Monday, March 23, 2009

foreign Driver

So there we were sitting in the TA East in Ontario, CA when someone knocks on the back door of our sleeper.  We weren't expecting anyone, so Randy cautiously checked and then opened the door to a man standing on our catwalk.  He was a foreign driver who barely spoke English.  He had a piece of paper in his hand his company had given him and he started to gesture to it trying to show Randy something.  It was a PICTURE DIAGRAM showing how to axle out your truck properly.  I mean come on is our industry getting so bad that we need 3rd grade picture diagrams to show us how to do our jobs.  Apparently so.  

Next the driver handed Randy his weight ticket and then started jabbering again.  Of course Randy instantly saw the problem.  This guys drivers were over by 180 pounds.  But apparently he didn't know what to do with the information he had, so he decided to knock on our door and ask for help.  I guess we present a knowledgeable image? 

Randy put on his shoes, grabbed his gloves and went out to see what he could do.  I grabbed the camera and followed.  When this other driver saw we were going to give him a hand he slowed down and was able to speak a little bit of very broken English.  Randy showed him how to slide his tandems first.  Then he showed him how to put the landing gear down and slide his 5th wheel.  Unfortunately no air was getting to the release pins on the 5th wheel and we weren't able to figure out why in short order.  Since it was a minimum amount of weight he was over on the drivers and he wasn't over gross or any of the other axles, Randy told him to just run with it.  He would probably burn off enough fuel to equal it out and then not to completely top it off again until empty or fixed.  We also told him to call his company and get the problem fixed.

All in all an interesting and enlightening little diversion in an otherwise normal evening.  It is depressing to see drivers of this caliber being sent out on their own with so little training.  After he left, all we could wonder was what else he hadn't been properly taught...

Moral of the story...don't park next to the scales if you don't want to be disturbed.

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