stuck on railroad tracks in turlock, ca

Discussion in 'Trucking Accidents' started by franktaylor, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. franktaylor

    franktaylor Light Load Member

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    Apr 8, 2010
    manchester, tn
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    So as per my companies request i'm posting about an incident i had a couple weeks ago. I'll chalk this up to my lack of experience , i have about a year and a half in , but will also say i was mislead to believe there was only one way in and out of this shipper. So here goes, i was picking up at phoenix plastics in turlock ca. You have to pull into a road off of Golden State something or other. When i went to make the left i thought the railroad crossing seemed a little steep but i watched two other trucks come out so i went for it. I got into the shipper with just a little scrape of the landing gear. I then called the boss and asked if he had any advice for getting out of this place once loaded. He said to move the tandems all the way up so i did. Once i was loaded i went to leave and scraped a little on the tracks but then got the landing gear stuck on the asphalt on the other side. within 2 minutes of getting stuck CHP showed up. I was in a panic at this point and asked if the railroad traffic was stopped and he said yes and asked if i wanted him to call a wrecker, i said of course. a few minutes later the rr peiple showed up to see if i screwed the tracks up which i did not. Turns out the week before i got stuck another guy did also. The cop informed me that this guy tore the tracks up and it cost him a $30,000 fine or costs or whatever. Also a guy about two weeks before that got stuick and the train came through and tore his trailer in half. The wrecker shows up, company name...stanislaus towing services, i beleive they said they were out of merced, ca. He basically lifted the trailer by the bumper about 6 feet and i released my brakes and i rolled right off. heres where the issue comes in. As i'm sitting in the wrecker the drivers figuring up the bill, he comes back witha figure of $850 for his 15 minutes of work. The amount did not hit me until talking to the boss the next day. he was livid and felt like it was a set up from the get go. He felt the shipper , chp and towing company was in on this all together. The boss said at most it should have been $400 to get me off the tracks. While i was being loaded i talked to 2 different employees about the tracks and neither one botthered to tell me that there is another crossing that isn't as high aobut a mile down the road. In the shippers defense, the boss guy did try to help me get off the tracks, brought his forklift out and tried pushing and also got some 4X4's to try to get the tractor a little higher but none helped. The cop said this happens at least once a week at the same crossing so i'm led to believe they don't inform people of the other crossing to try to get some revenue in the city or at leadst the wrecker service.... so i guess the botton line is be wary of Stanislaus Towing Service out of merced , ca


    i should also mention that the wrecker driver told me that if CHP wasn't involved and i called hinm directly that it would have cost about $200 but because CHP called him he had to charge this higher rate
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
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  3. STexan

    STexan Road Train Member

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    Longview, TX
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    Some times with tracks, it's all about the angle you cross the grade at, and the weight. But my rule of thumb is .. if in doubt, park and make a phone call or look at your GPS map and see if there is another crossing nearby you can look at. I don't recommend the following except if there were no other way in/out, but moving the trailer tandems up helps, but moving the 5th wheel slide up helps a bit more so long as the landing gear will clear the flap hangers and the trailer nose will clear the BOC and you don't try and make a U-turn. Just make sure to put it back where it should be AS SOON AS you can.
     
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  4. Semi Crazy

    Semi Crazy Road Train Member

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    May 13, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
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    You could try monkeying around with your HCV too. Just remember to mark the original adjustment on it.
     
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  5. Bent Wrench

    Bent Wrench Medium Load Member

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    Aug 11, 2009
    Cornholio, OR
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    There I fixed that for you. Always count on being charged the full amount allowed. Always call for a tow yourself to save that emergency response fee.

    What is this shippers name and where is the good crossing? (for future reference)
     
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  6. franktaylor

    franktaylor Light Load Member

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    Apr 8, 2010
    manchester, tn
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    i beleive the name of the shipper was phoenix containers or recycling... they do plastic recycling stuff the good crossing was F street or something like that. It's like a mile south of the one wehre i got stuck, down a type of service road
     
  7. Jagd

    Jagd Bobtail Member

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    Aug 5, 2012
    Kentucky
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    The crossing @ Griffith road is across a double track which, depending on the length of train, can be blocked at times. This is a pull off section for letting other trains pass going in the opposite direction or in the same, depending on scheduling. About a mile NW of Phoenix Container is a good access crossing with a low grade. It's on Golf Rd.
     
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  8. franktaylor

    franktaylor Light Load Member

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    Apr 8, 2010
    manchester, tn
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    looks like the towing place is out of modesto not merced btw. i was just looking for info on them and found that
     
  9. franktaylor

    franktaylor Light Load Member

    161
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    Apr 8, 2010
    manchester, tn
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    if i remember right after i was stuck the officer said to go down to East F Street which looks like it's one more street past Golf. They said the 1st intersection , which is Golf, is also steep.
     
  10. brianw900

    brianw900 Bobtail Member

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    May 16, 2011
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    Go to OOIDA's website and look at rr crossing regs, you do know there is a standard in place for the percentage of slop in a grade at the crossing and it sounds to me like this crossing is in violation. I think it states that there can't be more then a 1 foot drop for every 10 feet on either side of the tracks, in other words if you are 30 feet past the tracks you should not have have seen more then a 3 foot decrease in elevation. If there is more then that the railroad is required to display warning signs that you may not clear the crossing, so i'll ask you if warning signs are displayed?

    If that many trucks are getting hung up i would think this crossing is out of spec and if they haven't put signs up then the crossing is in violation, check with ooida on the numbers reguarding the measurements the grade needs to be but you could possibly have a case if it's out of spec and they aren't warning you about it.
     
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