highway put of a parking lot. The system picked up a car on the opposite side of the road and stopped me in the middle of my turn. It also malfunctioned in the rain, it would throw out distance alerts when I passed those big exit or service plaza signs. I got sick of it and gave the white wire on the bumper box the snip treatment.
  10. motocross25

    motocross25 Road Train Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Overland Park, KS
    The Peterbilt sales rep told my boss the exact same thing. I took him to pick up a truck we had at the dealer shop and they got to talking and carrying on about the next wave of trucks he was gonna order, and my boss said he didn’t want that radar stuff, as we do end dump and that’d be a nightmare in some of the terrain we go across. Sounds like in 2-3 years there won’t be any choice in the matter.
  11. Short Fuse EOD

    Short Fuse EOD Heavy Load Member

    Jul 29, 2015
    Solution- stop working for companies that run plastic curbsniffers. Get with a company that runs hoods without that mess
    Capacity Thanks this.
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