Driving WTF


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    My company is paying for all our consultants to get their CDL because we're downsizing our vehicle fleet to lose some redundant Class C vehicles that are FAR too fuel inefficient for their weight class (because they're really identical to our heavy class B trucks with different stickers on the door, so you get all the ass fuel mileage but aren't allowed to carry all the weight that goes with it) and free our more experienced consultants from having to drive the menial jobs and do yard-jockey work. The few of us who already hold class A licenses are getting hazmat and triple-trailer endorsements, because they only cost a few hundred dollars more on the training package.

     

    Anyway, I'm one of the more experienced drivers and I'm riding shotgun with one of the trainees doing an evaluation checkride. The idea here is that I don't help - I just observe and offer feedback at the end. We're taking one of our open-top trailers with scrap metals in it to the scrapyard. The guy gets the entire preflight by-the-books (he even remembers to check the security seal on the trailer), and drives prettymuch flawlessly across town. However, once the wheels leave pavement and we're on the mud at the scrapyard, things go to hell.

    When I say mud, I really mean "slightly wet dirt". It gets ON stuff, but you can't sink into it no matter what you do to it. Not that it matters, because there's a concrete pad a few inches under it. The scrapyard is FAR from being a tight manuevering spot (it used to be REALLY tight, but they've cleaned up considerably as their traffic has increased so much) - there's enough room to pull a U-turn in a semi across the main alley, but within 20 seconds, we're hung up on a corner. Wait 5 minutes for a front-end loader to drag the rear of the trailer around for us. I apologize profusely (the operators over there and I have gotten to be quite good friends since I bring them quite good profits). I prepare to feast upon my trainee's liver for forgetting the most fundamental rule of "how to drive a truck" (though he was kind enough to forget it in the most forgiving circumstance possible). We drive onto the scale. The scale is 100ft long, the combined length of truck and trailer in our case are something like 50ft. Even with signal lights and a guy on the ground giving standard hand signals, he has trouble stopping on the scale. On his third shot, which left him too far forward, he had to back up to get onto the scale. He managed to not back up straight and one side of the trailer axles dropped into the pit alongside the scale. Cue the front-end-loader again, lifting the entire back of the trailer back onto the scale.

    Weighed in, we drive back to the dump area. The manuever here involves opening the rear door on the trailer, engaging the motorized floor in the trailer (think a HUGE conveyor belt) and creeping the truck forward leaving a long string of scrap metal, which they promptly pick up and add to the pile. He made a serious comedy of errors on this one.

    Mistake 1: He got out and forgot to set the parking brakes. Truck rolled. I HAD to catch it or he would have been run over trying to get back in.
    Mistake 2: Got out again, opened the rear door, forgot to turn on the floor - crept forward, spilling just a little metal out the back that happened to be sitting fairly precariously next to the door.
    Mistake 3: Backed up OVER the metal that had already fallen out. Slashed a tire (fortunately only 1 of 8 on the trailer).
    Mistake 4: Correctly did everything this time, but decided "creep forwards" meant "10mph". We reach the end of the dump area before even 1/4 of the load is out.

    The 5th shot emptied the trailer properly. We weighed out and despite clear signage, he managed to exit through the entrance road. Fortunately, because of the crap economy we were the only people even attempting to use the scrap yard. Made it back to our facility without major incident, save a side-trip to the truck leasing shop to get a new tire fitted to the trailer.

     This gentleman no longer works for us. Prior to all of this he was involved in an incident where he drove one of the class C trucks up onto the hood of one of our security cars because he "didn't understand the manual transmission" - the problem here being that the truck he was driving at the time was equipped with an AUTOMATIC.

     

     



  • I'm thinking that he already had another job offer in his pocket and just wanted to get fired.  Was there a phone call in between "driving flawlessly" and stepping out of the cab without the park brake?



  • I'm suprised the scale didn't break 



  • Consultants? 

    Driving garbage trucks?

    Good thing a logistics solutions analyst was on hand at the scrapyard to drive the front end loader...

     



  • He's probably not the best or most experienced drivers, and once he messed up the first time, got rattled and never collected himself.  Each subsequent mess up only added to his stress, which he clearly doesn't do well under.

     

    Sucks to be him, but I guess he should be doing something different if he can't regain his focus in that sort of situation.  



  • @BeenThere said:

    He's probably not the best or most experienced drivers, and once he messed up the first time, got rattled and never collected himself.  Each subsequent mess up only added to his stress, which he clearly doesn't do well under.

     

    When I was a bus driver, I saw this kind of thing a lot with new drivers. One mistake destroys their confidence, and they often can't recover until they've at least gotten out of the seat and walked around a little; sometimes it's necessary to quit for the day and come back with a fresh start tomorrow.



  • See - you post some pictures, interview questions, and HR fuck ups, and all the sudden people post any topic.

     I was watching football this weekend and the ball hit the receiver right in his hands. But, get this!, instead of catching it, he dropped it! WTF? Why would he do that when he could have had a touchdown?

     Then this other guy moved before everyone else so he could do better on the play. Brillant!  But this story has a happy ending - the officials caught him and made his entire team go back 5 yards. I bet he wasn't popular in the office that week! :)

    There were even some managerial WTFs - Belichick must have felt like a douche when his timeout was granted after his team had converted on 4th-and-1.

     P.S. I fishtail like a drunk 16 year old backing my car out of my driveway.



  • While I can understand folks who are learning making mistakes, I feel that if you get flustered when something happens, then you are not ready to drive in the real world because, stuff-happens and if you can't handle it, people could die. Someone I knew, who had been driving 10+ years, and who should never have had a license, got easily flustered and mowed down a small crowd of people b/c "there were too many cars in the intersection and they were all going different ways and I didn't know what to do"; the judge only suspended her license for 90 days. Sad.

     



  • @snoofle said:

    I feel that if you get flustered when something happens, then you are not ready to drive in the real world because, stuff-happens and if you can't handle it, people could die.

    I quite agree.  My mother fits this description fairly well. About 20 years ago now she lost control on a hill and decided to slam the breaks on and [i]her eyes tight shut[/i].  By pure fluke no damage was done to anyone or anything so there was no judge to ban her, so my father did it!  She hasn't driven a car since......



  •  Did the truck at least have Jeepies?



  • @obediah said:

    I was watching football this weekend and the ball hit the receiver right in his hands. But, get this!, instead of catching it, he dropped it! WTF? Why would he do that when he could have had a touchdown?
     

     That reminds me of a football wtf my father tells.

     He's a sesons ticket holder to a CFL team (Argos).  He was watching an exhibition game where they were showcasing some new talent they'd brought up from the states. One of the new kids is downfield, ready to receive a punt.  The kicking team sends it up into the air, and their tackles advance.

    The new kid sees it sailing high and lazy, and easy catch. He stands nice and still, and puts his arm above his head to signal a "fair catch"-- a play that basically says "I'm going to catch this, but I agree not to run anywhere. We'll concede the rest of the down, and start the next down from where I catch the ball at."

    So he catches it perfectly, and stands there.

    Unfortunately, the CFL doesn't have the Fair Catch rule. I think he realized he shouldn't just be standing still about a millisecond before several hundred pounds of opposing players with dozens of yards-worth of momentum took him out.

    I think it took the rest of the season to finish scraping him off the turf...



  • @halcyon1234 said:

    The new kid sees it sailing high and lazy, and easy catch.
    I know next to nothing about the CFL (save that Doug Flutie hid out there for a while), but as soon as I read that I knew exactly where this was headed.  He must have gotten plastered.

    @halcyon1234 said:

    Unfortunately, the CFL doesn't have the Fair Catch rule.
    Wasn't that also one of the selling points of the short-lived XFL ("X-treme Football League") a few years back?



  • @cconroy said:

    Wasn't that also one of the selling points of the short-lived XFL ("X-treme Football League") a few years back?
     

    It was, as (then-MN-Governor/XFL-commentator) Jesse Ventura pointed out Every. Damn. Kick.



  • @RHuckster said:

     Did the truck at least have Jeepies?

    That probably explains why they were re-training PHP consultants.


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