Author Topic: Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?  (Read 1101 times)

Offline offbeatbassist

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 85
  • Karma: 1
Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?
« on: November 15, 2012, 07:16:04 PM »
I know this isnt the typical question for the TSP forum, but as it relates to my job, which is currently crucial to our survival... We are looking to purchase a property here soon and are just waiting for the funds to do so... looking to get more independent but...

I drive an international tractor trailer. The truck has developed an internal engine issue.. sounds like its not running on all its cylinders.. the company so far has refused to give an okay to have it fixed... I don't really know whats wrong with it, but its loud and was spitting white smoke out the exhaust. Last I saw, it had changed to black smoke. I am not sure what to do about it, as the company expects me to keep driving it.. they put the truck in the shop for a small whole in the exhaust pipe but wont fix the engine?!?! I feel like I should refuse to drive it for safety reasons but whats available to protect myself from just getting fired?

Any help?

Offline nelson96

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6185
  • Karma: 135
Re: Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 07:23:09 PM »
Unfortunately it sounds like they are not running a responsible business, but it is their truck, their business, and therefore their decision to make.  Which sucks for you since you probably get paid on mileage.  I doubt you will see a safety issue short of being left stranded on the side of a road while waiting for a tow.

I would start looking for a new employer.  Good luck, that's a bad spot to be in.
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline offbeatbassist

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 85
  • Karma: 1
Re: Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 07:28:22 PM »
I believe the way it is supposed to work, is when I pre-trip my truck, I inform the company that the truck has an issue. If I believe it unsafe, I don't drive it until it is fixed. A good business would take care of the issues before allowing the truck to be out on the road. I don't want to wind up in trouble at a weigh station when the officer gives me an inspection and places me out of services for driving a truck in that condition. Sadly, Ive searched long and hard to find a job that I actually enjoy, and this one I kinda like, minus this one hickup. I have only been on the job since October 8 and am not excited to be in the market for another one, but I have begun looking.

Offline nelson96

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6185
  • Karma: 135
Re: Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 08:04:44 PM »
I understand your point and yes you could do that, but then they may not have any more trips for you to take.  It's easier to find work when you are working.
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline fuzzy

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
  • Karma: 5
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 08:32:57 PM »
The way I understand it here in Arkansas, if the operator drives an unsafe truck, he is responsible for any accident, regardless of who owns the truck.  Our nephew got fired from a county job because he refused to drive a county truck with bad brakes.  This law forces the driver to refuse an unsafe truck, but leaves the owner open to fire them for refusing.  As usual, it's the little guy that has to bite the bullet.

Offline LJH

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1155
  • Karma: 53
Re: Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 06:35:34 PM »
I'd find a commercial cop or take it to the nearest highway scalehouse and see what they come up with. If it's a safety issue they'll redtag it, if not, run 'till it breaks down and the owner will have a tow bill on top of the repair - the dummies.  ::)

I was really lucky to work for several different outfits that were right on top of repair & maintence issues - and only one that wasn't. For that last one I did the above on more than one occasion. They finally went belly-up but I'd moved on well before.

Wishing you luck with it.
"Gittin' Old Ain't Fer Sissies"

Offline offbeatbassist

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 85
  • Karma: 1
Re: Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 07:42:02 PM »
  Our nephew got fired from a county job because he refused to drive a county truck with bad brakes.  This law forces the driver to refuse an unsafe truck, but leaves the owner open to fire them for refusing. 

Actually there is a law that protects the driver when he refuses - if the truck has a legitament issue. I found previous instances where a company had to pay a guy over $100,000 between backpay and emotional stress pay and this and that. They legally had to give him his job back with any promotions he mightve gotten had he stayed, and couldn't treat him ill for the lawsuit. It had something to do with OSHA or the Whistleblowers or something.

In my case, I read through the FMCSR rules on inspections and maintenance and whatnot and found the only thing not mentioned was the engine itself. They had the truck in the shop for a hole in the exhaust pipe but didn't give okay for repairs of the engine. My manager (not the one who can make the repair decisions) did manage to get me in to talk with the mechanic though and he thinks it's actually and issue with the engine break, which apparently isnt nearly as serious. As it turns out, it supposedly isnt such a big deal, but I am still uncomfortable with the company's stance on getting the repairs done as they don't know what the mech said about the issue. For all they know, it could be running on half it cylinders due to some mechanical issue that could cause breakdown at any given time and they still choose not to even have the truck checked out to find out.

For now I guess I stay, outside of this issue I enjoy the job and it beats most other options around when it comes to the pay.. This job will hopefully enable us to purchase a property and move on with homesteading, getting debt free, and getting ourselves setup to live on less and not require a job such as this. Thanks for all your comments and helpfulness :)

Offline TLBones

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 237
  • Karma: 6
  • TSP Forum Chupacabra
Re: Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2012, 07:20:15 PM »
So there is no emmissions where you are?   Years ago when I drove I know NJ state police DOT inspections included emmissions.   They would tag anyone putting out visible smoke.   My old company used to have one goofy driver who would wave at the cops like an idiot at the scale and then complain he got pulled over for inspection every time.   You could try that approach and hope they flag it out of service....then it's not your fault...have the wife pick you up go home then call the boss tell him where he can pick up his truck.   Seriously I've worked for a company like that (not driving) that would fix the cheap stuff and ignor the big stuff.  Eventually they started ignoring the cheap fixes also.  That was my sign to go.  My 2 cents...
« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 07:27:12 PM by TLBones »
What would Ben Franklin do?

Offline offbeatbassist

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 85
  • Karma: 1
Re: Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 08:47:50 AM »
I am not sure about the emissions thing with tractor trailers. I know we don't test it on cars. We lived in CO for the last 2 years and that was basically the only thing they cared about. The car could be falling apart but if it passed emissions, okay.. Here in Maine the car inspections are the opposite. Fairly strict on everything but no emissions testing. Either way I have notated it on my daily pretrip inspection paperwork and shall make sure I continue to do so. I pass 3 different way stations every couple of days, one that seems to be open M/W/F so I expect Ill be running through one in this next week. Thanks for the help!

Offline bdhutier

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 942
  • Karma: 32
  • Defensor libertas
Re: Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 02:59:11 PM »
Engine brake?  I'm not thinking so... White smoke typically indicates it's burning coolant, and black is usually engine oil.  Gray is usually unspent fuel, and you may see a little of that if you have an exhaust brake, but not the others. 

What year IC, and what engine?  Do you know any of the mechanics who can put ServiceMax on the truck (just takes a few minutes to run for DTCs)?  We have some '06 ICs with DT466, and have had two EGRs develop holes in the coolant core.  Lost a turbo on one of them, since the additives in Shell ELC solidly gummed up the wastegate.

To protect yourself, make sure you continue documenting the issue on your DVIRs, and ensure you have copies of all of them.  Document all discussions with your manager, and everyone else as well.  Engine performance is not a vehicle safety issue for the cops or DoT to involve themselves in, so you're safe there.  I can't speak for emissions, but I'd think your bundle of DVIRs with smoke written up would help you on that, with any reasonable officer.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man with no convictions.
-- G. K. Chesterton

So go do some PT, then by all means take some ninja classes.
-- Chemsoldier


Offline offbeatbassist

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 85
  • Karma: 1
Re: Truck driving question? When a carrier wont fix a fleet truck?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 05:32:10 PM »
Ill have to get back to you on that bdhutier. I don't know off hand and I havent remembered to look it up when I have been in the truck.